The World’s Greatest Hotel Bars – Part 1: South America & Asia

The drinks may cost more than an average meal, the waiter may be better educated than you and don’t even think of turning up in your Reebok Pumps, but a night out at some of the world’s greatest hotel bars can be an unforgettable and utterly indulgent experience. Here are some of the frontrunners for the title of the best of the best:

Lobby Bar at Alvear Palace Hotel, Buenos Aires

Ruling the roost in Argentina since the hotel was built in 1932, and a longtime favourite of travelling royalty, the Alvear Palace is a welcome hangover from the days when Buenos Aires was dubbed the 'Paris of South America.' House speciality is the refreshing Gran Alvear cocktail—gin, pineapple juice, Champagne, Bénédictine and lemon. Avenida Alvear 1891. Telephone: 011-5411-4808-2100

Bar Dos Descasados at Hotel Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro

We stay in South America for our next pick, a genuine tropical lounge where your best bet is to order one of Brazil’s greatest gifts to the world, the Caipirinha (cachaça, muddled lime, and sugar). The sunset is yours to enjoy, gratis. Rue Almirante Alexandrino 660; Telephone 011-55-21- 2222-2755.

M Bar at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Perched on the 25th-floor, this be-seen-at spot has knockout views of the harbour and a great line in imaginative bar creations. Try the Edith Piaf-inspired La Vie en Rose or the natives’ favourite Mandarin Spring Punch. 5 Connaught Road; Telephone: 011-582-2825-4002.

New York Bar, Park Hyatt, Tokyo

If the M Bar isn’t lofty enough for you, then the spectacular 52nd-floor lounge should satisfy those of you with a chronic case of anti-vertigo. Watch Tokyo twinkle below you as you listen to somebody butcher Midnight At The Oasis and see bored middle-aged actors and even more bored wives of self-involved video directors hang out (yes, this is the Lost in Translation hotel). Japanese single malt whiskies are the only way to go, after all 'it’s Suntory time.' 3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku; Telephone: 011-81-3-5322-1234.

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