These six watering holes across the world have another draw in addition to their stellar cocktails — unique wall decor. Becca HensleyhrLONDON
Met Bar, the Metropolitan
Armani-clad waiters serve 26 varieties of the martini at the sybaritic Met Bar, where wine-dark walls and red leather club chairs are the order of the day. Still, the true mood maker in the room is the abstract mural by British artist Jonathan Huxley, which portrays a frenetic dance floor with mad, stick-figure-like dancers caught in a chaotic waltz.
Bemelmans Bar, the Carlyle
Grown-up children adore elegant Bemelmans Bar for its fanciful murals depicting a topsy-turvy Central Park in the enchanting style of the bar’s creator, Ludwig Bemelmans, best known for the Madeline storybook series. Fans of the little French girl visit to view the paintings; chic New Yorkers come to swill old-fashioned cocktails and to give a nod to their inner whimsy.
The Rotunda, the Pierre
Suggestive of a stylized mythical garden, this signature quaffing room oozes old-world charm. Beneath its domed roof, floor-to-ceiling murals by American Edward Melcarth glamorize the wall. In the spirit of the Renaissance, the work abounds with mythological themes while intermingling iconic figures from the 1960s (most noteworthy: Jacqueline Kennedy, her young children, and a mysterious man in a Nehru jacket).
Hotel Bar, the Broadmoor
In 1920, Spencer Penrose, the founder of this grand hotel, invited 60 East Coast hoteliers for an exclusive introduction to his Western resort. Known as the Hundred Million Dollar Hotel Club (because their net worth exceeded $100 million), these guests traveled by private train and experienced a lavish vacation. Three narrative and strikingly detailed murals in the Hotel Bar salute their visit.
Julien Bar & Lounge, the Langham Hotel Boston
Composed in 1923 to commemorate the history of American finance, two N.C. Wyeth murals decorate the paneled walls of this bar. It was once the junior officers’ room of the Federal Reserve Bank, but now it’s a cozy drinking spot with an aura of modern masculinity. Extraordinary architectural details such as gilded ceilings and carved doorways further memorialize the past.
Cenacolo Room, Villa San Michele
In the Tuscan hills, beyond the Michelangelo-
designed facade of a former monastery, a magnificent fresco of the Last Supper bedecks the walls of a lounge that was once the chapel. Painted in 1642 by Nicodemo Ferrucci, this hand-restored painting, divided into three lunettes, illuminates the traditional scene with the added detail of a precious white cat enjoying his own fish supper.