The 11 Swankiest Hotel Bars in NYC
We all know New York has some of the most glamorous, ritzy hotels in the country. We also know that every fancy hotel comes with a fancy hotel bar. So why not explore the scene a little and put your dress shoes to use? Check out the swankiest hotel bars in NYC here:
1. The Top of the Standard (848 Washington Street)
For those that appreciate some top notch mixology in a glittery bar with a panoramic view of the city lights, look no further than the Top of the Standard. It is the definition of opulence, which is what makes this penthouse location a one of a kind destination. Plan a visit for a night where a featured jazz band performs, or come on an off-peak time if you’re looking for some quiet conversation over a fancy drink. Don’t forget to wear something especially nice!
2. The NoMad Hotel’s Library Bar (10 W 28th St.)
This dimly lit, classically-designed library is no ordinary hotel bar. Serving anything from coffee to cocktails, the hotel library is perfect for an early afternoon aperitif or an after dinner old-fashioned. Relax on a custom-made leather couch surrounded by walls of literature, flip through a book on the history of the cocktail. Unfortunately, the library is only open to non-guests of the hotel until 4 PM, so maybe stick to the afternoon aperitif.
3. Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle (35 E 76th St.)
This art deco bar has been known to draw in some of the city’s biggest names. The classic décor makes a firm statement in its quality: the tables are trimmed with nickel and the extravagant ceiling is coated in 24-karat gold. Don’t miss the painted murals by Ludwig Bemelmans himself on the walls of the bar, the only pieces of his art for the hotel open to the general public.
Bill Murray, Maya Rudolph, Rashida Jones, and other A-listers at Bemelmans
4. Rose Bar at Gramercy Park Hotel (2 Lexington Avenue)
A toned down yet classy bar, Rose Bar is great place to relax a little or attend one of their many interesting events: book launches, after-parties, or for guests even exclusive music performances. Even better, this slightly medievalesque bar features a warm crackling fireplace as well as a pool table. Keep an eye out for famous pieces of artwork throughout the venue, including a few works by Andy Warhol.
5. The Jane Hotel Ballroom (113 Jane Street)
Have you had enough of the pristine and posh all-too adult bars? The Jane Hotel Ballroom has everything you would ask of an eclectic hotel bar, except a lot less uppity. The Persian rugs, animal print couches, and palm trees create a strange yet loose atmosphere that no other hotel bar could parallel. Come along if you want to let loose in—and if you happen to need a step back, head up the elevator to the bar on the top floor!
6. Lantern’s Keep at the Iroquois (49 W 44th St.)
A great place to go for a drink after a play, or for a quiet discussion in a refined yet comfortable atmosphere. The bar puts an emphasis on the creativity and quality of its cocktails—and luckily this gem of a place remains somewhat undiscovered. Although not boasting the same level of dramatic opulence as some of these hotels, Lantern’s Keep does offer a hidden, sophisticated getaway from the city lights.
7. Forty Four at The Royalton (44 W 44th St.)
Take a trip to Forty Four if you want a little glimpse into the speakeasy era of New York City. The whole venue is centered around a 20-foot fireplace, and the dimly lit interior along with the innovative yet sophisticated drinks create a fantastic atmosphere. Recline on the brown leather couches by the fire, sip on a professionally concocted cocktail while waiters glide around in vests—you’ll most certainly enjoy your evening here.
8. The Rose Club at the Plaza (768 5th Ave.)
Come along if you would like a taste of grandeur for an evening. This space used to house “The Persian Room,” a sumptuous nightclub where many famous artists performed. Why not see a jazz show in the very same place where Duke Ellington once played? The drinks are classy and tasteful, the furniture comfortable and unconventional, and the history unrivaled. And there’s no more iconic hotel in New York City than the Plaza.
9. JIMMY at the James (15 Thompson St.)
If you’re ready to splurge a little, this rooftop space with a panoramic view of the city is certainly worth a try. Providing the same kind of stylish yet hospitable atmosphere as the Forty Four at the Royalton with a warming fireplace and somewhat retro décor, JIMMY serves as a great year-round spot. In summer you can recline on the roof deck with a mojito, and in winter you can retreat towards the fire and dark wood tables with an old-fashioned.
10. The Ides at Wythe Hotel (80 Wythe Ave.)
Last but not least, Brooklyn hosts an array of slightly more hipster versions of the previously mentioned locations. The Ides offers an outdoor option for the warmer months, while its indoor Blue Room provides an elegant atmosphere when the days get shorter. When you need a drop of sumptuousness but are looking for a slightly younger crowd, why not take a trip out of Manhattan and experiment with a new cocktail creation at the Ides Bar.
11. Margaux at the Marlton (5 W 8th St.)
In this elegant, Parisian styled hotel—once the beatnik Greenwich house of some big artist names—sits a little-known yet wonderful cocktail bar. Simplicity is key here: the minimal, French-inspired décor makes you feel just a little bit glamorous as you sip on a Lumiere.
If you’re sick of the sticky floors, preoccupied bartenders, and watered down drinks that can come with a night out in NYC, then give these hotel bars a try. And who knows, you might just make them part of your weekend routine.