Looking for the best London hotel bars? Treat yourself to a classy cocktail (or two), then check in to one of our favourite foodie hotels in London.
Best London hotel barsConnaught Bar, The Connaught Hotel, Mayfair
Low-lit, slinky, plush luxury is the name of the game at this acclaimed hotel bar, whose tastefully decadent surrounds – metallic accents, mirrors, a mutedly rich palate and plenty of seating to sink into – is matched by impeccable, meticulously attentive service and even more impressive cocktails. So impressive, in fact, that it was voted World’s Best Bar in 2021.
If you only order one drink let it be the martini – made at a trolley by your table with theatrical, expert aplomb (watching them pour the martini in a high, silvery stream into your glass is a sight to behold). Tanqueray No Ten is the recommended serve, along with a blend of vermouths and your choice of homemade bitters (ranging from tonka bean and lavender to cardamom, on our visit). The end result is spot on, silky textured and very generous in size – don’t drink one on an empty stomach.
Dukes Bar, Mayfair
This bar might be world-famous but it still feels like one of London’s best kept secrets, discreetly tucked away in a quiet Mayfair cul-de-sac. Inside, discover a lushly outfitted parlour that feels little changed since the hotel first opened its doors in 1908, with antique portraits on the walls, plump armchairs, courtly white-jacketed waiters and a cosy wood-panelled bar.
Martinis are the name of the game here. Waiters will bring a trolley to your table stocked with ice-cold bottles of gin, vodka and decanters of vermouth and bitters, and assemble your drink with streamlined efficiency. If you ever tire of overly elaborate mixology and cocktails then a Dukes Bar martini is a delicious palate cleanser: clean, crystalline and, it has to be said, enormous – the two martini maximum at the bar is a wise one.
Artesian, The Langham, Marylebone
With its opulent surroundings – soaring ceilings, baroque chandeliers, a gilded bar and scalloped purple sofas – and equally illustrious heritage (it’s won multiple World’s Best Bar gongs), this decadent hotel bar, minutes from Oxford Circus, is a must visit.
The menu on our last trip paid tribute to retro drinks, with sleek, minimalist takes on camp classics. A Woo Woo is a pleasingly silky, light affair, with peachy fruitiness and complexity from vermouth and Chivas Regal. The flirty, ditzy cosmopolitan is reimagined as a punchy short drink, with sultry earthy notes from Cynar, rounded fruitiness and a spicy kick thanks to rye whisky.
The American Bar at The Savoy, Mayfair
Voted the World’s Best Bar in 2017 – thanks to spot-on cocktails and lashings of art deco glamour, The American Bar’s iconic status has long been established.
The American Bar isn’t out to intimidate – while the sleek, art deco-style cream fittings are smart, and the helpful, white-jacketed waiters impress, the vibe is quietly tasteful, low-slung leather chairs are comfortable, the tinkle of jazz piano and the sound of cocktail shakers your only soundtrack for the evening.
The Coral Room, Bloomsbury
This luxe Bloomsbury hotel bar, tucked away on a quiet side street in a busy area of central London, combines bold interiors with an intriguing wine list.
Saturated coral walls, huge white murano glass chandeliers and a sweeping, marble-topped art deco-style bar, super-sized pot plants everywhere and low, plushly upholstered chairs and sofas set a striking tone at the bar, matched by an extensive list of English sparkling wines, curated by master of wine Anne McHale, with options by the bottle and a small, ever-changing list of wines by the glass.
The Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone and Clerkenwell
Both the bars at the branches of this London hotel (Wilhelmina’s Lounge in Clerkenwell, Seymour’s Parlour in Marylebone) are reminiscent of an eccentric Edwardian sitting room – cosy, luxurious drinking den with earthy red walls, richly patterned rugs on wooden floors, a profusion of gilt-framed pictures and portraits, velvet sofas, carved wooden chairs and oriental vases.
A quirky, design-led, 73-bedroom hotel with lounge-bar and café that’s brought a fine Victorian building in London’s Paddington back to life.
This boutique hotel on a pretty Victorian terraced street in Paddington has a hidden secret at the top of its original mahogany staircase. A retro-chic lounge, scattered with coral and olive velvet chairs, and marble tables, is the perfect hideaway for pre-batched cocktails from top London bars such as Bar Termini and Three Sheets. Doors open onto a sun-soaked terrace, where you can sit beneath straw parasols and enjoy the bustle of Paddington from a distance.
Lyaness, Sea Containers Hotel, Southwark
When drinks maestro Ryan Chetiyawardana’s lavishly garlanded Dandelyan (including World’s Best Bar in 2018) closed earlier this year at Sea Containers London it was swiftly replaced by his next incarnation – Lyaness.
The sweeping green marble bar and sleek mid-century aesthetic remains at Lyaness, but this time the colour palette is lighter (but still statement-making), with sky-hued walls, soft-grey sofas and electric-blue banquettes, plus lots of opulent gold accents.
While Dandelyan’s thematically complex menus covered topics such as botany, sustainability and agriculture, Lyaness is more pared back, with a cocktail menu built around key ingredients. If this sounds simple then rest assured there’s plenty of Ryan’s characteristically intricate drinks wizardry going on behind the scenes, with each ‘ingredient’ the end result of various clever processes and techniques.
The Edition, Fitzrovia
A slick hotel in the heart of Fitzrovia with 173 bedrooms and a sophisticated restaurant, Berners Tavern. There are two bars to choose from: The Lobby comes kitted out with a snooker table and tufted sofas, while The Punch Room is an intimate space inspired by 19th-century private clubs. The signature gin-infused Edition house punch is a must.
Fitz’s, Russell Square
Luxurious and glitzy, there’s nothing understated about Fitz’s. A striking glitter ball dominates the room while dark-wood panelled walls with dim lights create cosy corners. Original stained glass windows and contemporary artwork bring together old and new in this intimate drinking den. Sink into one of the plush velvet sofas while live jazz plays on in the background.