Lounge Luxury: The world’s finest iconic luxury lounge bars
Here are some of the globe’s most iconic and eclectically superlative luxury lounge bars as KISHORE AND SMITA IYENGAR raise a hearty toast to their sensuous surrounds.
PANORAMIC WOW – AL MUNTAHA LOUNGE BAR – THE BURJ AL ARAB – DUBAI, UAE
One of the most dazzling and spectacular luxury lounge bars in the world atop the world’s most luxurious seven star hotel the Burj Al Arab on the Arabian Gulf, one is awed into admiring silence by the sweeping 180 degree, wide-angled panoramas across the blue ocean and the City of Gold in resplendent glory.
The ultramarine, turquoise, emerald and buff aquamarine tints with steel framework on elevated levels of this spherically appealing bar with ultra-seductive chaises and lounge sofas looking across the spanning wide glass frames, add multi-dimensional enigma in varying proportions.
The top-of-the-line Champagnes, Single malts, select world vintage wines and signature cocktails add up to a fine experience for high-flying guests who value the lighter moments of camaraderie at this super fabulous watering den. Part of the grand modern French cuisine fine wining and dining restaurant Al Muntaha, this luxury addition makes waves with the city’s prosperous expat and distinguished Emirati ladies as an ideal and much valued high noon Tea venue packing in scrumptious canapés and famed hors d’oeuvres that spell the fine moments of social interaction and tete-a-tete among the city’s cognoscenti. Ahlan Wasahlan.
THE HYPERPOLIS MARVEL – LUNA THE INFUSION THEMED LOUNGE BAR – THE ST. REGIS MUMBAI, INDIA
Level 37 at this grand luxury address in the heart of the megapolis spans shimmering vistas, matched by the glitz and grandeur of its stylized mood-lit décor. Inhabiting this haloed altitude is Luna –the infusion themed bar that radiates the magnetic energy of the moon controlling the movement of the tides on this planet. The ambiance is alluring and magical and it grows on you! The come hither decor and snazzy vibe of this trendy bar effervesces as a rhythmic pulse between its namesake specialty fine dining restaurant Luna Nudo Gusta and its appeal ascending and descending like waves, evolving till the crack of a mellow dawn.
Dedicated celebration times coined ‘Happy Appertivo Hours’ colored with live music and infused cocktails edge spirited guests into grooving from early evening shadows to the wee hours. A genteel and slower pace is offered during ‘Frat-Working Hours’ that open out to bracing views of the bay with special offers every-day between 4pm to 8pm. Music makes shake-a-hip magic with specially curated melody nights all through the seven days, the finest state-of-the-art acoustics command evenings stirred with live music bands and well-known Indian and International DJs. As revelers absorb the spatial appeal of the welcoming interior’s lingering aura, the sprightly chatter and changing tones mix and mingle as genial camaraderie.
But the sizzle is in the flutes and noir seduction in glorious goblets! As we quaffed fine sparkling and effusive red vintage numbers, we took in the collection of choicest Limited Edition, premium vintage world wines and Champagnes as the privileged pelf. Exclusive cocktail innovations wow patrons each time here, the languorous moments of an unhurried night uplift the soiree with unmatched verve. We murmured… C’est La Vie….Sante.
IMPERIAL BAVARIAN GRANDEUR – FALK’S BAR – HOTEL BAYERISCHER HOF – MUNICH, GERMANY
Few exceptional luxury bars in the world can claim to the ‘Legendary’ honor even before the opening. This distinguished imperial rendezvous ensconed in the fabled Hall of Mirrors at this grand Bavarian regal landmark dates back to 1839, the only World War II untouched surviving space in the Hotel Bayerischer Hof. The spacious décor leaves one open mouthed in awe and admiration.
The traditional meets the futuristically modern here, the stunning stucco ceiling and the interplay of changing colors at the bar entice the city’s nocturnal adventurers, as we settled in a mirror-graced alcove to capture the moments in resplendence.. Reflecting the royalty of Bavarian rulers and their preference for exemplary monuments, this landmark is home to some of the very finest of Champagnes, selective blue blood spirits, classic cocktails, classy aperitifs and award winning world wine vintages, all ingested at a genteel Operatic pace lilted by immortal symphonic renditions of western classical music maestros, juxtaposed with jazz tunes and even soulful Arias. Prost!
SURF SIDE SPLENDOR – THE BEACHCOMBER LOUNGE BAR – SUN N SAND HOTEL – MUMBAI, INDIA
The snazzy and chic Beachcomber Lounge at Mumbai’s Sun-n-Sand Hotel boasts a newly renovated bar with nerve-soothing views of the swimming pool and the Arabian Sea fringing Juhu beach. The décor hass understated class with tobacco brown marble flooring along with the Andromeda chandelier in brown Murano glass and plush leather chairs that lend an imperial identity. The paneling behind the bar is Eucalyptus veneer and the bar counter is aglow in Tiger Onyx diffusion.
Sipping on choicest cocktails and top world wines and select spirits can be a relaxing sojourn for bar guests who can revel in the mellow sunset hues across, Soft jazz pianoforte lilts the mood into an unwinding mode as diffused lighting radiate a soft ambience of cozy repose. The Beachcomber Lounge presents an exciting cocktail menu designed by world renowned mixologist, “Dré Masso” who has been involved with the London cocktail scene for nearly two decades, working and running bars across London and San Francisco. Over the course of his career he has won numerous cocktail competitions and has been awarded “UK Bartender of the Year” thrice.
Dré has whipped up a unique cocktail menu using uniquely local flavors and ingredients. Beachcomber Signature Cocktails showcase brilliant Indian flavors alongside premium spirits and liqueurs such as Marvelous Mumbai Mary which blends typical Indian spices like garam masala, turmeric, coriander, paprika and cumin with pureed tomatoes and citrus vodka. Other signature cocktail wows include Millionaire Martini, Mango and Rosemary Mojito, Beachcomber Crush and Double Espresso Martini. For the sultry Mumbai climate meandering into the lush monsoon later, the Beachcomber experience is a Beluga of spirited adventures captured in a goblet or Martini glass!
AT THE WORLD’S VERY TOP- OZONE – THE RITZ-CARLTON HONG KONG, CHINA
Jaw dropping, spectacular views freze your gaze across the stunningly picturesque Victoria Harbor below and beyond at 490 meters, the highest floor in this grand luxury landmark . As the ever-alive bejeweled city shimmers in it’s global grandeur, we take in the tizzy heights in strobe neon psychedelia at this highest bar in the world at the world’s highest super grand luxury five star hotel. This spectacular rooftop entertainment sensation for the world’s upwardly futuristic mavens and makers spreadss out its large hearted sparkle as the hottest, trendiest and most patronized nocturnal den in all Hong Kong.
The alluring aura of orchestrated mood lighting and calibrated strobe glows we were washed with, indulge guests with the chicest signature cocktails stirred up by an award-winning global mixology expert and an exotic selection of Asian Tapas and Japanese specialties. Magnetizing DJ beats and hip global numbers blended with the absolutely captivating vistas of the city and Victoria Harbor below add psychedelic dimensions to a hearty evening out, way up in the clouds.
CLASSY CONTEMPORARY CHIC – O22 BAR LOUNGE – THE TRIDENT BANDRA KURLA MUMBAI, INDIA
The spatial grandeur in minimalistic space stops you with a pleasant feel instantly. This rotunda shaped watering haven in the heart of Mumbai’s most modern business and diamond district is a hot favorite of the most discerning of corporate captains and the huge expatriate population of the city.
Floor-to-ceiling glass panes open out to bracing green views, the informal bar counter at eye level is an interactive pad for some light and easy conversation between the bar staff and guests.
The easy going beige and fawn-toned décor in eye soothing simplistic splendor is a welcoming aspect as liberally placed seating allows a very relaxed and chill out feel.
The striking USP of this charming luxury lounge bar is the grand floor to first floor ceiling Enoteca stocking some of the world’s finest vintage labels. Wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs can quaff with aplomb, some of the best oenophilic experiences blended with some of the city’s finest bar snacks and canapés.
Themed spirits promos and events light up this luxury spirits pad as eager residents and overseas visitors catch up over light conversation and closeted moments to cherish relatioships and close important business deals. For cocktail lovers the evening cools down to sensuous combos like Quora Quora, Transatlantic, Bombay Southside and unique Presse cocktails like L’Original Presse –Vodka, freshly pressed cucumber and mint or Korean Presse –Green tea infused gin, mint and lime. An array of deeply invigorating Single Malts, Irish Whiskeys, Sake and the finest collection of Grappas (in Mumbai) make their uplifting mark at this celebrated five star deluxe haven. Salude!
PACIFIC ISLAND NUGGET – MASIMA LAGOON ISLAND BAR – LIKULIKU LAGOON RESORT – MALOLO ISLAND –FIJI, SOUTH PACIFIC
Ultramarine mingles with deep Prussian on gentle lapping Pacific waves around this most unique island lagoon bar. Extending to brightly upholstered comfy al fresco sofas and stools that punctuate this aquamarine jewel, the bar itself is simple yet amply endowed with Fijian eco-accented interiors, layout and an easy going rejuvenation mood. Fijian cocktail fusions, world class premium wine labels, choicest single malts and white spirits create sunset sonata for residents of this award winning deluxe five star boutique resort. Our choice for that evening was a fine, medium bodied vintage Marlborough Pinot Noir from New Zealand with Fijian tidbits on the palate.
Spectacular seems a small word for this prized oceanfront setting, the mind-stilling panoramas of the lagoon and beyond mesmerizing our senses into total silence, the wind whispering its own whimsical wafts with teasing dismissal. As colors metamorphosed into spectral shades changing every minute, the sun was in no hurry to dip down, we walked to the tiny island’s edge to cheer a marvelous theatrical closure of yet another fine day. Guitar strings, native songs and foot tapping lent enchanting glows to candlelit spots at the bar and around. Nothing came close to this Pacific paradise. Vinaka.
KING-SIZE SPLENDOR -THE HOWDAH LOUNGE BAR – EVOLVE BACK KAMALAPURA PALACE HAMPI – KARNATAKA, SOUTH INDIA
At this eco-designed five star royal luxury resort on the edge of the world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site- Hampi, we wallowed in the regal splendor of expansively gorgeous environs decked up in princely pomp. Customized design and innovative zeal envelop your gaze as giant wood carved tusks, a placid water pond, graceful palatial arches and a stimulated dimensional white elephant occupying dramatic position behind the bar counter create wonder and curiosity, edged on by fine world wines and monarchy–inspired cocktails. The glory and prosperity of the ancient 14th century Vijaynagara Empire’s grand heritage monuments come alive in every element of this outlet.
Extra sumptuous handcrafted lounge chaises and couches, mashaal-shaped lighting posts and views of an open royal courtyard and al fresco dining spaces lend magnificence. Choicest canapés and grilled treats bring in the excitement of relaxing and reviving spirits at this singularly superlative regal destination. As we raised our glasses to cherished moments, we were colored with poignant tales of imperial wealth, global appeal, harmony and cultural richness of the great Vijayanagara kings.