Around the world, there are Happy Hours galore, each with its own special flare. And then there are the “Happiest Happy Hours,” those that truly deliver a bang for their buck and alter the mood of the day. They offer exotic settings and innovative menus designed to pick you up after a long nine to five, and they never fail to send you on your way with a smile on your face. Such spirits as pure fruit purees, top shelf house-infused vodkas, and single malts rule the day, while standard finger food gives way to Kobe beef tacos and tuna tartare.
So move over nachos and cheese. Stand back domestic beer. Clear the way for the new wave of Happy Hours.
Le Place d’Armes Hotel & Suites, Montreal
Bordering the city's center and Old Montreal, this posh hotel’s restaurant and lounge, Suite 701, is all about a good time. An extensive cocktail list includes five signature martinis. Try the sweet Basil Raspberry Martini, or a Cucumber Bash with Bombay Gin, cucumbers and cranberry juice. Devour such delectable appetizers as grilled octopus, polenta, corn and fingerling potatoes, or éponge Quebec foie gras au torchon, brioche, rhubarb and sponge toffee. For a truly wonderful taste sensation, order the parmesan homemade fazzoletti, wild mushroom ragout, arugula and parmesan shavings.
Kauai Shores Hotel, Hawaii
The festive “Toes in the Sand Happy Hour” at the Lava Lava Beach Club at Kauai Shores Hotel is where guests can sip cocktails while savoring local flair right on the beach. Enjoy the soothing sounds of the Hawaiian waves as you sample a Gilligan’s Girl, comprised of coconut vodka, ginger liqueur and Hawaii’s famed pineapple juice. Please your palate with a Loco Moto of local beef patty, mushroom gravy, sliced egg and white rice. Or indulge yourself with a Club Med Plate of hummus, tapenade, Feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes and grilled pita.
Skyview Bar at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai
Jet setters gather at the Skyview Bar at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, which soars over 650 feet in the sky on the 27th floor of one of the world’s most luxurious hotels. A team of expert mixologists serve up a cocktail menu that is truly one of a kind. The Revolution contains Havana 7 Years Rums, Cherry Liqueur, Champagne, Lemon Juice, Pineapple Juice, and Homemade White Pepper Syrup. Signature menu items include Angus Beef Mini Burgers, Crispy Prawns and Arabic Mezzeh. Floor-to-ceiling windows at this bar in the clouds afford guests spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf and glimmering downtown Dubai.
Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate, Orlando, Florida
Bourbon lovers, rejoice: There’s a distinctive reason to check out the Happy Hour at Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. Omni Orlando’s extensive collection of vintage bourbons ensures that there is a Bourbon with the perfect flavor, taste, nose and age for each connoisseur. Hungry? Sink your teeth into the Century Burger, an indulgent eight ounce Angus beef burger topped with brie cheese, caramelized onions, cherry wood smoked bacon, black truffles, port and fig jam and arugula, served with garlic parmesan fries and béarnaise. Foodies can also attend bourbon tastings each Saturday that are paired with decadent slider trios.
Malliouhana, An Auberge Resort, Anguilla, British West Indies
Malliouhana continues to set the standard of island chic with high design and a beverage program to match. Happy Hour enthusiasts can congregate in the fun-filled Sunset Lounge for its thirst-quenching mojitos and sangrias. However, true revelers will really appreciate the resort’s collection of more than 60 rare rums and availability of rum tastings with the on-site “Rummelier.” Premium sipping-rums featured include Angostura 1824 Limited Reserve from Trinidad & Tobago, El Dorado Special Reserve 21 year Old from Guyana, Appleton Estate 21 Year from Jamaica, and Diplomatico Vintage 2000 from Venezuela.
Kona Kai Resort & Spa, Shelter Island, San Diego, CA
Kona Kai’s Vessel Restaurant offers a freestanding Happy Hour venue with New American cuisine served in a casual, elegant atmosphere. The regional coastal fare incorporates local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. Craft brews include Big Sky Brewing Moose Drool Brown Ale and Purple Haze Raspberry Wheat paired with grilled fish tacos, lobster quesadillas or “the big kona burger.” The restaurant also features a stunning outdoor patio perfect for sipping a tantalizing cocktail such as an anti-oxidant mojito with beach bar rum, lime, pomegranate juice, raspberries, blueberries and mint.