After searching the globe high and low for overall amazing cocktail venues, we have complied a list of our favorites … hot spots that buzz, are high energy, and proven to be worthy of a visit. What criteria do we use when we check out a spot? Of course we scrutinize the glass, the mix, the menu, the overall presentation, but those are just the basics! Music, lighting, and clearly service come into play. But of course, the most critical component of our checklist is the overall vibe that resonates … the “feel good” factor that can only be felt, not seen. The intangible something that makes you want to stay, that provokes thought, creates sparks and gets the mood going. We’re a tough crowd to please, rest assured … so if we tell you a spot is hot, trust us and go.
For now we’re focusing on hotel bars -- there are some real gems out there, but not always so easy to find. Stay tuned and we will soon expand our coverage!!
Sexy. Chic and surprising. Approval all around for this Chelsea newcomer.
What do we love about it? The ENERGY! It is everywhere. Clearly a sleeper hotspot for a super slick crowd. We love the urban dens of privacy in the high vibe club upstairs.
Bottle service? Bring it on! Top tunes, buzzingscene... What could be better? Love it.
If you are looking for the ultimate in exotic cocktailing, look no further than our
latest find, Salon de Ning at the oh-so-indulgent Peninsula Hotel in Manila. Step into
a treasure trove of time, a collection of fascinating and nostalgic objets gathered by
a glamorous lady of her day, Madame Ning … and pick your concoction of choice.
This outlet spots cozy corners, a true mix and match of designs and colors, and
most notably a sense of excitement. This place WORKS! In this era of copycats
and (pardon the yawns… zzzzz) typically modern and painfully minimalistic
approaches, we love the personality that exudes from every nook and cranny of
this hotspot. Spending time at the Salon de Ning is like dropping by an atelier in
the 7th arrondissment for a quick kir royale on a romantically stormy eve … drama
abounds. Thought went into every touch, every piece of amazing furniture (we
love the zebra touches!) and all other accoutrements that Madame has gathered
… to create what our CV team of reviewers describe as "Global Glam at its BEST."
Timeless and chic, we give this lounge of choice top awards. Where else can we
get a sense of Paris meets Hanoi, jet over to the markets of Morocco, and bien-sur
a quick trip over to the Marche aux Puces in the city of lights? Admirers cannot
help but feel the sense of wow, and wonder "where in the world did this fascinating
Madame Ning" find all these goodies? And where is she now? PS, our fave is the
Shoe Room … how fab! Keep up the good work – we will be back!
Gastropub goes uber glam at this power scene set amidst the hotbed of finance in the party-spot of the Middle East, Dubai. Step inside, slide up the forever-long and perfectly orchestrated bar, grab a stool and find the pint of choice. Can't help but feel powerful and somehow incredibly important within seconds ... But don't get us wrong, the snob factor at this dimly lit and super sexy spot is low. Jazz-meets-best beats of Europe ... The tunes are great. The sense of "not sure what country I am in, but this place jives" will fill your mind as you groove from one cocktail to the next. Nice job fellows ... only gripe is the smoke - get those cig-fans outa there and you'll be golden!
A town full of celebs and who's who types ... has finally landed a paparazzi-proud, and super slick venue that is ideal for cocktailing alfresco and enjoying the best of the best in a setting that is nothing short of sublime. The tunes are enchanting, the mixology concocted at the stunning bar is as good as it gets ... and the barware, of course, is exquisite. Stop by and see if you can spot the CocktailVibe goodies that abound. We love the entire vibe of this place ... and the staff could not be more perfect. Exactly the appropriate mix of high style-meets uber-cool crowd... that is nothing short of expected in such luxurious digs. A+ goes to the Beverly Hills Hotel on this one...bottoms up!
Tucked away in a riverfront enclave in one of Dubai's hottest little nooks ... sits such a sexy spot that is nothing short of an Arabian gem! Not gimmicky or nearly as touristy as its wanna-be cousins in Paris or New York, this temple of fun is to be seen. We love the red, we dig the dim - almost - dark lighting, and approve without reserve the rockin' tunes that reverberate throughout the two levels of fun. The crowd is hip yet friendly, sophisticated but slightly bohmenian ... and the overall scene is right up our alley! Good job guys.
A+++! Although this high score pretty much speaks for itself, read on… This newest entrée to the cocktailing world of Dallas is superb. From the wrap-around rattlesnake bar rail that encompasses a true mesquite wood bartop, to the deep leather seating throughout, the Chihuly-goes-wild-west glass chandeliers, cowhide rugs and stunning onyx bar front and backlit wall, this place is great. Texas with its best-foot-forward, a true eye-catcher … we love it. This bar speaks, breathes and outright YELLS high class but skips over any snob factor that one might expect. Intimate yet spacious, cozy yet simplistic and modern, the designers who gave birth to this baby hit the nail right on the head. We really dig the cavernous corners, the space to unwind without being cramped and shoved around. We love the oversized entrance that offers a sneak peak to the brand-spanking new and incredibly tasteful lobby of this grand dame of a hotel. The bar crowd (perfect mix of ages, but overall a high class bunch of revelers) gently oozes into the lobby, creating the feeling of being at home (and what a home!!). Having Dallas’ most highly respected chef cooking up a storm next door does help, but no help is needed to turn this masterpiece into a mainstay. Cocktails are perfectly concocted, server staff is super-friendly and professional, music is great … We can’t wait to come back!!
OK, this joint opened with a splash years ago, got its hype … we loved it way back when … and, well, we still like it! Yes, it’s showing its age here and there, but maybe this ultra high-vibe contender has become somewhat of a classic mainstay in the sublime world of cocktailing?! An icon perhaps? Can’t help but oooooh and aaaaaaah at the fab furniture (mid century meets Louis XIV, signature Philippe Starck) scattered throughout, and the cat-walk conscious servers are oh-so-perfect. We also love the little drinking dens – dark, cozy and mysteriously hip – that surround the inner hub. Stop in at all hours of the eve, and the pulse will be there. The tunes they blast are hot, and intensify as the night progresses – sure to impress. Good job at keeping the groove going, guys!
As you descend into the lush courtyard outside the roped-off entrance to Kasbar, you immediately sense you’re entering an exciting cocktail spot. Beyond the row of Porsches, Bentleys, Ferrarris and other super chic sets of wheels, you’ll find lots of well-heeled and exotically in-the-know locals partaking in the favorite night time sport of shisha-smoking. Love it. Provocative pipes with yummy smelling scents radiating. Very James Bond. Inside the doors … red velvet lounges, Moroccan lanterns galore, and cavernous hiding spots in every nook. Brilliant house music with Arabian re-mix twists pull party-goers onto the floor until all hours of the night. Overall, this hotspot wins high praise from our team of trend-spotters, who have been looking for an exotic and edgy watering hole for quite a while. Go, let your hair down, get in the groove and enjoy.