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A Handy Guide to Hotel Bars in Los Angeles

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This week, Curbed LA takes a look at hotels around town as part of Hotels Week. To chip in, Eater examines some of the best bars inside hotels and highlights the ambiance and drink offerings of each.
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2008_10_hasmapshotelbars.jpgLast year during Hotels Week, Eater went through some of the best hotel restaurants in the city. This time around, a look at the bars, the ones that either exclusively serve the hotel, or are so connected to the identity of the hotel that they might as well be one and the same. Hotel bars are the ideal place to have a casual meet up, or an impromptu party with friends and strangers alike. Yes, plenty of pretension pervades hotel bars around town, but they are also places to mingle and catch up. Drinks on the whole are getting better each year, with some marquee spots like POT Bar at the Line Hotel, Library Bar at the Roosevelt, and Bar Centro at SLS leading the way, so don't be afraid to stray away from the typical vodka-soda combo. Here now, a Handy Guide to Hotel Bars in Los Angeles.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Bar Centro at SLS

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Still one of the most happening bar scenes in the city, the rather pricey, exclusive Bar Centro is known for their custom gin & tonics (a popular bev in Spain), cotton candy mojitos, and other more creative sippers like the Rosa de Oaxaca, made with mezcal, hibiscus, and rose water. The dark, clubby space melds with the rest of the ground floor, and a meal afterwards at The Bazaar seems like the right thing to do.

Upstairs Bar at Ace Hotel

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Already insanely popular and boasting sweet views of Downtown, the rooftop bar at the Ace Hotel comes with a better than average set of cocktails and solid service. On top of all that, the crowd seems to be one that's usually more than eager to party and mingle, though not quite in the jetset way that The Standard is known for.

Pot Bar at The Line Hotel

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A simple, yet rather whimsical place to grab a drink, Matthew Biancaniello and Roy Choi worked together to create some of the most unusual and remarkable cocktails ever found in the hotel bar. Think uni, seaweed, and natto as flavors that one might find in a drink here. As for ambiance, except for the bar, which is filled with childhood kitsch, the expansive seating area is a little on the stark side, but works well for more private liaisons.

Rooftop Bar at The Standard

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Known for years as the ultimate Downtown gathering place, the rather quiet location near the Financial District is cooling off the steam produced on this rooftop. But the stunning views in the heart of Downtown still makes it a fun place to revel and sip on drinks. The music's always great too.

Library Bar at The Roosevelt

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Formerly the domain of bartender Matthew Biancaniello, the seasonal produce-driven cocktail menu is now put together by Rob Floyd, who previously managed Bar Centro at the SLS. The same vegetal/fruit-forward menu is offered, but with a little more on the theatrical side. Think burning rosemary branches or smoked cocktails. The dark ambiance makes for a good weeknight meeting place while the room becomes more of a party on weekends.

Bar Marmont

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Though just adjacent to the iconic Chateau, Bar Marmont is still considered "the bar" for the hotel, featuring an expansive space that's generally the scene of mass revelry on weekends, and a little more staid (though not by much) on weekdays. The fare is excellent on the whole, especially the burger, and the drinks are probably going to be better than the average vodka-soda place.

Mr. C Lobby Lounge Bar

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Don Draper might not actually be in the corner, or at the end of this bar after a long night, but he probably would if Mr. C was around in the 60's. A near replica of a classy Mid-Century establishment, the lounge here is about as classy as one could expect. And that glass pool table certainly doesn't hurt the eyes. Sip on a Negroni or Bellini, if it's during the day.

Skybar at the Mondrian

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Just beyond the main lobby (and the smallish bar inside that lobby), Skybar is a quintessential L.A. experience, with pleasant views of Mid-City and Downtown in an open bungalow-like perch.

The Club Bar at the Peninsula

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Relish in the uber refinements of The Peninsula, a gentlemanly spot with pluhs seating, plenty of scotches to choose from, and a wide fireplace to feel like a pretty darn sophisticated person. Suit and tie, or cocktail dress optional, but highly recommended.

Veranda Bar at the Hotel Figueroa

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This funky, Moroccan-themed hotel has all the over-the-top decor one might expect, but in an unlikely location in Downtown's South Park. A swell place to get a drink before or after a show or ballgame at nearby LA Live or Staples.

The Bar at Hotel Bel-Air

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An ultra-luxurious kind of place to grab a drink or hang out for a bit, the bar here features modern furniture, classy black & white photographs, and handcraft cocktails like a bespoke Negroni. An excellent meeting spot that won't draw a lot of attention.

Windows Lounge at Four Seasons

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Long established as a place to see and be seen, the service is definitely one of the reasons to hang out here. The drinks are more than respectable, but most people are going to order vodka anyway. Don't skip the lobster mac & cheese, which is legendary.

The Tap Room at The Langham

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A classy lounge that almost doubles as an upscale beer bar, the Tap Room at the Langham is the place to be if you're ever in Pasadena. The cocktails and brews are more than respectable, if a bit on the pricey side (think $16 for cocktails, $9 for beer). This is the Langham, remember.

Living Room at Shutters On The Beach

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The unbeatable view is probably the main draw, other than the fact that the Living Room is easily one of the first places that pop into peoples' minds when looking for a spot to meet up in Santa Monica. The beach house-like spot has easy-drinking cocktails like cosmos and vanilla butter martinis that are straight out of the 90's, but you won't mind.

Culver Hotel Lobby Bar

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A convivial place to meet in more pedestrian downtown Culver City, the lobby is always a happening spot on the weekends, when diners and imbibers hit Culver Blvd with a fury.

Suite 700 at Hotel Shangri-La

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The open-air rooftop lounge at the Shangri-La is a classic place for daytime or nighttime debauchery, with an unbeatable view of the ocean and sunset. The former Penthouse suite has off-color modern furniture with comfy touches both inside and out.

Sidebar at Beverly Wilshire

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Though well-known as a cougar hangout, sidebar, directly across from Wolfgang Puck's CUT, can still be an excellent place to grab a cocktail like an Aviation or Samurai Sword, which touts 12-year Japanese whiskey, honey, and ginger.

Cameo Bar at Viceroy Santa Monica

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For the mid-century modern fan, Cameo Bar is the place to be. Just off the poolside, it's hard not to imagine a scene from Mad Men taking place here. Cabanas are a good place if you're into some more privacy, but overall, this makes a swell place to meet up and hang out in Santa Monica.

Whiskey Blue at W Hotel

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Definitely a place for the post-modernist, the crazy colors and more high-energy vibe is probably better suited to a younger crowd. There's also some tasty bites by chef Dakota Weiss, if you're hungry.

Riviera 31 at The Sofitel

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A sexy, modern lounge with a new drink menu by Matthew Biancaniello (the guy sure loves to reform hotel bar menus), the red, black and white interior that was once the Stone Rose Lounge still has that panache.

Gallery Bar at the Millennium Biltmore

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The Millennium Biltmore is already one of the classiest places to be in Los Angeles, and the Gallery Bar inside is no exception. Definitely the place to dawn a suit or evening dress and sip on cognac or champagne, the Old World grandeur of the place is a refreshing change of pace. Try something from the Manhattan menu, too.

The Library at The Redbury

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Tucked onto the second floor, this luxurious lounge, which spills out onto a pleasant courtyard, is a great place to escape from the bustle of Hollywood. With plenty of plush leather seating and oversized furniture, it's a good place to catch a breath, or a drink, before delving back into the streets.

Living Room & Station Hollywood at W Hotel

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A few years ago, this was the ultimate place to see a celebrity, or just be a celebrity, and hang out. It might not be that crazy now, but the overall ambiance is there: solid tunes and a mingle-friendly atmosphere that works well as a launching point for the rest of a night out in Hollywood.

Bar Centro at SLS

Still one of the most happening bar scenes in the city, the rather pricey, exclusive Bar Centro is known for their custom gin & tonics (a popular bev in Spain), cotton candy mojitos, and other more creative sippers like the Rosa de Oaxaca, made with mezcal, hibiscus, and rose water. The dark, clubby space melds with the rest of the ground floor, and a meal afterwards at The Bazaar seems like the right thing to do.

Upstairs Bar at Ace Hotel

Already insanely popular and boasting sweet views of Downtown, the rooftop bar at the Ace Hotel comes with a better than average set of cocktails and solid service. On top of all that, the crowd seems to be one that's usually more than eager to party and mingle, though not quite in the jetset way that The Standard is known for.

Pot Bar at The Line Hotel

A simple, yet rather whimsical place to grab a drink, Matthew Biancaniello and Roy Choi worked together to create some of the most unusual and remarkable cocktails ever found in the hotel bar. Think uni, seaweed, and natto as flavors that one might find in a drink here. As for ambiance, except for the bar, which is filled with childhood kitsch, the expansive seating area is a little on the stark side, but works well for more private liaisons.

Rooftop Bar at The Standard

Known for years as the ultimate Downtown gathering place, the rather quiet location near the Financial District is cooling off the steam produced on this rooftop. But the stunning views in the heart of Downtown still makes it a fun place to revel and sip on drinks. The music's always great too.

Library Bar at The Roosevelt

Formerly the domain of bartender Matthew Biancaniello, the seasonal produce-driven cocktail menu is now put together by Rob Floyd, who previously managed Bar Centro at the SLS. The same vegetal/fruit-forward menu is offered, but with a little more on the theatrical side. Think burning rosemary branches or smoked cocktails. The dark ambiance makes for a good weeknight meeting place while the room becomes more of a party on weekends.

Bar Marmont

Though just adjacent to the iconic Chateau, Bar Marmont is still considered "the bar" for the hotel, featuring an expansive space that's generally the scene of mass revelry on weekends, and a little more staid (though not by much) on weekdays. The fare is excellent on the whole, especially the burger, and the drinks are probably going to be better than the average vodka-soda place.

Mr. C Lobby Lounge Bar

Don Draper might not actually be in the corner, or at the end of this bar after a long night, but he probably would if Mr. C was around in the 60's. A near replica of a classy Mid-Century establishment, the lounge here is about as classy as one could expect. And that glass pool table certainly doesn't hurt the eyes. Sip on a Negroni or Bellini, if it's during the day.

Skybar at the Mondrian

Just beyond the main lobby (and the smallish bar inside that lobby), Skybar is a quintessential L.A. experience, with pleasant views of Mid-City and Downtown in an open bungalow-like perch.

The Club Bar at the Peninsula

Relish in the uber refinements of The Peninsula, a gentlemanly spot with pluhs seating, plenty of scotches to choose from, and a wide fireplace to feel like a pretty darn sophisticated person. Suit and tie, or cocktail dress optional, but highly recommended.