Given that you’re on the top floor of the Doubletree by Hilton, you do feel obliged to present yourself relatively smartly, so there is a bit of an unwritten dress code in here.
Popping by after work, you’re likely to be swamped with suit-wearing business people. The bar’s modern, simplistic styling feels like a typical posh hotel but the extraordinary views across the city make this place a magnet for couples out for a special occasion and of course people staying in the hotel. You’re most likely to see people aged over 30 in here.
SkyLounge is not exactly a hideout for the real ale-loving pub goers of Leeds. In fact the bar doesn’t stock any beers or ciders on tap. It does, however, offer a dozen varieties of international beer and cider in bottles. The main focus here was always going to be cocktails, so there is a succinct but varied offering that features 20 different mixes split into royales, all time classics and classics revisited, which cost up to £9 or so. SkyLounge also stocks a good range of wines, with over 25 whites, reds, roses and dessert wines to mull over. For those feeling a little bit flush there are also four champagnes to choose from.
On entering the Doubletree’s impressive glass foyer, you’re directed to one of three lifts and told to hit the 13th floor. The doors glide open and you walk into an open plan minimalist lounge that looks out on the Leeds skyline, dominated by Bridgewater Place. When lit up at night it really is awe-inspiring and something completely unmatched on the Leeds bar circuit – and we haven’t even gone outside on to the balcony veranda yet. The view from outside is fantastic and more than makes up for the slightly inflated prices at SkyLounge although it’s not for the faint- hearted, while the bar’s high ceilings, comfy leather sofas and quirky swivel chairs add a bit of character.
The service is attentive and the atmosphere is surprisingly relaxed – you don’t feel judged, despite the five star surroundings.
SkyLounge is a classy, modern city bar with a huge panoramic difference.
SkyLounge is situated on the 13th floor of the Doubletree by Hilton in the city centre’s Granary Wharf development. Back on ground level you’re on the doorstep of a number of city bars including Cuvee, The Hop and Vineataly, while you’re a 10 or 15-minute walk from the bars of Call Lane and Lower Briggate.
Open Sunday to Thursday, 8am to midnight, and Friday and Saturday, 8am to 1am.
We invested in two of the bar’s near-£8 cocktails, with a refreshing rum-based Mojito and a smooth rum and cherry-liqueur Daiquiri No 5. We followed those classy cocktails up with a bottle of Tiger beer and a 175ml glass of rose, which brought the bill to a pricey £24.35. In truth the drinks were fit for a special occasion, so it seems if you’re willing to pay up and enjoy the view this place is the bar for you.