As Valentine’s Day approaches, one thing becomes clear: there’s nothing sexier than being away from home and every day worries by traveling to a romantic spot. Maybe it’s in a dramatic space atop a big city luxury hotel, with sweeping views and twinkling lights all laid out in front of you, and a see-and-be-seen crowd to set the mood.
Or maybe you’re looking to unwind on a beachfront patio lit by a tiki torch (world's best islands for romance, this way), with the sound of crashing waves as a backdrop and barely another couple in sight. Either way, you get the picture: we travel not to escape our lives but to be better versions of ourselves, and become immersed in a new, life-changing environment. And by checking into a top hotel for a romantic long-weekend getaway, you and your beloved can connect in a way that is hard to do at your kitchen table.
Related: The Best Romantic Getaways
There’s only one thing that can improve your Valentine’s Day bar experience: A serious cocktail and wine list. We’re talking about well-edited, thoughtful menus, with small-batch liquors, creative ingredients, exclusive bottlings, and a bartender or sommelier to guide you along the way to the best choice. After all, you are what you drink, so make sure your fuel for this romantic holiday weekend (which comes with a President’s Day bonus) is high-quality stuff.
Here, from Dallas to Paris to Cabo San Lucas to Seoul, are some of the world’s sexiest hotel bars: places that you will want to Instagram as soon as you walk in the door, linger for several hours, and return to again and again. Another stellar factor that sets any hotel bar apart from the pack: the location. Who wants to worry about getting home at night? Because nothing is better than going out for a cocktail and being able to roll right back to your room.
Ted Loos is the Travel + Leisure’s Wine and Spirits Contributor. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @looslips.