Ten great hotel bars to see and be “scene”

hotel bars - Banyan Tree ShanghaiCraving insider access to the latest celeb hot spots? We’ve got the skinny on the latest “it” venues brimming with notables, views to die for and parties you just can’t miss. With venues such as these we advise you to tread carefully, for your name may be the next to end up splattered across the front page of Page Six… don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Thompson Toronto
Bringing guests one step closer to living the life of a rock-star, the recently opened Thompson Toronto has quickly become a local hot spot boasting a chic private rooftop lounge where VIP’s can sip signature Hot Toddies while taking in views of the Toronto skyline. We hear the 102-room hotel has played host to celebs such as James Franco, the Kardashians and Usher along with many more. With trendy signature restaurants including famed Chef Scott Conant’s, Scarpetta and the hot late-night staple, The Counter, Thompson Toronto is rating Extra Hot on the “Ultimate Hang Out” meter.

The Waikiki EDITION
Discreet entrances and uninhibited dancing are just a few reasons why Crazybox at the Waikiki EDITION is one of the hottest new venues around. The hot, new nightlife favorite has an exclusive VIP section with its own private entrance that is elevated above the dance floor positioning notables such as Christina Aguilera, Bruno Mars and Woody Harrelson into the center of the action, while still maintaining their privacy. For party goers who prefer the daytime scene check-out the hotel’s Sunrise pool, where the luxury set are seen sipping Mai-Tai’s and enjoying poolside spa treatments or canoodling on private day beds.

The PuLi Hotel and Spa
Pink Champagne flows freely in Shanghai’s The PuLi Hotel and Spa. The PuLi is home to a scene of its own featuring Shanghai’s “longest” wine and champagne selections by the glass. The hotel’s Long Baris usually a buzz with in-the-know locals and glitteratti alike, sipping favorites from the menu and taking in the breathtaking views from JingAn Park. Frequent movers-and-shakers include high-rollers from LVMH and The Gucci Group along with famed designer Giorgio Armani. The bars atmosphere uniquely transforms in character and mood throughout the day creating chameleon-like experiences patrons can call their own.

Hotel Cipriani

“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go,” said Truman Capote, the famous author and comedian. Travelers looking for such a sweet retreat can opt for Hotel Cipriani, located on the secluded lagoon island of Guidecca in Venice. The world-renowned Orient-Express property regularly hosts such celebrities as George Clooney. Guests can even enjoy a cocktail that is inspired by the “sexiest man alive” – the “Buona Notte” – honoring the premier of “Good Night, Good Luck” at the 62nd Venice Film Festival. Boasting a panoramic view of St Mark’s Square, the waterfront Cip’s Club is an idyllic spot for those looking for a dazzling view while being seen amidst affluent travelers.

InterContinental London Park Lane
As the city – and world – prepares for this generation’s historic Royal Wedding, InterContinental London Park Lane announces the launch of a brand new bar, fittingly called The Arch Bar. Offering sweeping views of the outside gardens and parks as well as the iconic Wellington Arch, The Arch Bar is largely gin-focused, with a strong emphasis on fresh ingredients and complete with its own botanical apothecary. A wide spectrum of the highest quality spirits are available – as well as a number of virtually undiscovered artisan London producers – including 25 different gins. Favoured by notable guests during the whirlwind periods of London Fashion Week and the Frieze Art Fair, the hotel’s bar plays host to royals, key designers and artists alike, with highlights from the cocktail list including Mother’s Ruin made with Six o’Clock Gin; Tuppence Duty, a mix of champagne, fresh lemon and Fifty Pound Gin; and Ernest Roots – a new take on the classic Hemingway Daiquiri.

Mount Nelson Hotel
Mount Nelson Hotel is proud to announce the newly opened Planet Restaurant. Reflecting the hotel’s popular, celebrity-studded Planet Bar, the glamorously restyled restaurant underwent a stellar four month face-lift and now features a celestial chic design with Swarovski crystal tiles, deep blue carpet featuring the constellations and chandeliers emulating the illusion of shooting stars. Chef Rudi Liebenberg’s legendary springbok pie and tomato variation dishes are still featured on the menu, as well as a daily soufflé and indulgent degustation menus for all. Star Gazer Alert: We hear that A-listers such as Kate Moss and Prince Harry have been spotted sipping cocktails at this newly opened hot spot.

The Surrey Hotel
Be seen at The Surrey hotel located on Manhattan’s exclusive Upper East Side neighborhood and just a half block from Central Park. Step inside the hotel’s Bar Pleiades after a long day of shopping on Madison Avenue to join the scene or simply people watch over a seasonal mixed cocktail. Designer Lauren Rottet’s vision for the bar as a “stage” has come to life as The Surrey has become the newest Upper East Side haunt of mover-and-shaker neighborhood residents and the socialite crowd. During the warmer months, hotel guests can relax on the rooftop garden terrace which offers a true urban oasis with unbeatable views of the city and nearby Central Park.

W- Washington DC
Even the President knows where the celebs in DC go to party, at none other than the rooftop POV Lounge at the W Hotel. Overlooking the White House lawn, the former Hotel Washignton has been renovated into a hostpot for Beltway insiders like Valerie Jarrett and Reggie Love as well as celebs including Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Common, John Legend and many, many more. In cool weather, ask for a blanket and cozy up to their warm sips like Hot Peanut Buttered Rum and S’More Whiskey.

Hotel St. Barth Isle de France
Want to vacation like a celebrity? Hang with the likes of Jay-Z, Beyonce and Fergie on the hottest island in the Caribbean – St Barth. The exclusive Hotel St. Barth Isle de France welcomes guests to its gorgeous resort positioned on the picturesque Flamands Bay. Situated amidst enchanting tropical gardens and pristine beaches, Isle de France boasts 39 rooms, suites and villas that have become a home away from home for A-listers around the world. Take in the scene at the patio bar, walk the white-sand beach, take a dip in your privateinfinity plunge pool and relax in the beauty of an intimate Caribbean retreat full of classic European charm.

Banyan Tree Bangkok
The place to be seen in Bangkok, Vertigo Grill & Moon Bar, located on the 61st Floor of the Banyan Tree Bangkok hotel, is unique in presenting a different yet aesthetic urban landscape of Bangkok with breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Since its opening in January 2002, it has fast become a hot spot for locals and visitors from all parts of the world. With a 100-guest capacity, this open-air rooftop lounge is divided into three sections – a dining courtyard, a private party lounge and the Moon Bar – for a romantic tête-à-tête, birthday celebrations, fashion launches or just to relax under a canopy of stars.