Not long a fan of the hotel bar, with their stuffy, uptight, over-styled and overpriced image, Alex, master dipsologist at, checks out (without checking in) some of the bars guiding the London hotel scene through a renaissance.

After all, with if three of this list feature in the top eleven bars in the world, and a fourth is run by 2014’s Imbibe Innovator of the Year, they must be doing something right…

Artesian in The Langham
Artesian Bar Langham dirnk me best hotel bars in london

The undisputed number one – who are we to argue with three consecutive years as ‘The World’s Best Bar’? Not to mention the last time we were there Nick Cave calmly swaggered in and up to the bar. Cocktails with the goth-gospel godfather? Yes please!

The current menu, Unfolding & Exploring, features the ostentatious Camouflage: a gin and sandalwood concoction served in a golden pineapple, while Unfinished Business consists of bourbon and vermouth aged in the 40 litre leather pig that rests on the bar.

Location: Artesian in The Langham, 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, W1B 1JA
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 11am-2am, Sunday 11am-12am
Price Range: £££

The American Bar at The Savoyamerican bar savoy dirnk me best hotel bars in london

As well as having a firm grasp on all the classics (many of which originated in this very room) the menu at The American Bar features tribute cocktails like the Savoy Daisy in honour of past managers, others inspired by historical events in the 125 year history of the hotel, and a list of vintage cocktails such as the £5,000 Original Sazerac made with Sazerac de Forge from 1858.

Make sure to visit the small Museum Bar while you wait for your table next door, there’s a complete collection of Pimm’s bottles (Number 1 to Number 6), some impressively old bottles of liquor and Marlene Dietrich’s written request that 12 pink roses and a bottle of Dom Perignon await her arrival.

Location: The American Bar at The Savoy, 100 Strand, WC2R 0EU
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 11:30am-12am, Sunday 12pm-11pm
Price Range: £££

Dandelyan, Mondrian LondonDandelyan dirnk me best hotel bars in london

The newest London location for transatlantic innovator Mr Lyan (he of Henry at The Hudson and White Lyan fame), Dandelyan at the Mondrian offers cocktails divided between cereal, vegetal, mineral or floral categories. In each, the drinks are exquisitely researched and crafted, and use plenty of the group’s homemade spirits, tinctures and infusions.

The ground floor location right on the Thames complements the natural inspiration behind the drinks and the taste of the garden provides a small green oasis in the heart of the bustling South Bank. A popular spot and right on my walk home from the office. Too tempting.

Location: Dandelyan, Mondrian London, 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD
Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday 4pm-1am, Friday and Saturday 12pm-1:30am, Sunday 12pm-12:30am
Price Range: ££

The Connaught Bar, The ConnaughtConnaught bar dirnk me best hotel bars in london

A luxury hotel like no other, but pleasingly discreet about it, The Connaught has an understated Art Deco style much like The Savoy. This could lead you to believe that it is just another classic American Bar in London, but the truth is that the current incarnation is a 21st century addition to the Edwardian hotel which has stood on this site since 1815.

The cocktail menu is divided into Masterpieces, Continental, Transatlantic and Pacific drinks, but the real star of the show is the Martini Trolley. Order from this and watch as the black lacquered mobile bar manoeuvres itself to your tableside where an attentive barman in pristine white gloves will craft a martini to your own exacting specifications.

Location: The Connaught Bar, The Connaught, Carlos Place, W1K 2AL
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 4pm-1am, closed Sunday
Price Range: £££

Dukes Bar, Dukes Hoteldukes bar dirnk me best hotel bars in london

Well hidden in the well-heeled back alleys of St James’s, and a regular haunt of Ian Fleming, Dukes claims to be the inspiration behind James Bond’s preference for his vodka martini to be shaken not stirred.

The surroundings are timeless and unpretentious with drinks to match. Much like 007, this bar is a classic charmer from a bygone age. And when it comes to the martini, Dukes can certainly claim that nobody does it better.

Location: Dukes Bar, Dukes Hotel, 35 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NY
Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 2pm-11pm, Sunday 4pm-10:30pm
Price Range: £££