Over the past few years, many of Vancouver’s hotel bars have upped their mixology games, becoming go-to destinations for inventive craft cocktails and delicious food. Whether you’re staying at one of these properties or not, here are five hotel bars in the city worth checking out.
For live music seven days a week and some of the city’s most inventive cocktails, go to this upscale spot. At The Lobby Lounge, head bartender Grant Sceney works with a talented team to create beautiful and delicious drinks such as the Tokyo Drift—a blend of sake, Bombay Sapphire, absinthe, green tea and cucumber.
After undergoing a massive renovation, this iconic property unveiled a new eatery and bar: Notch8. The stately room boasts stunning starburst-like chandeliers and is a comfortable spot to unwind with a cocktail or two. Making a classic is no problem for the barkeeps, but be sure to try a signature like the Vancouver 2.0 made with local Victoria Gin, both sweet and dry vermouth, Bénédictine and orange bitters.
This luxurious speakeasy-style cocktail bar, located underneath the downtown hotel, will transport you back to the 1920s. Every element of this sleek space has been thoughtfully designed, from the grand chandelier and black marble bar to the blue couches and velvet-encased bar stools. And the cocktails are just as impressive—order a vintage-inspired drink such as the Prohibition Cocktail made with Dorothy Parker American Gin, Cocchi Americano, Abricot du Rousillon, fresh orange and lemon zest.
YEW is well known for its sustainable, Ocean Wise practices and delicious seafood, but the bar also boasts great drinks that are inspired by the world’s five oceans—the oceans cocktail program includes 16 cocktails, created to complement YEW’s dining menus. A sure bet is the complex Skookum-Chuk, which contains locally made sake, Fino Sherry, Aperol, lemon, lime leaf, lemongrass and peach bitters.
The liveliest spot of the bunch, OPUS Bar is best enjoyed with a group. The well-stocked bar makes it easy for bartenders to mix anything from a classic Old Fashioned to something more nouveau like its signature Deep Secrets cocktail made with cucumber, Cointreau, lime juice and jalapeño simple syrup. If you are lucky enough to be staying on-site and don’t feel like getting all dressed up for the bar experience, then take advantage of the Beverage Butler program, which delivers craft cocktails straight to your room.