Setting the Bar for New York's Nightlife

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Traveling to New York City can be stressful enough, never mind trying to navigate the trendy nightlife and needlessly expensive establishments. That's why we have narrowed down a selection of great hotels with bars that offer tasty drinks and wonderful atmospheres, saving you time.   And, if you are staying at one of these great hotels, the action is right downstairs.

Great History -- King Cole Bar at The St. Regis

Opening its doors in 1948, the King Cole Bar has seen its share of high rollers and New York influential's, including Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn Monroe and John Lennon. Overseeing all of the happenings of this bar is the 30-foot-long Old King Cole Mural, which was painted by Maxfield Parrish in 1906. Recently refurbished, along with the Hotel in 2007, this painting is even more vibrant than before, well worth a visit to learn about its hidden secrets from the bartenders.  Along with King Cole's historical importance, this bar is also known for inventing the famous spicy tomato juice and vodka concoction --The Bloody Mary -- which was introduced to New York as the Red Snapper in 1920.

Best View -- Bar D'Eau at Trump Soho

Bar D'Eau, which is located on the 7th floor of the Trump Soho New York, offers a perfect way for travelers to catch a city view in a relaxing environment -- no need to climb to the top of the Empire State Building or searching for local bars! With comfortable poolside seating, tables and an indoor bar, we recommend this spot for an afternoon cocktail or nighttime visit. Decorated with interactive modern and musical sculptures, a pool fountain and the sights and sounds of The Big Apple, you will love the lively atmosphere of this great rooftop bar.

Hype Scene -- Jimmy at the James New York

Topping magazine lists as one of the best New York nightlife hot spots for the past two years in a row is Jimmy, the rooftop bar at The James New York in Soho.  A bar praised for its creative drinks, fun music and intimate atmosphere, Jimmy is also a great place to take in the views of Midtown.  Space is strictly controlled here, preventing this bar from resembling other crowded New York nightclubs so that visitors can enjoy soft music and mingle with other New York trend-setters.

Great Atmosphere -- Lounge Grand Hyatt New York

Grand Hyatt New York City is conveniently located right across the street from Grand Central Station. Its sleek interiors create a modern atmosphere that is not overdone. Upstairs with a view of the legendary station is The Lounge at New York Central, which offers a calm and uncluttered view of the surrounding city bustle, just removed enough for guests to converse over drinks and people-watch from above.  Slip into a white leather seat and bask in the blue glow from this ultra modern bar or sit back and enjoy light dining and inventive cocktails.  Either way, we know that the ambiance at The Lounge provides a welcome retreat for travelers as well as a burst of New York flavor for hotel guests.

Art Lovers Bar -- Jade and Rose Bar at Gramercy Park New York

For travelers too busy to see the sights, Gramercy Park is the perfect hotel to enjoy the views over a cocktail. It has wonderfully entertaining bars that exhibit spectacular works of modern art.  Jade Bar and Rose Bar are bohemian escapes where the pop-art aficionado can view the social commentaries of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Damien Hirst behind a martini glass.  The gallery fits perfectly into the colorful, candlelit atmosphere that is often accompanied by live musicians and a buzz of conversation. Make sure to set a reservation before visiting this intimate location as the spontaneous visitor will not make it through the door, due to the pricey pieces on its walls.  But we do suggest you pencil in this artistic space if you're looking to soak in some culture and creativity from a night out.

Know a New York bar with a great signature cocktail? Have a suggestion for a chic new spot? Comment below!