The hotel bar can be a traveler’s saving grace after a day of roaming an unfamiliar locale has taken its toll and the closest cocktail will do.
After a long day of braving New York City, the hotel bar is a popular option for any tourist, businessman, or seasoned local.
Hotels and bars are as abundant as the characters in New York. However, finding just the right place to sip on Manhattans in the city can be an exciting challenge.
Luckily, travelers don’t have to look far to find the thrill of throwing back a drink without having to shell out for a room. Of course, if you consume too many, you might appreciate having that option.
King Cole Bar: Past the bells and whistles of the St. Regis Hotel in the heart of Manhattan you will find the King Cole Bar. The name might not ring a bell but it’s signature drink, the Bloody Mary was supposedly invented here. Known originally as the Red Snapper, bartender Fernand Petiot came up with the concoction in 1934. Since that time, the King Cole Bar has been cashing in on the cocktail’s fame. Throughout low lighting and lavish details, bar-goers admire the giant Maxfield Parrish mural of none other than old King Cole himself, placed right up behind the bar. While not a budget option for travelers, this hotel bar lends a piece of cocktail history and ambiance, one the likes of Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, and Joe DiMaggio have all appreciated.
The Monkey Bar: When Prohibition was still fresh in the memories of New Yorker’s, the ground floor of Hotel Elysée opened up the Monkey Bar. For decades, the bar would go on to lend the media barons, admen, and politicians of the area a cozy outpost, one with soft lighting and red touches. After being purchased by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, the Monkey Bar took on a new look when Ed Sorel was commissioned to paint a three-paneled mural of Jazz Age figures from the bar’s past. Featured on Sex in the City and Mad Men, this hotel bar harks back to the days when Lucy and Ricky might have stopped by for a drink on red-checkered tablecloths.
The Oak Room: The Plaza doesn’t need more attention, but its bar, the Oak Room, tends to bring in even more tourists and businessmen and women looking for a cocktail. While you might not be able to afford the room rate, a drink is reasonable, for The Plaza that is. The iconic New York City hotel bar offers that coveted place to see and been seen. With your cocktail, you can enjoy the bar’s view of Central Park South. Its oak paneling and immense Everett Shinn canvases are just the beginning. This hotel bar seems to be a place where Gatsby would enjoy hanging out and shooting the breeze.
The Ace Hotel Lobby Bar: If you want to avoid the "men in white-suits feel" of some of New York’s grandest hotel bars, the Ace Hotel Lobby Bar presents a different scene to grab a drink. Set up in the back of the rock and roll hotel in New York’s Flatiron district, the bar blends the old and new, providing twists on classic cocktails and their originals all on the same menu. A younger crowd heads here to sprawl out on its red suede tufted couches with graffiti murals keeping watch. Many of the cocktails take on rock and roll themes as well.
What’s your favorite hotel bar in New York City?
CC Flickr photo credit: Nan Palmero
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