World's Best Hotel Bars

14 March, 2014

Sable, Chicago, US

If your definition of a great bar is like mine – great bartenders with an excellent back bar and an almost spooky sense of precognition of the drink you want – then this is a must-visit spot. Bar manager Mike Ryan may have ludicrous hair but he has built a back bar from heaven and a team that knows how to use it. Chicago is oft quoted as the home of new restaurant concepts but this highlights the fact the bar scene is far from shabby. Sable’s mini Hi-Life bottles to sip from when choosing a ‘real’ drink are a thing of beauty and always gratefully received.

Eau de Vie, Sydney, Australia

Eau de Vie

Those who have visited Down Under will surely tell you that Australia has one of the most creative cocktail scenes on the planet. Until a few years ago it was primarily based in Melbourne due to archaic licensing laws. But tucked away behind the Kirkton Hotel is a bar that shows simply why Australia is so highly regarded by those who know. Classical yet whimsical, serious but fun, individual yet collaborative, this space is typically Australian yet would not look out of place in London, New York or Paris.

Ohla Boutique Bar, Barcelona, Spain

As a gin fan I have long been a fan of Spanish bars and bartenders. Madrid may be funkier but Barcelona is where the great stuff happens and Ohla is all that. Spanish bar legend Giuseppe Santamaria was aided by multi-lingual and massively talented Massimo La Rocca in setting up this delightful and comfortable space. The drinks on the menu are excellent but feel free to put yourself in the bartenders’ talented hands and prepare to be amazed and wowed by their passion and expertise.

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Tess Posthumus

Staffing crisis could open opportunities

The pandemic has thrown many challenges at bar owners over the past couple of years and the ones that survived the various lockdowns and restrictions deserve a pat on the back. However, while revenues are returning and bars are beginning to recruit once more, we’ve come up against a whole new set of problems, one of which is a global starring crisis.