New York prides itself on offering access to excess. And the city has plenty to brag about when it comes to world-class bars, especially those within the grounds of its legendary hotels. Obvious examples of such include Bemelmans inside The Carlyle, a timeless piano bar that serves the best martini in town. At Hotel Knickerbocker, opened by John Jacob Astor IV in 1906, you can sip one right where it was supposedly invented. Not to be outdone, the King Cole at the edge of the lobby of the St. Regis in the city center, is the self-proclaimed creator of the Bloody Mary and its gin-based alternative, the Red Snapper.
If you haven’t experienced one of these gems yet, grab a stool. There will surely be one waiting, provided you have made the appropriate reservations. But below, we’ll take a look at some of the city’s most contemporary attractions. These are hotel bars that are set to be the classics of tomorrow because they are downright spectacular today. And if you’re coming this summer, they might have something special in store. Here’s why…
The lobby bar of the EDITION hotel
Overlooking Madison Square Park, this elegant property actually has two interesting watering holes: the chic and modern Lobby Bar as well as the more classic Clocktower. Both are worth exploring for their playful riffs on popular standards. But it’s at the first that you’ll find a special seasonal promotion offering not only great drinks, but also a masterclass in how to make them.
“I developed a specific format that integrates the history, science, technique, bar ethos and drink into a fun, interactive and engaging few hours,” says Maddy Barry, Bars Manager. “The central theme of the class centers on history, specifically the genesis of alcohol itself and its evolution over time into modern cocktail culture. However, participants can also expect to learn elements of chemistry and biology related to the world of alcohol and cocktails, as well as techniques and tips for making quality drinks, even in a home bar.
The masterclass is currently offered three evenings a week as part of the “Spring EDITION Package”. The promotion includes luxury suite accommodation and runs until June 30.
The Park Hyatt New York lounge
As its name suggests, the lobby bar of this five-star city center establishment is a relaxing space meant to make you feel at home. The signature drinks designed by head bartender Steven Gonzalez are simply named after the telltale ingredient used in each. Pineapple, for example, is an upscale tiki arrangement that surrounds the eponymous fruit with green tea, barley, rum, and palo cortado sherry. As impressive as the cocktails are, you can always choose to sip booze as the back bar is lined with some of the most doled out bottles on the planet – things you don’t often see offered by the pour. Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash? Sure. Several years of WhistlePig Boss Hog? Why not.
“We have invested time and effort in curating a selection of quality whiskey that suits our most discerning customers,” says Gonzalez. “It’s come together by building great relationships with producers and distributors and it’s all about bringing that personalized touch to what our customers have come to expect to see.”
If you are lucky enough to stay in the rooms above, a memorable night’s rest awaits you. House-infused bourbon and rye often go upstairs as welcome gifts. And the suites overlooking Central Park have beds with artificial intelligence; they adjust to relieve pressure points and control climate throughout your sleep cycle.
The High Line Hotel
The newly refurbished Remote View Bar bills itself as West Chelsea’s “best kept secret”. That only tells part of the story. In fact, the entire property itself is one of from the city best kept secrets. The High Line occupies a former 19th century seminary, retaining much of the same serenity that defined it all those years ago. With its brick-laden charm, it feels much more like a London guesthouse than the five boroughs.
But as warm and inviting as it is all year round, the bar area really shines in summer. It uses an outdoor garden space, serving drinks inspired by legendary psychic Ingo Swann. The Seventh Sense is an invigorating bourbon-based reimagining of the hugely popular espresso martini. The Psychic Friend infuses rosemary into an otherwise standard old-fashioned concoction. And you won’t need a crystal ball to know that the Frozen Negroni is a reliable way to beat the New York heat.
The angel’s share at the Eventi hotel
Last April, Manhattan bartenders were shocked to learn that they were losing one of their most beloved bars: Angel’s Share was closing after 30 years. Now they get a reprieve as Hotel Eventi hosts an exclusive pop-up all summer long.
The speakeasy will operate from the hotel’s pre-existing lounge bar, Wine, and will serve as a portal to the literal past: a bar program run entirely by the Angel’s Share team, including former owner Erina Yoshida. The space will be stocked with specially selected spirits and upgraded with custom freezers to recreate the bar’s famous ice program.
LTH, the hospitality company that owns and operates L’Amico, Skirt Steak and The Vine within Hotel Eventi, jumped at the chance to partner with these pioneers of modern mixology. “As hospitality professionals, it’s essential that we take care of each other in this demanding but rewarding industry,” says Chris Lauber, COO of LTH. “When we heard Angel’s Share was looking for a temporary home, we jumped at the chance to collaborate and bring the whole team together to create an amazing time in our space.”
From June 1, Angel’s Share at the Hotel Eventi will be open 5 days a week, Tuesday to Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Bar Cicchetti in Motto
The Chelsea outpost of this hip boutique hotel brand has only been open for a few months. Yet its lobby bar and restaurant are already making a splash on the scene. Named after the little tapas-like bites you can enjoy in Italy’s cozy bars, this fun space promises an Old World kiss and delivers it in the form of inventive drinks assembled with an Italian accent. The Manhattan Italiano invites Amaro Averno to the party for a Black Manhattan-meets-Boulevardier mix. Le Fiore uses chamomile-infused vodka and Italicus, a sweet aperitif, to extract the florality of a soft sour. And the barrel-aged Negroni is as reliable a nightcap as you’ll find in this part of town.
The Roof at PUBLIC
When it comes to nightlife, there are few names as notable as Ian Schrager. The same man who brought the Studio 54 world, brings the Lower East Side party to the PUBLIC… From the basement to the rooftop. Downstairs, you definitely won’t want to miss the Pisco-infused creations taking shape at Popular. Now that summer has arrived, it’s time to enjoy the magnificent spectacle on the roof of the property. The views of the surrounding skyline are second to none. But this is not a place that is content to rest on its scenic laurels. The bar staff are as adept at handing out drinks of the day (espresso martinis in ice-cold form, anyone?) as they are concocting one-of-a-kind specials. Smoke and Mirrors is a staple of the season, combining mezcal with guava, grapefruit and elderflower liqueur. Come for sunset happy hour and stay for late night DJ sets featuring top musical talent from around the world.