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15 Jun 2017 By

Whether you are craving champagne with a side of wildlife in Kenya, or a tipple while watching the northern lights in Iceland, these one-of-a-kind watering holes deliver a world class sipping experience.

Whether you are craving champagne with a side of wildlife in Kenya, a drink with a sky-high view on a Bangkok hotel rooftop, or a tipple while watching the northern lights in Iceland, these unique watering holes – as contributed by fans – deliver a world class sipping experience.


Giraffe Manor


I had wanted to stay at Giraffe Manor for years. It didn’t disappoint! Highlights included feeding giraffes outside while enjoying wine and afternoon snacks, a dinner in a candlelit wood-paneled room with only one table for all 12 guests, and of course breakfast, where giraffes poke their heads in for treats while you’re dining. The look on my daughter’s face perfectly captures the experience!

Nairobi, Kenya


Hôtel de Glace


Yes, our stay was actually cozy even though the air temperature was zero degrees. The super hot jacuzzi and sauna in the night time prepared us for a lush night of sleep in the warmest sleeping bags I’ve ever been in. The next morning, we slid down this ice slide (pictured) and then went for a hot glass of Caribou and Vin Chaud at the Ice Bar (not out of ice glasses, which they have). Let’s not mention that the imbibing was at 10am… I’ve been to the Swedish Ice Hotel as well, but this is a superb alternative when you can’t easily fly across the atlantic

1860 Boulevard Valcartier A, Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, QC G0A 4S0, Tel: +1 418-844-2200


Arabian Desert


If you’re looking for the most secluded bar in Dubai, this may well be it. A wild 4×4 ride over beautiful sand dunes delivered our crew to the Arabian Adventures private camp, where we found the bar open for happy hour. Not a bad way to end a day in the desert. Not at all. Flash traveled to Dubai with Goway Travel, the global leader in tailor-made experiences to Dubai, and has been curating experience-driven expeditions to the world’s most remarkable destinations since 1970. Goway can arrange custom trips to Dubai, the Arabian Desert, nearby Abu Dhabi, and beyond. www.goway.com

Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve – Dubai – United Arab Emirates


Ozone Bar


Perched atop the Ritz-Carlton, a staggering 118 floors up at the International Commerce Centre (ICC) building, this trendy bar with mod décor truly is something to see. It claims to be the highest bar in the world. Assuming the sky is smog-free when you’re in town, the views are worth every penny of the overpriced drinks. 


The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog


Despite its unappealing name, Dead Rabbit is one of the most popular bars in all of New York City. In fact, it’s also one of the most popular bars in the world, according to the World’s 50 Best Bars list, which currently lists Dead Rabbit in the second best spot. The judges cited extreme attention to detail and a thirst for constant improvement of the customer experience as the rationale–along with the drinks, of course–for the bar’s top ranking. And what about those drinks? They’re served in two discrete spaces. The first is the downstairs Taproom, where you can have “craft beer, bottled punch, and whiskeys of the world”; the second is the upstairs Parlor, which features “72 historically-accurate cocktails dreamed up by the 19th century’s most celebrated bartenders.” The names, however, aren’t very 19th-century (and frankly, not all of the ingredients are, either). Take the Snake Charmer, for instance, a concoction of mezcal, New York and Oregon gins, blanc vermouth, yellow chartreuse, and gentiane. Whatever time and place they’re trying to evoke, no one who comes to drink here really seems to care; the cocktails and service are just so great, that’s all that matters.

30 Water St, New York, NY 10004, Tel: +1 646-422-7906


Grand Central Oyster Bar


The Grand Central Oyster Bar celebrates its 100th anniversary this year as a New York institution. Located in the lower concourse of Grand Central, it serves over 25 varieties of oysters daily. There is a huge menu of American seafood—chowder, fried clams, lobster rolls, clams casino—whatever you are looking for, they will have it. The Oyster Bar is also famous for its architecture—the beautiful arched tile ceilings are the hallmark of famed Spanish architect Rafael Guastavino, who left his unique stamp across NYC. Take your pick from three different seating areas: a series of old-fashioned, U-shaped counters which seem to be popular with tourists and locals; the oyster bar, which would be perfect for singles or those dining in pairs; and the saloon-type restaurant in the back, popular with the business crowd. Wherever you are sitting, it will be bustling with activity. While there are several other oyster bars in the city, the Grand Central Oyster Bar offers a piece of New York history. It’s like stepping back in time, a retro celebration of old Americana that generations of locals, tourists and travelers have visited over the years. My suggestion is to stop in for fresh oysters and cold beer at the bar.

89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017, tel: +1 212-490-6650


Opera Bar


There are certain touristy things that one must do while traveling. And some places are so great that even locals flock to them despite the fact that they’re heavily trodden. The Opera Bar at the Sydney Opera House is one of those places. There really isn’t a good reason not to hit happy hour at the Opera Bar. The drinks are reasonably priced, and the selection is impeccable. There is live music every night of the week and the vistas offered by the bar are some of the best in all of Sydney. Transportation options to and from the Opera House are plentiful not to mention that site-seeing and drinking almost always go good together.

Lower Concourse, Sydney Opera House, Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Tel: +61 2 9247 1666


Vertigo Grill & Moon Bar


Bangkok has become legendary for its rooftop bars. The Moon Bar at the Banyan Tree Hotel was one of the original elevated alfresco hot spots and its chilled ambience, comfortable seating and potent drinks mean it retains its cache. Oh yeah, there’s a pretty decent view as well.

21/100 Banyan Tree Hotel, South Sathon Road, Sathon Khwaeng Thung Maha Mek, Khet Sathon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10120, Tel: +66 2 679 1200


Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel


On the slopes of the still-active volcano Mount Hengill, on the edge of Thingvellir National Park, Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel is seriously in harmony with its environment. Energy and hot water is provided by the nearby Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Station and surrounding hot springs; furniture is made out of driftwood and recycled materials, and images of Icelandic wildlife are displayed throughout — including giant murals of Icelandic horses in the bedrooms. The hotel also makes use of natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows in bedrooms and in it Northern Lights bar, which juts out and overhangs the lava fields and from where, on dark, clear winter nights, you can watch the Aurora light up the sky. Photo: Karen Gardiner

Nesjavellir, 801, Tel:+354 578 3700. 


Rock Bar


The Rock Bar at the Ayana Resort & Spa has become an icon of Bali‘s new wave of luxurious resorts that incorporate modern architecture with the natural beauty of the island. The bar teeters over the edge of the precipitous cliffs facing out into Jimbaran Bay, which is one of the best places in Bali to watch the sun sink into the Indian Ocean. The Rock Bar is by no means cheap, but it is worth going once for the experience and to make your friends back home really jealous. Smart dress is required at the Rock Bar, so don’t turn up in board shorts or you’ll be turned away from the inclinator which carries guests down the cliffs to the bar. The line for the inclinator can get busy before sunset, so arrive early to get to the bar in time.

AYANA Resort and Spa BALI, Jl. Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, Kuta Selatan, Jimbaran, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80364, Tel: +62 361 702222




Jutting out to sea at the end of a walkway at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel marina, 360° offers breathtaking panoramic views from its rooftop lounge-bar: cocktail in hand, you can see the Arabian Sea, Burj Al Arab, and the sweep of the coastline. Arrive when the rooftop lounge opens at 5pm for the chilled-out vibe of the Sunset Sessions, when smart-casual dress is allowed, and daylight lets you take in the jaw-dropping vistas. Play your cards right, and you’ll snag a table for sunset: Dubai gives good sky, and the sunsets are spectacular. After 9pm, however, when you’re expected to dress up and don your coolest club gear, both the rooftop bar and downstairs club (until fairly recently a seafood restaurant) will be heaving. So unless you’re highly skilfull at snagging seats, don’t expect to see much beyond the drink in your hand and dancing bodies around you. 360° is frequently voted one of the world’s best clubs, so you can expect to see big DJ names such as Hernan Cattaneo and Spirit Catcher on the schedule. This means that at times it’s almost impossible to get in. The Jumeirah Beach hotel has a policy to always allow its guests in, however, if you’re not staying at the resort register on Platinum List, which, as the best nightlife resource is a must-do for clubbers before a trip to Dubai.

Read it at Afar

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