Best Poolside Bar - 2006
The Poolside Bar at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
The city skyline, glowing in the late afternoon sun, seems almost within reach. It's just beyond the lip of the elegant little infinity pool here. So sit back in a lounge chair, sip your gin and tonic, and relax. For an upscale hotel, the Mandarin Oriental's poolside bar is refreshingly low-key. Children splash around, gray-haired men flip through newspapers, and various body shapes lie about. Tito, one of the bartenders here, will make you a potent litchi colada, the bar's specialty, or any of an assortment of frozen drinks. If you're craving something to eat, there's a sushi and sashimi bar as well as a full menu of sandwiches, soups, and salads. It's on the pricey side, but the splurge is worth it, especially when you discover the private beach just steps away. Take your drink down to this sandy, tree-shaded oasis full of lounge chairs and hammocks. Watch the light glitter on the bay, glance over at the city skyline, and feel a million miles away. The bar is open until 5:00 p.m. weekdays, until 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. weekends. Drinks range from $5 for a beer to $12 for a frozen drink. The hotel's M Bar, which has outdoor seating above the pool area, is open until midnight weekdays and 1:00 a.m. weekends.