The Sylvia Hotel is the ivy-covered heritage building (with the neon gothic “S”) that overlooks English Bay Beach. It’s not known for its food, drinks, or rooms; all of which are frankly mediocre, but man, does it ever sport a view! It’s like a missing ingredient, improving the experience in increments as sunset approaches and making everything taste just a little bit better. It also has the charm of an independent hotel that doesn’t go overboard with, well…anything, and that’s a little refreshing. You can almost always grab a seat, even as the sun is going down, and the chances of you seeing anyone you know hanging out there are about equal to the odds of seeing two gulls colliding in a mid-air burst of feathers. There’s no fuss and no scene to speak of. It’s just a lounge that’s strangely – if not comfortingly – ten years behind.
The Drink | The Sylvia tables two signature drinks, The Vancouver Cocktail and 1954. Legend has it that latter (gin, red vermouth, B&B, orange twist – now on cocktail menus all across the city) was created in the Sylvia Bar during the early 1960’s. The former (vodka, Chambord, splash of soda, raspberries, blueberries, lemon twist) is a newer invention that named for the year in which the Sylvia Bar opened.
The Sylvia Hotel | 1154 Gilford Street | WEBSITE