Hotel bars are the business traveler's friend. They serve as impromptu meeting rooms, social clubs, stress reducers and winner's circles.
But not all hotel bars are created alike. Some, in fact, barely exist: a mere architectural afterthought tacked on to a dining room or lobby. Other places are, frankly, a little too brutally hip for their -- and the traveler's -- own good. Sure, they may attract a swinging crowd that keeps the place going until the sun comes up, but it's pretty hard discussing business strategy over house music pumped out at liver-quivering volumes.
The best bars are ones that provide enough solitude for when you need it, but also can conjure up a festive atmosphere when the occasions demands. It's hard to impress a client when you're the only people in the room and the waitress is snapping gum in the corner out of sheer boredom. These bars should stock the most popular super-premium liquors -- and even a few that aren't so popular because, hey, you never know who's going to order Cinzano. The bartender should be knowledgeable, entertaining, a first-class mixologist and someone who knows how to make out-of-towners feel welcome.
To compile our list of the best hotel bars, we looked in 26 cities around the globe. We left off some cities (sorry Rome!), not because they don't have excellent hotels or hotel bars, but because they are not prime business-travel locations or major urban centers.
In many cases, we simply selected one city per country, which explains why we chose Zurich, for example, over Geneva, although both are cosmopolitan areas that are home to many large and small companies.
The downside is that these top hotels bars are usually pretty expensive. But so what? Just sign for it and send the receipt to accounting!