Monday, Oct. 13, 2008

1. Emperor Hotel Bar

The boutique Emperor Hotel is perched just opposite the east gate of the massive Forbidden City palace complex. Trendy and airy, the 55-room hotel has many charms. But best of all for the weary traveler is its rooftop bar, Yin. Built on an ascending series of platforms, the bar has the best view in town hands-down. Having a drink here at dusk as you gaze over the swooping tiled roofs of the vast former residence of the Emperor is magical. A word of warning, though: Presumably in the spirit of adding Chinese authenticity, many of the house cocktails are made with the notoriously potent Chinese rice liquor baijiu. Avoid those.