Bangkok and its love of rooftops
hen Stuart, Phil, Alan and Doug, the stars of ‘The Hangover,’ chose Bangkok for their second great stag party, it was for a good reason. In ‘The Hangover Part II’ they celebrate Stuart’s wedding in the Thai capital—the city with the best nightlife in all of Asia. The country known as the “land of smiles” bursts into laughter at sunset.
Many of these great moments happen hundreds of metres above the ground, on terraces and rooftops where bars and hotels give you ‘free’ views for the price of a cocktail. Indeed, it has to be the best two for the price of one. Like ‘poptails,’ a creation halfway between an ice lolly and a cocktail, which came about when actors in ‘The Hangover’ were filming on the rooftop of the lebua Hotel. Nearly 250 metres high, Sky Bar, the most photographed terrace in Bangkok, has reinvented the cocktail culture with its own tribute to Hollywood, the Hangovertini. You can also choose from among other signature cocktails such as Summer Sunset, Sky Devil, Pop Star and Pink on the Roof.
High up, but low prices
“Casual rooftop bar.” This is how Cloud 47 describes itself. Located on the 47th floor of the United Centre office block, this lively Bangkok bar is halfway between luxurious rooftop bars and modest roof terraces across the city. Enjoy its vibrant atmosphere and pocket-friendly prices.
Sky Bar shares the rooftop with Sirocco, one of the highest open-air restaurants in the world. To get there you have to go up to the hotel’s 63rd floor. When you arrive, a flight of stairs leads up to the restaurant, awarded a Perfect 10 by Thailand Tatler magazine, which awards scores in four categories (food, wine, atmosphere and service). Heading the kitchen team is Chef Gonzalo Ruiz: his Mediterranean-inspired cuisine features ingredients that are hard to find anywhere else in the city. A jazz band completes the scene.
The list of best high-flying venues in Bangkok is constantly being updated. One of the latest additions is CRU Champagne Bar, the place “where angels play.” This is the calling card of the rooftop bar located on the 59th floor of the Centara Grand Hotel. Opened in December 2016, it gets its name from the French word ‘cru,’ given to top quality vineyards, and its aim is to redefine the way we drink champagne. The drinks menu includes luxuries such as the exclusive Pink Mumm No.1 Champagne (it’s the only bar in Thailand to serve it), Caspian Sea caviar and oysters.
The design of the CRU Champagne Bar is modern and contemporary. Its central area contains a round bar on a raised platform that dominates the whole space. It’s the perfect place to start or end a night out and raise a glass of fine bubbles while enjoying a 360º view of Bangkok.
The lively Thai nightlife is also great for going out as a couple. Even three doesn’t have to be a crowd—at least if the romantic Bangkok night sky is the third guest. The 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel is home to Vertigo and Moon Bar. This Asian fusion restaurant serves top quality seafood and meat dishes, though it’s really more famous for its cocktail bar and standout drink, Vertigo Sunset, combining Malibú with pineapple juice, cranberries and lime.
And then there is the cutting-edge style of the Millennium Hilton Bangkok. It has eight bars and restaurants with views over the river, some of them partly open-air. Ideal for drinks with the night sky as background, in tribute to Bangkok’s Thai name, ‘Krung Thep,’ which means “city of angels.”