Food & Drink

The Definitive Guide to NYC's Hotel Bars

Published On 12/04/2015 Published On 12/04/2015
The St. Regis New York
Courtesy of The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

Bemelmans Bar

Courtesy of Annie Schlechter

The Marlton Hotel Bar

Courtesy of Daniel Krieger

The Library at The NoMad Hotel

Courtesy of The St. Regis New York

The King Cole Bar at The St. Regis Hotel

Courtesy of Meaghan Dorman

The Raines Law Room at The William Hotel

Courtesy of the Gramercy Park Hotel

The Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel

 Courtesy of Annie Schlechter

The Lobby Lounge & Garden at The Ludlow

Courtesy of The Jane Hotel

The Jane Hotel Ballroom

Courtesy of The Bowery Hotel

The Lobby Bar at The Bowery Hotel

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1. Bemelmans Bar 35 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021 (Upper East Side)

If it weren’t for all the alcohol, you could mistake Bemelmans for the world’s most lavish nursery. That’s because the walls and lampshades are covered with whimsical illustrations from Ludwig Bemelmans, the man behind Madeline. But don’t come here with your kids on a Sunday afternoon; instead, come on Friday, and grab a table on the floor or, if you can, a spot in one of the rich chocolate-brown banquets around the perimeter of the room and listen to live jazz and piano in the evenings. There’s a cover charge past 9pm on Sunday and Monday and 9:30pm Tuesday-Saturday, so be sure to get there early for a first-come-first-serve spot. The menu is all class, from fine wines to cocktails like the pisco sour and top-notch martinis. While you sip, tilt your head back to catch a glimpse of the 24-karat gold leaf-covered ceiling.

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2. Margaux at The Marlton Hotel 5 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011 (Greenwich Village)

Margaux can be found inside the Marlton Hotel -- head in for some delicious 'tails from a lauded mixologist, great apps, and excellent service.

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3. The NoMad 1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001 (Nomad)

Housed in a historic arts building, The NoMad hotel is a stylish, Parisian-inspired luxury hotel with hardwood floors and handmade rugs. Inside the hotel is a bi-level library, an opulent lounge with a mahogany bar, and an upscale restaurant. Around the corner from the hotel is the much-lauded NoMad Bar (10 W 28th St), serving refined cocktails and upscale pub fare in a hip, lively space.

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4. King Cole Bar & Salon 2 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022 (Midtown West)

Tucked away in the St. Regis hotel, The King Cole Bar is full of warm décor and expertly mixed drinks.

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5. Raines Law Room 48 W 17th, New York, NY 10011 (Flatiron)

Reclaiming the name of an 1896 law that attempted to ban drinking outside of New York hotels, this faux-speakeasy lays on the Jazz Age vibes thick. You have to pull a doorbell and provide a password to enter the sultry, subterranean space, and once you're inside, push on a call button and wait for servers to ferry out pre-Prohibition-inspired Gershwins (gin, lemon, ginger, rosewater) and McKittrick Old-Fashioneds (bourbon, sherry, mole bitters). Many of the aesthetic touches aren’t exactly executed with restraint, like the large ornate mirror hanging over exposed brick and boozing flappers painted on the wall, but the quality and subtlety of the cocktails make it likely that you'll get into the Raines spirit quickly.

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6. The Rose Bar at Gramercy Park Hotel 2 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010 (Gramercy)

Elegant, dimly lit, and adorned with work by Andy Warhol, The Rose Bar is a great spot for impressing a date. Pretend you’re Orson Welles or some other famous-ass old timer as you sip high-priced cocktails and lean on the ornate mantle. Reservations are recommended after 9pm.

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7. Ludlow Hotel Lobby Bar 180 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

This LES bar has a chilled-out, comfortable, a-little-too-glamourous-to-be-rustic vibe, and top-notch inventive cocktails like the Grand Prix with Japanese whisky, coconut vermouth, ras el hanout (a North African spice mix) & bitters, and the Muddy Water with cumin rye, Irish whiskey, cinnamon, bitters & absinthe.

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8. The Jane 113 Jane St, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

The Jane offers something no New Yorker ever thought possible: thoughtful accommodations at a reasonable price. This hotel has a ship theme going on and it totally works, in addition to their awesome bar/lounge: The Jane Ballroom.

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9. Lobby Bar at The Bowery Hotel 335 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

This lavish, Art Deco living room features Persian rugs, mounted antlers, dark wooden panels and, probably, a celebrity or two. There's also a back patio (that stays warm during the colder months) for all your outdoor drinking needs.