Hotel bars

We reckon there's nothing better than a good hotel bar – cosy, welcoming places for the most part, which at their best range from glamorous locations for people-spotting to intimate venues for passionate liaisons: whatever your fantasy, we're sure there's a hotel bar to indulge it. In any case, there's nothing better than to sip cocktails or quaff ale safe in the knowledge that you only have to stagger upstairs at the end of the evening; and even if you're not staying the very best hotel bars will make you feel like one of the guests. Here's a slightly random selection of some of our favourite hotel bars around the UK. 

Bar Cwtch

Cwtch means' cosy' in Welsh, which perfectly describes this cellar bar underneath Jolyons Hotel in central Cardiff. If you get hungry you can snack on pizza fresh from their wood-fired oven, or just squish into the leather sofas and chill.


This is the glamour choice, a great bar whose cream leather and exposed brick is the perfect backdrop to enjoy their superb cocktails, and in summer the fab rooftop terrace overlooking the puckered City skyline feels more like Manhattan than London.

The Bull

There's nothing quite like the downstairs bar of a small country town hotel, and this Dorset favourite more than delivers, with a warm welcome, nooks and crannies and roaring log fires – no doubt soon to be deluged by an onslaught of tourists in search of TV's real Broadchurch.


This is a hotel bar with a difference, set back from the beach in Newquay it attracts the cool surf dude crowd, eager to swap stories after a hard day riding the breaks on nearby Fistral beach. Even if you don't know one end of a surfboard from another, though, it's a convivial place, with both food and summer DJs lifting it far above the ordinary.

The Cerise

The Cerise bar at the boutiquey Forbury Hotel in Reading is one of our favourites, offering a cosy bolthole to sip their excellent cocktails before repairing to the excellent adjoining restaurant. Worth the trip to Reading alone. 

No 10 Bar

The bar of Blackpool's grande-dame Imperial hotel has political intrigue written into its DNA, decorated with portraits of the various prime ministers and their fixers who have cornered people at the tables here and gerrymandered their conference votes. For mere mortals, it remains a nice place to sip a nerve-steadying cocktail before dinner rather than that difficult conference speech. 

The Midland

Recently revamped, the seriously stylish Rotunda bar of the glorious Art Deco Midland Hotel has one of the finest views in England, looking out across the vast expanse of Morecambe Bay. On a clear and sunny day, it's easy to forget you're, er, in Lancashire.

Ritson's Bar

Not a hotel bar as you would know it, but we have to include it here for its unique 'thank-God-you're open' appeal to the fell walkers who have drunk and slept here for a couple of centuries. Hearty food and real ales, and named – since you ask – after a former landlord who was known as the world's biggest liar for the tall tales he told.

Urban Beach

The bar and terrace at Bournemouth's Urban Beach is one of our favourites – period. The fact that it's part of such a cool hotel is just a bonus. The mixologists here prepare wonderful summer cocktails, including a mean classic Pimms, powerful mojitos and a Bloody Mary they claim is award-winning. You be the judge. Whatever, it's Bournemouth at its best. 

Zetter Townhouse

Is there a better place to get wasted than this cluttered and cosy bolthole with roaring fire and almost Dickensian charm?  And wasted you will get, as the cocktails are superb. If it's all a bit too old-school, you can always repair to the lovely Atrium bar across the road at the Zetter hotel proper.