Sunday, July 31, 2016

LA's best hotel bars

Contrary to popular belief, hotel bars aren't all about $18 drinks and bougie clientele. Some of the best cocktail bars in LA are found in hotels, both budget-friendly and swanky. The best part? If you've had one too many, there's a bed with your name on it just steps away. From casual rooftop bars to celebrity-studded lounges, here are our favorite hotel bars—no room reservations necessary. 

Drink up at these top hotel bars:

- The Spare Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt

A bowling alley might not be the first place you’d think to grab drinks in Hollywood, but this isn’t any ordinary bowling alley. Stashed away in the shadowy mezzanine above the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel lobby is the Spare Room, devised to evoke pure revelry. A show-stopping set of lanes dating back to the early 1800s stretch the length of the handsome parlor, oozing with Art Deco elegance and a clear view of Hollywood Boulevard out of big cast-iron arched windows. Though let’s face it: the real reason to visit this covert gaming lounge bookended by two gleaming bars is the ace drink program, recently revived by head bartender Yael Vengroff. Punch bowls and tiki drinks abound here—and yes, they just might make your bowling game better. 

- Library Bar at the Hollywood Roosevelt

Yet another outstanding bar can be found inside the Roosevelt Hotel, this time in the ground floor lobby. Amidst the soaring beamed ceilings and Mediterranean tiles centered around an indoor fountain, you can sip on fantastic libations driven by seasonal ingredients. Order a cocktail and settle into black leather couches, or take it for a wander through the hotel’s many nooks and crannies to stalk out a hidden corner. 

- Bar at Culver Hotel

Hollywood gets all the credit for creating movies, but at one time, Culver City is where most of the "lights, camera, action" actually happened. As movie posters and memorabilia dotting the lobby will remind you, the Westside’s historic hotel housed silver screen legends from the Munchkins during filming of the Wizard of Oz to Greta Garbo and Charlie Chaplin, who allegedly sold the hotel for a dollar to John Wayne in a game of poker. Despite the dramatic outfitting—massive stone fireplace, heavy draping over arched windows—the lobby bar has a low-key, neighborhood feel. Groups can spread out on comfy, velour couches, while tables for two are perfect for date-night, pre-dinner cocktail or night cap. Come after 7:30pm on any night of the week, and you'll be treated to live jazz. 

- MiniBar at the Best Western

On the ground floor of the Best Western Hollywood Hills Hotel is the aptly named MiniBar. Born of the brains that brought us Dominick’s and Little Dom’s, this 32-seat hideaway offers a sanctuary for the pensive imbiber; a place to get out without the usual chaos that accompanies going “out”—and with parking validation to boot. The moment we entered the bar, we were captivated: every square inch of the space is thoughtfully designed, with accordion-style warm wood paneling, retro brass light fixtures and white leather swivel chairs. Our favorite drink here, the Fuzzy del Navel, is refreshing, colorful and garnished with a cute little cocktail umbrella.

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