Top 5 Bangkok Rooftop Bars
Resident Bangkok expert, Claire Mykura shares the five hottest rooftop bars you HAVE to visit on a visit to the Thailand capital.
One of the best ways to enjoy Bangkok is from high-up with a cocktail in your hand, especially if you have spent the day running around a temple complex or bargaining with stall owners at Chatuchak Weekend Market.There are plenty of rooftop bars to choose from here in the city, but after two years of dedicated exploring, having sipped some great martinis and watched many amazing sunsets, I have finally put together a list of my top five favourite rooftops in Bangkok: 1. Sky Bar by Lebua (Getting there – BTS: Saphan Taksin)
How can you resist a film location and the highest 360 degree bar in the city wrapped into one? Sky Bar at Lebua is where Hollywood and Bangkok overlap.Those crazy boys from The Hangover filmed a key scene here but thankfully the vibe is more vintage glamour than buck’s -do gone wrong.
With a golden dome on the 63rd floor and a sweeping staircase to make your entrance, the bar juts over the edge and offers arguably the best views of the city, looking over the river and back towards the city centre. My drinks pick here is a ‘Hangovertini’; the blend of green tea liquor, apple juice, Martini Rosso and rosemary honey is far more sophisticated than you might expect.
2. Vertigo at the Banyan Tree Hotel (Getting there – BTS: Sala Daeng)
Vertigo and Moon Bar at Banyan Tree is great if you need a rest whilst enjoying the vista, with a couple of comfy sofas and plenty of bar stools to perch on. From here you can see the river winding around the city a bit like Sky Bar, but with less of a crowd the atmosphere is far more relaxed. My favourite thing about this rooftop is that there is nothing above you or around you, so you really feel on top of the world.
This is the bar I bring all my guests to, from my 85-year-old Grandma to my hard-to-impress cousin who is just out of his teens – they have all taken home great memories and enjoyed the ‘Vertigo Sunset’, a refreshing blend of Malibu, pineapple, cranberry and lime that tastes more like a beach holiday than a Bangkok city break.
3. Park Society at Sofitel So (Getting there – MRT: Lumpini)
This new rooftop bar stands out because it offers a different view of Bangkok. Overlooking Lumpini Park, this view is more romantic than most. The bright lights of Bangkok’s business district contrast with the leafy greenery of the open space 24 floor below; it really confirms how magnificent the city can be as the sun goes down.
Although they have plenty of their own creatively mixed drinks here, I usually go for a ‘Clover Club’ cocktail, a syrupy blend of gin, grenadine, lemon, and Egg White. Thai celebrities have been known to frequent the Hi-So cabanas at Park Society, but even after a couple of years studying Bangkok gossip magazines, I can only recognise them from the screaming crowds with camera phones.
4. SpeakEasy at Hotel Muse (Getting there – BTS: Chit Lom)
This dark and mysterious venue offers a twist on the usual rooftop bars in Bangkok, with a retro prohibition theme, including a bath full of cocktails in jam jars and cool jazz playing in the background.
The bartenders here take cocktails seriously so it’s the ideal place to come for people who consider the cocktail as important as the view. The focus is on making some of the vintage classics, including the popular ‘French martini’: a blend of vodka, Chambord, pineapple juice and with a hint of lime to cut through the sweet jam-like flavour.
Flapper dresses are not mandatory, so head up the stairs to the imitation grass lawn, where you can relax in an outdoor sitting room and enjoy a bootlegged sundowner.
5. ZENSE at CentralWorld (Getting there – BTS: Chit Lom)
What could be better than a rooftop bar above a shopping mall? Centralworld’s shopping mall Zen stocks a great range of local designers to check out (latest collections by local designers including the funky flynow III and dreamy Rotsaniyom are worth a browse) and when you have finished, head up to the 17th floor and grab a drink at ZENSE, where you can hang out on some funky bean bags and enjoy Bangkok’s distinctive sunset.
The bartenders have created a great range of spring and winter themed cocktails including the ‘Spicy Mango’ and ‘Spiced Appletini’ which come with fresh muddled fruit and a strong kick of Thai spice. Although the bar has been opened since August 2012 the crowds have yet to realise, making ZENSE a fantastic evening drinking spot.