Tel. (86 10) 6561 8833, ext. 42
LOBBY BAR, One Aldwych Hotel, London One Aldwych
Ensconced in an Edwardian stone building that formerly housed a newspaper, then a bank, One Aldwych One Aldwych uses the high-ceiled main lobby to display its destination bar. Quietly workaday in daytime, it becomes a stylish gathering place after dark.
The drink options are driven by an extensive martini menu; some are novelties, such as the chocolate martinis and blackberry and lavender mixes on offer. But the Lobby Bar pours classic martinis, too, and they are done right.
High-backed chairs, roomy couches, oversized sculptures and glorious floral arrangements help give the big, buzzy space a more intimate scale.
One Aldwych, London, England
Tel. 020 7300 1070
SIDEBAR, Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills Four Seasons
PEAK LOUNGE, Park Hyatt Hotel, Tokyo
Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck's steakhouse, CUT, became a sensation when it opened in June 2006. The puckishly named Sidebar, which debuted in an adjoining space at the Four Seasons Four Seasons at the same time, quickly caught on, too.
Architect Richard Meier, who also designed the Getty Center, gave the place a long bar and long tables with backless stools where tipplers who can't find a place at the crowded bar sip and nosh. Sidebar is more than a waiting room for CUT; it's a hangout in its own right, typically packed with beautiful young things.
Finger food to go with the cocktails includes mini Kobe sliders and onion rings with paprika-saffron mayonnaise.
9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, Calif.
The New York Bar, 11 floors up on the 52nd floor of the high-rise Park Hyatt Park Hyatt , is better-known, but the 41st floor Peak Lounge is an equally good and often less-crowded place to linger over drinks.
Simply put, it's a lovely spot, flanked by floor to ceiling windows, awash with natural light during the day and lit by softly illuminated Japanese washi lanterns at night.
Occupying one side of a dramatic arrivals lobby that comes complete with a tall stand of living bamboo, the bar has mixologists who know their cocktails.
There is no better place to watch the sky darken and the "Blade Runner'' skyline of Tokyo come blinking into the neon night.
3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku district, Tokyo, Japan.
Tel. 81 3 5322 1234
MAY FAIR BAR, May Fair Hotel, London (Radisson Edwardian Hotels)
FELIX, Peninsula Hotel
Radisson Edwardian Hotels Radisson Edwardian Hotels , the new owners of this venerable, 1920s hotel, spent millions updating it and installing a smartly trendy bar, and it shows.
The May Fair Bar is located streetside at ground level, perfect for people-watching from both sides of the windows. It starts getting crowded with the after-work set by 6 and is a humming hive of drinking, snacking, chatting and flirting into the wee hours.
The food is small-plate fusion, the drinks are well-done and the cocktail list can surprise you; who'd expect an expertly made mojito - a product of the tropics - in these chilly precincts? Yet, there it is, knocked back by a young, Euro-glam clientele.
70 Stratton St., Mayfair district, London, England
Tel. 020 7629 7777
, Hong Kong
The drama starts as you arrive on the specially designated elevator, when the lift goes dark and you step into this Philippe Starck-designed bar on the 28th floor of the Penninsula Peninsula. The glittery outline of Victoria Harbor, one of the world's most eye-pleasing waterfronts -- bordered north and south by look-at-me skyscrapers -- is at your feet.
Felix includes a restaurant, but it's the drinks, served at a curving bar on a walk-up platform, and the city views you'll remember. Open till 1:30 a.m.
Salisbury Road, Kowloon district, Hong Kong, China
Tel. 0085 2 2315 3188