Once an afterthought, hotel bars and restaurants are increasingly stepping into the limelight when it comes to imaginative craft cocktails, while simultaneously offering exquisite accommodations for locals seeking a staycation and visitors traveling from afar.
Here are 8 hotel bars (and restaurants) that are making a skillfully shaken comeback in Charlotte:
Hotel: Le Meridien
Restaurant in hotel: Evoke
Address: 555 S. McDowell St., North Tower
Vibe: As one of the largest rooftop bars in Charlotte, this lounge features 360-degree views of the city and specializes in summertime cocktails.
What drink to order: Winter Sparkle and Pop — prosecco or rosé, served with either King Of Pops apple cider or caramel apple.
Hotel: The Omni
Restaurant in hotel: Trade Restaurant and Bar
Address: 132 E. Trade Street
Vibe: An urban rooftop oasis complete with a pool, skyline views and a bar.
What drink to order: The Maple Bourbon Pecan Old Fashioned
Hotel: The Ballantyne Hotel
Address: 10000 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.
Vibe: When you’re looking for rare and distinctive whiskeys, this bar should be your go-to location. With over 200 selections to choose from, Gallery has truly established itself as the whiskey destination in Charlotte.
What drink to order: The daily whiskey flight.
Hotel: Kimpton Tryon Park
Restaurant in hotel: Angeline’s
Address: 303 S. Church St.
Vibe: Completely open and airy, Merchant & Trade’s rooftop bar has some breathtaking views. I cannot wait to grab a front-row seat on the terrace to watch this year’s firework shows (hello, baseball season).
What drink to order: Toronto – Old Forester, Fernet Branca, Demerara Syrup, and Angostura.
Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton
Address: 201 E. Trade St., Level 15
Vibe: “If the EpiCentre is your 20-something Red-Bull-and-vodka-swilling pal, The Punch Room — a glamorous 15th floor bar atop The Ritz-Carlton — is your older sophisticated friend who prefers craft cocktails and hushed tones,” said Sarah Crosland, author of “Food Lovers’ Guide to Charlotte” and “100 Things to Do In Charlotte Before You Die.”
What drink to order: The Gulf Air — lime leaf, avocado leaf, charred jalapeño, orange, lime, Topo Chico sparkling mineral water and Centenario Plata tequila.
Hotel: The Ivey’s Hotel
Restaurant by hotel: 5Church
Address: 127 N. Tryon St., Ste. #D
Vibe: Vintage with a vibrant European flair, this cocktail retreat is flawlessly picturesque, to say the least.
What drink to order: Try the weekly special they highlight on their Instagram.
Hotel: Charlotte Marriott City Center
Address: 100 W. Trade St.
Vibe: The bar has an open layout, which allows for large parties to move about and mingle — while intimate couples can curl up at one of the many tables tucked away along the outer rim of the space. Read more about their bar, speakeasy and dinner selections here.
What drink to order: Flying Fizz — Butterfly-pea-tea infused gin, lemon and prosecco.
Hotel: The Westin
Restaurant in hotel: JP Charlotte
Address: 601 S. College St.
Vibe: This classy saloon is perfect for date night, cocktails with clients or simply when you want to impress out-of-town guests. They specialize in mixed cocktails infused with natural ingredients and local flavors.
What drink to order: Garden & Tonic Mocktail — Seedlip non-alcoholic spirit, blueberry basil syrup and tonic.
Editor’s note: A version of this story originally appeared in March 2018.