Hotel Bars

When you're traveling, it's incredibly convenient to book a hotel with a great bar. Not only do you benefit from the perks of a readymade clientele and a convenient hangout, but you save yourself the hassle of getting home once you've called it a night. Our selection of London's best hotel bars streamlines your planning process, presenting the top places to drink and chat while you enjoy a convivial atmosphere. For a satisfying night out, check out Purple Bar at The Sanderson, or visit the Mayfair district for more alternatives.


Housed in Soho's ultra-posh Sanderson Hotel, this upscale bar invites patrons to gather at the end of the day, sip martinis, and discuss the day's events or make plans for the night. Located just off the lobby, the bar is dramatically decorated with intimate cafe tables, Queen Anne chairs, Venetian mirrors, and a color scheme of purples, lavenders and violets. The billiard room features a floating staircase, antique pool table, and impressive, John Piper-designed stained-glass window. Non-members are advised to make a guest list reservation. TUBE: Goodge Street or Oxford Circus

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Mandarin Bar

This "bar with theatre" pays homage to contemporary design, as evidenced in its beige tones, sleek leather armchairs, subdued lighting, and mirrors and glass - in fact, you might say that the bar takes its cues from a high-fashion catwalk in NYC, Milan or Paris. People-watching is a favorite pastime, given that a lot of celebs stay in the Mandarin. Live jazz is also featured most nights. Smokers find safe-haven in the cigar lounge, which features state-of-the-art filtration and comfortable leather furniture. TUBE: Knightsbridge

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Met Bar

Billed as one of London's most exclusive hotel bars, the Met certainly enjoys a primo address, located in a hotel that's a favorite of the rich and famous. In fact, you can expect to find everybody from millionaire jetsetters to A-List celebs enjoying drinks and basking in the distinctly chic scene that is the Met Bar. If a bite to eat is in order, award-winning Nobu serves fabulous contemporary Japanese cuisine. Unfortunately, members and hotel guests are the only folks allowed to enter The Met Bar. TUBE: Hyde Park Corner

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Guests heap praise on Long Bar, aptly named for its signature, onyx-topped, 80-foot-long feature. Chic and kicky, the minimalist space boasts subdued lighting, contemporary yellow tints, and tall, silver bar stools with eyes stenciled on the seat backs. Patrons in search of a more romantic scene look to the graceful Courtyard Garden, an urban oasis of flower beds, trees, a reflecting pool, mosaics and comfortable furniture. World-famous chef Alain Ducasse planned the Long Bar's tapas menu, which features caviar, sushi and fresh oysters. TUBE: Goodge Street or Oxford Circus

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With sharp angles and alcoves bathed in contrasting shades of green, pink, orange and violet light, this hotel bar certainly doesn't lack for modern flair. In each section of the bar, the ceiling opens wide to reveal humorous facial close-ups photographed by renowned artist Jean Baptiste Mondino. Indeed, the scene is chic, and the clientele does its best to dress the part. DJs are featured each Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Non-members and non-residents should call ahead to make a reservation. TUBE: Covent Garden

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The bar at this Mayfair hotel earns high marks for tuxedo-clad service and a swanky setting (if the rhinestone-studded grand piano looks like something Liberace would have played, that's because he owned it!). Brass-framed mirrors, butterscotch-toned chairs, and tables appointed with white linens set the scene, and well-heeled patrons often meet at the close of day to discuss business and pleasure over fabulous cocktails and Italian fare. The Dorchester also features live jazz each night. Reservations are encouraged. TUBE: Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, or Green Park

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St. James's

This is the land of cocktail classics. Martinis all the way at this swish bar spread over two rooms. Cosy up and sip something shaken and not stirred, preferably the Fleming 89 (James Bond author Ian Fleming used to hang out here and this was his cologne) while watching the beautiful people pass by. An elegant place to catch your breath after a day spent conducting business or seeing the sights, this hotel bar has established a reputation for professional service and dazzling mixed drinks. Indeed, many local publications annually claim that the bar mixes the best martinis in London. TUBE: Green Park

Local Expert tip: Get all shaken and stirred at this martini destination where James Bond author Ian Fleming drew inspiration.

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Housed in one of Mayfair's most exclusive hotels, Claridge's boasts pre-World War II aesthetics, as seen in the Art Deco-inspired furniture, bar, chandelier, and high ceilings. Members of the privileged class – hotel guests and discerning locals alike – are prone to take early evening cocktails here, availing themselves of courteous bar service and high-end cuisine (Beluga caviar, foie gras, and tempura-smoked eel, for example). Cigar aficionados are also pleased to find that Claridge's stocks an impressive supply of premium cigars. TUBE: Bond Street

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Americans visiting Great Britain often seek out authentic London nightlife, but after a few days of pubs and chi-chi wine bars, some find themselves wanting a taste of home. American Bar offers just that, but in a classic sense. The Savoy Hotel's buzz-worthy bar features the mood and music of the 1920s, from the cool American jazz played by the pianist down to the snazzy cocktails served at the bar. Some knowing patrons even claim the bartenders mix the best martinis in town. While the vibe is laid back and casual, be advised that jackets and ties are common here. TUBE: Charing Cross

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Poll regulars, and you'll quickly learn that one of the most applauded developments resulting from the Savoy's £220m revamp was the creation of the evocative Beaufort Bar. Outfitted with velvet furnishings, glam drapes and a color scheme dominated by jet black and gold, this chic gathering spot serves up no apologizes, only classy cocktails, fine champagne and the occasional cabaret number. TUBE: Embankment

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