10 Must-Try Hotel Bars in Miami

Watr at 1 Hotel South Beach, Miami
Watr at 1 Hotel South Beach, Miami | © 1 Hotel South Beach
Photo of Dominic Bertolami
Freelance Writer18 June 2019

From Asian-inspired rooftop getaways with sweeping ocean views to restored Art Deco gems teeming with old-world charm, grab a handcrafted cocktail and get ready to party at these top hotel bars in Miami.

Make a new friend at WunderBar

Bar, Mediterranean, $$$
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WunderBar at Circa 39 Miami Beach
Enjoy globally-inspired cocktails at WunderBar | © Circa 39

WunderBar is a kitschy watering hole located inside the lobby of the Circa 39 Hotel on Miami Beach. With a passion for travel and a dedication to craft, bartenders here sling globally inspired cocktails such as the Shaman, made with Gracias a Dios mezcal, ginger syrup, jalapeño peppers, cucumber, lemon juice and ginger beer. Rum enthusiasts will feel at home chatting to the barkeep while sipping a flight of rums from the bar’s illustrious rum wall. Bites include bang bang shrimp, Greek nachos with feta cheese and kalamata olives and jerk chicken street tacos.

Begin a night out at The Drawing Room

Cocktail Bar, Bar, American, $$$
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Located on the lobby level of the Shelborne Ocean Beach resort, The Drawing Room is a 1940s-era lounge conjuring up apothecary-inspired drinks that blur the line between chemistry and cocktail. Using locally sourced botanicals, herbs and house-made tinctures, chemists (bartenders) concoct ‘medicinal cocktails’ such as the Aztec Medicine (muddled pineapple, cilantro, Habanero bitters and Santa Teresa rum); or you can choose from a variety of elixirs (like opium essence, lavender and dill) to create a unique ‘cocktail prescription.’ When you get hungry, Southern-style bar bites include marinated watermelon skewers and chicharrones with tequila lime. For entertainment there are sultry live-cabaret shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights that are not to be missed.

Dance to live jazz at The Regent Cocktail Club

Cocktail Bar, Bar, American, $$$
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The Regent Cocktail Club at Gale South Beach Hotel, Miami
Step back into the prohibition-era at The Regent Cocktail Club | © The Regent Cocktail Club and LDV Hospitality

Step back in time at the Gale South Beach Hotel’s classy cocktail bar. Modeled after the jazz bars of post-prohibition New York, The Regent Cocktail Club serves masterfully crafted cocktails in Art Deco surroundings. Enjoy old-fashioned drinks alongside unique creations like the El Diablo (tequila reposado, crème de cassis, ginger beer and lime juice), the Jungle Bird (premium white rum, Italian aperitif, lime juice, sugar and pineapple juice) or the cool and refreshing Grasshopper (green crème de menthe, white crème de cacao and smooth cream). With live music seven nights a week, there is something to suit every musical taste, from Latin jazz and indie-pop-soul to funk and jazz classics. Whether you’re enjoying the vintage ambiance in the lounge or settling in for a Cuban cigar on the patio, this approachable home for fine drinks will keep you coming back again and again.

Party all night at The Clevelander Bar

Bar, American, $$$
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The Clevelander Hotel Club & Bar is a-buzzing after hours – until 5am, specifically. Located in the heart of South Beach, this quintessential Miami mainstay is notorious for rowdy pool parties, high- energy DJ sets and colorful oversized drinks. A frozen piña colada or margarita is a perfect poolside companion to stay cool with while dancing the day away. Weekends at the Clevelander become one long party with Splash Saturday and Sunday Funday pool parties, often pumping techno music late into the night. For a more intimate setting, head to the rooftop terrace for bottle service and a private DJ. American fare (served poolside) will give you some much-needed party energy and includes crispy calamari, margherita pizza and the Clevelander burger.

Sunbathe poolside with cocktails at Watr

Cocktail Bar, Asian, Fusion, $$$
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Watr at 1 Hotel South Beach, Miami
Soak up the sun at Watr | © Hotel South Beach

Situated on the roof of the 1 Hotel South Beach, Watr lives up to its namesake with 360-degree views of Miami Beach and a huge, refreshing infinity pool to cool off in. Spend the day under white cabanas with poolside service featuring creative Peruvian fare with a Japanese twist, like the award-winning sushi rolls and chicken yakisoba noodles. Pair small or large plates with fresh and fruity cocktails like the pineapple and mint caipirinha, or share a rooftop sangria made with rosé, fresh citrus, watermelon and strawberry. Insider tip: make sure to arrive after 6pm, when the fancy rooftop bar opens to the public for dinner and drinks.

Sip specialty cocktails at The Living Room Bar

Cocktail Bar, American
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The Living Room is a bohemian-chic lounge located in the W SoBe Hotel & Residences. Featuring one of the most innovative cocktail programs in Miami, specialty cocktails feature homemade spices, essential oils, edible flowers and locally sourced organic herbs. It’s Miami’s original mixology bar; some of The Living Room’s handcrafted cocktails include the Waverly Place Echo and the Crimson Cooler. You can also choose from a list of ingredients and let the expert mixologists create something completely unique to suit your individual palate. With a raw bar featuring oysters, $100 Siberian sturgeon caviar and Florida stone-crab claws, the food menu is as highly elevated as the drinks. The bar comes replete with retro board games, regular DJ sets and local live music on Thursdays from 8.30pm to 10.30pm.

Chill out oceanside at The Matador

Cocktail Bar, Spanish, $$$
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Matador Bar at Edition Hotel, Miami
Indulge in Hispanic-themed drinks at the Matador Bar | © The Miami Beach EDITION

Floor-to-ceiling windows give this glamorous hotel bar the only unobstructed view of the ocean in South Beach. It’s located inside the Edition Hotel, with bullfighter-themed photographs, a long walnut bar and blue plush seating create a refined and understated appeal. Bespoke crafted cocktails inspired by Latin culture, South America and Spain include a Barcelona G&T and the Mexican Bull. Once a month the bar puts on a pineapple and pizza night (at $35 per person) that pairs an off-menu specialty pizza and a boozy pineapple-inspired cocktail served in a copper pineapple. The Confession of Love Punch is a luxurious (and shareable) tropical cocktail experience serving up to six people. Served in a copper punchbowl shaped like a flamingo, it is the perfect drink to sit back and relax with while taking in the ocean view.

Relive Old Miami at Blues Bar

Cocktail Bar, American
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Located inside the historic National Hotel, Blues Bar is a beautifully restored Art Deco gem that has been in business since the hotel’s 1939 opening. Signature cocktails such as the Salma Hayek (Casa Noble reposado tequila, Cointreau, sweet vermouth and bergamot) are served next to classic throwbacks with a twist, like the Truffle Dry Martini. Authentic absinthe is also offered in cocktails with classic names such as Pernod and St George. Happy hour is from 5pm to 7pm and includes both drink specials and shareable tapas before live music begins at 8.30pm six days a week.

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