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Spirits in the Sky

Bangkok’s array of rooftop bars offer premium drinks alongside some of the city’s best outlooks.

Bangkok is almost pancake flat. And the city’s glitzy blend of high-rise architecture and neon-infused hyper-activity is best appreciated from an elevated vantage point. An excellent way of experiencing the Thai capital from a height is to visit one of its burgeoning roster of rooftop bars where the glittering lights and neon splendour can be savoured with an expertly mixed cocktail or a glass of champagne in hand.

Octave Hits the Right Notes

Image by Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar

Straddled over three floors at the crown of the Bangkok Marriot Hotel Sukhumvit in the upscale area of Thong Lor, Octave offers Asian-style tapas and fresh seafood paired with fine wines and bespoke cocktails. The venue’s chief calling card is its fabulous 360-degree views over the city, particularly impressive on the very top floor – the highest place in Bangkok for a party. The venue can seat around 250 over the three floors and offers a range of free-flow food and drink packages for corporate groups. 

Fly Me to the Moon Bar

Image by Banyan Tree

Far removed from busy Sathorn Road, the narrow, elongated design of Vertigo and Moon Bar on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree gives the impression of being on spaceship about to launch into the stratosphere.  With nothing above the bar (Moon Bar) and restaurant (Vertigo) except sky and no nearby buildings encroaching, there’s nothing to interrupt the magnificent views over the attractive green expanse of Lumpini Park. The stunning design, breath-taking outlook and 264-guest capacity across the venues make this an outstanding option for a cocktail event or a group dinner.

Sky High State of Mind

The distinctive gold dome at Sky Bar at the top of the garish, but distinctive, State Tower acts as a beacon to visitors to Bangkok. The venue’s popularity has soared since it was featured in the second instalment of the Hangover series of movies, and space can be limited, especially on weekend nights. The vibe isn’t for everyone – with a capacity of just 50 the Sky Bar itself can feel rather claustrophobic as everyone crowds its perimeter for a photo opportunity – but the views over the Chao Phraya River (especially at sunset) are worth sharpening up your elbows for. More relaxed by far is the two-Michelin-starred Mezzaluna on the hotel’s 65th floor where European delights are delivered with Japanese precision.

Far Above Expectations

Above Eleven’s location in Sukhumvit Soi 11 — one of the traditional nerve centres of Bangkok nightlife—makes it perfect for events that are likely to take on a party persona as the evening stretches on. This hip, youthful persona is also tangible in the venue’s lack of formality and its judicious selection of danceable electronic beats. Other highlights, meanwhile, include excellent Peruvian-Japanese cuisine and good-value signature cocktails. Upstairs from Above Eleven is Gramercy Park, another al-fresco bar, which offers spillover potential for larger groups, giving the entire venue a capacity of around 180.

Rollin’ by the River

Not only does the rooftop bar at SALA Rattanakosin offer delicious light bites and potent cocktails, but it also provides one of the most sought-after perches in Bangkok. For across the Chao Phraya River from the venue is Wat Arun, known as Temple of Dawn and named after Aruna, the Indian god of dawn. Not only is the missile-shaped temple beautiful to look at it has also played a hugely significant role in Bangkok history. It was here that King Taksin stumbled upon a small local shrine and interpreted the discovery as such an auspicious sign that he decreed that it should be the site of the new capital of what was then known as Siam.