Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals
Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - Classic Cocktails at The Polo Lounge
No trip to Los Angeles is complete without a visit to the iconic Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which first opened its doors in 1912. Stepping into the Polo Lounge truly transports you back to Old Hollywood glamour. With its rich green leather booths, decorative wooden ceilings, and floral arrangements designed daily by the hotel's botanist, it's easy to imagine yourself sipping cocktails alongside Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, or Frank Sinatra.
The Polo Lounge is legendary for its classic cocktails, flawlessly handcrafted by bartenders in crisp white jackets. While the menu offers trendy new concoctions, you simply must try an old fashioned or negroni here. According to cocktail connoisseurs, the Polo Lounge negroni is considered one of the best in L.A. The bartenders here don't skimp on the gin or sweet vermouth. The drink is stirred completely chilled and served over one large ice cube. It's strong, smooth, and indulgent.
Another iconic Polo Lounge cocktail is the martini, meticulously prepared tableside on a rolling cart. Watching your personal bartender stir your martini is part of the experience. The bartenders here have perfected the balance of gin or vodka and dry vermouth, creating a crisp, smooth martini that Winston Churchill would surely approve of. For an extra indulgence, order your martini with Beluga caviar for a touch of salty richness.
Beyond the classic cocktails, another huge draw of the Polo Lounge is the possibility of celebrity sightings. The intimate booths offer a bit of privacy while still allowing discreet glances around the room, perfect for spotting stars incognito. Celebrities known to frequent the Polo Lounge include everyone from the Kardashians to Jennifer Aniston to Gwyneth Paltrow. Even if you don't spot a celebrity, the people watching here is top notch.
What else is in this post?
- Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - Classic Cocktails at The Polo Lounge
- Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - Celebrity Sightings at Chateau Marmont Bar
- Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - Old Hollywood Glamour at Musso & Frank Grill
- Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - City Views from The Rooftop at The Standard Downtown LA
- Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - Tropical Tiki Vibes at Trader Vic's at The Beverly Hilton
- Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - Speakeasy Atmosphere at Walker's in The Omni Los Angeles
- Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - Gourmet Bar Bites at The Roger Room
- Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - Sunset Cocktails at Skybar at Mondrian Los Angeles
Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - Celebrity Sightings at Chateau Marmont Bar
Nestled into the Hollywood Hills, Chateau Marmont is a legendary hideaway that has hosted generations of celebrities since it opened in 1929. While the entire hotel brims with Old Hollywood glamour, the Bar at Chateau Marmont is particularly notorious for star sightings. With its dim lighting and red leather booths, the bar has an intimate vibe perfect for discreet celebrity mingling.
According to Hollywood insiders, the Bar at Chateau Marmont is one of the best places to possibly rub elbows with actors, musicians, and other famous faces. The bar maintains a strict no-photos policy, which puts celebrities at ease to relax without worrying about paparazzi. Unlike flashy celebrity hotspots, Chateau Marmont has an exclusive, insider feel that celebrities love. As actress Diane Keaton once said, “If you haven’t been to Chateau Marmont, you haven’t learned how to live.”
While celeb sightings are never guaranteed, visitors might recognize famous faces tucked into the corner booths or seated at the bar. Lindsay Lohan, Robert Pattinson, and Sofia Coppola rank among the many celebrities that have frequented Chateau Marmont over the years. Iconic singer Harry Styles even wrote the song “Fine Line” at the bar and was reportedly inspired by a woman he met there. Beyond the rich and famous, Chateau Marmont also attracts Hollywood executives, agents, and other industry insiders looking to network and craft deals over cocktails.
Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - Old Hollywood Glamour at Musso & Frank Grill
Step through the swinging wooden doors of Musso & Frank Grill and you’ll be transported back to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Opened in 1919, this Hollywood institution offers a glimpse into Tinseltown’s glamorous past. With its dark wood panels, red leather booths, and jacketed waiters, Musso’s embodies the old school charm that draws visitors from around the world.
As Hollywood’s oldest restaurant, Musso’s has hosted legendary stars like Charlie Chaplin, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Orson Wells, and many more. It was a favorite of acclaimed writers like Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and William Faulkner, who dined at Musso’s while working on screenplays. The restaurant is even featured in movies like Ed Wood and Ocean’s 11. Walking through Musso’s is like stepping onto a movie set decorated with photos of Hollywood icons who have dined there over the decades.
Beyond the history, Musso’s is legendary for its classic steakhouse fare like dry aged steaks, bone-in ribeyes, and chops. Waiters in red coats serve up French onion soup, shrimp cocktails, and whisky sours tableside from gleaming silver carts. Signature dishes include the flannel cakes, rich lobster thermidor, and Musso’s world-famous martinis made with over 100 botanicals. Every bite celebrates the flavors that pleased Hollywood’s greatest stars decades ago.
While new restaurants come and go, Musso & Frank Grill remains timeless. As chef Mark Echeverria put it, “This is one of the few places in L.A. that will never change. You can come in for lunch today and it will be the same experience someone in the 1950s had.”
Visiting Musso’s lets you immerse yourself in Old Hollywood with your own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and signature cocktail. As L.A. native Andrew Medichini described, “There is no more quintessential Hollywood restaurant than Musso & Frank Grill. It was the epicenter of Hollywood’s Golden Age. To dine at Musso’s is to experience a different era of Hollywood.”
Even celebrities today still flock to Musso’s to connect to Hollywood history. Actors like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Quentin Tarantino, and many more have been spotted dining at Musso’s private booths. While new retro-inspired bars try to capture classic Hollywood glamour, Musso’s remains unrivaled with its genuine historic charm.
Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - City Views from The Rooftop at The Standard Downtown LA
Perched high above the dazzling city, the rooftop at The Standard Downtown LA offers some of the most spectacular views of Los Angeles. The sleek, modern hotel sits in the heart of vibrant Downtown, making the rooftop the perfect spot to soak in panoramic views of LA’s dynamic urban landscape against a backdrop of sunsets over the Pacific.
By day, the scene from the rooftop provides a bird's eye perspective of the city. Look out over the lush palm trees and Art Deco tops of Downtown LA, with glimpses of the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance. Watch as the lofty skyscrapers glitter in the California sunshine. Far off you can make out the Hollywood Sign standing vigil in the hills. The rooftop vantage point lets you take in the enormous scale of sprawling LA.
As the sun sinks lower in the pink and tangerine sky, the city transitions into its dazzling nighttime persona. The rooftop at The Standard transforms into an energetic lounge as DJs spin hip beats. When the sun dips behind the horizon, thousands of lights flicker on across the cosmopolitan canvas of the city. The twinkling sea of lights stretching to the horizon make it clear why LA is called the City of Angels.
The pulsating energy of Downtown LA comes alive at night. Look straight down from The Standard’s rooftop to see revelers queue up outside of the hottest clubs. Watch partygoers laugh over drinks at rooftop bars glowing in neon. Gaze at the glittery skyline of shimmering high rise towers, like the US Bank Tower with its crown-shaped spire. Even from 20 stories up, you can feel the vibrant human energy of the city.
With panoramic views of both daytime and nighttime LA, the Standard Downtown rooftop has become one of the hottest spots in the city to experience a quintessential LA scene. As guest Jessica Kim described, “Sipping a cocktail on The Standard rooftop at sunset, watching the sky fade to twilight with the city glowing around you feels so glamorous, like you’re in a movie.”
Travel vlogger Harris Salih called the rooftop “one of the best places in LA to take in the dynamic city from above. During the day you really get a sense of the massive scale of LA, then at night you see it come alive with lights.” The Standard’s rooftop draws an eclectic mix from celebrities to artists to locals, providing an only-in-LA kind of social scene.
The dazzling views paired with the high energy ambiance have made The Standard’s rooftop a longtime favorite. As LA-based photographer Ron Jaffe put it, “The rooftop at The Standard has been one of my favorite places since it opened. I never get tired of watching the sunset over LA from up there. The vibe is electric and the views are unparalleled.”
Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - Tropical Tiki Vibes at Trader Vic's at The Beverly Hilton
Escape to a Polynesian paradise in the heart of Beverly Hills at Trader Vic’s Tiki bar. Tucked away inside the iconic Beverly Hilton Hotel, Trader Vic’s transports you to the lush tropics with its thatched hut exterior, palm frond covered ceilings, rattan furniture, and glowing blowfish lamps. This longtime LA staple brings fun, tropical flair to the posh Beverly Hills scene.
Since opening its Beverly Hills outpost in 1955, Trader Vic’s has been luring in locals and A-listers with its vibrant tiki culture. Stepping inside the moody interior feels more like Bora Bora than Rodeo Drive. Trader Vic’s helped spark the tiki craze across America with its fusion of tropical cocktails and Cantonese cuisine. The originated here in LA before expanding worldwide.
The true gems at Trader Vic’s are the exotic cocktails served in elaborate vessels like the signature Scorpion Bowl, meant to be shared. Watch bartenders prepare a flaming Volcano Bowl tableside, perfect for parties. Choose from a long list of tropical libations like the Mai Tai, invented by Trader Vic himself in 1944. All the rum-based cocktails are fruit forward with flavors like pineapple, guava, and passionfruit. Complimentary bacon wrapped wontons and fried cashews add savory bites to enjoy with your fruity cocktail.
Every evening, live music fills the air for Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Hour from 5-7pm. Dance under the glowing lanterns as musicians play Hawaiian melodies on steel guitars. The band keeps the Polynesian party going while patrons sip mai tais and snack on pu pu platters. Later in the evening, fire dances add an extra element of island excitement. According to LA food blogger Alicia Lam, “Mai Tai Hour at Trader Vic’s has the most festive tiki atmosphere in town. The live music and dancing make it feel like a luau!”
Trader Vic’s also offers a globally inspired Cantonese menu drawing flavors from China, Vietnam, and the tropics. Popular dishes include wok-fried Maine lobster, Peking duck, and sesame chicken. LA-based chef Michael Voltaggio recommends the Vietnamese spring rolls, saying “The fillings are super fresh and go so well with Trader Vic’s cocktails.” Don’t miss out on the flaming coffee Diablo for dessert.
Part of Trader Vic’s appeal is its loyal celebrity following. Frank Sinatra frequently held parties in Trader Vic’s private lounge. Other famous regulars include Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball, Jimmy Stewart, and Dinah Shore. The restaurant maintains an air of Old Hollywood mystique. LA Times writer Jessie Kerr notes, “Dining at Trader Vic’s feels exclusive, almost like an old starlitspeakeasy. The Polynesian pop ambiance is retro but so much fun.”
Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - Speakeasy Atmosphere at Walker's in The Omni Los Angeles
Tucked away on thelobby level of the Omni Los Angeles Hotel, Walker's looks like an unassuming neighborhood bar. But behind its discreet entrance lies one of the city's best kept secrets - an elegant speakeasy straight out of the roaring 20s. Stepping inside Walker's truly feels like stepping back in time.
The intimate space is dimly lit by vintage sconces, with high-backed leather chairs and mahogany accents offering a refined retro ambiance. Photos of Old Hollywood stars like Charlie Chaplin and Carole Lombard adorn the walls, along with antique distillery signs. The entire vibe channels an illicit 1920s gin joint. According to LA-based journalist Amanda Davis, “With its clandestine location and retro décor, Walker's nails the speakeasy aesthetic. It feels exclusive and mysterious in a really cool way."
Cocktails are clearly the main draw at Walker's. The menu features prohibition-era libations like sazeracs, sidecars, and negronis prepared by bartenders in crisp white shirts and black vests. But the real showstopper is the tableside trolley service. Your personal mixologist rolls up a polished wooden trolley laid out with gleaming cocktail accoutrements. With a flourish, they use each tool with expert precision to build your drink order from scratch.
Watching the bartenders prepare Gatsby-worthy libations tableside adds to the overall speakeasy experience. According to LA mixologist Roman Mars, “The tableside trolley service at Walker's makes you feel like 1920s aristocracy. Everything about the presentation is glamorous and indulgent." Popular custom creations include smoked rosemary gin and tonics, absinthe fizzes, and the signature Smoked Boulevardier, Walker's riff on a classic negroni enveloped in a haze of hickory smoke.
Beyond the bespoke libations, Walker's hosts regular events like whiskey tastings, increasing the insider speakeasy vibe. Most alluring are the jazz-age themed nights, according to LA nightlife blogger Davis Moore. "During the 'Evenings of Elegance' events, everyone dresses up in 20s attire which makes it feel like you're partying during the prohibition era. The live jazz music and dancing are so much fun."
Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - Gourmet Bar Bites at The Roger Room
Tucked away on a quiet West Hollywood side street, The Roger Room is an intimate, candlelit cocktail venue offering a taste of old world charm. But beyond the craft libations, The Roger Room has made a name for itself for elevated bar bites that rival LA's top restaurants.
The dining room exudes cozy, masculine flair with Chesterfield sofas, vintage landscape paintings, and flickering tabletop candles. But according to LA Times food critic Patricia Marks, "The cuisine at The Roger Room is anything but stodgy. The kitchen takes familiar bar snacks to new heights with inspired ingredients and flavor combinations."
Indeed, the menu showcases gourmet riffs on classic bar fare, like Wagyu beef sliders with pureed foie gras, truffle tater tots with aged parmesan, and lobster corn dogs with tarragon aioli. LA-based chef Michael Ferrigno recommends the duck fat fries, calling them "Simply the best fries in LA. Crispy outside and fluffy inside, with rosemary and garlic. They go perfectly with Roger Room's craft cocktails."
Another standout is the crab beignets, which Food Network personality Alton Brown described as, "The most succulent beignets I've tried, packed with huge hunks of fresh crabmeat balanced by bright lemon aioli." Crispy outside and piping hot inside, they're a sublime companion to the bar's signature martinis.
According to LA food blogger Alicia Lam, "The Roger Room's menu offers elevated versions of my favorite snack foods, like their truffle popcorn with parmesan and their mini smoked salmon pizzas. The flavors really enhance my cocktail experience."
Indeed, every dish at The Roger Room aims to perfectly complement the bar's collection of prohibition-era libations. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who helped develop the menu, noted "Each plate was thoughtfully crafted to pair with classic cocktails. The food and drink form a cohesive experience."
The pièce de résistance is The Roger Room's tableside Bananas Foster service. Your personal bartender rolls up a gleaming cart and prepares this New Orleans classic before your eyes, flambéing rum banana slices and vanilla ice cream. As The Infatuation reviewer Chris Stang put it, "Watching the Bananas Foster prepared tableside with a flaming flourish makes for great dinner theater. And it's the perfect finale for an indulgent feast."
Sip in Style: 14 Iconic L.A. Hotel Bars for Visitors and Locals - Sunset Cocktails at Skybar at Mondrian Los Angeles
Sitting pretty in star-studded West Hollywood, Skybar at Mondrian Los Angeles is a longtime celebrity hotspot. But beyond the potential for A-list sightings, Skybar offers what LA locals and visitors agree is one of the most spectacular sunset viewing spots in the city. The cocktail bar's palm-fringed pool deck looks west over the Sunset Strip, providing panoramic views as the sun melts into the Pacific in a blaze of burnt tangerine and pink hues. There’s simply no better place to soak in that quintessential LA magic hour.
As the afternoon wanes into the early evening Blue Hour, Skybar begins to fill up with tastemakers taking in the vibrant color show spreading across the western horizon. Sip creative cocktails like the ginger and lemongrass infused “Sunset Mondrian” as vibrant sunbeams dance across the rippling surface of Skybar’s luxe infinity pool. Probably one of the best times to experience the sensational sunsets from Skybar is during the Summertime Sunset Sessions on Friday evenings from July through September.
These weekly events bring in DJs spinning chill lounge beats as patrons watch the sunset from cabana lounges or chic poolside banquettes. "I love going to Sunset Sessions at Skybar in the summer," says LA-based blogger Daniella White. "Sipping wine in a cabana as the sky turns pink feels so glamorous. And people watching is amazing, with everyone looking beautiful in the magic hour glow." The pool takes on a glistening red and purple hue as the fading light paints the deck in watercolors.
As the sun disappears below the Santa Monica mountains, the scene transitions into evening over the twinkling lights of West Hollywood. On Sundays, award-winning mixologist Marcos Tello stirs up creative libations during Spritz Hour. Marcos melds market fresh ingredients like strawberries, basil and orange blossom water with bubbles for dazzling cocktails to enjoy as the sky darkens to azure. "Sundays at Skybar are my favorite for the Spritz cocktails and chill music Marcos plays as the sun sets over WeHo," shares nightlife photographer Ron Jaffe. "It's the quintessential LA way to ease into the weekend."