Hottest hotel bars in London

There’s more to the UK capital’s drinking culture than ancient pubs – you’ll also find the hotel bars in London are among the best in the world.

As far as hotel bars in London go, Waeska at The Mandrake has a lot to offer. Image credit: Tim Beddow
As far as hotel bars in London go, Waeska at The Mandrake has a lot to offer. Image credit: Tim Beddow.

As well as a refreshing tipple, this selection of premium establishments will give you something to talk about for months to come.

Waeska at The Mandrake – a crazy, colorful London hotel bar

From the dreamlike taxidermy over the bar to the giant palm trees in its open air courtyard, Waeska is the glorious, glitzy weirdo of our line-up. If you’re looking for the crazy butterfly of hotel bars in London, you’ve found it.

Thankfully, Waeska’s flamboyant style is backed up with equally eyebrow-raising cocktails. With a burning passion for the floral, the drinks menu is based on ethnobotany – the study of a region’s plants and their use through traditional methods and cultural knowledge. Which translates to each cocktail being based on one key plant, including passion flower, hemp, nutmeg, and guarana. For a tastebud voyage to climes familiar or unknown, Waeska delivers in a stunning interior.

American Bar at The Savoy – a historic London hotel bar

The Savoy is a perennial favorite among those who know and love luxury hotels in London and for many, its classic American Bar is the reason why. Historically it’s a living relic, the UK’s oldest surviving cocktail bar since opening in 1893.
The gorgeous, jazz-age feel of its decor suggests as much, with the centerpiece, a gleaming black piano, hosting a jazz musician every evening. Whether you’re sipping a martini at the bar solo or unwinding with friends or colleagues, you’ll feel effortlessly classy.

Aptly for a watering hole with so much heritage, the American Bar’s cocktail menu has been synced to the black and white portrait photographs behind the bar – each one representing a different glamorous celebrity from days gone by. David Bowie, Judy Garland or someone else entirely? Raise a glass.

The Coral Room at The Bloomsbury – a warm, inviting hotel bar

The Bloomsbury's Coral Room hotel bar offers warmth and charm. Image credit: The Coral Room.
The Bloomsbury’s Coral Room hotel bar offers warmth and charm. Image credit: The Coral Room.

There’s no way not to say it – The Coral Room is simply fabulous. This warm, charming bar, all rich reds and festooned with palms, is just crying out for you to sit down and enjoy a drink.

The central idea of this establishment is to transport the hospitality of an old country house to the heart of the big city. Many London hotels claim something similar, but The Coral Room really nails it, most obviously in its glamorous but friendly atmosphere but also in its drinks menu. Simply put, it has one of the best collections of English sparkling wines in London – not to mention a delightfully playful cocktail list steeped in country flavors.

The Coral Room’s blend of chic looks and old fashioned charm is the core of its personality and makes it a must-visit, whatever your tastes.

Artesian at The Langham – a hotel bar with a knockout cocktail list

The cocktail list at the Artesian hotel bar in London makes a statement. Image credit: The Langham.
The cocktail list at Artesian makes a statement. Image credit: The Langham.

There are some moments in life when you need your drink to make a statement. In those moments, should you find yourself in London, head to Artesian at The Langham, one of most impressive five-star hotels in London.

Artesian’s cocktail list is big, bold and imaginative and perfect as an icebreaker (no pun intended) for an after-hours business drink. Though the expertise of the staff is genuinely impressive, it can’t overshadow the drink concepts. Take for example the Artesian Moments menu, which has created a cocktail for each of life’s many milestones – the first time you rode a bike, the day you fell in love, the months you spent traveling.

Beyond the clever concept, the recipes are playful, heartfelt and most importantly, taste glorious. Look out – with the help of a few complimentary canapés, you might soon find yourself in full-blown storytelling mode.

Purple Bar at The Sanderson London – theatrical drinks amid purple hues

As you walk into Purple Bar at The Sanderson London, you might be forgiven for believing you’ve wandered down the rabbit hole instead – this space feels like a secret subterranean boudoir from another world. Explosions of purples, lavenders, violets, and every shade in-between meet in sumptuous unity, creating a low-lit and intimate ambiance that’s just perfect for a late night cocktail.

To that end, a theatrical drinks menu complements the luxurious, heady atmosphere, and guests can even book a cocktail heaven masterclass if they’re looking for more than just a quick tipple.

If the bar’s Alice in Wonderland vibe has left you eager for more, the prestigious Sanderson London also offers Mad Hatters Tipsy Evening Tea, letting you return to Wonderland and all its magic one more time. The fantasy offered here stretches far beyond other bar and pub hotels in London, so follow the white rabbit, immerse yourself, and see where things go.

The Nickel Bar at The Ned – a wild-west style saloon bar in central London

At the Ned hotel bar in London you will find the Nickel hotel bar serves a menu of time-honored American staples and classic cocktails. Image credit: The Ned.

The Nickel Bar serves a menu of time-honored American staples and classic cocktails. Image credit: The Ned.

A little island of the wild west-style saloon floating in The Ned’s ocean of art deco, The Nickel Bar brings all the poise and knowledge of bona fide, old-school London hotel bars together with a youthful, millennial spirit of curiosity.

The cocktail menu is decade-based; take a tastebud trip starting from 1900 with an Outlaw Old Fashioned, all the way up to 2010 with a cheeky Nedgroni. Or if cocktails aren’t your preference, wet your whistle with The Nickel Bar’s globe-trotting spirits menu, including a particularly impressive range of bourbons, agaves and gins.

Prop yourself up on one of their leather seats and soak up the feeling of one of London’s most talked-about establishments. There are also daily live music performances for your entertainment, from jazz to up-and-coming new bands. As one of the most distinctive and vibrant new hotel bars in London, The Nickel Bar deserves your full attention.

Regardless of if you need to be heading to one of these establishments or onto your next adventure after, book a premium Blacklane limousine service in London to get you there in style!


Nick Hagan

Nick Hagan is a freelance writer based in Oxford and Reading, UK. He runs Curio Books and Culture in Oxford, and enjoys writing about culture, travel, film, psychology and just about everything in-between.