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When visiting Bangkok you always read about how you must go to one of the city’s famous rooftop bars for a drink at sunset. Several of the large hotels boast sky high bars and restaurants and everyone seems to have their own opinions on which one is the ‘best’. After visiting the city nearly ten times, I still had never made it to one until my recent trip when I visited not one, but two of these legendary bars.
The first was at the Octave Rooftop Bar and Lounge at the 5-star Bangkok Marriott Sukhumvit where you need to take two elevators and then walk up a short flight of stairs to reach the rooftop lounge on the 45th floor. You don’t really see much until you pop out at the top and realize you’re on top of the world with just a low glass wall keeping you from going over the edge. It was impressive…until I went to Red Sky at the Centara Grand Hotel located at Central World.
The bar at the Marriott was relatively small and simple compared to Red Sky, which takes the experience to the next level – literally.
On the 55th floor of the hotel (55th!), the restaurant and lounge has two levels with drinks and appetizers on the upper level and a full dinner service on the lower.
I was lucky enough to get treated to dinner beginning just before sunset, and I have to say, Red Sky is one of the coolest, most impressive places I’ve ever dined at.
The atmosphere is, obviously, incredible and the drinks, food and service is equally excellent. The passionfruit martini was light and refreshing after a hot Bangkok day and the French bistro-style food was well done.
Naturally, the experience doesn’t come cheap and is definitely a splurge. Dinner for two including two drinks, two main courses and one dessert came up to around 5,000 baht ($156 USD). Heck, bottles of water are about $6. That said, it certainly makes for a special evening and would be a nice way to celebrate something.
You can also do it more cheaply, by simply sitting in the upper level for drinks. In fact, I would have been completely happy just having a couple drinks and taking in the view. The atmosphere is more private and lounge-like and there are regular happy hour specials. You can also purchase little bites, although the appetizers listed on the menu were still quite pricey between $20-40. They don’t take reservations for the bar area, so you’d need to go a little early to grab a table at sunset. Wine and cocktails ran from about 400-500 baht ($12-15).
If you’re backpacking, you should also know that there’s a ‘smart casual’ dress code here, which basically means, don’t look like a bum and don’t wear flip flops. Most of the women were in dresses or business attire and men were wearing at least polo shirts, if not button down shirts and suits.
While I’d still be interested in checking out some of the other rooftop bars through the city, I’m sure in the end Red Sky would be one of my favs and I’ll definitely go back.
Have you been to any of the rooftop bars in Bangkok? Where did you go? Was it worth it?
Note: I was a guest of Red Sky, but all opinions and recommendations are my own and you should go, really. Just, wow, go now.