Best Dark and Mysterious Hotel Bars and Lounges in Victoria

There is something exotic about the allure of hotel lounges, or of sitting at the bar. We could be anyone, from anywhere, meeting whomever about whatever (insert Film Noir). And sometimes, it’s preferable to meet in the lounge (or at the bar) because we don’t care for full table service, but instead require a different kind of intimacy.

Victoria has several great hotels with low-key lounges and bars. Each of the following locations offers exceptional cocktail selections and has the ideal (dark and mysterious) ambience for a scene right out of the movies. I can take a seat in any of these following places and pretend I’m in Veronica Lake, for a drink or two (but that’s just between you and I).


Catalano Cicchetti Bar (Magnolia Hotel and Spa)

619 Courtenay Street


With a distinct Mediterranean flare, Catalano features traditional Venetian tapas known as “cicchetti.” The building itself was built in the early 1900’s, and that historical fact alone adds to the atmosphere. Have a seat at the bar and sip on one of their custom cocktails, or pull up a chair in the lounge by the fireplace. Happy hour specials occur daily between 4-6pm with $3.00 appies.



Bengal Lounge (The Fairmont Empess)

721 Government Street


Inspired by Queen Victoria’s title as Empress of India, the Bengal Lounge is a stately room with large windows, dark wood paneling, and wingback leather chairs. Known for its traditional curry buffet, classic cocktails, and creative martinis, this lounge is a room to lose yourself in. Live jazz is played Thursday to Sunday nights.

Dress code is business casual: No torn jeans, short shorts, beachwear, flips flops or baseball caps.



Clives Classic Lounge (Chateau Victoria Hotel)

740 Burdett Avenue


Clives is a classy little lounge with swarovski crystal lighting, local artisan designed glass and mirror pieces, fireplaces and big, comfy leather chairs. They take their drinks seriously here too. Just check out their mixology mantra to see the details composing each drink. During the summer months they offer Tiki-style cocktails with a variety of specialty rums like Havana Club 3 year, Appleton’s Estate, Kraken and Gosling’s dark rum. They also have a global cocktail selection inspired from countries around the world. One of my personal favorites from their signature cocktail list is the Bathtub Buchu: Boomsma Young Genever gin, house made buchu liqueur; grapefruit and lemon juice with flamed grapefruit peel $13. Very light, herbal and refreshing.



Blue Crab Lounge (Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel and Marina)

146 Kingston Street


With its sunken floors and huge floor to ceiling windows, the Blue Crab Lounge strikes a fine balance between impressive and private. The lounge overlooks the hotels marina and the inner harbour and it’s an idyllic spot to sit and watch the sunset. Open from 11am – 11pm, 7 days a week they offer a wide variety seafood dishes, share plates, and lighter fare.



Veneto Tapa Lounge (Hotel Rialta)

1450 Douglas Street


Located in the historic boutique hotel Rialta, Veneto is part restaurant part lounge aka “resto-lounge” where you can come to dine on excellent tapas-style food and sample from an extensive cocktail list. If you can’t decide what to order for a drink (it’s that large of a list) then simply Spin the Wheel; just choose your spirit of choice, whether you prefer sweet, bitter, savoury, or a combination, and the leave it to the bartenders to take care of it for you.

Written By:

Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. Having lived on the west coast most of her life, except for several years in the Kootenay's where she canoed and fished and lived in a tipi, she's very much at home outdoors and in the kitchen. ...

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