They say New York City can burn a hole through your pocket overnight. If you stay at any of Midtown’s legendary hotels, that’s probably true. Instead of going broke by spending your sleeping hours in luxury, take a trip through Midtown at some of the city’s smokiest old-school bars as you fancy yourself a member of the old money club.
Classic cocktails served in historic hotel lobbies
After an elegant jaunt up the split staircase and a twirl around the ballroom, get comfy at Tavern on 51 inside the New York Palace, a beer and cocktail lounge fit for Sinatra. The wrap-round leather chairs and sofas complement the dark, wood-paneled walls and velvet wallpaper, making the place just dim enough to strike a deal with the devil. Or, you can simply savor your Sidecar. Head downstairs and into the 1960s at the cavernous Trouble’s Trust for local NYC wines and craft brews.
Experience the elegance of Hilton’s flagship Waldorf-Astoria Hotel at the Bull and Bear Bar, another mahogany-themed room for your inner old man to chill with a cocktail. The hotel’s rich history seeps through the pores of the building just as much as through the stories of the chatty bartenders. Art Deco goes well with a Tom Collins.
Move along down Madison Avenue to experience a taste of the Roaring 20s at The Roosevelt. Add to the mix the city’s friendliest bartenders at the lobby-level Madison Club Lounge, where the dark wood paneling is offset by elegant stained glass, and you’ve got another historic setting. The classic drink of choice? A Manhattan in Manhattan, of course.
Raise the rooftop at these bars on top of the skyline
As the signs for toilet facilities indicate, the Refinery Hotel’s rooftop bar inspires debauchery amidst its views of the magical skyline. The surrounding shrubbery, foliage and otherwise seasonal greenery gives the place a garden party atmosphere where you feel comfortable imbibing and listening to jazz under the city lights.
For sweeping views of the Hudson and the High Line, the Standard Hotel’s Le Bain rooftop bar deals in hipster-chic aplomb, with a summertime plunge pool and creperie in addition to a nice cocktail menu and plenty of dance music. Be advised that patrons must be cooler than thou, though: entry is not even guaranteed to hotel guests.
Knock back another Manhattan at the Roosevelt and head up 19 flights to mad46, a comfy restaurant and rooftop lounge that’s open seasonally in the spring and summer. City views surround you in a warm glow as you enjoy a breath of the sky. Ready to try something new? The Teddy Roosevelt, with bourbon, brandy, simple syrup and mint is a nice big city transition from the southern-style Mint Julep.
Relax at casual lounges and lobbies
If you need a break, some black coffee and a bit of abstract expressionism, take refuge in The Mixing Room, the spacious Art Deco-style lobby of The Lexington, a Marriott hotel that exudes calmness in the rush of Midtown. Communal tables, generous Wi-Fi and a drink from the hotel’s S. Dynasty restaurant are a great hit to the reset button.
Finally, take a final tryst at the NoMad Hotel’s NoMad Bar, which serves alcohol-free “soft” cocktails as well as well as a fantastic range of German and Belgian beer in addition to your “harder” beverages. Dinner time here is an excellent medley of small plates, tartares and burgers that elevate the average bar’s offerings into Midtown-worthy dining.
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Experience New York City’s diversity, one hotel at a time
In New York City, you don’t have to travel far to experience the dining, dancing and drinking that the fast-moving city’s swell set is known for. Choose your own adventure in style with Frank Sinatra, Paris Hilton or Donald Trump. Because if there’s one thing you must do in New York, it’s live large.
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