Miami Hotel Bars
Checking into a hip hotel bar requires no reservations. Our hotel bar guide shows you where to go for chic lounging and haute cocktails.
Blame it on the Delano, Ian Schrager's pioneering (and once savagely hip) hotel-meets-lounging-parlor. More than a decade later SoFla is home to some of the most chic hotel bars on the planet. Most have fabulous pools, many an ocean view, as well as a sultry, festive vibe and irrestistibly exotic cocktail menus. The scene: a mix of in the know locals and savvy tourists itching to be part of this tropical paradise, if only for a few brief days.
On the Beach
Oasis, Raleigh Hotel: Want Rat Pack-retro? This Art Deco landmark, known for its fab pool, has hosted 'em all (as you can see by the black and white photos posted on the wall). The sexy little bar is where you sip Manhattans, not mojitos. "There's a lot of soul to this building,'' says bar manager Crispy Soloperto. "We feel strongly about maintaining the history and character; people walk in and go, 'Wow.'"1775 Collins Ave., Miami, 305-534-6300, www.raleighhotel.com.
Bar at Pelican Hotel: The stylish, low-lit hotel owned by Diesel empresario Renzo Rosso has a tidy little lobby bar overlooking Ocean Drive and the surf beyond. Beside delish cocktails like the Chocotini Lite, they offer varietals from Rosso's Napa Valley winery, Pelican Vineyards. It's known for some rockin' happy hours, too. 826 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-673-3373, www.pelicanhotel.com.
The Bar at the Setai: Plant yourself on a stool likely inhabited once by Sean Combs, who loves this courtyard-side spot so much he threw a bash there for his 100 most intimate friends during the 2005 VMAs. Interesting Asian inspired cocktails in a dark, moody setting. 2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-520-1819, www.setai.com.
Deco Blue, South Beach Marriott: An undiscovered oceanside gem deep in the heart of SoFi and right across the street from newly opened Vic & Angelo's (in case you can't get a table). The drinks are cheap but strong, the atmosphere is chill and the bartenders have zero attitude. 161 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, 305-536-7700, www.marriott.com.
Cascade Poolside Bar & Grill, Biltmore Hotel: The outdoor, happening spot is out by the landmark resort's famous 700,000-gallon swimming pool, once the setting for water shows, high-dive competition and Esther Williams' antics. Inside, the more sedate, sophisticated Biltmore Bar was made for sipping single malts.
1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, 305-445-1926; www.biltmorehotel.com.
M Bar, Mandarin Oriental: Feel like the urban trendsetter you are at this Oriental-chic oasis on Brickell Key. The skyline is as cool as the clientele and copious cocktail menu. You won't miss the beach - they've set up sand and hammocks out back by the bay.
500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami; 305 695-1717. www.mandarinoriental.com/miami.
Cantina Beach, Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne: Cancun? Olvidate! The Ritz's al fresco Mex-inspired restaurant has some of the meanest margaritas in town and even an in-house tequilier (touted as the nation's first), who trained in Jalisco, home of the stuff. Gotta love the thatched roof canopy, tiki torches with plush lounges. Just don't pray for rain.
455 Grand Bay Dr, Key Biscayne, 305-365-4500. www.ritzcarlton.com.
Bahia Lounge, Four Seasons: Brickell's young, hip and energetic emerge from their office towers to this urban playground, always jumping after 5. Located on the luxury hotel's seventh floor outdoor terrace, it features a waterfall, Latin American tunes, plus tapas and tropical drinks galore.
1435 Brickell Ave, Miami, 305-358-3535. www.fourseasons.com.
Level 25, Conrad Hotel: Ready to elevate your senses? Then head to Miami's only restaurant and lounge 25 stories in the sky and enjoy the stunning vistas of the city and Biscayne Bay below. Level 25 is versatile enough to go for a power lunch or for a romantic dinner for two. Espirito Santo Building, 1395 Brickell Ave., Miami, 305-503-6500, www.conradhotels1.hilton.com.
North of the Border
Trina Restaurant & Lounge: Sit back savoring a innovative 'tini of some sort at the sexy, curvaceous bar or lounge by the panoramic windows overlooking the beach. There's isn't much more luxe, prime seating in Broward than this.
Atlantic Hotel, 601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-567-8070, www.theatlantichotelfortlauderdale.com.
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