Nightlife: Eclectic Elegance

The Bösendorfer Lounge provides an intimate space for cocktails and conversation with an arty vibe.

The Bösendorfer is ideal for an after-work cocktail or a drink before a show at the Dr. Phillips Center. (ROBERTO GONZALEZ)


When you are looking for a place to grab a nightcap or pre-show drink, it doesn’t get any cozier than the Bösendorfer Lounge. The singular establishment is nestled inside the Grand Bohemian Hotel, across from the Dr. Phillips Center in downtown Orlando. And, in keeping with the hotel’s avant-garde
Kessler Collection brand, guests can enjoy live jazz and curated art amid swanky “Moulin Rouge” surroundings. And it’s that ambiance that brings locals and out-of-town visitors coming back for more.

“This particular lounge is meant to create a sultry, European, romantic atmosphere,” says Nicole Morais, the hotel’s director of food and beverage.

The Imperial Grand Bösendorfer piano is at the forefront of that sultry scene. Give it a closer look, and you’ll see where famed Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli left his mark. While staying at the hotel, Bocelli surprised patrons by performing a few songs and then signing the piano.

Other notable features of the room include palatial columns and archways, candle-lit tables and intimate seating areas—all in shades of red, black and gold. Touches of leopard print and framed artwork add to the sexy feel, while TVs ensure sports fans can keep an eye on the game without ruining the moment. And since setting the mood is all about lighting, the modern fixtures wrapped in ruby-red taffeta allow for a touch of elegance.

The cocktail and light bite menus are equally enticing. The White Oak Aged Manhattan is a favorite for its bourbon, aged onsite in oak barrels for at least 30 days. The concoction is topped off with an Italian blood orange liqueur and chocolate bitters for a sweet bite. In addition to the extensive list of wine, beer and spirits, the bar offers a flight of sparkling wines.

When it comes to nibbles, the Hunter’s Board is a shareable spread of speck (smoked or pickled pork belly), soppressata, truffle chicken mousse, cheeses, olives and lingonberry jam. The Artichoke Cake, the chef’s take on traditional crab cakes, is just one of the many vegan choices on the menu. Save room for dessert. The Black Bee Honey Cheesecake uses locally sourced honey. Originally a seasonal item, it quickly became popular and now has a permanent place on the menu.

But no matter where you sit or what you order, be sure to look up. The ceiling fixture above the bar’s circular tower is more than just a pretty sight.

“It is actually meant to represent the sun and casts a red and gold glow around the bar at night,” says Morais. “It serves as the focal point for the lounge, where everyone comes together.”

From the creative cocktails to the artistic décor, the Bösendorfer is a feast for the senses—and the perfect place to get cozy and close.

Bösendorfer Lounge
Grand Bohemian Hotel
325 S. Orange Ave., Orlando

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