You may have gotten over themed spots after your tenth birthday party (um, hello, Princess Tea Party Fest), but they’re actually great for some old-fashioned adult fun, too. Hotels across the world have fabulously themed bars that run the gamut from classy to trashy. We’ve shuffled through the clutter to find the top hotel bars that, despite (or because) of being themed, are super cool. Check out all of our favorites.
Stables Bar, The Milestone Hotel; London (pictured above)
Located in the luxurious Milestone Hotel — perhaps the most famous boutique hotel in London — Stables Bar embraces an over-the-top horse theme that only Londoners can truly appreciate or understand. (As you may know, Londoners love their horses almost as much as they love their dogs.) The split-level bar, decorated with rich green tartan upholstery and mahogany-paneled walls, has tons of riders’ paraphernalia including horse murals and paintings, bridles, saddles, needle-point horse pillows and even a somewhat terrifying jockey mannequin. Needless to say, the bar takes its former use as a carriage house very seriously. Stables also has satellite TVs for viewing sporting events and an exclusive list of champagnes and cocktails.
The entire Argonaut Hotel sports a nautical theme and the Blue Mermaid is no different, with mermaid statues, waiters clad in striped shirts, mounted lifesavers and helms, and even rowboats hanging from the ceiling. The bar scene here is more laid-back, with many patrons coming in for the award-winning chowder and seafood rather than the cocktails (although plenty of those are ordered too).
Though the Library Bar isn’t the celeb favorite it once was back when the Hudson Hotel opened in 2000, the Philippe Starck-designed bar remains popular — especially during the warmer months when its cavernous atmosphere (comfy leather sofas, a fireplace and chess tables) makes for a nice retreat from the summer heat.
You gotta love a bar where the motto is “Delightfully tacky, yet unrefined” and the theme is basically ogling. The restaurant serves your typical bar fare (although some swear by the wings) and classic rock pumps out over the PA system. Open 24/7, this Hooters location is best known for its Wednesday Wingsday specials.
Housed in a former jailhouse, the cavernous Alibi bar takes full advantage of its roots; iron-barred doors lead to the sexy bar and the walls are hung with celebrity mug shots (Sinatra, Morrison and Nolte). You may even spot a celeb yourself; Cameron Diaz and A-Rod shacked up at the hotel when they were still hot and heavy, and the bar is known for being a see-and-be-seen hotspot.
More Vegas monstrosity than intimate bar, the Chandelier takes up three levels of the Cosmopolitan, and each floor offers up its own take on the Vegas lounge scene. However, all levels have fabulously ornate chandeliers and the bar is a great spot to plant yourself for a laid-back (but still over-the-top Vegas-y) night out.
Dating back to 1945, the Tonga Room features faux straw huts, a floating band and what it claims is the best mai tai in San Francisco (served in a fake coconut, natch). Where it presumably took itself seriously half a century ago, the Tonga Room now revels in its kitschiness, and has become a city institution despite — or maybe because of — its anachronistic placement within the Fairmont.
Monteleone’s legendary Carousel Bar, which — just like a carousel — slow-spins cocktail drinkers past a bank of windows facing Royal Street, is only a block from the French Quarter nightlife. Yet, it has an other-worldly feel with its antique, circus-like decor. Make sure to ask for the hotel’s signature Monteleone Cocktail, a citrus-spiked whiskey.
Hovering a step above Hooters on the tacky scale, this joint attempts to bring Midwest mainland to the island of Hawaii. And hey, it succeeds. The Nashville Waikiki has a honky-tonk vibe with plenty of cowboy hats, dartboards, blackjack tables, country music, bullfighting tournaments shown on multiple-screen monitors and American pride (and American beer). Plus, it’s Honolulu’s only country-themed bar. It even offers free line-dancing lessons twice a week.
You can’t return a bad vacation. That’s why Oyster.com, “The Hotel Tell-All,” and partner of The Travel Channel, comprehensively visits, photographs, reviews and rates each hotel we feature. Basically, we uncover the truth, before it’s “uh-oh” time.