There are few luxuries in life more enjoyable than a grand European hotel. It’s even better when the establishment is also home to a world-class bar. Whether you’re planning an (adult) spring break or just daydreaming, here are some of our favorite continental destinations.
American Bar, The Savoy Hotel, London, 011 44 20 7836 4343:
In mixological history, there are few places more important than London’s American Bar in The Savoy. A bastion of well-made cocktails since 1893, it has been run by legends including Ada Coleman, Harry Craddock and Peter Dorelli. Today, Erik Lorincz is in charge of the recently renovated spot.
What to Drink: White Lady (gin, Cointreau, lemon juice)
The Bar, The Merchant Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 011 44 28 9023 4888:
When you’re called The Bar, you’d better be good. No false advertising here; this Belfast joint won the award for World’s Best Drinks Selection at the 2009 Tales of the Cocktail conference, and the following year it was named World’s Best Cocktail Bar. See what makes it so great.
What to Drink: The Phoenix (plum-infused poitin, pear eau de vie, lemon juice, apple juice, honey)
Dukes Bar, Dukes Hotel, London, 011 44 20 7491 4840:
Do you like Martinis? Then you need to have one at this cozy London bar (pictured above). The St. James establishment was even a hangout for James Bond creator Ian Fleming. And if you fancy something else, the Dukes also offers a special menu of cigars and cognacs for its heated outdoor courtyard and will soon have a Perrier-Jouët Champagne lounge.
What to Drink: Dukes Gin Martini (Plymouth Gin, extra-dry vermouth, lemon oil)
Hassler Bar, Hassler Roma Hotel, Rome, 011 39 06 699340:
The Hassler has perhaps the best address in Rome: right at the top of the iconic Spanish Steps. In addition to amazing views, its bar gives you a taste of old-world service and opulence befitting the historic property. Head barman Luigi Berardi will take good care of you.
What to Drink: Hassler Martini (vodka, lime juice, pomegranate juice, maraschino liqueur)
The Hemingway Bar, Hotel Ritz, Paris, 011 33 1 43 16 30 30:
You can’t have a list of famous foreign hotel watering holes and not include the Hemingway in Paris. Bartender Colin Field oversees this legendary bar, which was supposed to be a favorite of Papa himself and is now decorated with photos he took. Toast the famed author with a fine cocktail.
What to Drink: Benderitter (Champagne, ginger extract)
Quaich Bar, Craigellachie Hotel, Craigellachie, Scotland, 011 44 8444 146 600:
There are whisky selections, and then there’s the Quaich Bar. The floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with row upon row of bottles of single malt—more than 700 in all—only befit a hotel nestled in the heart of Scotland’s Speyside region. It’s just a short distance away from many of the country’s most famous distilleries.
What to Drink: Scotch
Looking for more great watering holes? Check out our bar guide for the best bars in the world.