Image: Salt & Kin
With Dean & Nancy on 22 just named the 'Best Hotel Bar in Australia' at the recent Australian Bar Awards, we were inspired to scour the country to bring you our top six hotel bars to while away those balmy spring days and nights.
MELBOURNE: The Q with a view!
The music playing in the lifts at Quincy Hotel Melbourne isn’t your usual elevator music. It’s more modern, more upbeat, funkier. Add in the floor-to-ceiling graffiti wallpaper and it’s like stepping into one of Melbourne’s famous laneways.
Taking the lift to The Q, the hotel’s rooftop terrace bar, continues the eclectic theme. It fuses the buzz of Melbourne laneways with the colours and flavours of southeast Asia: think luscious cocktails and elevated street food.
The Q is rapidly making its mark as one of Melbourne’s IT rooftop bars. Blessed with 360-degree views of Melbourne CBD, all the way to the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay, it is sophisticated and glamorous yet relaxing and approachable at the same time.
Sharing the 28th floor with a glistening lap pool, the space cleverly transforms from Quincy Melbourne’s exclusive Club Lounge during the day to a pulsing public bar at night. Kick back and admire the view while enjoying a Quincy Sling, The Q’s signature cocktail of gin, Dom Benedictine, lime juice, pineapple, sour cherry, and orange bitters.
Executive Chef Adam Woodfield’s pan-Asian menu draws on the cooking traditions of Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia with zesty bar bites and share plates. One of his favourites is Smoked eel betel leaf, inspired by dishes found near the rice paddies of Chiang Mai. Other mouth-watering dishes include Coffin Bay oysters with red nahm jim, Seared scallops with sweet pork caramel, Cauliflower and shiso fritters, and Hainanese chicken bao. Yum!
HOBART: Every hour is cocktail hour at The Belvedere
Equally edgy is The Belvedere, an all-day-dining restaurant and bar on the ground floor of the Vibe Hotel Hobart. Imbued with a strong sense of history, the lobby entry takes you past a column of handmade bricks still bearing the thumbprints of their convict makers. The name is a nod to an Art Deco dance hall that once stood on the site and was much-loved by locals.
Impeccable, attentive wait staff deliver dishes celebrating the Apple Isle’s rich bounty of produce: Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon, Cape Grim Beef, local cheese, and artisan products. The drinks list showcases local products and rightly so, since Tasmania is producing some of the country’s finest wine, whisky, and gin.
With its stylish but relaxed ambience, the Belvedere is a great place to catch up with friends or unwind in front of a roaring fire with a bottle of fine Tasmanian Pinot Noir.
THE ACT: A Garden Party with a Side of History
History is even more palpable at Chifley’s Bar & Grill in the Hotel Kurrajong Canberra. Comfortable leather chairs, chandeliers, fireplaces, and Art Deco furnishings lend a clue to the story behind one of the National Capital’s best-preserved early buildings. And, in spring, there's a gorgeous garden courtyard to while away the hours.
Australia’s 16th Prime Minister, Ben Chifley, loved dining here and frequently enjoyed a tipple in the bar. In honour of his favourite drink, the whisky bar takes guests on a sensory journey of whiskies around the world.
The seasonal menu pays homage to the region’s boutique food producers, of which there are a surprising number. While the drinks list has a great selection of local wines, along with an extensive list of imported wines, cocktails, craft beer and cider. Friday afternoons on the terrace are especially popular, often accompanied by live music. The pavilion-style building opens to gorgeous-manicured gardens, making this the most delightful spot to relax and unwind on a balmy summer evening.
PERTH: It's a Vibe! Experience Storehouse Subiaco in Spring
Gather your friends and discover wholesome, handcrafted meals where sharing is the norm, curated with regionally sourced produce and paired with beverages for every occasion. Storehouse Subiaco on the rooftop of Vibe Hotel Subiaco is one of Perth’s gems where locals gravitate after work or on weekends once the CBD shuts down.
It’s a hive of activity, full of spectacular sunset and cool spring breezes, and there’s no question that, following its recently one-hat rating in the Good Food Guide, Storehouse Subiaco is quickly becoming ‘the place to be’ to effortlessly soak up everything on offer… in comfort and style.
Not surprisingly, the panoramic views from the top are ‘knock-out!’ You can see forever from up there – 25 to 30km on a good day – because there are no high-rise buildings between you and CBD or, in fact, anywhere.
Quite simply, Storehouse Subiaco is the perfect place to flop and drop with family or friends (especially for locals, with out-of-town visitors); enjoy a sundowner before or after a movie; dine with the sunset; or simply recharge after a day exploring the great outdoors.
SYDNEY: Sky High Cocktails at Dean & Nancy’s!
Ascend the curved brass staircase from the lobby of A by Adina Sydney and discover Dean & Nancy on 22; a cocktail bar that balances decadence and drama with precision and playful service.
Developed by the creative minds behind internationally acclaimed cocktail bar Maybe Sammy, Dean & Nancy is a place you go to have fun and to soak in magnificent views of the Sydney skyline.
Order the Rolling A Double cocktail and you’ll be delivered a pair of dice; roll a double and you’ll score a cocktail upgrade. For a sensory revelation, opt for the Coffee Champagne cocktail where your hands become the garnish and the flavour transforms with every sip.
Regardless of whether you’re imbibing in one of the 15+ signature concoctions, indulging in the handful of High roller cocktails made with premium spirits or exploring the reinvented non-alcoholic classics, your time at Dean & Nancy is one you’ll want to repeat
BRISBANE: Perfectly Poised for Spring Afternoons.
Perfectly poised at the entrance of The Callie Hotel on James Street and spilling into vibrant Ada Lane, Lobby Bar is the ideal spot to while away the day.
An espresso in the morning, a digestif in the evening, and everything in between. If bars could speak, this one would say ‘welcome’ — whether you’ve crossed the planet to get here or merely the street, this is a space that is as perfect for one as it is for many.
An informal space to meet or a place to recoup after the day’s activities. Chef Andy Gunn’s local seasonal produce plays hero in the menu with carefully curated cocktails and wines to match.
** Peace of mind when you stay with us: Introducing Clean Touch. Note some activities listed may be subject to Covid restrictions. **