Charlotte’s 5 best Uptown hotel bars

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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 Punch Room at The Ritz-Carlton

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.

Address: Level 15, 210 E. Trade Street, Charlotte NC 208202
Hours: Wednesday – Thursday 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., Friday – Saturday 5:30 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Drink Menu | Hotel Website

Sophia’s Lounge at The Ivey’s Hotel

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.

Address: 127 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte NC 28202
Hours: Monday – Thursday 3 p.m. – midnight, Friday – Saturday 3 p.m. – 2 a.m., Sunday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Drink Menu | Hotel Website

City Lights Rooftop at Le Meridien

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.

Address: 555 S. McDowell Street, Charlotte NC 28204
Hours: Monday – Thursday 4 p.m. – midnight, Friday – Saturday 4 p.m. – 1 a.m., Sunday 2 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Drink Menu | Hotel Website

Stoke at Marriott City Center

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.

Address: 100 W. Trade Street, Charlotte NC 28202
Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – midnight, Thursday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Drink Menu | Hotel Website

Lobby Bar at The Dunhill Hotel

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.

Address: 237 N. Tryon, Charlotte NC 28202
Hours: Daily 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Drink Menu | Hotel Website

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Katie Levans Loveluck
| @katie_levans |
Co-Founder and Creative Director