Charlotte hotels have been seriously stepping up their nightlife game, adding or upgrading on-site bars that appeal to local residents and overnight guests alike.
It’s a smart move that helps a property differentiate itself among the 20 or so hotels inside the I-277 loop. And creating a space that attracts locals helps generate buzz — thanks to award-winning cocktail programs, celebrity bartenders, limited seating exclusivity and social virality — that I’d venture to guess has a trickle down effect on room bookings from travelers.
Here are the five hottest hotel bars in Charlotte right now.
The 15th-floor lounge, operated by wildly popular mixologist Bob Peters, only accommodates 37 people at a time. (Sorry, no standing and drinking allowed.) The coveted bar seats are your best bet for a front row look at Peters in action. If those seats are already taken and you’re thirsty for more, they do offer private mixology classes with the man himself.
The gorgeous transformation of Uptown’s historic Ivey’s department store building into a 42-room boutique hotel called for an equally stunning on-site bar. Sophia’s, a swanky cocktail lounge operated by the owners of 5Church restaurant next door, delivers with stunning decor, cozy seating and a capacity-controlled environment to maintain a chill vibe.
The best view of the Charlotte skyline is seen from atop Le Meridien hotel in Second Ward. City Lights is a departure from the cozier, quieter lounges on this list, offering a livelier nightclub experience and sweeping views of the city skyline. Be prepared to wait in line at the elevator to get up.
Bonus: Charlotte’s only public pool bar is located downstairs at the adjacent Sheraton hotel. Craft City Social Club is open Thursday – Sunday and features fancy cabana rentals. It’s unlike anything else in the city.
The Marriott’s recent renovation included the addition of a gorgeous new lobby restaurant and bar that has generated a lot of buzz for the property. Notable drinks at the bar include “pressed cocktails,” a chilled tea-based spiked beverage prepared in a French press.
Finally, a Charlotte classic is the lobby bar at the historic Dunhill Hotel. It’s small and generally off the radar for most Uptown partygoers, which is what makes it so appealing.