Exploring the World's Best Hotel Bars and Australian Gems
From a revolving bar in the heart of New Orleans to an art-deco speakeasy in Bangkok and a sophisticated rooftop terrace in Madrid, hotel bars around the world have become destinations in their own right.
These aren't your average watering holes; these are the crème de la crème of libation locations, where sipping a drink is coupled with spectacular views, 5-star service and a one-of-a-kind experience. Join us on a whirlwind tour of the world's best hotel bars, plus a few must-visit bars from Down Under.
The Principal, Madrid
Perched amongst the rooftops of Madrid, La Terraza at The Principal Hotel is a rooftop sanctuary surrounded by olive and cypress trees. Overlooking the Madrid skyline and iconic landmarks, including the Gran Vía, this hotel bar is the perfect sundowner spot. Here, patrons can lounge in the sun in the bar's hammock space and drink in the views while sipping on a range of classic and creative cocktails.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/theprincipalmadrid/
Brisbane's Fiume, nestled atop Crystalbrook Vincent in the Howard Smith Wharves, is a stylish rooftop bar with unbeatable views of Brisbane River and iconic Story Bridge. Whether sipping on a Fiume Negroni, enjoying a glass of locally sourced wine or nibbling on gourmet share-style bites, this urban oasis is the ultimate spot to soak in the riverside atmosphere.
Hotel Muse, Bangkok
Arguably one of Bangkok’s best rooftop bars, The Speakeasy Rooftop Bar at Hotel Muse takes the art of mixology to new heights. Located on the 24th and 25th floors—this impressive bar offers a mesmerising blend of vintage glamour, top-shelf wines, classic cocktails and breathtaking city views, with a monthly Prohibition Night that celebrates the jazz age of the 1920s.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/musebkk/
The Connaught Bar, London
An award-winning bar in the heart of trendy Mayfair in London, The Connaught Bar is renowned for its luxurious charm and timeless elegance. The hotel bar, designed by the celebrated interior designer David Collins, is a masterpiece of Art Deco style. While the cocktails are tasty, the bar's martini trolley is legendary, allowing guests to witness the creation of a perfect martini tableside.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/theconnaught/
The Ritz Bar, Lisbon
Nestled in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz in the heart of Lisbon, The Ritz Bar is an elegant oasis with rich wooden details and crimson hues. The hotel bar boasts a range of signature cocktails that draw inspiration from the seasons, fresh local ingredients and the Portuguese capital, like the 18 3838 — a violet vodka-based cocktail inspired by Lisbon's jacaranda trees.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/fslisbon/
Rock Bar, Bali
Bali's allure extends beyond its beaches and rice terraces, and Rock Bar at Ayana Estate proves it. This breathtaking hotel bar, accessed via a cliffside inclinator, sits on distinctive rock formations with dramatic views of Jimbaran's coastline, with live music and cocktails in Bali's best sunset spot. The hotel's Martini Bar is another must-visit in Bali, with bartenders crafting martinis that are second to none.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/rockbarbali/
Skai Bar, Singapore
Sitting on the 70th floor of Swissôtel The Stamford, Skai Bar offers unparalleled cityscape views. Witness the sun dip below the Singapore skyline as you sip on a Mango Martini or Apple Chizukeki made with Glenfiddich, cheesecake foam and spiced cloudy apple milk punch. Beyond the breathtaking views and the masterful mixology, Skai Bar boasts a fine-dining menu of wagyu prime rib, grilled langoustine, BBQ cauliflower and more.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/skai.bar/
Das Loft, Vienna
Vienna's Das Loft, perched atop the Sofitel Vienna, is a futuristic masterpiece offering top-tier drinks and 360-degree city views. The hotel bar and restaurant's minimal design is offset by its colourful ceiling featuring a nature-inspired video installation that casts mesmerising reflections onto the floor-to-ceiling windows. Expect a chic atmosphere, lively libations and an innovative food menu that combines classic Viennese cuisine with culinary inspirations from around the globe.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/dasloftwien/
The Carousel Bar, New Orleans
Venture into the vibrant French Quarter, and you'll find New Orleans' famous rotating bar. The carousel-themed bar, located within Hotel Monteleone, offers patrons a subtle rotation around the bar every 15 minutes, with a menu of signature cocktails, barrel-aged bourbons and New Orleans-inspired bar bites from fried chicken biscuit sliders to blue crab and corn beignets.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/hotelmonteleone/
The Willaston Bar, Cape Town
With spellbinding views of Table Mountain, handcrafted cocktails and a curated wine list of French Champagne and South Africa's finest wines, The Willaston Bar in Cape Town is worthy of its position on our list of the world's best hotel bars. Located within the Silo Hotel at the V&A Waterfront, The Willaston Bar is a popular sundowner spot, with tapas-style share plates, creative cocktails and one of the best views in town.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/thesilohotel_/
The Upper House, Hong Kong
Sitting amongst the bright lights of Hong Kong, The Upper House boasts one of the best hotel bars in the world. The Lawn is a hidden Hong Kong oasis with green grass and rooftop loungers, providing a serene outdoor space amongst the hustle of Hong Kong, perfect for picnic-style cocktails, cold beers and garden bites. For sky-high dining, visitors can travel up to Salisterra on the 49th floor for striking city views and delicious Mediterranean flavours.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/upperhouse_hkg/
Australia’s Best Bars
Now, let's shift our focus closer to home. If you don't have any overseas trips on the cards, Australia offers a vibrant bar scene that rivals some of the best bars in the world.
Perched atop sophisticated Crystalbrook Kingsley, Romberg's is one of Australia's best bars and Newcastle's best-kept secrets. But Romberg's isn't just a hotel bar; it's a sanctuary for those who appreciate the finer things, with panoramic views, gourmet bar snacks and share plates, and artisanal cocktails that take inspiration from the region like the Garreembee made with Malfy Blood Orange Gin, lime juice, wattle seed syrup and mint.
Bar Copains, Sydney
Located a stone's throw away from Crystalbrook Albion in Sydney's trendy Surry Hills, Bar Copains—French for ‘friends’— is an intimate spot perfect for wine lovers. This cosy corner bar and restaurant offers a stellar list of Australian and international wines with an equally impressive menu of delectable share plates, including anchovy on puff pastry, King George whiting sandwich and pigs head fritti.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/barcopains/
With 270-degree views and cocktails as colourful as the Great Barrier Reef itself, Rocco rooftop bar and restaurant in Cairns is a must-visit on your tour of top bars in Australia. Located within Crystalbrook Riley, this stylish oceanfront bar overlooking the Coral Sea offers a menu of sophisticated cocktails, Champagne and Middle Eastern-inspired dishes, from burnt eggplant and tahini to pomegranate-glazed chicken with a smoked almond sauce and more.
Bar Heather, Byron Bay
Located a swift 5-minute drive from Crystalbrook Byron, Bar Heather is Byron Bay's latest local favourite. With two former sommeliers at the helm, the Parisian-inspired natural wine bar has an impressive collection of over 600 wines. With a stylish yet cosy vibe and a refined menu of venison tartare, duck croquettes and quail with cavolo nero and a roast chicken sauce, Bar Heather offers a slice of elegance in laidback Byron Bay.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/heather.bar/
2KW Bar & Restaurant, Adelaide
Sitting at the top of one of Adelaide's most historic buildings, 2KW Bar & Restaurant provides the perfect location for post-work drinks, rooftop cocktails or a long lazy lunch. This light and airy Australian bar is in the heart of the action in Adelaide’s CBD, with stunning views and a menu of modern Australian dishes made to share, featuring the finest locally sourced produce, from Spencer Gulf king prawns to Coffin Bay Gazander oysters.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/2kwbar/
Bar Rochford, Canberra
Bar Rochford is a stylish wine and cocktail bar that brings a touch of sophistication to Australia's capital city. This award-winning Canberra bar features an ever-changing food and wine list featuring a range of classic cocktails with a twist, a top selection of local drops and international wines, and a seasonal food menu that showcases the finest local produce.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/barrochford/
As the 2023 Cocktail Bar of the Year winner, Terrarium is a Perth bar you won't want to miss. The two-level venue features a kitchen, bar and terrace surrounded by lush greenery, providing a tranquil urban oasis in the heart of the city. This stylish Australian bar offers a comprehensive selection of specialist cocktails and spirits and a refined bar food menu featuring tomato and chorizo arancini, beef chuck ragu and a range of premium cheeses and charcuterie.
Image Credit: https://www.instagram.com/terrariumperth/
Whether you're travelling the world and exploring the finest hotel bars or enjoying the vibrant bar scene in Australia, these bars offer an array of experiences that cater to every palate and preference.