Lifestyle Fast Tracks

Paris’s Grand Hotel Bars

Indulge in couture cocktails.
By Carrie Williamson

The cocktail bar at Hôtel Providence looks like it could have been lifted from a chic Parisian home, with glasses for martinis and high balls, beer and wine. You’ll find bottles of pre-mixed cocktails and a step-by-step guide for making your own, using the copper shaker, strainer and mixing spoon. You’ll even find fresh mint in the fridge. It’s so beguiling you might find it hard to make it downstairs to the lively bar terrace, where bistro tables and chairs spill out to the cobblestone street, much less out of the hotel. No matter where you stay, venture out of your hotel to partake in the couture cocktail scene happening at the grand hotels in Paris. 

Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Paris >> Coco Chanel, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway were regular tipplers at this cozy back bar inside the Ritz Hotel. The gazillion-dollar renovation thankfully left the gilding, rich woodwork and tufted leather barstools intact. Adding to the bar’s mystique is head barman Colin Field. Dressed in a white dinner jacket, his name embroidered on his pocket, Field mixes twists on classics like a Clean Dirty Martini served with a frozen cube of olive juice. 

Bar Joséphine >> This belle époque icon makes an impression with live jazz, art nouveau frescoes and a stunning bar that stretches across the room. Negronis, martinis and signature cocktails are featured on the menu (try the Rive Gauche, a delightful mix of Guillotine vodka, St-Germain liqueur, champagne and shrub flavored with citrus and celery) along with a selection of caviar and more pedestrian fare like Charolais beef sliders.

Bar Les Ambassadeurs at Hôtel de Crillon >> Executives, diplomats, and the art and fashion sets congregate for cocktails at this new bar, formerly a room in the Duc de Crillon’s private residence. Designer Chahan Minassian has added contemporary touches to the 18th-century style décor. Bartenders are known to put on a show while preparing cocktails, but with more than 100 bottles of champagne, ranging from small producers to famous labels, a glass of bubbly is in order. 

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