The world’s coolest hotel bars are in Singapore
In this city, they stand out enough to become places of destination – and some of the best bars in the world.
Here are our top 5 Singapore lobby bar experiences.
InterContinental Singapore’s Idlewild transports us back to an era where air travel was the quintessence of luxury. The mid-century modern hotel bar in the center of town explores the globe through exceptionally great cocktails inspired by 10 cities – Dublin, Rome, Lima, Lisbon, New York, Casablanca, London, Paris, Mexico City and Havana. Cuba’s Passage to Havana offers deep, complexly layered flavors that perfectly embody our impression of the island, with a house blend rum layered with tobacco tincture, mixed with Amontillado and Pedro Ximenez sherries, Foro Amaro, and coffee Angostura bitters. Another house signature to try is the Dry Hopped Chocolate Zombie, with Havana Club 7, Citra hops-infused Havana Club, Overproof rum, grapefruit and cinnamon Falernum, chocolate liqueur, house grenadine, fresh lime, Angostura bitters, aromatic bitters, and Pernod.
Idlewild’s luxurious interior conveys a sense of old school glamour, reflecting a time long past through the old-world flair of its design – an overall lavish atmosphere with subtle touches brought by vintage decorative objects and rare spirits collected from Europe, Asia and the Americas. A four-piece live music band adds to the luscious ambiance, its jazz tunes setting the perfect mood for a classy date night.
Set inside the Shangri-La Hotel, Origin Bar’s beautiful colonial architecture and art deco-inspired design are reminiscent of old-school train travel. The high ceiling arches give the space a sculptural, old-world feel, and the colonial chic rattan lounges, retro chairs and elegant leather accents complete the vintage theme.
Here, Slovakian-born Adam Bursik’s passion for the island’s history and months of extensive research inspired unique cocktail recipes that reflect 5 iconic Singapore neighborhoods: Orchard, Chinatown, Little India, Boat Quay and Marina Bay.
Orchard, for instance, was once covered with fruit gardens, nutmeg plantations, and pepper farms. This gets translated into refreshing, fruity drinks like Origin, the bar’s namesake, incorporating gin, nutmeg, pepper, charred pineapple, and wine made from lime husks. Another of our favorite signatures is the SSLINGER, with Monkey 47 gin, dry curaçao, cherry liqueur, cherry juice, D.O.M Benedictine, fresh pineapple juice, fresh kaffir lime juice, Earl Grey tea, and full cream milk.
The drinks are accompanied by excellent American-style bar snacks and live music performances on the weekends.
Set within the Regent Hotel, the Manhattan is a plush take on a speakeasy with early 19th century touches, and an ode to the Golden Age of Cocktails.
The Manhattan bar specialises in providing drinks for the discerning connoisseurs, whilst giving world-class service. Lovers of complex, creative libations will delight at the sheer sensorial experience, embodied by the venue’s signature, the New York Sour: port and bourbon flavoured with maple syrup, lemon and bitters, made creamy with egg white.
Boasting the world’s first in-hotel rickhouse, the Manhattan bar team age cocktails in casks, adding layers of complexity from the barrels in the process. Plan ahead and don’t miss out on their boozy Sunday Brunches which boast free flow craft cocktails, a custom Bloody Mary and boozy milkshake station, along with highlights like their whisky-aged Tomahawk steak.
Located on the ground floor of the iconic Parkview Square building – not a hotel, but we simply had to include this gem – Atlas draws on the glamour of its art deco-inspired architecture, exuding pure 1920s elegance to a spectacular effect. The luxurious, velvet-laden rich gold and bronze decor gives this exceptional place a distinct Jazz Age glamour. But the centrepiece is the monumental, three storey-high bar: a 15-metre tower of gin, with the rarest bottles at the top, and gilded spiral staircases to reach them.
Forever adding to its 1300-strong gin collection sourced from all over the world, this lobby bar is tailor-made for the connoisseur drinker. The reinvented classics are all served up meticulously in 1920s glassware. Standouts include the bar’s quartet of Martinis. The Atlas Martini, made with London dry gin, ambrato vermouth, orange bitters and champagne vermouth, is a must-try house signature.
For a touch of intrigue, try the Spectre Martini: Japanese gin, white port and absinthe butter vodka, with a touch of tarragon and mint.
Jigger & Pony relocated from Amoy Street to the Amara Hotel lobby back in spring 2018, reinventing itself but still maintaining the charm and vibe that has made it a household name in the Singapore bar scene, thus getting a well-deserved spot on this list. It remains the same classy yet relaxed bar with speakeasy vibes, serving fantastic cocktails to a cool crowd in a buzzy atmosphere – it just has more room now.
Smartly dressed bartenders line up behind the curvy, well-lit bar. Not far from it is a long tall table that encourages friendly chatter amongst strangers. Intimate booths line the walls, and an upstairs area offers low, comfy seating for those who want to be a little further from the busy bar.
The bar staff are proud of what they do, and rightly so. They know their stuff and are happy to create and tweak cocktails for you. Try one of their innovative concoctions such as the Madame President, a deconstructed Negroni utilising Monkey 47 Gin, kaffir dry vermouth, and orchid and bittermelon liqueur. And fret not, the Campari’s still present in this Negroni riff, in the form of a lollipop garnish.
If you’re hungry for a snack, make sure you try their signature, addictive spicy tapioca chips.