We love hotel bars of all ilk — fancy and not-so-fancy, wood-paneled and leather-clad, cozy and candlelit, and airy and bright — but while we have a soft spot for even middling versions, a truly great hotel bar is something rare. It's something to be noticed and appreciated. Here's how you know you've hit the hotel bar trifecta.
1. Your bartender is wearing a vest.
And a jacket. Possibly suspenders. His shoes are shined. He probably has silver hair. Or no hair! He is not wearing skinny jeans.
2. You can get a really good Manhattan.
This bar may offer trendier tipples with obscure liqueurs and housemade bitters, but it probably does not. That is because it is enough for a great hotel bar to make a really good Manhattan. Or Martini. Or Old Fashioned. There is fresh fruit on the bar for peels (not twists) and the vermouth is where it belongs — in the refrigerator.
3. Something of note has happened here.
Great hotel bars invite interesting patrons. Great hotel bars are places where history has happened. Someone famous had a conversation or an affair ... or a conversation that led to an affair.