Vistas (Mövenpick Hotel Colombo).

Perched on the 24th floor of Colpetty's Mövenpick, Vistas serves up vistas (surprise!), a whole selection of imported drinks, and some sparse nibbles. They tout this as an "elevated open-air lounge with sea views" because saying rooftop bar is passé now.

Drinks

Their drinks menu is (finally) in circulation, and comes off as a glossy fashion catalogue of sorts. With deliciously depicted cocktails, random pithy quotes, and a whole lot of variety, you're spoilt for choice. 

There's a whole selection of whiskeys on offer, from the usual uncle-party-Black Label (Rs. 790 for 25ml, Rs. 21,000 for a bottle) to bourbons and smoky single malts. Likewise, the whole spirit family is represented from gin to fancy fashion vodka. Most spirits go for about Rs. 690-990 for 25ml. I really liked that if you buy any bottle of rum, whiskey, or vodka, they throw in a great cocktail mixer pack (for mojitos, cosmopolitans, Bloody Marys etc) so your table can make its own drinks.

If you're looking for a slower poison, they've got one of Colombo's best selections of imported beers, featuring everything from our homegrown Lion to firangi-grown San Miguel, Erdinger, Savannah, Peroni, Somersby, and more. A small bottle of Lion goes for a steep Rs. 490, and the imported beers are all around the Rs. 1000 mark. 

Their wine and bubbly selection was unfathomably expensive, with a glass of Moët at Rs. 5600++ and a glass of Valdivieso Merlot at Rs. 990++. Keep in mind that at liquor shops, a bottle of Moët is Rs. 11,600 and the same merlot is Rs. 1700, so there's mark ups and then there's this madness.

We chose a couple of their signature cocktails, Achcharu and Winking Pinky (both Rs. 990++). The Achcharu interestingly (and sadly) doesn't  feature any local alcohol, instead showcasing a concoction of tequila, raw mango, ambarella, pineapple, and chilli flakes.  It was yum enough, but definitely tasted like an iced, alcoholic curry. The saucily named Winking Pinky was more of a classic cocktail with vodka, pink guava, strawberry liqueur, and lime juice. The proportions were all perfect, but we do wish they'd strained the drink before pouring it in as it was very grainy and had lots of little seeds (perfect for getting stuck in your teeth and making you look hella sexy). 

Just a heads up – drinking water here comes in the form of fancy alkaline bottles at Rs. 300 a pop. As if my drinking habits couldn't get any more basic.

Dining

The tapas choices were interesting, but far more limited than the drinks menu. We opted for a platter of chicken enchiladas and pork satays. They came out smartly presented within 10 minutes, but the portion sizes were paltry.

It was only when we picked up each unit that we realised how miserable the quantities truly were. At Rs. 990++, the Chicken Enchiladas were flat, with a sprinkling of meat only on the outer corner. These didn't look like normal enchiladas at all, and were almost empty inside , as we found out when we held them up to the light. Despite this, the actual flavour of the few bits of chicken and the accompanying sour cream and guacamole were superb. The satays were perfectly spiced and marinated, but the pork was stringy and tough, and again came in bare flat slivers on the sticks. We would have found this well worth the Rs. 950++ if the meat portions weren't so stingy.

Service

The service was superb. From the second we walked in, to the second we left, someone was hovering about to help. We found the staff enthusiastic and friendly, generally well-trained and able to recommend dishes and drinks. 

Ambience

The view is obviously the main draw of Vistas, with its 360° perspective of Colombo's skyline, the budding skyscrapers, the colonial houses, and the endless horizon.

Apart from the view itself, the ambience is a little sterile, thanks to its safe colours, oversize lamps, and plastic wickerwork tables. They do have lots of group seating available though, which is great. Another saving grace is their music, which is a lot of fun sultry lounge and jazz (as opposed to many other Colombo bars' loud pop/techno).

The rooftop pool and jacuzzi add a luxe touch but are understandably only for in-house guests. Beware the lusty rooftop winds though, I was wearing a flared skirt and it made walking around an unwitting Marilyn Monroe-esque experience.

Overall

This is a standard 5* hotel rooftop bar with painful prices, excellent service, and beautiful Colombo views. The food is good but extremely lacking in portion size. At Rs. 5497 for 2 plates of tapas and two cocktails, we wouldn't particularly recommend it if you're on a budget or hungry, but it's a good spot for a group catch up or a sunset date. Give them some time to get into full swing, because they plan to have all sorts of fun themed nights featuring shisha, belly (or ballet, we're not 100% sure what our waiter said over the funky music)dancing, and more.

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