When on vacation, many travelers are likely to check out their hotel bar for some evening libations. Hotels are, after all, often known for their food and drink offerings. We took a look at thousands of hotel bars around the world and singled out some of the most historic, noted for inventing popular drinks or attracting celebrity clientele. You don’t have to be a guest to drink at these legendary establishments, but it would certainly nice to be able to simply take an elevator to your room at the end of the night!
New Orleans has long been a cocktail hot spot, and one of the best places to imbibe in the Big Easy is the nearly 70-year-old Carousel Bar and Lounge at Hotel Monteleone. It’s home to a rotating 25-seat bar — hence the “carousel” — where Truman Capote sat on many an evening. We recommend a Sazerac, which was invented in New Orleans in 1838.
Opened in 1904, the grand dame St. Regis New York is home to a legendary bar — the King Cole Bar. It was here that the Bloody Mary was allegedly born, when bartender Fernand Petiot served it to a Russian prince in 1934. The cocktail was named the Red Snapper and is still on the menu today. Notable patrons to the bar included Ernest Hemingway and Salvador Dalí.
If you’re looking for a posh stay in London, consider The Savoy, a five-pearl grand dame that opened in 1889 on the Strand. Its American Bar is one of the most iconic hotel bars in the world, not only for its guests (like Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra), but for its famous bartenders, including Ada “Coley” Coleman and Harry Craddock, who compiled 750 recipes for the “Savoy Cocktail Book” in 1930. The bar’s name came from the fact that it was one of the earliest bars in Europe to serve American-style cocktails.
The two-story Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore is the birthplace of an appropriately named cocktail — the Singapore Sling. Bar captain Ngiam Tong Boon created the pink drink in 1915. Guests can still enjoy it there today, though visitors should note that the Long Bar is closed for renovations until the middle of 2018, but the drink will be served at the Bar & Billiard Room.
This bar at The Carlyle was named after the creator of the “Madeline” books, Ludwig Bemelmans, an artist who created large murals specifically for the bar. In fact, these murals are the only Bemelmans work open to the public. Bemelmans painted this work for free, technically. He only asked that he and his family be accommodated in the hotel while he painted it — which took a year and a half.
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