Hotel Bars Heat Up Boston's Nightlife
By Jessica Polizzotti
Boston Local Expert
Whether you're looking for that perfect place to unwind after a day of sightseeing, an area hot spot to meet locals, or a place for one last drink before heading up to bed, these hotels have just what you need! No need to reserve a room in each, most Boston hotel bars are open to the public (except the Liberty Hotel's exclusive Catwalk), and you can simply walk right in, find yourself a seat and check out the drinks they are serving that night.
The Liberty Hotel may be the place to stay for those looking to bring a little Vegas to Boston with several bars sitting inside, but Boston Hotels offer more than just what awaits in the Liberty. Take the trendy W Hotel, which entices guests to chill-out in their lounge, complete with board games and a fire pit; here relaxation is unavoidable. When a good Irish Pub (minus the old drunks who live on the stools) is in the plans, head to the Back Bay for some Boston's best like Solas inside the Lenox. Looking for that dark spot to brood over a cocktail? The Charles Hotel's Noir is just the place. Or simply want a little refinement? Then make your way to the Ritz Carlton's Avery Bar or The Copley Plaza's swanky Oak Long Bar & Kitchen (and maybe enjoy a little ballroom dancing).
Solas, whose name means "comfort" in Gaelic, is an Irish pub located in the Lenox Hotel. Comfort is exactly what the place provides to road-weary guests. Happy hour, in particular, is a happening event, and tasty bar food with an Irish bent makes a great accompaniment to drinks. The alcohol menu offers something for all tastes, and several TVs dot the room, providing easy access to stats on the latest game. (617-933-4803)
Tucked away in the Back Bay at The Lenox Hotel, this bar is a cozy spot for a drink with friends. Light wood tones, black leather furniture, a neon-lit bar, and recessed lighting make for a pleasant environment. Whether discussing business or just relaxing, you're sure to enjoy your time at City-Bar. The specialty martinis are delicious, but City Bar also has a wide array of other beverages to choose from. (617-933-4800, 617-536-5300)
8 Oak Long Bar & Kitchen
Oak Long Bar and Kitchen replaced the legendary, upscale steakhouse/bar combo that resided in the Copley Plaza Hotel. This updated, modern space removes the formality and separation of the steakhouse and popular ballroom dancing spot; replacing it with a restaurant and bar within the same space. Maintaining touches of the past, Oak Long Bar & Kitchen has added a modern twist on the decor. An open kitchen sits behind the bar enticing bar side drinkers to order up from the menu that provides diners with American cuisine options ranging from simple snack and sandwiches to full meals. The bar scene is also lively and filled with a more mature crowd than you'll find at Boston clubs. Social and energetic, you'll find your fair share of locals looking to meet someone new. ((617) 585-7222)
7 Liberty Bar
The Liberty Bar holds court in the center of the Liberty Hotel's rotunda. Bright and open with room to linger, guests can either be seated at one of the banquettes, stand around, or get comfortable on a stool at the bar itself. A hot spot for locals looking to be where the action is, but away from the newly legal, the Liberty Bar sees some of the sexiest in the city. A small bar menu is available and many house-infused liquors are used in the cocktails they so expertly craft. A good way to end the day before making your way to your room. (617.224.4000)
The Charles Hotel's Noir is a romantic sort of place, perfect for quiet conversation over drinks. The dark, brooding atmosphere is also ideal for clandestine meetings, and low lighting and black-and-red decor add to the sense of drama and mystery. An inventive drink menu features a variety of martinis, from blue cheese to caramel-apple, and you'll also find a collection of signature "Film Noir" drinks, exotic and lusty. (617-661-8010, 617-234-8090)
Looking to check out the Catwalk? Then you MUST stay at the Liberty Hotel. Exclusively for hotel guests, the Catwalk Bar encircles the rotunda of the hotel which was once the Charles Street Jail. The Catwalk was actually used as such when the jail was in operation. Floating high above the lobby of the Liberty Hotel, the Catwalk provides guests with a special view of all that lives above and below. Dinner is available here via an upscale bar menu from Liberty's restaurant, CLINK. (617.224.4000 |)
4 The Hawthorne
The Hawthorne may look more like your living room than a nightspot, but the charm of the decor at this lounge is what sets it apart from it peers; endearing itself to regulars who are not patrons of the Hotel, but simply Boston residents who love the vibe, drinks and bar food. The Hawthorne is a lounge that boasts a stunning 18-seat bar, a communal high-top table, and two comfortable, more casual seating areas complete with cushioned chairs to make you feel at home. Cocktails are the focus of this hotel bar and are constantly changing to serve what's in season and trendy. No worries, the Hawthorne still mixes the classics, ensuring you'll enjoy your favorite even if it is not found on the menu. Food is simple, yet enticing with menu items that include fancy versions of bar delights like grilled cheese and pretzels. ((617) 532-9150)
3 W Lounge
Make your way to the W Lounge in Boston's W Hotel and enjoy the great outdoors while you are indoors. This trendy lounge allows hotel guests and those who just happen in to meet-up within a funky world complete with pieces of all of the natural elements. Music pumps throughout and dancing is encouraged, but for those who simply want to sit and take it in the scene the W's comfortable setting allows you to do just that. Perch yourself by the fire pit, or cozy up to the bar. Sip your pick of the W's sensational libations or play one of the board games provided with an old or new friend. ((617) 261-8700)
2 Avery Bar
Drawing inspiration from the mid-century modern decor of the 1950's, Avery Bar makes its home inside the Ritz Carlton a sexy escape from the everyday. The arch shaped bar and eye level fireplace combine to create an inviting arena to enjoy Avery's innovative craft cocktails, extensive wine selection or even a draft beer. A small menu serves snacks and items to share, but the focus of this lobby lounge is on the drinks and the social scene. ((617) 574-7100)
1 Alibi Bar and Lounge
Alibi, in the Liberty Hotel is one of the hottest spots in the city. With a shady past (once part of the Charles Street Jail), this former "drunk tank" is a great place to indulge in a cocktail. The dimly-lit scene, complete with jail cell gates, and window bars, creates an ambiance of being someplace forbidden. Those looking to "see and be seen" tend to pop in a little later. With its inner hotel location it is easy to simply stay all night. (857-241-1144)
About Jessica Polizzotti
Born and raised in Boston, Jessica knows her city like the back of her hand. Always looking to uncover something new, Jessica keeps up on the latest and greatest Boston offerings. Although Jessica has been a world traveler since her teens, her favorite trip may always be her Italian honeymoon. Living in a city that allows her to experience a change in seasons equals an opportunity to enjoy a shift in activities. As the old New England cliché says, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.”
Read more about Jessica Polizzotti here.