3 Classy Hotel Bars in Singapore for Your Next Night Out

These new (or newly revamped) hotel bars are spicing up the local nightlife scene with an extra dash of glamour.

A Tiki Time Bomb cocktail at So Sofitel’s rooftop 1927 Bar.

1. 1927 Bar

Perched atop SO Sofitel’s whitewashed neoclassical building from 1927, in the heart of the CBD, this fun, open-air venue has its own infinity pool, beckoning patrons to slink into clam-shaped floats while clutching drinks in bamboo cups. Others bop to live beats by the counter where head bartender Thomas Sobota, who once helmed Keong Saik Road’s Library Bar, gives old-world recipes the modern treatment. Flip through the menu, designed as a series of telegrams, and order the Tiki Time Bomb, a gin-based house signature with burnt citrus notes. For something refreshing with a kick, the Painkiller is a hearty dark rum cocktail lightened with coconut cream and orange juice (6/F, 35 Robinson Rd.; 65/6701-6800).

More information here.

Italian bartender Michele Mariotti helms the revamped MO Bar at the Mandarin Oriental.

2. MO Bar

Travel and exploration loom large at the Mandarin Oriental’s MO Bar, a haven of nautical calm overlooking Marina Bay that comes adorned with richly textured details: think puzzle-like arrangements in the metal ceiling panels, hand-carved wooden sculptures, and tabletops with the look of brushed sand. Bar manager Michele Mariotti—who earned his stripes at The Savoy in London—enjoys a classic negroni during his downtime, but here, he whips up fanciful cocktails in accordance with the seafaring theme. Standouts include the Mexican-Italian libation Roaring City, a sparkling pineapple tepache and vermouth jelly concoction served on floral Peranakan-inspired tile coasters; and Rough Waters by the Coral Sea, an intriguing mix of herb-infused cognac and wine crowned with a squid-ink tuile styled as edible coral (4/F, 5 Raffles Ave.; 65/6885-3500).

More information here.

Inside the Raffles’ new-look Long Bar.

3. Long Bar

The iconic Raffles hotel doesn’t reopen until mid-2019, but you can already enjoy a tipple on the second-floor arcade, where the recently restored Long Bar still conjures up the breeziness of 1920s Malayan plantation life. Settle down in a large rattan chair, crack open a peanut from your gunny sack, and toss the shell onto the black-and-white tiled floor, just as they did in the old days. Long Bar’s ultimate claim to fame is the Singapore Sling, invented in 1915 by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, and this signature pink gin cocktail has now received a luxe upgrade. Version 2.0 uses all-natural craft ingredients, including Widges gin specially created for the bar, fresh pineapple juice, cherry liqueur, and grenadine made with pure pomegranate juice (2/F, 1 Beach Rd.; 65/6412-1816). 

More information here.

This article originally appeared in the December 2018/January 2019 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Singapore Swing”).

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