“I can’t afford a drink in The Savoy”… woah there friend! You can do exactly what you bloody well want. Sometimes a drink in a pub just doesn’t cut it, and we’re lucky that in this city of nine million people, we’ve got some damn fine (and swanky might we add) hotel bars. From chic rooftop spots with views over the city to cosy and intimate spots, here’s our rundown of ten of the best hotel bars in London. We’ll cheers to that.
1. The American Bar at The Savoy
Kicking off this list of the best hotel bars in London is one of the capital’s most glamorous. The longest surviving cocktail bar in London, The American Bar at The Savoy is one of those places that will throw you right back to the 1920s, and you’ll feel like you should be dressed all Gatsby-esque in order to step foot through the doors.
In actual fact the dress code merely reads ‘smart casual’ so, as long as you’re not wearing trainers, you can probably get away with it. Yes it’s pricey, but you’ll be drinking in one of the most iconic cocktail bars in the world. It boasts an impressive alumni of ‘famous’ bartenders, many of which have created world-class cocktails that are still enjoyed today.
So sit amongst the Art Deco interior, listen to the pianist playing in his gleaming white suit, and soak in the atmosphere. Cheers!
You’ll find The American Bar at The Savoy, The Strand, London, WC2R 0EZ. Nearest station is Charing Cross.
2. The Library Bar at The Ned
Classy, elegant and intimate, The Library Bar at The Ned is a great first date spot – i.e. if you’re looking to impress someone. Formerly used as a bank, it has retained many of its original features – including marble pillars and double-height windows – and there are over 30 different Champagnes on offer here.
You can also slurp on one of the hotel bar’s signature Club Martinis, or create your own, selecting from an extensive list of gin, vodka and vermouth. Sounds pretty good if you ask us! Note that you do need to be a member of The Ned in order to get in here – so what better reason to get membership hey?!
You’ll find The Library Bar at The Ned, 27 Poultry, London, EC2R 8AJ. Nearest station is Bank.
3. The Distillery at Hilton London Bankside
The Distillery is home to over 100 varieties of gin from around the world: Estonia to Peru, Japan to Scotland, vintage favourites to new flavours from London-based artisan distilleries. The bar even has its own brand of gin, one of which uses honey harvested at the hotel itself – the Hilton London Bankside boasts four beehives onsite.
But don’t worry, if you’re not a gin fan, then there are plenty of other things on the menu too to keep you well hydrated. The rum cocktails in particular are well worthy of a mention. Plus, as you take a pew under the mirrored ceilings here, you’ll be moments away from iconic London attractions, including the Tate Modern, The Shard and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The bar itself is also set within an old Stevenson and Howell’s Fragrance Factory, which it honours with its industrial style – think a brown, black and cream colour palette with soft lighting.
You’ll find The Distillery at Hilton London Bankside, 2-8 Great Suffolk Street, London, SE1 0UG. Nearest station is Southwark.
4. The New York Bar at The Rubens at the Palace
Synonymous with its striking red décor, original artwork and convivial atmosphere, The New York Bar at The Rubens at the Palace thoroughly deserves its spot on this list of the best hotel bars in London. There’s a fantastic cocktail menu that incorporates signature classics based on British history and traditions, such as ‘The Queen’s Swan’, the ‘Industrial Revolution’ and the ‘1666 Great Fire of London’.
For those feeling a bit flash with the cash, there’s a Champagne trolley that the friendly staff wheel out, and there’s also gin-tasting experiences and live music found here. If you’re feeling peckish – or if you need to soak up the alcohol – then there’s a whole host of tasty things on the menu here, including burgers, fish and chips, grilled rib eye steak and pasta. They also do a great bottomless Champagne brunch here – oh dahlinggggg!
You’ll find The New York Bar at The Rubens at the Palace, 39 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 0PS. Nearest station is Victoria.
5. Connaught Bar at The Connaught
The next addition to this roundup of the best hotel bars in London is a real winner if we say so ourselves. The Connaught Bar is in a real league of its own and has been crowned the best cocktail bar in the world, according to The World’s 50 Best Bars, for a second year in a row.
If you’re planning a visit, you’ll want to make a beeline for the bar’s famed Dry Martini trolley, which designs bespoke riffs on the classic tailored to their guest’s satisfaction. Other great bevvies here include the Magnetum cocktail – a mix of scotch and sherry served in two distinct parts – and the Vintage Negroni. It’s certainly not cheap here, but then in a place this sleek and stylish, you may as well go all out!
You’ll find the Connaught Bar at The Connaught Hotel in Carlos Place, London, W1K 2AL. Nearest stations are Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road.
6. The Coral Room at The Bloomsbury
If you’re looking for a stylish and glamorous hotel bar, then look no further than The Coral Room. Set on the ground floor of The Bloomsbury on the edge of Soho, it’s decked out in a 1920s style, with vibrant coral walls, opulent glass chandeliers, bespoke illustrations by artist Luke Edward Hall and decorative palm trees.
There’s also a secluded cigar terrace – heated during the winter months – an eclectic cocktail list and ‘the world’s longest list of English sparkling wine’ – sounds pretty damn good to us.
You’ll find The Coral Room at 16-22 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3NN. Nearest station is Tottenham Court Road.
7. The Mirror Bar at The Landmark London
The Landmark London first opened its doors all the way back in 1899, and ever since it has become known as one of the most iconic hotels in London. That goes for The Mirror Bar too – an intimate and elegant spot whipping up ‘the best cocktails in Marylebone’.
Regulars insist that it’s the best bar in town – and if we’re honest, it’s hard to argue with them. Their signature cocktail, the ‘Marylebone Mist’, is now legendary and is written into the history books. A lovely concoction of dry gin, pear liqueur, apple and lime juice and finished off with absinthe mist – it’s well worth a try.
The setting itself is, as the name suggests, covered in large mirrors which gives the bar a more spacious feel, and there are wingback chairs which provide ample comfort for you to while away the hours.
You’ll find The Mirror Bar at 222 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 6JQ. Nearest station is Marylebone.
8. Sweeties at The Standard
Conveniently located right opposite King’s Cross St Pancras station, The Standard is one of our beloved capital’s most iconic hotels, characterised by its Brutalist architecture and red pill lift. While it’s not exactly short of places to eat and drink, our pick here would be Sweeties – a cocktail bar, disco and lounge bringing ‘innovative drinks and glorious misbehaviour’ to the hotel’s top floor.
They’ve got regular DJs spinning the decks, colourful cocktails and floor-to-ceiling windows from where you can admire the cityscape views. Even better – they’ve got a happy hour from 5 to 7pm every night, so you can grab two cocktails for twenty quid. Which in this neck of the woods is cheap – let’s face it. The Standard is also one of the hotels in London with a rooftop bar.
You’ll find Sweeties at The Standard, 10 Argyle Street, London, WC1H 8EG. Nearest station is King’s Cross St Pancras.
9. The Fumoir at Claridge’s
Claridge’s is famous for its clientele – think Hollywood A listers and mega-rich celebs – so their bar isn’t exactly going to be run-of-the-mill. Discreetly tucked away in the hotel’s Art Deco interior, The Fumoir is the hotel’s old cigar lounge – hence the name – and it has been serving patrons since all the way back in 1929.
Sophisticated, private and decked out with beautiful William Klein paintings, it’s one of the best spots in town to enjoy a lavish cocktail or a vodka martini nightcap. Who knows, you may even be sharing it with a film star or two at this Bond Street spot!
You’ll find The Fumoir at Claridge’s, Brook Street, London, W1K 4HR. Nearest station is Bond Street.
10. Hokus Pokus – Alchemy Lab at The Megaro
Rounding off this list of the London hotel bars is one of the city’s most recent. Newly opened in late October 2021 and located in the five-star Megaro Hotel, Hokus Pokus – Alchemy Lab draws inspiration from an 1800s physician, Dr James Morison, who believed in using vegetables and their botanical compounds to cure all illnesses.
The botanical ‘remedies’ are distilled and served on the rocks, with the aim to ‘provide the cure to terrible Tuesdays and despondent long days’. The carefully-curated cocktail list was crafted by Tomas Vykopal, who has previously worked at innovative establishments like 108 Bar, Mr. Foggs and Buddha Bar.
The team here strive to be as sustainable as possible when creating the cocktails; they use all parts of the fruit, whether it be for garnishes, syrups, juices, or all three. This results in beautiful, and rather unique, presentation too. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly – encouraging you to ask questions – and they’ll guide you to make the right cocktail choice(s) just for you.
You’ll find Hokus Pokus – Alchemy Lab at The Megaro, 1 Belgrove Street, London, WC1H 8AB. Nearest station is King’s Cross St. Pancras.
So there you have it, our roundup of the best hotel bars in London. Put on your gladrags, whack out the Amex and we’ll see you at the bar!