Miami is known for its hotels—dating back to the 60’s when Sinatra, Martin and the rest of the Rat Pack frequented town. Not much has changed as many of the choice bars in town still remain inside Miami’s posh hotels. While caribbean themed bars may emanate throughout other parts of the sunshine state, Miami’s bar scene is much more sophisticated.
Here are a few we recommend.
Bleau Bar at Fontainebleau
The scene at the Fontainebleau’s swank lobby bar threads the needle between mellow and upbeat with rhythmic music at a comfortable decibel that may provoke dancing at later hours. The décor is more Vegas—think Ghost Bar—than New York, with contemporary furniture and an inviting airiness that is both soothing and practical. The room has a futuristic feel with its lighted floor and swiveling, teacup chairs. The floor-to-ceiling windows enhance the sense of space further with views of the pool and the famed “Staircase to Nowhere” where celebs and others can be spotted. The bar itself is a spectacle in its own right with a cylindrical column as a centerpiece that displays liquor in blue neon light—and looks like it could beam the bartenders up to the next floor if things ever got rowdy. The only complaint might be the cost of drinks but the well-trained bartenders concoct some of the best cocktails in Miami.
4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; 305-674-4760
Living Room Bar At W South Beach
Living Room Bar features exotic drinks like a Blueberry Acai Martini, Local Manhattan and Papaya Daiquiri, compliments of San Francisco-based mixologist Scott Beattie. A sexy spot for artisanal cocktails before hitting the hotel’s high-energy ultra lounge Wall, Living Room follows the model of their other hotel bar outposts, if not a bit more chic and modern. Enjoy the collection of contemporary art while you sample Beattie’s signature creations where edible flowers, essential oils, herbs and fine spirits take center stage.
2201 Collins Ave, South Beach; 305-938-3000
RUMBAR At Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne
Described as “Old Havana vintage,” with its decor of red, leather, and rich-dark wood, RUMBAR transports guests into the 1940s Havana-style bar and lounge with a new transformation. Aptly named, RUMBAR features 52 rums, cachacas and piscos from 18 countries as well as a humidor cabinet with an impressive cigar collection. Beats and sounds from the new seven piece live band, fills the newly renovated Lobby Lounge with a lineup featuring a mix of traditional Latin music (one of the only venues in Miami to enjoy live Latin music), Latin pop and Top 40s—a guaranteed good time every Friday and Saturday evening.
455 Grand Bay Dr, Key Biscayne; 305-365-4500
Martini Bar At The Raleigh
Perhaps it’s a good thing that the Raleigh’s famous pool scene is the main draw—it prevents the Martini Bar, which has been carefully preserved since the hotel’s construction in 1940, from overcrowding. With its original terrazzo flooring, a mahogany bar, and framed candid photographs of old school celebs in Miami it will bring you back to Miami’s heyday with a focus on the art and simplicity of the classic martini.
1775 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; 305-534-6300
Matador Bar at EDITION Miami Beach
Overlooking the hotel’s pool deck, the Matador Bar features American black walnut-paneled walls with photographs from renowned French photographer Lucien Clergue’s Matador series. A solid walnut floating bar stands at the center of the room, surrounded by custom furniture and banquettes in soft jewel-toned velvet. The Miami Beach bar pays homage to the classic cocktail experience, providing bespoke crafted cocktails with fresh ingredients. Order The Pineapple, served in a custom-made copper pineapple and made with the vodka, sherry, a variety of house-made bitters and a pineapple-rosemary syrup over crushed ice.
2901 Collins Ave, Miami Beach; 786-257-4500