When the weather gets cooler, it’s time for dark liquors, leather couches, and dimly-lit rooms (at least in our opinion). Here are some of our favorite hotel bars for hiding away from the cold in the chilly months.
The Rose Bar, a velvet-heavy lounge filled with celebs and beautiful people, is still one of the coolest scenes in town -- a testament to the staying power of this super-trendy Ian Schrager-Julian Schnabel project. When our reporter stopped in for a drink, he ran into Sting. While we can't guarantee you'll bump into one of The Police while sipping a martini from the extensive menu, we can guarantee that with candle lighting, a laid-back atmosphere, roaring fire, and Warhols strewn about, it is the perfect setting for a long fun night.
Even if you can't afford to stay at the St. Regis, it's worth stopping in the King Cole Bar for a nip. According to legend, it was the first place in the country to serve a Bloody Mary, here called the Red Snapper. The bar also serves small plates like a half-dozen oysters and a sliced steak sandwich. This intimate space with wood-paneled walls make it a snug pick for the cold months.
The Redwood Room bar, originally opened in 1933 as a classic Art Deco lounge, has been reincarnated as one of the trendiest places to drink around Union Square. Paneled in warm redwood (legend holds that it's all from a single, 2,000-year-old tree), the bar has velvety red sofas and chairs, digital artwork, and warm, sexy lighting.
While many high-end bars are for a more "refined crowd," the young people need an indoor meet-up place too, right? The Ace Hotel's lobby and lobby bar have become the place for New York's young, MacBook-toting tech set, and the organic comfort food, specialty cocktails, and high-end coffee the hip kids demand are all available here. With animal skin throws, plaid chairs, squishy leather button couches, bookshelves, a wolf's head, and bar snacks like spiced almonds and caramel popcorn, it's an inviting pick during the cold months. Grab a communal table, order an excellent lamb burger from the on-site restaurant, The Breslin, and strike up a conversation about Twitter with your table mates. You might just leave with a new round of venture capital funding.
Appropriately named Off the Record -- "Washington's Place to be Seen and Not Heard" -- this cozy, high-class basement bar exemplifies everything we think of when we say "cold-weather hideaway." Decorated with warm red walls and dark wood paneling, much of it left over from the hotel's initial construction in 1927, it's a good place to down few glasses of scotch to warm the body.
Stop in to get out of the cold and hob knob with some of Washington's elite. Allegedly, Kentucky Senator Henry Clay established the official recipe for the mint julep on the site of the Willard in the early 1800s, and the stately Round Robin Bar still proudly serves it today -- Maker's Mark bourbon, mint, sugar, and branch water. Upstairs, the Scotch bar serves from the menu of over 130 Scotches -- one of the most extensive selections in the city.
What better place for a cold-weather drink than the place where Charles Dickens read A Christmas Carol for the first time on American soil? The Last Hurrah delivers a taste of historical Boston -- literally and figuratively. Located inside one of the country's oldest hotels, the bar has a classy, old-time atmosphere -- leather-cushioned chairs; wood paneling; men in sports coats. You can sample Boston cream pie, invented at the hotel in the mid-19th century -- or better yet, you can order the Boston cream pie martini from the bar's extensive martini menu. Other drinks, like the Dickens Punch, also relate to the hotel's history, and the whiskey menu is one of the most impressive in Boston.