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These 8 hotel rum bars are worth a shot (or a mai tai or mojito)

Aug. 16, 2022
8 min read
Dr. Mai Tai's swim-up bar at our Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina
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Summer may feel like it's winding down, but that doesn't mean there's not enough time for another drink or two. Is there a better summer spirit than rum?

Luckily, the key ingredient in so many tropical cocktails — including rum punch, mojitos and mai tais — gets its day to shine on Aug. 16. That’s National Rum Day, in case you missed the memo.

It’s rare that a hotel has a dedicated in-house rum bar, but we’ve done the legwork to lead you to some stellar spots if an on-site rum bar is among your preferred hotel amenities.

From a swim-up bar in Hawaii to a surprise rooftop spot in Ohio, these are some of our favorite hotel bars where rum rules every day.

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Kane Tiki Bar & Grill

Kane Tiki Bar & Grill. (Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort)

It’s a no-brainer that rum is best enjoyed by the beach. At the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, you can do just that — steps from the Gulf of Mexico. The Kane Tiki Bar & Grill has the requisite palm-thatched roof over a long granite bar and an open-air, tropical vibe that brings a bit of Bali (the bar’s inspiration) to Southwest Florida.

The extensive rum list pulls from all over the Caribbean, Latin America and beyond, so this is the place to try something new (perhaps a Venezuelan rum or one from Mauritius or Guyana). Purists go for tasting flights, but there are lots of fruity cocktails, too, and the menu’s selection of Indonesian street foods pad the drinking.

How to book: Cash rates at the JW Marriott Marco Island start as low as $499 a night but tend to be more expensive as the summer winds down. Marriott Bonvoy members can snag an award night for 70,000 points per night though most nights cost closer to 100,000, thanks to the brand's dynamic pricing.

Related: TPG’s 15 favorite hotel bars around the world

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Rumbar

Rumbar. (Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami)

Miami offers no shortage of hangouts to capture that Old Havana feeling. If you’ve come for rum, then seek out the lobby lounge Rumbar at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami.

The liquor selection here covers more than 85 varieties of rums, piscos and cachacas (none of them Havana Club from Cuba, of course, but many other countries are represented). The bar is big on vintage Cuba vibes, though, with palmetto ceiling fans spinning lazily, rich dark woods and old-school photos on the walls. The quintessential cocktail to order if you want to conjure Hemingway in Havana is El Floridita, made with Ron Cartavio 12-year-old rum from Peru, orange flower water and guava nectar.

How to book: Cash rates at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami start at $440 a night. Award nights cost between 50,000 and 70,000 points per night for Marriott Bonvoy members.

Related: 7 Florida hotels that feel like the Caribbean

Blackwell Rum Bar

Accessed by a staircase carved from coral rock that leads right down to the water’s edge, the Blackwell Rum Bar in Negril, Jamaica, could make anyone feel like a proper pirate. Seated at a bar inside a cave with the Caribbean Sea thumping below natural windows carved by the elements into the rocky walls, you can sip the island’s top rums, including Blackwell Black Gold Fine Jamaican Rum (founded by Chris Blackwell of Island Records fame).

The bar is just one reason to love The Caves, an adults-only cliffside resort in Negril’s West End with just 12 cottage-style accommodations and a grand villa overlooking the turquoise water.

How to book: Cash rates at this Instagram-worthy property start at $490 a night and most dates require a two-night minimum stay.

Related: Why all-inclusive resorts are more attractive than ever

RumFire Bar and Barmacy

RumFire Bar. (Photo courtesy of Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica)

When the 151-room Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica opened astride Cabrits National Park in 2019, it became Nature Island’s first true five-star resort. To make up for the small black-sand beach, the property went all-out on its pools (including a lap pool, spa pool, adults-only pool and main pool) and invested heavily, too, in what’s easily one of the best hotel rum bars in the Caribbean.

RumFire Bar is a sweeping terrace with fire pits and lounge areas overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Just inside, at the Barmacy, you can pick your poison from a wall of Dominican rums infused with local herbs, spices and fruit (passion fruit, mango, star fruit, cinnamon and more) that are said to have curative qualities. Sounds a lot like drinking virtuously.

How to book: Cash rates at this Kempinski resort start around $375 a night.

Related: 29 of the most beautiful hotel pools around the world

Strong Water Tavern

Strong Water Tavern. (Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort)

You could almost suspend disbelief and imagine you were sipping rum someplace more island-y than Orlando at the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando.

The huge selection of island rums, customizable as flights if you can’t decide, is that good — especially the impressive range of rhum agricole (made from free-running sugar cane juice) from the French Caribbean, including Martinique and Guadeloupe. Strong Water Tavern has a great selection of rum-based cocktails and punches and a "rum specialist" is on hand to help you find your winning drink. The menu’s shared plates add to the conviviality of things, with aguachiles, grilled octopus and seafood tostadas among the selections.

How to book: Cash rates at this hotel start around $250 a night.

Related: Why you might want to rethink that Florida theme park trip

Dr. Mai Tai’s

Dr. Mai Tai’s. (Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina)

A swim-up rum bar. Now that’s genius. Dr. Mai Tai’s at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina is a vintage-style cocktail van that hugs the edge of the resort’s infinity pool. It’s helmed by an “on-call cocktail doctor” who proffers “rum-infused prescription elixirs.” Sign us up as new patients.

On the menu for sipping in your swimsuit is a range of tropical cocktails made with coconut and pure cane rums from Hawaiian distilleries and other island ingredients, like macadamia nut syrup, passion fruit and hibiscus.

How to book: Four Seasons resorts are usually on the pricier side — and this one is no exception. Cash rates usually are upwards of $600 a night but on peak dates are closer to $900 or $1,000 a night.

Rum Runners

Rum Runners. (Photo by Robb Leahy)

Guests at Captain Don’s Habitat — one of the most famous scuba-diving hotels in Bonaire, the shore-diving capital of the world — rinse off from the ocean and make straight for the waterfront tables at Rum Runners to sip something frosty.

The King Rincon is the one to try, made with Bonaire’s own Rom Rincon (made with the island’s abundant flora, the kadushi cactus), white chocolate and mango.

How to book: Cash rates at Captain Don's Habitat start at $191 a night for double occupancy in the summer and $243 per night for double occupancy in the winter.

Related: The 10 best secret beaches in the Caribbean

Vaso

Vaso's Tiki Escape. (Photo by Trent Brown/Vaso’s)

Land-locked Ohio may not spring to mind as a rum bar destination. But surprise yourself with the impressive selection at Vaso, the rooftop bar overlooking the Scioto River at the AC Hotel Columbus Dublin.

While not technically a rum bar, this one is making our list thanks to its transporting urban setting paired with an excellent rum selection of more than 35 varieties that include Plantation from Fiji and Santa Teresa 1796 from Venezuela, in addition to all of the Caribbean mainstays and niche bottles. There’s always a featured Tiki cocktail on the menu here, too, to make you feel far from, well, Ohio, for starters.

How to book: Cash rates start at $170 a night. Marriott Bonvoy members can trade in 24,000 to 30,000 points a night for an award stay.

Featured image by Featured photo of Dr. Mai Tai's swim-up bar courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023