Cocktail hour at many Asian bars used to be sleepy affairs where businessmen would unwind at the end of the day. Not anymore. The advent of a cocktail culture among young, style-conscious Asians has led to the launch of hip, airy lounges in cities around the region. Hotel bars are now happening venues, attracting not only travelers but adventurous locals eager to try cocktails like the starfruit martini and vodka apple caviar.
These new venues tend to eschew club chairs and wood paneling in favor of sleek, bright décor with mood-enhancing lighting.
A favorite with Korean celebrities, the WooBar at the W Seoul-Walkerhill serves 40 different types of vodka and woos partygoers with an 18-meter-long bar, egg-shaped chairs, a UFO-shaped DJ booth and interactive artwork (starwoodhotels.com/whotels).
Zeta Bar at the Hilton in Kuala Lumpur, modeled after its namesake in London, pulls all the stylish strings with funky barstools and colorful fiber-optic lighting. The eclectic blend of R&B, Latin vibes and neo-jazz attracts a groovy crowd (hilton.com).
Housed in a cylindrical structure, Bangkok's happening Bed Supperclub features a space-age, all-white interior. Downstairs, low-slung chairs and divan beds welcome diners, while a separate mezzanine bar overlooks the dance floor (bedsupperclub.com).
Singapore's just-reopened New Asia Bar, on the 71st floor of the Swissôtel The Stamford, offers one of the city's best panoramic views. Designed in hues of gold, brown and amber, the bar plays with artificial light and visual illusions. The floor is slanted 20 degrees to induce a feeling of vertigo, if the drinks haven't already had that effect (swissotel.com).
6 months ago