Chic Hotel Bars You Need To Visit in London

By Ellie Smith

5 months ago

The bars that will make you want to stay the night

London’s hotel scene is one of the best in the world. Long-standing institutions sit alongside buzzy new boutiques, drawing in visitors from all over the globe. It’s no surprise, then, that you’ll find some of the city’s best bars inside hotels. Done well, hotel bars are classy, characterful places where expert bartenders mix up creative drinks, many boasting noteworthy interiors and star-studded histories. These are some of our favourites.

Best Hotel Bars in London 2023

  • Rivoli Bar at The Ritz
  • Lobby Bar at One Aldwych
  • Dandy Bar at The Mayfair Townhouse
  • Artists’ Bar At The Dorchester
  • Le Magritte Bar & Terrace at The Beaumont
  • Waeska Bar at The Mandrake
  • Dukes Bar at The Dukes Hotel
  • GONG Bar at Shangri-La The Shard
  • Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London
  • Silverleaf at Pan Pacific London
  • The Coral Room at The Bloomsbury
  • The American Bar at The Savoy
  • The Painter’s Room at Claridge’s
  • The Connaught Bar at The Connaught

Rivoli Bar at The Ritz

As London hotels go, it doesn’t get much more iconic than The Ritz, and a trip to its Rivoli Bar feels like a real treat. The bar is just as decadent as you’d expect, with an art deco, retro feel: think leopard print seats, glass chandeliers and vintage Lalique glasses. Despite its glitzy look there’s a relaxed, buzzy atmosphere, filled with couples and groups of friends enjoying a celebratory drink or two. Cocktails are a highlight, with a special monthly bartender’s creation: at the moment it’s the Yuletide, a festive tipple made with Grand Marnier, cranberry coulis liqueur, port and white chocolate. The Ritz 110 is a long-time favourite, made with Grey Goose vodka, peach liqueur and champagne. Pair with a nibble or two: the food menu includes a selection of sandwiches and small plates, plus caviar if you’re feeling particularly luxurious. Not a cheap option by any means – but perfect for a special occasion.

The Ritz, 150 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9BR,

Lobby Bar at One Aldwych, Covent Garden

Lobby Bar at One Aldwych

One Aldwych’s enviable Covent Garden location makes it the perfect pit-stop for any gallery, museum or theatre trip. However, the hotel’s new cocktail menu alone might be enough to entice you though its doors. Inspired by the impressive 400-piece art collection you’ll find showcased throughout the bars, restaurants and rooms, The Gallery Menu  comes courtesy of a collaboration with renowned mixologist Marcis Dzelzainis, featuring the likes of a zingy Horseradish Martini based on André Wallace’s The Boatman sculpture and a Blueberry Enzoni based on painter Phillip Diggle’s vibrant ‘Michele Foucault’. Head there on Thursday evenings (7pm to 10.30pm) for live jazz performances whilst you sip in true artistic style.  

1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ;

Dandy Bar at The Mayfair Townhouse, Mayfair

Dandy Bar at The Mayfair Townhouse

At the heart of The Mayfair Townhouse, the fifth property from Iconic Luxury Hotels, sits the Dandy Bar: a cosy spot serving up twists on classic cocktails. A secluded oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Mayfair, it’s a sophisticated bar with flamboyant interiors: think Oscar Wilde meets Alice In Wonderland, with printed velvet seating, silk pleated lampshades and low lighting. Cocktail highlights include the Rum Away With Me, mixed with Havana 7, Grand Marnier, fresh lime juice, orange bitters and cinnamon, alongside The Kingpin, a blend of Remy Martin 1738, Frangelico and smoke-infused maple syrup. Alongside this, guests can tuck into small plates like yakitori chicken skewers and mushroom arancini, alongside burgers and salads.

27-41 Half Moon St, London W1J 7BG;

Artists’ Bar at The Dorchester, Mayfair

Artists' Bar at The Dorchester

A new bar opened at The Dorchester earlier this year – part of a big transformation project at the iconic hotel. Designed as a space to enjoy champagne, seafood and entertainment, Artists’ Bar features glamorous interiors, complete with Lalique crystal designs and Liberace’s legendary mirrored piano. Original artworks by artists working in Britain will line the walls, celebrating the city of London and reflecting The Dorchester’s history, with nods to famous figures associated with the hotel. Cocktails will be a tribute to these works, served tableside on bespoke trolleys.

53 Park Ln, London W1K 1QA;

Le Magritte Bar & Terrace at The Beaumont, Mayfair

The Beaumont cocktail bar

(c) Justin De Souza

Transatlantic vibes reign supreme at the classically sophisticated Le Magritte bar, tucked away in The Beaumont hotel just off Oxford Street. It’s all old world glamour with moody lighting and velvet and leather seating, drawing inspiration from the classic American bars of 1920s London and Paris. Sink into your armchair, admire the walnut wood panelling and impressive collection of paintings a photographic prints, and indulge in the new selection of bar snacks: think bite-sized French Toast with Bacon Jam and Cheddar, moreish Chickpea Fries with Jalapeño Ketchup, and an indulgent Truffled Pizza Bianca. Elevate it by pairing your choices with a masterful cocktail, from Citrus Punch to a Basil Gimlet to a simple (but always effective) glass of Bollinger.

8 Balderton St, Brown Hart Gardens, London W1K 6TF;

Waeska Bar at The Mandrake, Fitzrovia

Waeska Bar

It’s all about surrealism at Waeska Bar, found within the endlessly cool Mandrake Hotel in Fitzrovia. Since opening in 2017 it has become the go-to destination for London’s fashion elite, and it’s easy to see why. Named after a medicinal plant – as are all areas of the hotel – Waeska Bar is a beautifully bizarre mish-mash of patterns, colours and textures. Leather bar stools sit beside tropical-print armchairs and mirror-topped tables, while a flower-bedecked courtyard houses bamboo tables. The most striking aspect of all is the fantastical creature which leaps above the bar: a half-kangaroo, half-gazelle with scales made from harvested beetle wings, designed by renowned artist Enrique Gomez de Molina. Drinks are equally exotic, with a cocktail menu rooted in ethnobotany: the study of a region’s plants and their practical uses through traditional knowledge of local cultures. The ‘Mangosteen’, for instance, is a blend of Patron Silver Tequila-infused mangosteen and hibiscus, chipotle agave, grapefruit soda and chilli.

20-21 Newman St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1PG;

Dukes Bar at The Dukes Hotel, Mayfair

Plastic Free Bars: Dukes Hotel, Mayfair

Infinitely elegant and hidden away in St James’, the bar at The Dukes Hotel is renowned for serving the best martinis in town – even the world, some would argue. Such an accolade is merited by Alessandro Palazzi, the Dukes Bar manager who uses a combination of the best ingredients from around the world to perfect his cocktails, even importing Amalfi lemons from his native Italy to add an irresistible spritz of bitter zest to the renowned Vesper Martini. As Sir Ian Fleming’s favourite watering hole, and where he apparently coined the phrase ‘shaken, not stirred’, there is still a big dose of old-school James Bond glamour about the place – from the antique silver drinks trolley where each cocktail is prepared, to the cognac and cigar garden where guests can retire afterwards.

35 St. James’s Place, London SW1A 1NY;

GONG Bar at Shangri-La The Shard, London Bridge

GONG, Shangri-La the Shard (cocktail bars in London)

Cocktails taste better with a view – particularly when the vantage point is from the top of London’s highest hotel bar. Perched on the 52nd floor of London’s Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, the ever-glamorous GŎNG offers unparalleled panoramas of the city skyline from all angles. The name derives from ‘dougong’, a traditional Chinese architectural element of interlocking wooden brackets, with Asian-inspired décor seen throughout. The Voyager Zheng Cocktail Menu features 15 drinks highlighting eight countries linked to Shangri-La, with the name inspired by an ancient Chinese treasure ship in the fleet of Admiral Zheng. 

31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9QU;

Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London, Holborn

Scarfes Bar interior

Rosewood London’s bar is named after one of Britain’s great cartoon satirists, Gerald Scarfe, and his influence can be felt throughout – from his framed cartoons which cover the walls, to the new cocktail menu which he personally illustrated. Cocktails range from the classic to the creative, sometimes verging on wacky, but always maintaining the element of sophistication which so defines the venue. It’s the kind of place where you can while away a worrying amount of time as you sink into the leather armchairs – and it’s also C&TH’s favourite spot for cosying up to interviewees.

Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN;

Silverleaf at Pan Pacific London, Liverpool Street


Julian Abrams

Sleek City hotel Pan Pacific London recently expanded its bar offering with the launch of Silverleaf. It’s the brainchild of three of London’s top bartenders: Martyn ‘Simo’ Simpson, owner of Milroy’s in Soho, his former director of bars Chris Tanner, and Callooh Callay alumni Liam Broom. In-keeping with the wellbeing theme of Pan Pacific, the bar is inspired by ‘naturalism and the elements’, with interiors courtesy of British designer Tom Dixon – think charred timber and bespoke tables carved from solid marble blocks. Drinks follow the same theme, with each cocktail championing two or three core ingredients – some created in-house – and presented in a minimalistic style with pops of colour and edible garnishes. 

3rd Floor, Devonshire House, 3 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4JX;

The Coral Room at The Bloomsbury, the West End

The Coral Room

Perched on the outskirts of Soho sits one of the area’s most stylish bars: The Coral Room, part of The Bloomsbury hotel. Designed in collaboration with maverick Martin Brudnizki, the Jazz Age-inspired hangout has coral-coloured walls, bespoke Murano glass chandeliers and a striking marble bar. Expect slick service and a stellar drinks menu of classic cocktails done well, plus a great selection of English sparkling wines.

16-22 Great Russell St, London WC1B 3NN;

The American Bar at The Savoy, the Strand

The American Bar at The Savoy

Once bagging the title of ‘Best Bar in the World’, the Savoy’s American Bar has long been a go-to for London’s most refined drinkers. The 1930s-inspired bar combines flawless service with an energetic atmosphere and whispers of a bygone era. Take a perch at the bar to watch some of the world’s top bartenders expertly craft cocktails from the superlative menu unless, of course, you prefer something rather more bespoke, in which case they are always delighted to create something that perfectly matches your tastes.

The Savoy, Strand, London WC2R 0EU;

The Painters Room at Claridge’s, Mayfair

Claridge's The Painter's Room

Justin DeSouza

While tradition is a pivotal part of Claridge’s 200-year history, the hotel stays current by constantly evolving – for instance, launching Instagram-worthy new bars like The Painter’s Room. In keeping with the Mayfair establishment’s signature Art Deco style, the sumptuous space – created by interior designer Bryan O’Sullivan – is influenced by 1930s photos from the hotel archives, bedecked with pale pink onyx and featuring an eye-catching skylight in peach-and-cream-coloured glass. Whilst the stylish space is clearly a feast for the eyes, The Painter’s Room also has a lot to offer the tastebuds, with significant emphasis placed on cocktails ‘inspired by the culture, art and design of Europe’. The menu is divided into four chapters; Light, Interpretations, Complex and Clean, where ingredients are ‘at the core’. As well as innovative cocktails, a selection of small plates also feature on the menu (including crispy scampi and beetroot tartar), presented by waiters wearing traditional painters’ jackets in a shade of blue inspired by American photographer Bill Cunningham.

Brook Street, London W1K 4HR;

The Connaught Bar at The Connaught, Mayfair

Connaught Bar

Of course we had to include The Connaught Bar, which always pops up in the World’s 50 Best Bars list (and came in first place one year). Found within Mayfair hotel The Connaught, the glamorous spot is renowned for its faultless service and ceremoniously served martinis (quietly stirred, never shaken), prepared from a travelling trolley. If that’s not your bag, though, the new Impressions menu features interesting cocktails like the ‘Avant-Garde’, a tribute to the experimental spirit of the bar mixed with Konik’s Tail, raspberry vinegar, barberries and mulberries. The surroundings are equally chic, with textured walls in platinum silver leaf, a cool grey bar and David Collins-designed cubist decor. No surprise it has hosted an endless stream of A-listers and royals since its inception in 2008.

Connaught, Carlos Pl, London W1K 2AL;