The world’s most beautiful barsBy Nicola Carruthers
From a rooftop whisky den resembling a luxury yacht to an opulent gin palace, we round up 10 of the most beautiful bars from around the world.
The last couple of years have welcomed an abundance of international bars wowing guests with their jaw-dropping interiors and striking surroundings.
A prominent Art Deco theme runs across many of them, particularly in London-based venues, while spectacular views are also drawing visitors in.
Asia’s burgeoning cocktail culture has benefitted from the opening of an opulent Singapore drinking den that houses one of the world’s biggest gin collections, while the Hong Kong outpost of Please Don’t Tell disguises its entry through a phone booth.
Click through the following pages to see a selection of the world’s most beautiful bars.
Dandelyan – London, UK
The venue was opened by acclaimed bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana – aka Mr Lyan – in September 2014 and has since launched five cocktail menus, all with a focus on botany.
Dandelyan’s striking interiors were designed by legendary British designer Tom Dixon.
The Art Deco–inspired venue references the luxurious cruise liners of past generations, with lavender-hued leather banquettes and velour lounge chairs, along with a dark green marble bar cut from one solid piece.
The venue won World’s Best Cocktail Bar 2017 at Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards and World’s Best Cocktail Menu in 2018.
BlackTail – New York, US
The award-winning team behind cocktail bar The Dead Rabbit opened BlackTail in New York’s Battery Park in August 2016. The bar and restaurant is themed around American bars that relocated to Cuba during Prohibition, with both drinks and glassware from the era.
The bar features an 88-page menu filled with a list of nearly 50 cocktail options. Expect options like BlackTail’s take on a rum and cola, with Puerto Rican rum, Italian amaro, cola, Champagne, and Orinoco bitters; and four versions of the Daiquiri.
Atlas – Singapore
The vision of the Parkview Square owners, the Hwang family, Atlas is an Art Deco-styled all-day drinking and dining destination that emulates the European grand lobbies of the 1920s.
The centrepiece of the grand lobby and bar is The Atlas Gin Collection, assembled in a ceiling-high tower, spanning 1910 London Dry gins to modern ‘craft’ expressions.
Heavy on concept, opulence and design, it’s no surprise that a venture as ambitious as Atlas has found a home in Singapore.
Please Don’t Tell – Hong Kong
The Landmark Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong collaborated with New York bar Please Don’t Tell (PDT) to open a new cocktail bar in January 2018.
PDT Hong Kong follows the inconspicuous ethos of the original venue: guests enter through an entrance disguised by a phone booth at the top of the staircase. Designed by Nelson Chow, the interior reflects that of PDT NYC, such as the copper bar top, herringbone patterned wood ceiling and taxidermy, but each asset has been given a playful spin.
Beta Bar & Gallery – Sydney, Australia
Situated in the heart of the Sydney central business district, Beta Bar & Gallery includes both a cocktail bar and event space, mixing modern design with Victorian-era architecture.
The venue has exposed bricks and high arches, and serves Greek-inspired cocktails matched with modern meze dishes.
Rockets Lolitas – Johannesburg, South Africa
This cocktail and tapas bar on the bustling 4th avenue is the latest addition to the Rockets Parkhurst restaurant, featuring live music from Ryan Dent on the weekends.
This four-storey building features a rooftop deck garden, a Champange lounge and a Cognac lounge.
The Blue Bar at The Berkeley – London, UK
The Blue Bar at the Berkeley reopened its doors in 2016 following an extensive redesign.
With its distinctive signature Lutyen’s blue colour, the bar helped spearhead the popularity of the vibrant London hotel bar scene when it first opened in 2004.
A blue bar, topped with onyx, is situated on a floor of white marble and dark crocodile print navy leather. Its menu, ‘Cocktails with True Colour’, also pays tribute to the use of colour in the bar.
Bon Bon Bar – Göteborg, Sweden
The Bon Bon Bar is located on the second floor of the Clarion Hotel Post that opened in 2012 and was designed by Semrén & Månsson.
The interior of the swanky bar features a curving pink velvet sofa and round tables with bright lamps.
Cocktails on the menu are sustainably made using local ingredients. There’s even a Martini trolley, serving caviar, chocolates and cocktails.
Paradiso – Barcelona, Spain
Described as a place to enjoy two unusual bedfellows – cocktails and pastrami – Paradiso is located behind the fridge door of a pastrami bar.
The speakeasy-style venue has received widespread acclaim for its inventive serves, exciting presentation, and intimate atmosphere.
Alfresco 64 – A Chivas Bar – Bangkok, Thailand
Perched 800 feet in the air on the 64th floor of the Tower Club at lebua, Alfresco 64 – A Chivas Bar, claims to be the highest outdoor whisky bar in the world.
The venue serves up stunning aerial views of Bangkok’s skyline and the Chao Phraya River, alongside a luxury whisky offering.
The design of the bar draws inspiration from a luxury yacht – the indoor area resembles a cabin with lacquered flooring and sunken seating.