Not only are London's top hotels fantastic to stay in, but many of them are also fantastic to drink in. From classic cocktails to stunning surroundings, the capital is home to many great hotel bars including Mandarin Bar at the Mandarin Oriental and Artesian at the Langham Hotel.
Think we've missed a great hotel bar in London?Let us know in the comment box below.
London's best hotel bars
This sophisticated sort of cocktail bar was imported to London from the US around the turn of the century, and brought with it all the art deco flourish and dimly lit extravagance we like to associate with that era. But add another to the list – the brand new Beaumont hotel in Mayfair has an American bar, and it’s as good as the other two.
Venue says: “Now taking bookings for lunch with a choice of new dishes from soups, salads and sandwiches to burgers and a selection of lunch cocktails.”
The Langham Hotel is one of those high-ceilinged, marble-pillared palaces that many well-padded visitors, yet few resident Londoners, seem to visit. But it’s worth getting your best togs on just to admire David Collins’s design of this handsome room.
The name isn’t just a caprice: this David Collins-designed bar really is as blue as a Billie Holiday album. The sky-blue armchairs, the deep-blue ornate plasterwork and the navy-blue leather-bound menus combine with discreet lighting to striking effect. It’s a see-and-be-seen place, but staff treat all-comers like royalty, and the cocktails are a masterclass in sophistication.
Following the £220m revamp, The Savoy’s devotion to debonaire drinking now stretches beyond the iconic American Bar. The Beaufort might be the second bar, but second-division it is not. It’s a considerably more salubrious space to sip than the American Bar, and combines a wow-factor interior with good service and top-quality (if pricey) drinks.
There's no velvet rope barring your way to the Coburg Bar: you can just walk straight on in. And once you've done so, the service will be faultless.The hotel's other bar, Connaught Bar, is both cosy and elegant, with a conspiratorial duskiness.
This ‘Coyote Ugly’- inspired bar is bringing back counter-top dancing, big time. It’s on the site of Peter Stringfellow’s old club in Soho. Go figure. Dirty Harry’s is decked out like an American saloon bar. On the Friday night I went, it was rammed and rowdy with a live band blasting classic rock. I’d pre-booked a table ‘close to “Harry’s Honeys”’ (their term, not mine – and yup, requesting that on the phone was excruciating), but the girls don’t start dancing till 9pm, which meant I could concentrate on the excellent cocktails, as well as the menu of juicy burgers and loaded fries. The vibe was a bit weird, with the 350-capacity space so big it seemed to lack atmosphere. But when the girls got up on the bar everything started making sense. They’re brilliant dancers, and the whole thing felt sexy without being exploitative; about five minutes in, I realised I was actually whooping. On the way out, though, I noticed a big table of Hard Rock Café-style Dirty Harry’s merch for sale. Counter-top dancing, it seems, can be an art form. But merch? Now that’s just tacky.
Venue says: “'Dirty brunch', starts this Saturday and Sunday, fantastic offer from noon until 3.30pm. Bottomless prosecco and dirty marys at £20pp.”