Great world bars we love: The Elephant Room

The Elephant Room’s founder Yugnes Susela leads a team that regularly swaps roles to keep things fresh.

In a city with no shortage of conspicuous cocktail bars, it’s refreshing to see a small, independent establishment gain serious attention. Such is the case with Singapore’s Elephant Room, which made an impressive debut on this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Bars’ extended list, coming in at number 64. A self-described “culture-forward” bar, The Elephant Room is a staunch ambassador for everything India and has been showcasing the diverse flavours, colours and stories of the world’s second-most populous country, by way of Singapore’s Little India.

Continue Reading

Great world bars we love: The Surf Club photo

There’s no shortage of glamour in Miami, but even the most jaded of luxury travellers will find something to marvel at when setting foot into Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club. A former members-only club that hosted the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Winston Churchill, the historic grandeur of the hotel is still present in every nook. While visitors may get lost strolling the storied halls, most who enter today probably know exactly where they are going and that place is usually the Champagne Bar.

Continue Reading

Great world bars we love: Maraca photo

On a nondescript street, just steps from the busy souvenir stores, pubs, cigar shops and touristy restaurants of Old Town Santo Domingo, lies a teal building devoid of signage, but accented by a strikingly curved red door. It’s not immediately obvious that you’ve arrived, but push open the door and you’ll know you’ve found Maraca. 

Continue Reading

Great world bars we love: Dante West Village

The bar at Dante West Village. Doris Sun photo

New York City is back. Like back back. After a whirlwind two years as the city hardest hit by the pandemic, there is now an energetic buzz returning to the streets. People are going out again in droves. Tourists are re-visiting. And that means you are likely to find yourself in a standing room situation squished between patrons or circling the block hoping for a table to open up when looking for a place in which to imbibe. 

Continue Reading

Great world bars we love: Johnnie Walker Princes Street, Edinburgh

Photo courtesy of Johnnie Walker/Diageo

There are few places I’d rather be right now than the Explorers’ Bothy at Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh. This glam new rooftop whisky bar not only features stunning views of the Edinburgh skyline, it also offers 150 different drams to sample. Then again, its neighbour, 1820, has equally breathtaking views and craft cocktails. Hmm, which to choose?

Continue Reading

Great world bars we love: The Connaught Bar, Mayfair, London

Photo courtesy of The Connaught Bar

Once we can travel and socialize again, we know just where we’ll be heading. We’re going to a bar. And not just any bar. The very best bar in the world.

That’s The Connaught Bar, which was named No. 1 by The World’s 50 Best Bars last November, after spending 10 years on the list. It’s an elegant 1920s-style space on the ground floor of The Connaught Hotel in London’s posh Mayfair neighbourhood. The room is both glamourous and cosy. Although it’s a vintage space, it was redesigned by David Collins and relaunched in 2008 with swellegant nods to Cubism and Art Deco.

Continue Reading

Great world bars we love: The Aviary, Chicago

The Aviary’s cocktail kitchen. Joanne Sasvari photo

From the outside, it doesn’t look like much. An awning over a discreet door in a West Loop industrial neighbourhood is the only sign that some of the world’s most exciting cocktails await. But step inside The Aviary, and it’s all subtle opulence, not that you can really tell because it’s so moodily lit.

Besides, your eyes are mesmerized by the team of mixologists hard at work behind the barred windows of the cocktail kitchen, as if captured in a sort of gilded cage.

Continue Reading

Great world bars we love: Beaufort Bar at The Savoy

The darkly dramatic Beaufort Bar at London’s legendary Savoy Hotel. Photo courtesy of Beaufort Bar at the Savoy

There is always an element of theatre in a good bar, the dazzle of lights bouncing off a mixing glass, the rows of bottles lining the back bar like so many punters, the deft drama of the barkeep shaking a cocktail to his own overture. But the Beaufort Bar actually is a theatre, or was, back when it was the renowned cabaret stage at The Savoy, where the composer George Gershwin was known to strike up the band from time to time. When the hotel was renovated and reopened a decade ago, it was transformed into this glamorous Art Deco bar, all darkly gleaming in black and gold, perhaps the most romantic saloon in all of London.

Continue Reading