Our friends at HotelsCombined have curated this guide to the best hotel bars in New York City.
New York is an endless playground for food and drink enthusiasts, and we love the city for it. If you have a penchant for speciality cocktails, bar bites, amazing city views and perhaps even a plush pool, then you should consider a visit to one of New York’s impressive hotel bars. With over 300 million visitors per year to HotelsCombined, we’ve searched high and low around the city’s concrete jungle to find hotels with the best bars for all occasions. Check out these ten bars, as we believe they have a high chance of becoming your new stomping ground. They’re that good.
848 Washington Street, Meatpacking District
Home to not one but two bars (and that doesn’t include the bier garden), the bars in the Standard High Line are must-visits. If you’re in NYC in the summer, we strongly recommend Le Bain for anything but a stock standard experience. Come here late afternoon on the weekend for some summer sippers before watching the sun go down. Le Bain has 360-degree unrivalled views of the Hudson River and New York City that make this experience absolutely magical. Le Bain doubles as a penthouse discothèque at night with world famous DJs pumping out the hottest tunes. (Beware, it’s often hard to get in at night). There’s also a plunge pool on the dance floor and a crêperie on the rooftop that’s covered with fake grass during the warmer months. For those visiting in winter, don’t be disheartened because The Top of The Standard is indoors and offers a night of glitter and glamour that’s just as special. In the evening, the bar features live jazz music, a small plate menu and speciality cocktails, making it the city’s most sophisticated supper lounge.
The hotel itself is certainly one of New York’s shining stars. Straddling one of the city’s famous attractions, the High Line, this hotel is in a prime location, sitting smack bang in the heart of the Meatpacking District. With boutique and designer shops, restaurants galore, galleries, the Chelsea Market and an abundance of cafés all within walking distance, you’ll always have something to do while staying at The Standard. Rooms range from standard queens to deluxe suites, all featuring floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows to make the most of the stunning views. This hotel is contemporary luxe at its best, and we’re sure you’ll love it.
Star Rating: 4*
Guest Rating: 8.1
9. Hotel Hugo
525 Greenwich Street, SoHo
On the far western edge of Soho at the top of Hotel Hugo is Azul rooftop, Soho’s soulful Cuban cantina. With vintage posters, plant life and plenty of colors, it’s as if Azul was plucked from Old Havana itself and placed in New York, then sprinkled with a bit of Lower Manhattan glam in the form of plush white banquettes and fairy lights. It’s Havana meets NYC style. The food and drink menus are short and sweet, and for us, that’s perfect, as it leaves no room for confusion. Guacamole and chips, tacos (grilled steak, grilled fish and organic rotisserie pulled chicken) and cocktails make for a very enjoyable night on the rooftop. With 360-degree views of Lower Manhattan while you eat and drink there’s really nothing to complain about, except maybe the New York prices. Killer cocktails include the frozen passion fruit mojito, The Hugo (St Germaine, fresh lime, fresh mint, prosecco) and La Chula (avia cachaça, guava nectar, fresh lime juice).
Note: Azul is closed during winter. Backup plan: head to enclosed Bar Hugo instead. Sitting 20 floors above ground (same as Azul), this bar blends contemporary luxury with bohemian chic. Think glass doors and windows, concrete, chrome and luxe leather finishes. This dazzling space will keep you warm without compromising on views. If that’s not enough of an incentive to get you there, happy hour takes place daily between 5pm and 8pm, something we love them for
Hotel Hugo sits among NYC’s fashionable SoHo neighbourhood, a mecca for shopping lovers. Guests are right on the doorstep of many famous shopping strips such as Bleecker, Greene and Mercer Street. With the Hudson River and many museums only a stone’s throw away, guests can wander the streets for hours on end. Hotel Hugo exudes the contemporary luxury and bohemian chic that this part of Lower Manhattan is renowned for. With hotel amenities and services including Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations, a 37-square metre Fitness Studio, express check-in/check-out, this hotel has all you could want on your holiday.
Star Rating: 4*
Guest Rating: 8.3
85 West Broadway, TriBeCa
Tucked away inside the Smyth is Evening Bar, an intimate, stylish and quiet place to unwind with not just any cocktail, but one of the best from mixologist Anne Robinson. With the seasonal cocktail menu emphasizing artisan distilleries, organic fruit and vegetable extracts, and a studied approach to classic recipes you will be amazed at the flavors that hit your palate. Cocktails are divided into sparkling, shaken, stirred and classics. There’s also beer and wine available, and a small selection of small plates to snack on. Look for the entryway past the lobby that will lead you to this inviting space equipped with low-slung sofas, mid-century Ib Kofod-Larsen chairs and beautifully upholstered vintage settees. Be sure to arrive around 5:30pm to beat rush hour crowds as it’s seating only with no standing permitted. The Evening Bar is a sleek establishment and hence, must be treated so.
If you’re interested in drinking and sleeping at the Smyth, then be sure to get in quick as there are only 100 boutique guestrooms available. Each room embodies the area’s vibrant history, passion for the arts and contemporary lifestyle with nine different room types to choose from. (We’ll have the Penthouse thanks.) Here at the Smyth you’ll feel like royalty 24/7 with impeccable service and luxurious amenities like twice daily housekeeping, wake up services, a spa and wellness centre and beauty room.
Star Rating: 5*
Guest Rating: 8.6
60 Thompson Street, SoHo
Not all of New York’s best bars need to involve a rooftop and sweeping views of Manhattan’s skyline. Enter, The Gordon Bar inside the Sixty Soho Hotel. While they do have a rooftop bar, it’s open to hotel guests only so you quite literally need a key to have a beverage there. For everyone else, The Gordon Bar brings the classic feel of an uptown bar to Lower Manhattan. Modern and stylish, the bar features leather club chairs, throw pillows, ottomans, a zinc bar, candles, a marble fireplace and a very trendy green plant wall. Cocktails are served from 5pm onwards, making this the perfect place to catch up with friends for an after work knock off drink. Popular too for its post dinner and late night drinks, we love that The Gordon Bar welcomes guests for a cocktail, a top-notch glass of wine or a beer at any time of night. While you’re here, munch on some of their tasty Italian bar snacks like arancini, veal meatballs and artisanal cheese and salami. Yummo.
If you do have a key for the exclusive rooftop bar, you can take full advantage of the many other perks that this hotel has to offer. The accommodation itself is beautiful and stylish, with rooms and suites both available, all equipped with the essentials like wifi, safe deposit boxes and comfy bathrobes (our fave!). If you’re looking to get uptown (or anywhere) in a hurry, the Spring Street Subway Station is just a short ten-minute stroll away, making this the perfect base while in NYC.
Star Rating: 4*
Guest Rating: 8.9
420 Park Avenue South (at 29th Street), Midtown South Central
After conquering the hospitality and nightlife scene in the Meatpacking District, Gansevoort turned its attention uptown bringing its downtown trendiness to Manhattan’s NoMad district. The Drift is one of the hotels shining stars, a beach and surf inspired rooftop bar and lounge that sits on the very top of Gansevoort Park’s tri-level rooftop. Once called The Sun Deck, The Drift features comfy beach cabanas, lounges and plenty of seating where you can enjoy beach inspired bites, cocktails, games and CoCo & Co coconuts. With pitchers of Sangria, Mojito, Spiked Lemonade and Margarita, and small bites such as plantains, guacamole, spicy hummus and crudites, you can happily stay at The Drift for hours on end. Offering a retreat from the bustling pool and streets below, this is a hot spot that’s bound to win you over.
If you decide to stay at The Gansevoort, and not just drink pitchers and snack on tacos, you’re in for a real treat. Known as one of the ultra-trendy hotels on the island, you’ll soon see why after one night under Gansevoort’s roof. With things like the Drift Bar, Italian restaurant Asellina, Juice Press, the Exhale spa, rooftop pool and Lacoste all on-site, you might never leave the hotel. Rooms are generously sized, feature floor-to-ceiling windows, Juliet balconies, featherbeds and goose down pillows (heaven!), L’Occitane en Provence bath amenities and much more. It’s deluxe accommodation choice, that’s for sure.
Star Rating: 4*
Guest Rating: 8
52 West 13th Street, Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan
If you’re looking for somewhere that you can have pre-drinks, a delicious meal and a night cap, then look no further than The Walker Hotel. Home to Society Cafe, an American restaurant with a true market-to-table ethos, and The Walker Bar, a chic hideaway bar with a kick ass drink selection, this hotel has everything you need. Enjoy dishes like Spanish mackerel, squid ink cavatelli and Berkshire pork at Society Café and then rehydrate with uncommon and curiously evolved classic cocktails at The Walker Bar. Master mixologist Albert DePompeis has come up with some seriously impressive cocktails, and you’ll want to try them all! There’s no doubt that The Walker Hotel’s bar and restaurant adds to the eclectic and vibrant energy of Greenwich Village, and is worth checking out.
Do you love the Walker Hotel and all that it offers so much that you want to stay at the hotel too? Well, thankfully, the hotel is just as impressive as its on-site facilities. Each of the hotel’s 113 rooms is named and designed to showcase the vintage charm of Greenwich Village, offering a fresh approach to modern luxury. There is a range of rooms to suit all budgets and plenty of attractions such as Washington Square Park, the Cherry Lane Theatre and the much-loved Meatpacking District nearby.
Star Rating: 4.5*
Guest Rating: 8.9
5 West 8th Street, Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan
Located at the bottom of Fifth Avenue by Washington Square Park is The Marlton, and most importantly, its super cool bar. Whether you want to curl up next to the fire with your partner for date night, hang out solo at the bar or chit chat with friends while sipping on cocktails, the Marlton is a good place to do all three. Attracting New York’s fashion and art elitists (editors, publicists, designers) for drinks and business meetings, the Marlton Hotel certainly knows how to please customers from all walks of life. If you get hungry head to the adjoining restaurant, Margaux for a feed. You’re in for a true New York experience at The Marlton, as the hotel’s atmosphere, décor, bar and restaurant are all truly unique.
Interesting fact: the Marlton Hotel was once a residential building known as Marlton House. It was home to an impressive succession of writers and artists before being revamped as a swanky hotel.
What’s the hotel like you ask? Aside from the tightly packed rooms (yes, they feel on the smaller side), everything else is on point. The rooms feature plush beds, crisp and clean linen, floor-to-ceiling windows, natural hues and pops of colour that distract you from the size of the space. The Espresso Bar in the lobby gives this hotel major brownie points because let’s be honest, we all need our daily caffeine hit whether we like to admit it or not. Described by many as an oasis in the middle of New York’s hustle and bustle, there’s so much to like about this boutique hotel.
Star Rating: 5*
Guest Rating: 9
111 East 48th Street, Midtown
The InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel is home to its very own Gin Parlour. Need we say more? Bring on the G&Ts! Inspired by Dutch and English gin bars of the 1920s, The InterContinental brings a little drop of gin history to the streets of New York, offering a countless array of carefully curated brands and varieties that will satisfy even the most fastidious gin drinkers. With more than 88 gins present on the menu, gin aficionados will be in heaven. Just don’t try to sample every gin in one sitting, it won’t end well. So if you’re serious about gin and want to escape New York’s crowded bars, pop into this midtown gin parlour.
Rich in history, the InterContinental New York Barclay opened its doors in 1926, and despite a recent ambitious restoration, the hotel has remained true to its original Federalist style, while also combining sophistication and contemporary design. Winner of the United States Leading Business Hotel award in 2016, this hotel is certainly suited to the well-heeled businessman and woman of the world, but of course, welcomes all guests with open arms. With a range of rooms and suites, there is something to suit all travellers. Close to Grand Central Terminal, shops and boutiques, this is a great home base while in NYC.
Star Rating: 4*
Guest Rating: 8.2
55 Wythe Avenue, Greenpoint
Yes, we had to include at least one bar that wasn’t on Manhattan, and Westlight is more than worthy of a mention. It’s just so darn pretty. Miles from ordinary, this bar is extraordinary, as is the hotel. Perched on the 22nd floor of the William Vale Hotel, the indoor and outdoor bar features sweeping views of New York City, a dynamic menu of original and classic cocktails (alongside rare spirits, craft beer and wine), plus a menu featuring small plates inspired by global street food. At Westlight it’s all about having fun, so be sure to make the most of your time here. Cheers!
If you’re not already staying at the William Vale when you visit Westlight, you’ll definitely wish that you were, and might even be tempted to change your sleeping arrangements. It’s just that nice. Additional amenities include Italian restaurant Leuca, Mister Dips and the Vale Pool, while all rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, open air balconies, contemporary furnishings and artwork, and super cool glass-enclosed rainfall showers. We are not joking when we say this hotel has nailed everything.
Guest Rating: 9.2
1. NoMad Hotel
1170 Broadway & 28th Street, NoMad
For an old world drinking experience head to The Elephant Bar in the NoMad Hotel. This place is dark and mysterious yet inviting. The 24-foot-long mahogany bar evokes a balanced mix of spirited club and elegant lounge. To drink, you must try one of their carefully crafted cocktails, all designed by award-winning mixologist, Leo Robitschek. It is the perfect place to escape those cold and windy New York nights while adding a bit of swank and style to your evening.
Like the sound of The Elephant Bar so much that you want to stay on-site? Good choice we say. The rooms here feel larger than an average hotel room, and each one is equipped with a king size bed and Wi-Fi. In addition to the Elephant Bar, the hotel also features The Parlour, NoMad Bar, rooftop and library. Close to Penn Station and food hot spots like Shake Shack and Madison Square Park this hotel is a real joy to stay at.
Star Rating: 5*
Guest Rating: 9.2
What is the nightlife like in New York City?
They say New York is the city that never sleeps, and it’s true. There is always something happening in the city that keeps tourists and locals entertained from dawn until dusk. The Big Apple is a melting pot of speakeasy and cocktail bars, late night restaurants and electrifying nightclubs which all contribute to the budding nightlife that New York is famous for.
Here at HotelsCombined, we know a thing or two about what’s important to travellers when booking hotels. Having found accommodation for over 400 million travel junkies, we see a lot of people opting for hotels with an impressive bar that saves them the trouble of trekking around the city for a stiff drink every night. (Although we do recommend trying out as many places as you can while in New York!) Whether it’s a bar with a city or river view, a rooftop, carefully crafted cocktails, a dancefloor or an intimate setting where you won’t be disturbed, the New York hotels above offer bars that cater to all preferences.
If you know any other secret hotel hideaways, leave a comment below and let us know what your favourite places are. We’re always on the hunt for more haunts with top-notch craft cocktails, beer, wine, gin, or any good alcoholic beverage for that matter.
Next, check out the Top 10 Off the Beaten Path Rooftop Bars in NYC and 10 bars where drinks are served with a work of art. Also see our guide to the hidden bars of NYC.
References: Time Out – New York, New York Times, New York Mag, NYC Go