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These Are Chicago's Top Hotel Bars

Chicago Hotel
    These Are Chicago's Top Hotel Bars

    We learned last week during our hotel development and investment panel that hotels can create unique destinations for tourists and locals. We're diving hard into winter now, which means we shift from rooftop bars to indoors. Here are six hotel bars you want to frequent while it's cold outside (or when you need to escape your holiday guests).

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    1. The Berkshire Room

    These Are Chicago's Top Hotel Bars

    Location: Acme Hotel, 15 E Ohio, Lobby Level

    Specialty: Continuous Negroni

    Beverage director Benjamin Schiller (formerly of the Boka Group) established an ambitious cocktail program featuring barrel-aged cocktails like the aforementioned negroni, aged in Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels. Guests can also customize their cocktails, from base spirit to glassware, or keep things simple. The Berkshire Room food menu provides guests with a solid food base so you can maintain your buzz throughout the night.

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    2. Bernard's Bar

    These Are Chicago's Top Hotel Bars

    Location: Waldorf Astoria Chicago, 11 E Walton, Second Floor

    Specialty: Stick with a single-malt scotch here

    This cozy, tiny lounge in the Waldorf Astoria epitomizes the elegance of the hotel, with an almost private club feel thanks to velvet banquettes, rich brown wood and charcoal drawings from artist Francine Turk. If we were a developer, this is where we would celebrate closing a deal.

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    3. Jimmy at the James

    These Are Chicago's Top Hotel Bars

    Location: The James Hotel, 610 N Rush

    Specialty: Corpse Reviver #2, with gin, absinthe, lillet blanc, orange liqueur and lemon

    This sidebar in the James Hotel radiates a speakeasy vibe from the moment you enter. It's comfortable, relaxing and almost decadent thanks to an extensive cocktail menu ranging from classics to seasonal favorites. Depending on when you visit, you may find eclectic film screenings or DJ sets to set the mood.

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    4. The Library at Public

    These Are Chicago's Top Hotel Bars

    Location: Public Hotel Chicago, 1301 N State

    Specialty: A straight gin martini

    Arguably the most relaxing hotel bar in the city, The Library lives up to its name. Roaring fireplaces help set the mood, and the lounge is filled with books, board games and the softest couches around. We could waste an entire day here, and may during the holiday break.

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    5. The Bar at the Peninsula

    These Are Chicago's Top Hotel Bars

    Location: Peninsula Hotel, 108 E Superior

    Specialty: The Singapore Sling may be among the best in Chicago

    If you're a fan of lounging in leather seating, you'll find ample opportunities here. The Peninsula also features plenty of space for quiet conversation, a fireplace and a semi-private section for up to 12 guests.

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    6. Sable Kitchen & Bar

    These Are Chicago's Top Hotel Bars

    Location: Hotel Palomar, 505 N State

    Specialty: War of the Roses (Pimm’s, gin, lime, elderflower, mint, Peychaud’s bitters)

    This bar is probably best known for having one of the largest and best bourbon selections in Chicago. For our money, we'll stick with the "Not Forgotten" cocktail menu, a list of drinks researched by Sable's bartenders that have proven so popular with guests, they warranted their permanent inclusion on the menu.