For the dedicated globetrotter, Forbes recently released an extensive list of the world’s best 44 hotel bars. While we commend international exploration, we’ve pared the tasting menu down to a palatable nine locations: All those residing right here in the U.S. of A.
While gorgeous lobby shots are always tantalizing, we ventured through the looking glass and scouted reviews to let you know what real customers had to say.
Park Lounge, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Carlsbad, California
Yelpers rave about the lounge’s High Tea, which includes a choice of loose–leaf brew alongside the requisite finger sandwiches, pastries and tea cakes. Guests also mention loving the lounge’s live music. We’d be ordering: the Apricot Delight—with Old Forrester Bourbon, Amaro Nonino, apricot shrub, lemon juice and basil.
Z Bar, The Peninsula Chicago
Frequenters like its situation amidst the high-rises for great city views. Get there for brunch, given many shout-outs to fried chicken and waffles, plus a veritable mimosa bar. Cocktail suggestion: The Summer Sour, because apparently, it’s made of bourbon, bachelor button and magic.
33° North, Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, California
Ocean views, crafty bar bites and sun-kissed cocktails, check. Guests compliment the service—and appreciate the complimentary honey almonds, coated in nectar from the resort’s own bees. Just how many places can say they’re hive-to-table?
MO Bar + Lounge, Mandarin Oriental, Miami
Lined up along the water with palm fronds silhouetted by city views, there would be good reason to visit even if not for the wallet-happy “Social Hour”—during which the much-loved Social Punch of bourbon, spiced guava cordial, citrus and bitters, plus a spicy tuna cone, will run you less than your valet parking.
The St. Regis Bar & Wine Vault, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Florida
Everyone loves a good ol’ fashioned champagne saber, which is the attribute of note according to patrons of this locale—that and an impressive collection of wines from 14 different countries tucked away in temperature-controlled perfection. A dearth of reviews otherwise makes us think the bar’s breathtaking construction of fractioned gold, marble and glass simply stuns visitors into post-prandial silence.
Thirsty Camel, The Phoenician, A Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale, Arizona
Numerous mentions of impeccable bartending service keep reviewers happy here. Desert-inspired cocktails are best imbibed with sunset views, which are plentiful from the firelit lounge patio. Try the Triple S, a tequila-based potion featuring watermelon, jalapeno and hickory smoked salt.
Oak Room, The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club, Sea Island, Georgia
Almost every diner effuses for a paragraph about stellar service and surprising perfection of southern comfort food favorites. The cozy, upscale-rustic atmosphere is well-received. Scotch and leather go hand-in-hand, and the lounge furnishes you with plenty of both.
Garden Room, Weekapaug Inn, Westerly, Rhode Island
In the snug living-room setting that visitors describe as “cozy upscale,” order anything from the sea to be washed in the waves of delectability that overtake reviewers of Garden Room. Attentive staff and expertly-made drinks with views of a rocky New England coastline complete the atmosphere.
The Great Room, The Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Montana
The Great Room is just one of the watering holes dispersing libations to would-be cowboys ranch-wide—but guests kick their boots up here in particular for the game tables and social hour at 5 p.m. sharp. As you may deduce, the bar is not open to the public: The ranch is an all-inclusive experience. This might explain the mention of guzzling Glenlivet from dusk to dawn.