La Vista 55, at InterContinental Doha – The City, offers panoramic views of the skyline with upbeat music and ambience. FACT’s Asad Khan headed to the bar/lounge for some lip-smacking drinks and fun dance moves.

After food and drinks, one of the most important considerations whilst picking a lounge or bar for a night out with friends is its ambience. And the most stunning ones need to score big on both. There’s always something special about sitting somewhere beautiful in terms of views, lighting and the colour scheme of the interior. A well-designed space goes a long way towards a good time. And with La Vista 55 really taking off with a live music band playing, there’s never been a better time to try out one of country’s upbeat, lit places.

The moment you exit the elevator on the 55th floor of the hotel, a huge Cuban-inspired art mural welcomes you with its vibrant colours. A fusion of exciting atmosphere and intricate flavours of vintage Havana brings Cuba to Doha. The dark interior, paired with a dash of pop art and neon colours, exudes a warm moodiness with amber walls, burgundy velvet booths and a view of the tall skyline from every inch of the bar and lounge.

Murals here and there adorn the space throughout.

Turn right from the reception and the first thing you see is a photo booth space featuring colourful wings. La Vista takes you on quite a journey of ambience with food and drinks to give you wings for the night.

La Vista 55 takes up the 55th and 56th floors of the hotel. The upper deck serves up a more austere ambience and multicourse fare — the view gets better and better — and is spacious enough for a sizeable crowd. But if you’re into sitting in front of the band whilst sipping some drinks and eventually taking to the dancefloor, the more informal level of the space, the lower floor, makes a lasting impression.

Now the food: the menu is well curated with authentic speciality tapas that satisfy your cravings for mouth-watering Papas Rellenas. I ordered some Chupetas de Pollo (Latino glazed chicken drumsticks with hot mango chutney sauce), and Nachos Cargados (corn tortilla chips, with cheese sauce, a handful of jalapenos, sweetcorn, pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole). The chicken drumsticks were very tender with salt and pepper and the pairing of mango sauce giving a kick of sweetness with sourness at the same time. Whilst the nachos, that are generally considered very basic, were uplifted with sour cream and guacamole. Perfect light starters to be paired with enhanced beverages.

I also went on to try the lettuce and beans salad with guasacaca sauce. Fresh to the core and extravagant on the taste buds. If I had to define my experience of non-stop dancing with the live Cuban band at La Vista 55, it has to be Cuban-Caribbean meets hippie mid-modern. It’s hard to pin point in the more-is-more space. Every wall is a gallery here. ✤