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Top Hotel Bars In New York City

Our guide to the top hotel bars in New York City that are major hot spots, frequented by non-guests and New York City elite

Hudson Bar at the Hudson Hotel NYCWhile most hotels have hotel lobby bars that are only visited by hotel guests, an elite few New York bars can call themselves a top hotel bar in which non-guests come to party in droves. It is a true test of how hot a hotel bar is based on how many outsiders go to that hotel bar, and our list of top New York City hotel bars below are definitely popular.
These hot and happening top hotel bars in New York City often resemble a swanky lounge or club, with DJs inspiring people to dance and lines with tough security only letting in select people. The New York City top hotel bars have excellent service, a vast array of impressive cocktails and appetizers, and top-notch decor by well-known interior designers. Some of these top hotel bars are so exclusive, with their main clientele being actors, models, socialites, and wealthy locals, that non-hotel guests have to somehow work their way onto a guest list or know someone with an “in.” Or, like SubMercer, one must walk through a maze of boiler rooms and hallways to reach the dungeon-like hot spot. Admission to these top hotel bars in New York City is not guaranteed. But the reward of gaining admission is being able to enjoy the best hotel bars that New York City has to offer.

Whiskey Blue

541 Lexington Avenue, 212-755-1200
Whiskey Blue at The W Hotel in Midtown East is one of Rande Gerber’s famous New York hot spots, a top hotel bar in New York City. This elegant, spacious candle-lit hotel bar features leather booths and armchairs, a 35-foot mahogany bar, and dark floors.  The weekdays bring in a cosmopolitan after-work crowd while weekends draw in more non-New Yorkers. No food is served but plenty of cocktails are, along with a wide variety of bottles for purchase, from champagne to tequila. 

Hudson Bar

356 West 58th Street, 212-554-6217
Hudson Bar at the Hudson New York Hotel is a swanky New York City nightspot located a half-block away from Columbus Circle.  This New York bar/lounge, a popular spot for non-hotel guests, has a glowing glass floor lit from below and hand-painted ceiling by artist Francesco Clemente, mixing French Renaissance with futuristic decor. Be sure to show up early and dress nicely because this establishment can be picky with whom they allow in. Drinks are expensive and the bar gets loud and club-like late at night. 

The Grand Bar & Lounge

310 West Broadway, 212-965-3588
Also known as “Soho’s living room,” The Grand Bar & Lounge is one of the best and most hopping hotel bars in New York City, located on the second floor of the boutique Soho Grand Hotel, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of West Broadway. DJs spin tunes for the crowd of stylish and sophisticated after-work drinkers and hotel guests who come to unwind. The bar and lounge offers creative drinks and American cuisine appetizers, and is decorated with plush furniture and chocolate drapes. 

Bemelmans Bar

35 East 76th Street, 212-744-1600
It may not be the newest hot spot in town, having opened in 1947, but Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle Hotel can still draw a happening crowd. A favorite of New Yorkers, this art deco-styled 75-seat bar is intimate and classy with waiters in white jackets, a piano, and wall murals of animals in Central Park painted by legendary artist Ludwig Bemelman. The bar also features a 24-karat gold ceiling, black granite bar and brown leather banquettes. 


60 Thompson Street, 212-219-2000
A60 is an exclusive rooftop Lounge at the Thompson Hotel, a hip 100-room boutique hotel. This rooftop terrace, closed during winter, is only open to hotel guests and those who can finagle themselves onto the guest list, and is available for private parties. A60 features stylish deck furniture, specialty cocktails, beautiful views of New York City and beautiful people; the exclusivity makes for an elite crowd. 


210 West 55th Street, 212-956-7318
Rm.Fifty5 at the Dream Hotel in New York City is a sexy, elegant lobby bar that draws in plenty of upscale non-guests. The decor style is Neo-Gothic with Venetian glass chandeliers, throne-like chairs, studded columns, and illustrations of a birch forest on the entire length of the walls. DJs play music for dancing and Rm.Fifty5 offers a Tapas menu and signature cocktails.


99 Prince Street, 212-966-6060
Located in the basement of the Mercer Hotel, SubMercer is not your average after-work spot, but one of the hippest, most exclusive hotel bars downtown frequented by celebrities and New York City socialites. A dungeon-like club, SubMercer can be found after walking down several hallways and passing a boiler room. The bar has exposed brick walls, red walls and banquettes, and serves classy cocktails. 

Rose Bar

2 Lexington Avenue, 212-920-3300
Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel is a swanky, hot hotel bar in New York City that is extremely hard to get in to unless you’re an actor or model. Rose Bar plays world music, offers expensive specialty cocktails, and has an egdy and eclectic decor theme with enormous artwork adorning the walls. Other features include a large wood-burning fireplace and pool table.