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What are the swankiest hotel bars in the United States? USA Today asked readers in their 10 Best travel awards and came back with a top 10 list. Since Austin and Louisvile aren't cruise ports, I culled this down to the 8 swankiest hotel bars in U.S. cruise ports and reordered them a bit.
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Named after the world's first mixed drink (according to some), the Sazerac Bar in New Orleans is a perennial favorite that has kept the drinks and conversations flowing for decades. This classic space features an African walnut bar and murals by Paul Ninas, and it was once a favorite haunt of politician Huey P. Long.
Frequented by locals and tourists, the Freehand Hostel's Broken Shaker is a treat for anyone who wants a high-end cocktail without the fuss of many of South Beach's other bars and hangouts.
In the shadow of the Empire State Building, the hotel's Refinery Rooftop hosts a rotating mix of big name and up-and-coming musical acts from around the country. It's open every night of the year.
Now, D.C. isn't technically a cruise port, but it's close enough to Baltimore, and it does have its share of boat tours and dinner cruises. Caricatures of past presidents and political figures adorn the cherry red walls of this classic D.C. bar.
As USA Today put it: "The venerable venue still boasts its redwood paneling and signature bar, but it's gotten a contemporary punch with sleek furnishings, ambient lighting and digital artwork. Frequented by a glamorous crowd, it's chic and expensive, and you're certain to spot a few celebrities peppered among the well-dressed mix."
Tucked inside Hotel deLuxe, the Driftwood Room is a Portland landmark that recalls the cocktail lounge heyday of the "Mad Men" era. and still today at the vanguard of Portland's craft cocktail scene. It's a perfect Hollywood setting for a Hitchcock thriller or romantic romp.
Named after Ludwig Bemelmans, author of children's literature, Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle Hotel bills itself as a piece of "Old New York," with nightly piano jazz. The sophisticated decor includes the author's murals, inspired by his stories like the classic "Madeline." The place attracts socialites, politicians, movie stars and moguls.
Quill, inside D.C.'s Jefferson hotel, is steeped in memorabilia and inspiration from Thomas Jefferson. The parquet floor follows the same pattern as the main salon at Monticello, while maps on the walls trace Jefferson's travels through the wine regions of Europe. Look for classic cocktails and an extensive menu of wines by the glass.