Hotel bars are a vital part of the experience at a luxury hotel destination. It is a common area where guests can meet to enjoy a few cocktails, relax and enjoy the company of others after a tiring day. I find that it is important to provide your guests with a bar experience unlike any other, and those design factors should be fluid and constantly changing. From aesthetic to functionality, the hotel bar design must leave the guest in awe, longing for their next visit.


Trends in modern bar design vary, depending on the location, history, and desired theme of the hotel. For example, if your hotel is located in a neighborhood rich in late 19th-century history, the bar will likely reflect a very rustic aesthetic, incorporating dim lantern lighting with wood, leather, and iron. Beach destinations should include natural lighting, gorgeous woods and neutral, sandy colors.

If your bar is located right downtown in a major city, like Houston,  it will showcase a city-chic design concept, featuring a glass or marble bar and tables, ambient lighting, comfortable and functional furniture, textured walls, and an overall opulent feel. A juxtaposition of bold colors with neutral shades of fake granite and steel provide a dapper and sexy, only slightly pretentious, feel.

Stellar Views

Regardless of the theme of your hotel bar, the view the guest experiences from the bar is essential. When possible, the best option is to opt for a rooftop or terrace bar. This not only provides exquisite views of nearby scenery but allows guests to soak up some sunshine and enjoy the fresh air. I am sure you can envision returning to your hotel after a busy day exploring your destination, stopping at the rooftop pool, and enjoying a cocktail and a gorgeous summer sunset over the downtown skyline. This also provides the opportunity for trees and plant life which creates a garden-like feel and very mellow aesthetic.

When a rooftop location is not an option, floor-to-ceiling windows with a panoramic view is your next best bet. As a guest, you come to enjoy the destination and should be able to do so from the comfort and security of your hotel. You can benefit from the luxury of a climate controlled lounge, sip your favorite drink, snack, and enjoy the stellar views (oceanfront, downtown skyline, mountain range, etc.).


Minimalism and functionality are dominating contemporary bar design—you should emphasize geometric angles, shapes, and textures to create an almost futuristic feel. Comfortable seating, pillows, ambient lighting—even neon lights—all allow for a modern and timeless bar design.

Those bars with a rooftop or panoramic views have an entirely different vibe of their own. Guests are teased at the thought of venturing out to explore whatever adventure awaits them. I can imagine arriving late in the day, enjoying a nightcap on the rooftop bar, and staring out over the many miles I would be traveling the next day.

At Paradigm Design, we realize your guests want their hotel bar experience to enhance the best features of the destination. Whether your design theme reflects a period in history, a city landscape, beach, or mountainous area, the goal is to combine these landscape features with modern interior design trends.