If you need an excuse to travel, try these superlative bars across Asia-Pacific. From Perth to Chengdu, Hong Kong to Macau, these top hotel lounges will spoil you with inventive tipples, artisan wines, craft beer and gorgeous interiors. Bottoms up!
Inspired by ornate jewelry boxes of old, the luxurious lounge glitters with an enormous 18th-century rock crystal chandelier, mirrored walls, gilded accents and a variety of embedded semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli, tiger eye and rose quartz.
Within the royal confines, you will be tempted with meticulously prepared classic cocktails, premium champagnes and a hand-selected list of New and Old World wines. Of course, if you prefer not to imbibe, a menu offering 50 varieties of tea (as well as the hotel’s dedicated master tea sommelier) is also available.
You’ll have to look closely to find this ultra-discreet spot. Hidden away on the third floor of Forbes Travel Guide Recommended The Pottinger, Hong Kong, this recently opened bar from acclaimed mixologist Antonio Lai can only be accessed with a key card (hint: you can pick it up from The Envoy next door).
Inside, you’ll discover handcrafted cocktails and intimate surroundings with room for just 22 lucky guests. While the updated classics are terrific, the more experimental cocktails are like nothing you’ve ever seen.
Harnessing centrifuge techniques, Lai has created “invisible” pours, a roster of distilled, highly concentrated flavors to create complex and colorless libations like the Vanishing Watermelon Martini (watermelon juice, Cointreau, simple syrup, basil tincture, vodka and sea salt foam) and the Crystal Old Fashioned (re-distilled peanut butter bourbon, housemade wood chips bitters and banana concentrate).
They might not look like much more than water, but these tipples pack a punch.
Sitting pretty atop COMO The Treasury, a calming heritage hotel housed inside some meticulously restored state buildings, this trendy spot is one of Western Australia’s most highly acclaimed restaurants.
While we certainly recommend booking a dinner reservation well in advance, those simply looking for a quality sundowner will want to gravitate to the rooftop bar. Sporting Swan River views, the open-air space will give you a taste of what this gorgeous venue is all about.
As you can gather from the inventive cocktail menu, executive chef Jed Gerrard and bar manager James Connolly focus on native botanicals, seasonal ingredients and artisanal spirits from across Australia.
The barrel-aged Bushman’s Boulevardier, for example, revolves around amaro from Applewood Distillery, lilly pilly (flowers from a local evergreen tree), Maker’s Mark and Campari. Likewise, the beautifully balanced Wildflower Martini is crafted with Hippocampus vodka and gin infused with local Geraldton wax shrub (which tastes like kaffir lime) and Maidenii classic vermouth.
As the glamorous little sister of Five-Star Caprice within Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, this cozy bar is set off in its own quiet corner. But don’t worry, you’ll receive the same soaring views of Victoria Harbour and heaving boards of hand-picked French cheeses, plus a new cocktail list designed by decorated head bartender Imelda Ng.
Cheese enthusiasts must try the adventurous Affineur’s Cocktail, made with a base of Death’s Door gin infused with 48-months-aged Comté. Ng expertly balances the savory and salty notes of the cheese with a splash of tart lime juice and sweet berry jam.
If you’re looking for something extra potent, try the Triad Bar. One of Ng’s signatures, this barrel-aged beverage takes inspiration from the mixologist’s adventures in Venezuela. You’ll taste a hint of nuts and chocolate, thanks to Tempus Fugit Spirits crème de cacao, chocolate bitters and amaretto — all aged in a charred bourbon oak barrel.
Limited Edition Sip Bar
Chengdu, in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, doesn’t often jump to mind as a top drinking destination, but that’s quickly changing.
The increasingly cosmopolitan city recently welcomed the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Chengdu, which has elevated the city’s cocktail cred with this 51st-floor spot. The sky-high bar overlooks the green southern district while vested mixologists shake up creative libations.
Choose from artisanal spirits, local and international craft beers, and an assortment of handcrafted options inspired by the local setting.
For easy drinking, try the refreshing Sichuan Sling, made with green-tea-infused Beefeater gin, cherry brandy, Cointreau and tangy lemon juice. Meanwhile, adventurous palates will appreciate the Sichuan Lady, a beauty that promises a fiery kick thanks to a base of Beefeater gin infused with Sichuan pepper and chili.
Stay tuned for the aptly named Roof Top Bar. We’ve heard this will be the most ambitious rooftop in Chengdu when it finally makes its debut.