Sky Lounge, on the 13th floor of the DoubleTree hotel, is marketed as a luxury hotspot with prices to match.
The first thing you notice is the view - and it’s spectacular. A large terrace stretches from one end of the bar to the other, looking out onto Leeds’ glittering skyline.
But the interior felt dated; huge disco balls, blue mood lighting, blue leather seats and a patterned carpet. My friend compared it to a Wetherspoons and I couldn’t disagree.
We were shown to our seats and promised table service. After 20 minutes without being acknowledged, we wondered if we’d misheard the waitress - but just as we got up to go to the bar we were finally served.
The service was missing the attention to detail that you’d expect from a high-end bar - water brought to the table, the offer to run through the menu or suggestions for some of the server’s own favourite cocktails.
The cocktails range from £11 to £500 for six Sky High Club champagne cocktails. There’s a good selection of wines, a fantastic champagne list and a range of draught and bottled beer.
I opted for the ‘White Rose’ from the Leeds Cocktails menu. It was made with Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla, one of my favourite gins, with Triple Sec, Yorkshire Tea Syrup, Apple, Lemon and Rose and Elderflower Foam.
From the description, I’d hoped for a refreshing cocktail with floral and citrus notes. Instead, it was so sickly sweet it made my toes curl, served in a chunky teacup which made it difficult to drink without getting a face full of foam.
I later spotted the cocktail was marked as ‘sweet’ in the menu’s flavour profile map, so that was my oversight, but it would have been helpful to have been pointed to the map as we were seated.
My friend ordered the Platinum Pornstar Martini with Ciroc French Vanilla and Moet & Chandon, which she enjoyed - but the metallic martini glass it was served in was gaudy rather than glam.
For £28, with a service charge then automatically added to the bill, the two drinks set us back a penny.
I’ve had some amazing experiences in Leeds bars where you’re made to feel like one of the family. And I’ll gladly pay more for lavish surroundings, fascinating drinks and top class service.
But my experience at Sky Lounge fell short of sky high.
Address: Located in DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Leeds City Centre, Granary Wharf, Leeds, LS1 4BR
Telephone: 0113 241 1043
Opening hours: Mon-Tue, closed; Wed-Thur, 2pm-11pm; Fri, 2pm-1am; Sat, 11am-1am; Sun, 11am-11pm.
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