Ultimate Guide to Miami's Best 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.

Martini Bar at The Raleigh

By Shayne Benowitz

A night of hotel bar hopping is a common practice in Miami whether you live here or are just calling one of said hotels home for a few nights. From South Beach decadence to Brickell’s post-work scene, glittering lobbies and panoramic views mix well with the latest cocktail craze. Here’s a roundup of some of the buzziest hotel bars in the Magic City.

 

On Beach

The Regent Cocktail Club at The Gale South Beach

This cozy speakeasy tucked away at the rear of The Gale South Beach has become a late night clubhouse of sorts for the local cocktail cognoscenti. With a who’s who of Miami mixologists presiding behind the bar, including Julio Cabrera—usually sporting a tux, red bowtie, and thick-rimmed glasses—the drink list consists of classics, like the Hemingway Daiquiri or a simple Champagne Cocktail with Angostura bitters and sugar. Pick your poison—or have your barman create something off the menu to meet your taste—and get cozy at one of the central plush leather banquettes. 1690 Collins Ave., South Beach; 305-673-0199; galehotel.com.

The Broken Shaker at The Freehand Miami

For a laid back and enchanting evening sipping fresh, artisanal cocktails under the stars, duck into The Broken Shaker at The Freehand Miami. With eclectic patio furniture shaded underneath lush, tropical palms, and nostalgic party games, like Jenga, nearby, The Broken Shaker feels like you’re hanging out in a good friend’s backyard. The brainchild of dynamic duo Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi of Bar Lab, the cocktail menu is constantly changing, highlighting fresh herbs and spices from the onsite garden, and homemade syrups, infusions, and elixirs. 2727 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach; 305-531-2727; thefreehand.com.

Living Room and Saxony Bar at Faena

With its sculptural “mindful” chandelier and cushy lounges upholstered in red velvet and tiger print, Faena’s Living Room Lounge just off the Cathedral Lobby is the obvious choice for a cocktail at Faena. Have a drink there and then veer off to the right and down a spiral staircase to discover the secret Saxony Bar. This speakeasy-style hideaway designed in black terrazzo with sleek, symmetrical Art Deco lines feels like you’ve stumbled into a bar no one else knows about—except for the beautiful people seated inside sipping classic cocktails and champagne. 3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-534-8800; faena.com.

Campton Yard at The Hall

Located in the heart of South Beach at 15th and Collins, The Hall is a lighthearted, surf-inspired hotel by Joie de Vivre. Anchored by Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn’s laidback, poolside eatery Sunny’s, it’s also home to Holiday cocktail bar. The latest addition, however, is Campton Yard, a beer garden overlooking Washington Avenue. Swing by for Florida-inspired cocktails, Caribbean and local beers and a menu of hot dogs and sausages. Pick up a game of giant Jenga or ping pong while you’re there. 1500 Collins Ave., South Beach; 305-531-1251; jdvhotels.com/hotels/florida/south-beach-miami/the-hall.

 

Bar Centro at SLS Hotel South Beach

Chef José Andrés and beverage director Lucas Paya of Think Food Group and The Bazaar by José Andrés have brought their brand of Beverly Hills glamour and whimsy to South Beach’s SLS. Perched on an expansive outdoor covered patio, Bar Centro overlooks the hotel pool, the frenzied Hyde Beach club, and the tranquil Atlantic Ocean. Relax in a cushy rattan chair with pastel accents and prepare to sample an avant-garde, molecular spin on classic cocktails. Think margaritas topped with frothy salt air and caipirhinas created tableside with liquid nitrogen. 1701 Collins Ave., South Beach; 305-674-1701. slshotels.com/southbeach.

Bleau Bar at Fontainebleau Miami Beach

For a true taste of the South Beach scene, arrive at the Fontainebleau’s Bleau Bar just before midnight on Friday or Saturday night. Navigate across the iconic Morris Lapidus-designed bowtie tile floors of the lobby, through the teeming crowd of clubgoers anxious for entry to LIV nightclub, and elbow your way to the recessed circular white bar with gilt columns and a glowing floor pulsating slowly in a rainbow of cool neon colors. Expect a DJ spinning, women in mini dresses and skyhigh heels, and a crowd ready to party. 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-2000; fontainebleau.com.

Living Room at W South Beach

Under the guidance of San Francisco-based mixologist Scott Beattie, W South Beach's Living Room lobby bar is a sexy spot for artisanal cocktails before hitting the hotel's high-energy ultra lounge Wall. With multiple options for lounging amidst an impressive rotating collection of contemporary art, sample Beattie's signature creations where edible flowers, essential oils, herbs and fine spirits take center stage. 2201 Collins Ave; South Beach; 305-938-3000; wsouthbeach.com

Matador Bar at EDITION Miami Beach

Adjacent to Jean George's Matador Room serving eclectic Spanish fare, Matador Bar mixes craft cocktails in a sumptuous setting overlooking the pool and ocean with plush, jewel-toned banquettes lining the walls, which are covered with French photographer Lucien Clergue’s "Matador" series. Order The Pineapple, served in a lovely custommade copper pineapple by Absolut Elyx and made with the vodka, along with sherry, a variety of housemade bitters and a pineapple-rosemary syrup over crushed ice. 2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-257-4500; editionhotels.com/miami-beach.

Drawing Room at Shelborne Wyndham Grand

Quixotic mixologist Albert Trummer brings his signature “elixirs” to The Drawing Room at Shelborne Wyndham Grand. The eclectic lobby bar bares the apt Morris Lapidus maxim, “Too much is never enough” above it in neon amidst wrought iron shelves climbing with spirits disguised in custom apothecary bottles. Cocktails are listed on the menu as “house medicines” and divided into categories, like Aphrodisiacs, Stimulants and Euphoric Enhancers. They’re created with local fruits, herbs and botanicals, and are purported to have medicinal benefits, so come with an open mind and a curious palate. 1800 Collins Ave., South Beach; 305-531-1271; shelbornewyndhamgrand.com.

The Martini Bar at The Raleigh

With its original terrazzo flooring—complete with a martini glass illustration—a mahogany bar, and framed candid photographs of old school celebs in Miami, from Liberace to Christopher Walken, it’s all South Beach kitsch and nostalgia at The Raleigh's Martini Bar. The focus is on the art and simplicity of the classic martini, as well as curating a menu of original ones contributed by local mixologists. 1775 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-534-6300. raleighhotel.com.

Rum Line at Loews Hotel Miami Beach

Set on a tropical kitsch patio with floral print rattan furniture in the historic St. Moritz tower, the Rum Line at the Loews Hotel is the brainchild of locally loved mixologist Robert Ferrara. With an exhaustive menu of creative and classic rum cocktails, Ferrara's quick to note that it's not a tiki bar, but simply a bar dedicated to the complex spirit it's named for. From daiquiris to punches to rums mixed with a single other ingredient, Rum Line also serves a small bites menu to counteract the boozy beverages. 1601 Collins Ave., South Beach; 305-604-1601; loewshotels.com/miami-beach.

Social Club at Surfcomber

Just off the eclectic and colorful lobby with abundant communal tables, Social Club at Surfcomber offers carefully crafted cocktails, as well as fresh pressed juice, depending on your mood. With a fresh take on classic cocktails, emphasis is placed on fresh fruits, herbs and spices, as well as house-infused spirits. With local microbrews on tap and happy hour bites, like buffalo gator, beer battered Gulf shrimp and Cuban sliders, it's a welcoming atmosphere for snacking and imbibing. 1717 Collins Ave., South Beach; 305-532-7715; surfcomber.com   

Traymore at Metropolitan by COMO

Inside a lovely white dining room with scalloped archways and bubble lights hanging from the high ceiling, Traymore Bar specializes in gin. With over 40 artisanal gins on the menu, guests can opt for tasting flights or specially crafted gin cocktails. created by head bartender Jack Araque. Try the signature Traymore 1939 made of Nolet's gin, rosemary syrup, orange Curacao, grapefruit and pomegranate. 2445 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-695-3600; comohotels.com/metropolitanmiamibeach.

Blues Bar at the National Hotel

For vintage voyeurs, all eyes are on the National Hotel. After a $12-million renovation, the iconic Art Deco building has been restored to its original grandeur. Party like it's 1939 with live jazz, blues and throwback cocktails in a glamorous setting of the family-owned hotel's lobby bar. Expect to sip on cocktails with names like the Floral Flute made with prosecco, National Hemingway with white rum, Tamara Bella with tequila). 1677 Collins Ave., South Beach; 305-532-2311; nationalhotel.com.


Off Beach

Sugar at EAST, Miami

In Miami, a rooftop bar is always a good idea. EAST, Miami’s Sugar is a Balinese-inspired perch in the center of the forthcoming Brickell City Centre offering sweeping views of the city skyline. With an elaborate wooden-carved bar and lounges set amidst lush palms, it’s a sleek and stylish cocktail scene. 788 Brickell Plaza, Brickell; 305-712-7000; http://www.east-miami.com.

Pawnbroker at The Langford

Helmed by the Pubbelly Boys, The Langford Hotel’s rooftop Pawnbroker Bar offers a unique vantage point to the downtown skyline. Perched atop the Beaux Arts-style building that was once the Miami National Bank, the restored hotel is adding a touch of panache to the neighborhood. With a creative cocktail menu that includes a frothy gin drink served in a miniature porcelain bathtub, the bar also boasts bites from the PB Station restaurant’s lobby level kitchen. 121 SE First St., Downtown; 305-420-2200; langfordhotelmiami.com.

Area 31 at Epic Hotel

Where the Miami River flows out to Biscayne Bay, and downtown meets Brickell, the Epic Hotel stands 54 stories high with panoramic views of it all. On the 16th floor is Area 31, an outdoor poolside terrace bar seemingly jutting over the water. Featuring small bites, as well as the “Veuve Around the Clock” champagne happy hour from 5 to 8 p.m., they court a sophisticated post-work crowd. 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Downtown; 305-424-5234. epichotel.com.

Toro Toro at InterContinental

With its recent multi-million dollar renovation and the addition of chef Richard Sandoval’s Toro Toro restaurant and lounge, the InterContinental got a little sexier. Its prime downtown waterfront location makes it the perfect stop before or after a Heat game, or other American Airlines Arena events. Enjoy inventive cocktails made of pisco, mezcal, and rum, and light bites, such as tuna tacos, at this spacious pan-Latin lounge inside the InterContinental’s dazzling marble lobby. 100 Chopin Plaza, Downtown; 305-372-4710; icmiamihotel.com.

Edge, Steak & Bar at Four Seasons

At 70 stories tall, the Four Seasons Miami is the tallest building south of Atlanta. That feat of grandeur extends to its luxurious digs and fine dining restaurant Edge, Steak & Bar. High ceilings with glittering overhead brass glass lamps illuminate a chic, whitewashed dining room with plush leather booths and a central marble bar. Sip artisanal cocktails, like the Hibiscus Mojito, or a glass of wine amidst Miami’s power players and international business travelers. 1435 Brickell Ave., Brickell ; 305-381-3190; fourseasons.com/miami.

Mo Bar at Mandarin Oriental

For a luxurious island retreat in the heart of the city’s skyscrapers, make your way to Brickell Key’s crown jewel, the Mandarin Oriental. Mo Bar offers unparalleled views of Biscayne Bay with Miami’s downtown skyline as a backdrop. A fashionable set gathers at the outdoor terrace to toast to the weekend over crafty cocktails. 500 Brickell Key Dr., Brickell ; 305-913-8288; mandarinoriental.com/miami.

 

Fort Lauderdale

Whiskey Blue at W Fort Lauderdale

Gerber Group's classic hotel bar Whiskey Blue can only be found in Florida at Fort Lauderdale’s W hotel. Rub elbows with the scenesters at this sexy bar with moody blue lighting and aqua barstool cushions. Outside, get snuggly by a fire pit on the oceanfront terrace and sip a Grapefruit Basil Martini or Jalapeno Margarita under the stars. 401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-414-8200; wfortlauderdalehotel.com.

Golden Lyon Pub at Riverside Hotel

The historic Riverside Hotel is a landmark on Las Olas Boulevard, not only because it’s the only hotel on the fashionable street, but also because of its gustatory delights inside an elegant, yet cozy setting. The Golden Lyon Pub, along with Preston’s Wine and Martini Lounge, are perennial favorites for sipping draught beer, fine wine, and fancy martinis during an evening out on Las Olas. 620 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-467-0671; riversidehotel.com.

Shayne Benowitz is Miami.com's Travel Editor. Sign up for her monthly newsletter at ShayneBenowitz.com.

 

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