See Luxury Bars Part I: Drinks & Cocktails
In this two-part series we have been looking at what draws the tourist or guest to these luxury bars. In Part 1, we discussed the different elements that go into making luxury drinks worthy of every penny and Instagram post. However, the drink can only get you so far in the world of luxury experiences. The best of the best bars are the ones that not only have exceptional drink selections, but also have things such as breathtaking views, interior and exterior décor that transports you, and the best bar staff serving you.
When looking for luxury, most of the time you think to look up to the sky. Rooftop bars can be all the rage for those seeking a great view and what better place to look than GONG, Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London. This bar sits in the clouds on the 52nd story of the Shangri-La Hotel in the heart of London. This bar also contains some architectural history behind its name. The name comes from “dougong” which is an interlocking-wooden brackets, which were used in traditional Chinese architecture and is featured in the bar. The space is also divided into what they call “chambers” that separate a cocktail bar from the champagne bar and the swimming pool. Nothing screams luxury more than being as high as the clouds while drinking illustrious cocktails in an ornate pool.
However, the best views don’t always consist of being surrounded by tall buildings and a cityscapes. At the IL Bar, Bvlgari Resort Bali the view has no industrial building in sight, rather its selling point is they let nature speak for itself. Enjoy intoxicatingly good drinks at their terrace bar that over-looks breathtaking cliffs of the island with the beach below. This is the place to be if you are an avid sunset watcher. Something most guests might overlook when sitting at this curved bar is that not only is the stone modeled after a black resin bar at the Bvlgari Hotel bar in Milan, and stone on the bar is actually carved from only the natural elements.
These little details are what take an overall simple bar to new heights and what makes them so special. The resort could have easily found a stone counter-top from a local vendor however, they went the extra mile to obtain this rather remarkable piece of art. The view and the design elements to the bar itself are examples of things that contribute to the overall allure of luxury bars.
You can find luxury bars all over the world, with over-the-top views and interior and exterior design, but it can be a whole new challenge all together looking for bars that have the best service. The service is what puts those bars that are equal in the “wow factor” above one another.
When looking for an example of a bar with impeccable service, The Ritz-Carlton, Macau caught my attention. This bar prides itself on being versatile and being “perfect for any moment” for anything from tapas and cocktails, to high tea, or even just a night out with friends. However, it isn’t the versatility of this bar that got my attention, it’s the mixology specialist named Giuseppe Carillo. This bartender doesn’t just make you a drink from the menu! Oh no - he comes out pushing a gin trolley (YES, a gin trolley) to where you are seated. After he arrives at your destination he then proceeds to “study” each person and make a recommendation of what they might enjoy. After you approve his prediction, he then begins mixing your drink to perfection in front of you on his mobile workstation while simultaneously interacting with you and your group. The personalization is what puts this bartender over the top. The combination of impeccable service and products is what makes this experience one-of-a-kind.
After looking at the different elements that go into luxury bars all over the world in this two-part series it is abundantly clear that it is a mix of having all the right stuff that makes these bars worth traveling for. I implore you to remember a time you went to a bar and think about what made the experience worth-while. Was it the drinks? The view or the design? Or the people who contributed to your experience? Money can get you a lot however, it can’t always buy you an impactful experience.