An update on the new bar at Pensione Hotel in Melbourne.

Hip, Hipper, Hotel Bar? 
Trendy hotel bars are about as common as undamaged bags on the luggage carousel. You’ll be able to find a few, if you look really, really hard, but at some locations, there are none to speak of.
Not surprising really when you consider who hotel bars normally cater to: over-tired business travellers looking for some amusement and a strong drink and gold digging women looking for a strong man and amusement. Okay, so we gotta concede that there are some that get it right: The Ivy – although controversial and over priced, the Sydney establishment keeps on getting the party crowd through the door. (Admittedly, its hotel part is negligible with Penthouses costing as much per night as another hipster staple, a good Vespa.)
Pouring over hundreds of Australian hotel bars and sampling the odd drink or two during extensive research for our Hot Hotels Issue 08, has convinced us that only very few hotels get it right. Even stylish Water Bar at the W Hotel in Sydney is often much less than busy despite a brilliant offering of unusual cocktails and the architecturally inspired surroundings. (On the upside, getting a table is easy, and staff actually have time to talk you through the cocktail menu.) The Limes in Brisbane is another one that got it right in 2008 – one of our staffers is still raving about its fabulous rooftop bar half a year after his trip to Brissie.
But what’s in store for 2009? Well, Pensione Hotel in Melbourne claims its contemporary lounge bar will be a star in Melbourne’s dazzling nightlife. We sincerely hope the new hotspot is not as small and economical in its use of space as the hotel’s rooms. If you’re in Melbourne, go, check it out and if you have heard of anymore “hot” new hotel bar openings, drop us a line.
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