Pretty soon not even the warmest winter jacket will insulate you from the cold of New York City. While it’s tempting to go straight home after work to avoid the cold, you can only hibernate for so long before needing to get out on the town. The holiday season is perfect for catching up with friends, so check out these cozy hotel bars where you will all be glad to be out of the cold and enjoying your favorite winter beverages.
Image: The Carlyle Hotel
Bemelman’s Bar at The Carlyle Hotel
35 East 76th Street at Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10021
This bar is decorated with water color murals painted by Ludwig Bemelmans, the famous artist/author of the children’s book series, Madeline. The drinks are similarly artful, with classic concoctions by NYC’s prime mixologist Brian Van Flanders, any of which would make an equally delicious mocktail. The vibe of the upscale joint goes up a notch on weekends, when the bar hosts live jazz bands.
Image: Ludlow Hotel
The Lobby Bar at the Ludlow Hotel
180 Ludlow Street (b/t East Houston and Stanton Streets)
New York, NY 10002
This Lower East Side hotel is famous for its lobby bar which serves up drinks inventive enough to catch the eye of New York’s most discerning food critics. Many of these drinks can easily be converted into mocktails, such as the passionfruit and lime-flavored Lilikoi. Lounge on one of the hip velvet couches as you warm up by the stone fireplace, and pretty soon you’ll forget it’s winter.
Image: Iroquois Hotel
Lantern’s Keep at the Iroquois Hotel
49 West 44th Street (near 6th Avenue)
New York, NY 10036
Midtown locals flock to this intimate, speakeasy-type bar tucked away in the Iroquois Hotel. You’ll be transported back to the European salons of the 1920s as you enjoy the classic cocktails served by bow-tied bartenders. The impressionist paintings on the wall and the candles scattered around the room make this the perfect spot for a winter date.
Image: The Public Hotel
The Lobby Bar at the Public Hotel
215 Chrystie Street (at Stanton Street)
New York, NY 10002
Billed as the “heartbeat and social hub” of this trendy new Public Hotel, this lobby bar does not disappoint. With a pool table for trying out your bar sports skills, and plenty of comfortable chairs, you’ll find it easy to while away the cold winter hours. If you need a change of scene, look no further than the Diego Bar located one flight up. It’s inspired by the famous Mexican painter, Diego Rivera, and features drinks that will make you feel like you’re in the tropics, no matter how cold it is outside.
Image: HGU Hotel
1905 Lounge at HGU Hotel
34 East 32nd Street (b/t Madison & Park Avenues)
New York, NY 10016 212-779-3432
You’ll feel right at home in the 1905 Lounge, located in the swank HGU Hotel. This spot makes the ideal winter hideaway, with its sleek, black-marble fireplace that warms up the room and leather seats that provide for hours of comfortable lounging. No need to wander out to a nearby museum for your daily cultural intake; the bar’s walls are covered in art from the owner’s impressive collection.
Image: The NoMad Hotel
This two-story library bar is heaven for the cocktail-loving bookworm. Its impressive selection of delicious, alcohol-free drinks has won the title of New York Magazine’s “Best Mocktails.” This spot has a very private feel, complete with a curtained entrance. Technically reserved for hotel guests after 4PM, this bar tends to be relatively quiet. Stop by on a weekday night, and a benevolent host might sneak you a table.
Image: Gramercy Park Hotel Bar
Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel Bar
2 Lexington Avenue (b/t 22nd Street & North Gramercy Park)
New York, NY 10010
The ambiance alone makes this bar worth visiting, with a wood-burning fireplace warming up the room, a shining chandelier hanging from the ceiling, and an impressive art collection decorating every wall. The bartenders love to put on a show as they mix and stir drinks dramatically. Visit the spot before Christmas to enjoy their highly revered annual Christmas tree.