The World's Seven Best Hotel Bars

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The days of choosing a hotel for its room service, spa and unbelievably plush mattress are over. Hotel bars are the latest craze in turning the hotel into the after-work hotspot. You don’t need to stay at the hotel to enjoy its amenities and ambiance.

Places like the Standard Hotel have turned the hotel bar into the go to place for great drinks. Hotels are no longer just a place to sleep, but the place to hang out, whether you are traveling or live around the corner.

We’ve picked seven hotel bars from all over the world that offer great ambiance, style, food and most importantly pour a great drink.

THE BIG 4, Huntington Hotel, San Francisco Huntington
Atop Nob Hill in the refined Huntington Huntington, this is the hotel bar as posh club. Think dark, polished wood, green leather chairs, framed memorabilia of a bygone San Francisco festooning the walls.
The Big 4 name comes from a quartet of 19th century railroad barons, one of whom was the hotel's namesake, C.P. Huntington, of the Central Pacific Line.

Although it is linked to the past, the bar (and the Big 4 fine-dining restaurant) is far from musty. It has a good wine list, offers generous pours of wine and cocktails and showcases live piano nightly. The place draws a comfortable blend of hotel guests and locals who pop by for drinks and music. It's especially popular on Friday and Saturday nights.
1075 California St., San Francisco, Calif.,

Tel. 415-474-5400.

CENTRO, Kerry Center Hotel, Beijing stylish, see-and-be-seen bar
Edgy in the good sense and very much of-the-moment, this stylish see-and-be-seen bar stylish, see-and-be-seen bar attracts a mix of locals and international business travelers.
In the early evening, you might see a high-tech globetrotter glued to the cell phone sipping bottled water. Later on, alcohol replaces the water, flirting replaces networking and the music is turned up.
It's entirely possible that a product launch party or fashion event will unfold while you're there, enhancing the entertainment value. The drinks are good, and the wait staff is attentive without being obtrusive.
1 Guanghua Lu Road, Chaoyang district, Beijing, China,

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
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.

Tel. 310-275-5200

PEAK LOUNGE, Park Hyatt Hotel, Tokyo Park Hyatt
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)
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

FELIX, Peninsula Hotel, 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

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