World's Best Hotel Bars 2005
Is a well-shaken martini any better in Copenhagen, Mumbai or Los Angeles? If you're at one of the world's best hotels bars, it's always good.
A hotel may never be home, but for the few nights you're there you want to feel at home. For leisure travelers, that means retiring to a comfortable room with a good view after seeing a bit of local color. For business travelers, that means making the day-long conferences and dinner meetings just as productive as they would be back at the home office.
For any traveler, time, unlike a second blanket or more soap, is one amenity you can't order extra of on a trip. Accordingly, management at a good hotel wants to maximize the time you do have. That means, among other things, calling for your morning taxi in advance, pressing your suits promptly, making your reservations in an efficient manner and most important, providing you with a decent hotel bar, where you can carry on business while loosening your tie or meet new friends.
Depending on the occasion, the hotel bar is the place for an after-hours meeting or a celebratory toast. It's the one place in a foreign city where you can feel like you belong or accomplish work at any hour without feeling like you're working. At least, it's a lot more fun plotting out takeover strategy when you have a stiff drink in one hand.
For the second year in a row, Forbes.com has compiled a list of the World's Best Hotel Bars. Last year we featured hotel bars in 25 cities, and this year we added 15 more. In addition, we changed our picks for Los Angeles and Mexico City. Cities were chosen on the basis of how much international travel is attracted there: Beijing was an obvious addition, for example, while Godthab, Greenland, wasn't.
We chose one hotel bar per city, places where the bartenders are knowledgeable and friendly, where the bar is frequented by locals (a sure sign of quality), but where you won't find strobe lights or novelty drinks with glowing straws. The hotels themselves had to be located near the city's center and have several corporate clients.
The next time you're out of town, may we suggest a nightcap at one of these forty bars. Which city makes a meaner martini, Seoul or Cairo? You decide.