Elegant hotel bars are back in vogue in New Orleans and a spate of newly opened ones offer locals a few new places to check in and check out.
Polo Club Lounge at the Windsor Court The exquisitely comfortable and spacious Polo Club Lounge sets the standard for hotel bars in New Orleans. Its English manner decor features luxurious couches and armchairs instead of serially matching tables or booths. It's a flight of steps above the lobby and removed from hotel traffic and bustle. A nightly schedule of live jazz from Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns, the Tim Laughlin Trio and Shannon Powell Band keeps the pace lively and fresh. The bar offers craft cocktails and the drink selection stretches to include access to the deep wine list from the adjoining Grill Room. 300 Gravier St., 524-1992; www.windsorcourthotel.com
Batch at Hyatt French Quarter Following a new national trend, the sleek and sparsely decorated Batch specializes in cocktails made with house-infused spirits, available in single drinks or (six-serving) flask delivered with a set-up of glasses, ice and lemon or appropriate garnishes. 800 Iberville St., 586-0800; www. frenchquarter. hyatt.com
Burgundy Bar at The Saint Hotel Just off the spacious and luxe atrium of The Saint Hotel is the lush Burgundy Bar, decked out in Victorian red and black. 931 Canal St.; www.thesainthotelneworleans.com
Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone Recent renovations expanded the space at the Carousel Bar and the nightly musical lineup has been upgraded, but the spinning Carousel is still the primary axis around which the bar's patrons mix and mingle. 214 Royal St., 523-3341; www.hotelmonteleone.com
Vitascope Hall at Hyatt Regency New Orleans Though named for a historic movie theater, this sleek and modern sports bar features 25 flatscreen TVs, a bar, separate sushi bar, pizza and gourmet small bites to graze while watching from low couches nestled in one of many nooks and booths. 601 Loyola Ave, 561-1234; www.hyatt.neworleans.com