The SkyLounge decidedly gets five stars in the being-in-the-sky category. It’s far and away the city centre’s highest-altitude bar, and on a clear night the views really are worth the lift ride up to the thirteenth floor. There’s a lovely wraparound balcony that seems to be open year-round, so if you go when it’s warm or you can brave the cold, it’s really quite a charming spot to take in the sights while you imbibe.
Now just what you will be imbibing — that is obviously the important question. Beer selection could certainly be worse — their bottled range includes a handful of world lagers (Budvar, Cusqueña, Asahi, Peroni and Tiger) as well as Leffe Blond and Guinness. With a large spirit shelf, Sky’s true focus is cocktails, offering the usuals plus their own interpretations of some classics. Beers are £4-£4.50 and cocktails are £7-£10, so you’re definitely paying a premium for being in the sky.
The atmosphere is about what you’d expect in a hotel bar that’s trying to be upmarket: sleek sofas, innocuous lounge music, dim lighting. It’s definitely targeted at the business crowd who may be looking to impress their out-of-town clients, but avoids being snobbish. You’d feel at home here whether you were wearing a smart suit or casual jeans, and the bar staff are very friendly.
It can be hard to get a seat, even if the place isn’t rammed, but you really want to spend most of your time outside anyway. The view is what you’re here for. Without that, it’s just a another boring hotel bar.