Most hotel bars are a refuge of last resort. They’re an adequate place to grab a bottle of Bud Lite after a long day at the convention center, but they’re not good for much else. Except the hotel bars in Miami. In Miami people strap on stilettos and hop into Lamborghinis and then purposely go to hotel bars to drink some of the best cocktails in the city. Here are six of our favorite nightlife spots along Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue that just-so-happen to also rent hotel rooms.
THE BROKEN SHAKER
Skip the South Beach bottle service and share a big boozy punch bowl with some backpackers at the Broken Shaker. The mellow bartenders here wear Hawaiian shirts but are meticulous at crafting botanical punches and fruity libations like kale and pineapple juice caipirinhas. The bar opens out into the hostel’s bustling pool deck and garden, where the property grows many of the herbs and spices included in its drinks. Freehand also has an excellent restaurant, 27, which serves the kind of fusion food you could only find in South Florida: Latin-Caribbean-Israeli.
REGENT COCKTAIL CLUB
The speakeasy-esque Regent Cocktail Club looks like an elegant 1940s lounge and serves drinks fit for the Greatest Generation. Order the Hemingway Daiquiri, a classic rum concoction that is shaken (not blended!) with lime, grapefruit, and maraschino juices. The daiquiri’s namesake supposedly drank six of these bad boys every single day. At 11 P.M. head downstairs to the Gale’s bonus bar, the subterranean Rec Room, which is decked out like a 1970s basement.
THE RUM LINE
Loews Miami Beach
Mai Tais and Dark ‘N’ Stormys taste way better when they’re served in ceramic skull mugs. Sip them in style while watching the sunset at the Rum Line, an al fresco bar from the team behind New York City’s Lure Fishbar. Rum Line is named for the Caribbean smugglers who snuck booze into Florida during Prohibition, and the bar serves more than 100 different types of rum in their honor.
Shelborne Wyndham Grand
The bartenders at the Drawing Room are referred to as “house apothékers” and they promise to remedy all of your ailments. Here the menu reads like a prescription pad: Choose between stress relievers, pain killers, or aphrodisiacs spiked with medicinal elixirs such as wormwood and opium essence.
Thompson Miami Beach
The freestanding 1930s House bar at the Thompson Hotel looks like a historic home lifted straight out of Havana. But actually it was transported from across the street. The hotel relocated this authentic bungalow from its foundation on the other side of Collins Avenue and filled it with colorful, cushy chairs and Spanish tiles. Be sure to pair your Bacardi cocktails with tapas from celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein.
Surfcomber South Beach
The juice-packed, beachy drinks served at the Surfcomber’s Social Club will leave you feeling downright healthy. Sip the refreshing In My Head (fresh-pressed pineapple juice, passion fruit juice, and whiskey) or the Two’s a Pair featuring fresh pear juice and gin. In the morning the bright Social Club serves all of its cold-pressed juices sans alcohol if you’re into that sort of thing.
Alyson Sheppard is the resident hangover specialist at Playboy.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amshep