It may not feel like summer quite yet. But summer patio season in Vancouver is already heating up.
Among the newest contenders for the city’s coveted best patio title is a little-known lounge on the fourth floor of downtown’s restored 1927 Hotel Georgia: Reflections.
Reflections opened for the first time last summer and largely flew under the radar of die-hard patio fans. That’s a shame because it has to be among the most sexiest spots to grab a drink anywhere in Vancouver, indoors or out. But the good news is it just reopened for another season of al fresco cocktails and great people-watching.
But it’s not easy to find (and I think that’s half the fun). Wander into the venerable lobby of the Hotel Georgia – all hardwood wainscoting and crystal chandeliers – and you won’t see a sign for Reflections anywhere. Discretely ask the concierge, and he’ll point you to an elevator secreted away in the back of the hotel.
Take that to the fourth floor and prepare for a bit of a surprise. The doors open to an oasis in the middle of Vancouver’s rooftops: a hidden enclave where the city’s high-flyers and A-listers (and anyone who wants to pretend for a few hours) can sip away an afternoon or evening.
The fourth-floor rooftop has been converted into an outdoor bar space filled with low-slung tables, curtains fluttering in the breeze and airy cabanas. Heat lamps and a blazing fire pit keep things toasty after the sun goes down. And the whole patio is backed by shimmering waterfalls and a reflecting pool.
To be honest, the view is nonexistent: You’re hemmed in on all sides by brick walls of surrounding buildings. But that just adds to the conspiratorial, quasi-exclusive feel of the place. It’s your own private retreat, a fantasy world with a chill music soundtrack that feels a lot more NYC or SF than YVR.
But I should point out that there’s more to Reflections than eye candy. Start with the drink list. True to Vancouver form, Reflections mixes up a selection of artisan, handcrafted cocktails – both the traditional variety and some not-so-traditional creations (like the chorizo-infused Bloody Mary called a Smoking Maria for $12).
The tapas-style menu is also exceptional (and surprisingly accessible). For around $11, you get a petite portion of some of the locally-sourced, seasonal cuisine that Vancouver is famous for — everything from smoked sablefish and salmon croquetas to Quadra Island scallop ceviche and Fraser Valley flat iron steak with chimichurri.
Anyone else been to Reflections? What did you think of its summer patio potential?
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