The Seven Swankiest Hotel Bars in NYC
The seven swankiest hotel bars in NYC. No room key required.
We love a good hotel bar.
Patronized by all manner of passers-through and stoppers-by, they’re full of infinite possibility.
Now, two schools of thought prevail on how to make good on these thoroughly sexy spaces: Meet someone. Or bring someone.
Personally, we opt for the latter — there are advantages to getting a drink in a building with neutral-territory bedrooms available.
No matter your reasons, here are seven of our favorite NYC watering holes that fit the bill.
The destination: Rose Bar at The Gramercy Hotel
The vibe: Lavish, grand and fashionable
But why here? First off, this is one the best places to play pool in the city. You can sip on a ginger fig martini or elderflower smash between shots, after all. The atmosphere is stylish, with the clientele to match. Don’t let the Warhol, Twombly and Basquiat on the walls fool you: this place turns up in a big way come nightfall. Look fresh or you’re not making it past the humorless henchmen who guard the door.
The destination: The Bar Room at the Beekman
The vibe: Lined with Wall Street heads, this is a new entry in the city’s canon of destination bars. Think plush lounge under a nine-story atrium with an old New York feel.
But why here? The atmosphere is so grandiloquent that you won’t bat an eye at the outlandish prices. An excellent place to have a conversation, and they serve the best dirty martini we’ve had in recent memory.
The destination: Est.1986 at the Hotel Stanford
The vibe: An under-the-radar and unassuming quasi-speakeasy wine bar.
But why here? This is an excellent pick for showing off your knowledge of the New York underground. A hidden Koreatown gem, 1986 is quiet and provincial. The wine list goes on for days. Get a bottle and let the hours melt away.
The destination: The King Cole Bar at the St. Regis
The vibe: Elegant and old school
But why here? The King Cole bar is praised for having the best bloody mary on Fifth Ave., but there’s so much more to it than that. The reserve spirit selection will bring a tear to your eye. Go if you want to feel fancy … or if you already are.
The destination: The Ballroom at the Jane Hotel
The vibe: Trés scene-y. But a scene you can handle.
But why here? The Ballroom is always a trusty bet. It’s got everything a hotel bar could offer, including plush sofas and chairs, decently priced drinks, great tunes and loads upon loads of gorgeous women. But if it’s a peaceful evening you seek, you’d be well-advised to take your quiet riot elsewhere.
The destination: The Library at the Nomad Hotel
The vibe: Relaxed and woody
But why here? Libraries make people feel regal — even when you’re sipping a bold concoction from Death & Co. alum Jessica Gonzalez. Go for a Matchlock: rye, bourbon, absinthe … it’s certain to have you ruminating on the state of the world at whoever will listen in no time.
The destination: The Lobby Bar at the Bowery Hotel
The vibe: Art Deco meets hunting lodge; oft peppered with celebrities.
But why here? A consistently recurring locale in our roster, the Bowery never fails to impress. Perfect for relishing in hours of conversation. Plus, the bartenders are adept at serving up the perfect cocktail by simply asking what kind of mood you’re in.