Whether you’re on a staycation or you’ve run out of leave days and you’re just pretending to be a tourist in Singapore, hotel bars can be hip hangouts for an after-hours chilling sesh. They’re classy, they’ve got creative cocktail concoctions, and they’re always up for a good time – plus, you know you won’t be stepping into any puke puddles or having beer unceremoniously spilled on you at these swanky places.
They’re definitely not your average tourist attractions.
So the next time you round up your night owl buddies for a (fancy) bar crawl, hit up a couple of these posh drinking spots for a first-class contact high.
When you need a break from all that retail therapy in the Raffles City area, this sophisticated bar and its plush couches are a welcoming remedy for your aching feet. But more than that, its innovative tapas bites are on par with its experimental cocktails.
From light and citrusy to bubbly and refreshing to classic concoctions, the cocktail selection includes recipes made with unconventional ingredients like red dates, chilli padi and sesame. While you nurse your drink, nibble on small plates of cod croquette, burnt corn taco or Ibérico pork belly dumpling.
L1, Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Rd, 6431-5315.
Escape from the concrete jungle and fall into the welcoming arms of Mother Nature at Bob’s Bar, a tranquil space nestled in Sentosa. Unless you stop by for Havana Nights – the lively Cuban grill-out on Fridays – the semi-alfresco bar is usually quiet and peaceful, with comfy lounge chairs scattered across the outdoor area. Here’s where you can snuggle into the arms of your significant other or gather for an adults-only get-together without shouting over the pounding beats of EDM.
On the drinks side, the menu pays homage to Havana’s golden era from the 1930s to the 1950s, with fresh-pressed juices, spices and fruits mixed into blends like tropical punch with a kick or canchánchara (a classic Cuban cocktail). The bar also serves up its own bespoke brand of rum called Navegante – Spanish for ‘navigator’ – that makes an appearance in cocktails like Bob’s Old Fashioned.
Capella Singapore, 1 The Knolls, 6591-5047.
With its snazzy décor and solid selection of gins, tonics and vermouths, this Tanjong Pagar watering hole appeals to the gin enthusiast who wants to appreciate every martini sip instead of simply knocking back a few cocktails for a boozy high.
Settle into a seat at the glossy marble-topped bar and chat with a bartender about the more than 500 different ways to craft your own gin and tonic, or plop down onto a lounge chair and pick from the curated list of gin-based cocktail classics with a twist. As the CBD crowd heads home, you can do your fair share of people-watching while you line your stomach with standard light bites such as truffle fries and spicy buffalo wings.
#01-02 Oasia Hotel Downtown, 100 Peck Seah St, 6385-2604.
Nestled in the midst of the CBD’s hustle and bustle, HI-SO’s chill vibes and laidback ambience make for a great after-work getaway, especially if you’ve just had a relentless week. The chic rooftop joint throws regular pool parties with drink promos, bar bites and wicked beats, but you can pop by anytime for cocktails, wines and champagnes with the urban skyline as your backdrop.
Watch the sun go down as you take a dip in the pool, or gaze up at the brightly-lit office buildings surrounding you and soak up the feeling of relief that comes when you realize there are poor souls still stuck in front of their computer screens.
SO Sofitel Singapore, 35 Robinson Rd, 6701-6800.
If you’re never one to turn down a picturesque view, make this stylish rooftop bar your go-to for an evening with friends to unwind over a booze-induced buzz. You can choose to relax by the infinity pool, lounge on sun-beds and private cabanas, or sit by the waters and behold the glittering spectacle that is Marina Bay.
While you enjoy the breeze and the beats, take a swig of flavored mojitos infused with jams like orange marmalade and yuzu citrus, or order your usual glass of champagne, wine, gin or whiskey.
The Fullerton Bay Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay, 6597-5299.
Take a step into the luxurious space, and you may feel like you’re been transported into a grand New York hotel bar from another century. Manhattan sits at the top of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars list this year, and for good reason. It houses the world’s first in-hotel rickhouse, offers a range of artisanal spirits, and whips up exquisite cocktails – they used to be inspired by the characteristics of Manhattan’s neighborhoods, but the revamped menu is all about the glorious eras of New York, from the 1520s to the 1990s.
As far as we’re concerned, the fancy bar bites have never disappointed either – and if you’re up for an adults-only cocktail brunch, head over on Sundays for oysters, lobsters and loads of booze.
L2, Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Rd, 6725-3377.
Make the trip out to Sentosa Cove for a funky night out, as the drinks keep flowing and the beats keep you grooving. But first, pad your stomach with bites like grilled parma ham and gruyere toast or sashimi with lotus chips before you spend the rest of the night refueling with booze.
On the cocktail menu, you’ll find locally-inspired tipples like 1975, which is made with chilli-infused vodka, basil and ginger; and Bacon, Fashionable – a mix of bak kwa-infused bourbon, maple syrup and bitters. The eclectic space also plays host to themed evenings (and afternoons) like its daily high tea, weekly ladies’ night, and monthly daytime pool party.
W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, 21 Ocean Way, 6808-7258.