Historic hotel bars are a treasure trove of epic stories, illicit conversations, and Old World glamour. For centuries, these lush watering holes have been host to countless movers and shakers, from puzzling Pablo Picasso to the forever fashionable Jackie Kennedy.
So pull up a stool at a favorite haunt of the brilliant Charlie Chaplin or slink into an elegant booth where Christian Dior dreamed up iconic designs. This list of historic hotel bars around the world is sure to have you sipping like a star in no time.
The Blue Bar
London SW1X 7RL
Mirroring the same luxury standards as The Berkeley Hotel’s five-star accommodations and service, The Blue Bar is an in-house drinking den where both hotel guests and affluent visitors indulge in cocktails and caviar. Titanic in grandeur yet more like a submarine in layout, the venue harkens back to the hotel’s 19th Century origins retaining an air of exclusivity with its network of small chambers and intimate lounging quarters, perfect for stylish socialites and successful professionals looking for a touch of privacy. Although the gracious Blue Bar welcomes any well-dressed guest, its white-collar prices have made it an easy choice for history makers looking to spend a few hours in the lap of luxury.
8221 West Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Perched on the Sunset Strip hillside and modeled after a French villa, Chateau Marmont is perhaps Hollywood’s most historic celebrity hideaway, most likely thanks to a staff known to turn a blind eye to outrageous behavior – after all, this is the place where John Belushi overdosed, Jim Morrison fell off the roof, and members of Led Zeppelin rode their motorcycles through the lobby. Nowadays, this fairy-tale castle is usually full of mostly A-list guests from the worlds of fashion, music, and film who check in to enjoy a few lazy and luxurious days of international cuisine and poolside cocktails. One of the rare high-end bars in Los Angeles that eschews the fickle nature of normal Hollywood hotspots, Chateau Marmont endures as a go-to spot where celebs can mix and mingle without fear of reading about their escapades in the gossip blogs the next day.
De Las Letras Hotel and Restaurante
Calle Gran Vía, 11
Situated right in the center of Gran Vía, De Las Letras Hotel and Restaurante is an iconic four-star hotel that’s been at the forefront of modern architecture and design since its start back in 1917. The real treat at Las Letras, however, is El Ático, a rooftop terrace accessible through the elevators located just past reception. The panoramic view of the elaborate architecture and spires of Gran Vía and downtown Madrid provides a spectacular backdrop for patrons eager to escape the sounds of the bustling city streets below.
Le Bar du Plaza Athénée
25 Avenue Montaigne
Tucked inside a luxurious five-star hotel that has hosted everyone from Rudolph Valentino to Jackie Kennedy, Le Bar du Plaza Athénée is a chic little hideaway with high-end cocktails in swanky surroundings that outshine most other bars in Paris. Molded wood paneling, delicate chandeliers, and high ceilings recall the art nouveau elegance of the hotel itself, while distinctly modern features like metal and leather stools, high glass tables, and an immense sculpted glass bar illuminated from within give the space a slick, iced-out aesthetic. Never a rowdy scene, Le Bar’s sophisticated environment is more conducive to meeting friends for a drink or two and reveling in the white-glove service.