Do you want to have running water? A refrigerator and icemaker? Taps for adult beverages? If you said yes to these questions, then you want a wet bar. You'll need to work with a plumber and electrician to get water and electricity to the area if you don't have the DIY skills. So keep that in mind when deciding your budget. Wet bars are more expensive, but it is a selling point if you ever decide to move. A wet bar is a great choice if you entertain frequently or host large groups. It's convenient to have running water and a refrigerator outside so you don't have to make one trip after another indoors throughout the party.
Based on where you live, purchase plants that will thrive and add to the tropical look. If you are going to plant a lot of flora or a large tree, such as a palm tree, you might want to do that before you prepare the patio area because of the mess. Find something low maintenance or you'll defeat the purpose of creating a patio space where you can relax and reduce stress.
What colors do you think of when you think of the tropics? Some think of neutrals and earth tones, such as various shades of green and brown. Others think about the bright colors of tropical birds and flowers, such as orange and yellow. Maybe you like something that's more middle-of-the-road. In that case, go for shades of greens and browns with bright accents.
You'll need to purchase a bar, patio bar stools and cushions. You may also want to consider buying other bar-height patio furniture to fill out the space. To save money, consider a set. For example, East Point has a five-piece set featuring a glass-top bar with shelves for storage and four bar chairs. It also has a tropical Cabana feel. Since it'll be outdoors, look for fabric with UV protection and frames that are coated to protect the furniture from the elements. Set up a patio bar and head outdoors to relax with your friends.