Miami Hotel Bars

Get a little taste of South Beach elegance without checking in.

The Martini Bar

Drop by any one of these Miami hotel hangouts to wet your whistle day or night. (Scroll down for the slideshow.)

The Eden Roc
The terrazzo floors of the sunken lobby bar at the Eden Roc have welcomed the footsteps of Frank Sinatra, Katharine Hepburn and Nat King Cole, who sang “Unforgettable” for the first time in what is now the Mona Lisa Ballroom. Elizabeth Taylor used to circle the bar, carrying on out the door if she didn’t see anybody worth hanging out with. Fittingly, there’s cocktail in her honour – a mojito-like concoction with muddled pears, pear vodka and sparkling rosé.

Soho Beach House
While the Soho is a member’s-only club/hotel, the main-floor courtyard houses Cecconi’s Miami Beach restaurant, which is open to all. The bar is long, lean and comfortable: Green and white tile floors, tufted sofas, fairy lights in the trees. The incredible Sunday brunch spread takes over the whole lobby: salmon tartare made to order, whole grilled mahi mahi, flatbread pizza with Parma ham – and a Bloody Mary cart that wheels around making everyone feel better.

The Standard
The Lido Restaurant and Bayside Grill is a true local hangout, the name a homage to the hotel’s original name: Lido Spa Hotel. Thirsty regulars congregate beside the pool at the low four-tops or along little banquettes built around flat-leaved sea grape trees. Gorgeous servers keep Ketel One martinis coming as fast as you can throw them back. This is one of the city’s most beautiful spots for a nightcap at the water’s edge.

The Metropolitan
The Met’s Traymore Bar, propping up a restaurant of the same name, manages to be both modern and nostalgic for the old Miami spirit. The bar’s claim to fame is its dedication to gin: They stock more than 30 artisanal varieties. Original pink and pistachio flooring is offset with white scalloped drop-ceilings, white walls and white rattan chairs. The whole place smells heavenly of the hotel’s eucalyptus and geranium signature scent.

The Raleigh
The back garden patio is the place to party at this iconic hotel, which looks a lot like it did when it opened in 1940. Cool jazz, big trees built right into the décor, French café furniture, a well-dressed clientele. The lobby feels like you’ve walked into a movie set; everything preserved, nothing too modernized. The real gem is the cozy, eight-seat martini bar just off the lobby, a quiet cocoon of mahogany that doesn’t look a day over 70.

– Doug Wallace (June 2015)

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