Best of Boston

2003 Best Hotel Bar

Oak Bar

Given the weather, there’s seldom much call in New England for ceiling fans. Even so, the whirring hum beneath the Oak Bar’s carved mahogany ceiling adds a touch of airiness to a room that might otherwise seem stodgy. In fact, the Fairmont Copley Plaza’s bar strikes a perfect pitch between opulence and ease. The marble on the walls and generously apportioned martinis are the best kinds of throwbacks to a more civilized age. But the scene stays lively with the help of energetic jazz bands, a chatty and helpful staff, and a menu rife with inside jokes. The signature dirty martini, for example, is named after the Charles River, though we can’t imagine our current teetotaling governor diving into one anytime soon.

Fairmont Copley Plaza, 138 St. James Ave., Boston, 617-267-5300,