By Lina Roque
Looking for a cool spot to grab a drink, take a date, or bring your out-of-town friends? Many of Boston's hotels offer bars that embrace the city's historic attributes, but with a modern twist. They're all unique in different ways, yet they're mainly the same, in that they offer an intimate setting in which you can unwind.
Next time you're feeling a little thirsty, try one of these hotel bars.
Alibi at The Liberty Hotel (215 Charles St., Beacon Hill). Alibi is great because it's not too club-y but also not too lounge-y, attracting a great crowd and creating the perfect atmosphere for mingling. The Liberty was formerly the Charles Street Jail, and the hotel kept most of the old prison's infrastructure; those remaining thick brick walls, cell doors, and original stone floors make for an interesting place to grab a drink.
Art Bar at Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston (40 Edwin Land Boulevard, Cambridge). A hidden gem on Memorial Drive, Art Bar is a highly recommended drink spot during the nicer months: This bar offers patio seating along the Charles River and an unparalleled view of the Boston skyline. On the weekends, it’s a great spot to grab brunch and mimosas; on weeknights, it’s filled with tech junkies from neighboring Kendall Square. Art Bar is also a short walk from the Cambridgeside Galleria if you want to grab a margarita after a long day of shopping.
Avery Bar at Ritz-Carlton Boston Common (10 Avery St., Boston Common). Avery Bar has a prime location: right next door to the Loews Boston Common movie theater and a short walk from the Theater District. Be sure to order one of the bar's signature drinks; Chocolate Soda is childhood meets adulthood at last!
BOND at Langham Hotel Boston (250 Franklin St., Financial District). No, not James Bond -- but since this bar is garnished with provocative mirrored ceilings, gorgeous chandeliers, and original moldings of thick stone walls, 007 himself might grab a drink here. Originally a Federal Reserve Bank, BOND takes advantage of its historical charm. It’s a great spot for after-work drinks.
City Bar at The Lenox Hotel (65 Exeter St., Back Bay). A dimly lit, intimate room, City Bar is a perfect place for a date or drinks with a friend. And they’ve got just about anything you could possibly want to sip: The bar’s tall shelves are stacked high with ports, cognacs, and a wide range of whiskeys.
M Bar & Lounge at Mandarin Oriental (776 Boylston St., Back Bay). Nestled perfectly in the heart of the Back Bay neighborhood, M Bar & Lounge is a faultless place to take a break from shopping and sightseeing to sit back and have a glass of wine. Adorned with hand-carved tamarin wood and an illuminated glass top, this bar offers an extensive menu of classic and exotic cocktails. M attracts a crowd known to have a sort of “smart chic” style -- definitely a fresh place to mix and mingle.
Minibar at Copley Square Hotel (51 Huntington Ave., Back Bay). Known for its super chic design and plush interior, Minibar gets its name from being, well, a mini bar -- right in the middle of the hotel lobby! With everyone coming and going, it’s a unique place to people watch. During the summer months, oversized windows open to the street and outside patio. If you’re feeling experimental, you can make your own martini from Minibar’s “mixers list.”
Noir at The Charles Hotel (One Bennett St., Harvard Square). Located in bustling Harvard Square, this popular cocktail bar attracts an eclectic crowd. The ambiance is a bit dark (hence the name), but Noir exudes an intimate atmosphere, perfect for a romantic rendezvous. If you’re looking for even more fun, The Charles Hotel is also home to the Regattabar, a thriving jazz club, as well as a skating rink during the winter months.
KO Prime at Nine Zero Hotel (90 Tremont St., Boston Common). With its dramatic coloring and luxurious lounge, KO Prime exudes a contemporary, trendy vibe. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow bar guests a cool view of the historic Granary Burying Ground across the street.
Tamo Bar at Seaport Boston Hotel (One Seaport Lane, Innovation District). Located right on the city’s waterfront, Tamo is adorned with gentle colors and prominent architectural details; the terrace is an ideal spot for relaxing and enjoying a beautiful view of Boston Harbor. Be sure to try one of the bar’s killer cocktails, like the Tamo Martini.
What hotel houses your favorite bar?
About Lina -- My life could be described as a cross between Eliza Thornberry's (hello '90s!) and 'Mean Girls,' having been home-schooled in the Amazon in my junior high years, then moving to Small Town, USA, and attending real high school. I attended and graduated business school with a hippie-meets-corporate-girl mentality and a passion for doing good and keeping it real. Now, I'm a hands-on media girl, tech-savvy, and have a desire to communicate news and trends from a multicultural perspective.
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