CRU Champagne Bar - Centara Grand at CentralWorld

Above the Crowds

There is one thing that Bangkok certainly gets right. When you’ve got this much gridlock, tall buildings, and little room to maneuver down along the crowded streets, there is only one place to go, and that’s up. That’s where rooftop bars come in, and we can be proud that this city has some of the best out there. Not only do you get unique perspectives, you also get to see some of the city landmarks without having your view blocked, and best of all, get to cool off, relax and watch the gorgeous sunset. Here are some of the top spots to hit up for a sundowner:

CRU Champagne Bar

CRU Champagne Bar | Credit: Dave Stambouis

CRU Champagne Bar
Until the MahaNakhon tower opens up something on its airy top, CRU Champagne Bar on top of Centara Grand at  CentralWorld is Bangkok’s highest rooftop bar, and it is really spectacular. While buying a bottle of Bollinger James Bond 007 Spectre Limited Edition is probably beyond the means of most guests, the bar has teamed up with one of the world’s largest Champagne producer G.H. Mumm to serve their pink champagne, and there are plenty of signature drinks and old fashioned cocktails, wines, and beers as well. However, it isn’t just the drinks you are coming here for.

You get a full 360 degree view of Bangkok from up here, with the Baiyoke Tower II looking like it is just next door, and all of downtown’s major landmark buildings sprawled out like a sea in front of you. You can see the Chao Phraya in the distance, and even make out the Grand Palace far on the other side of the city. Comfy chairs and divans make it easy to kick back and chill out, and sunsets are sublime. Getting here is half the fun, as you need to take the Centara Grand lift up to the 23rd floor, change into another lift headed for the Red Sky Bar on the 55th floor, and then take a final lift up to CRU!

CRU Champagne Bar
Centara Grand at CentralWorld
Tel. 02 100 6255

Vogue Lounge - MahaNakhon CUBE, 6th Floor

Vogue Lounge | Credit: Dave Stamboulis

Vogue Lounge
While not exactly a highrise rooftop bar, due to the fact that the city’s highest building, the MahaNakhon tower sits right over its little sister MahaNakhon CUBE where Vogue Lounge is located, this is still worth a visit, as the rooftop deck here gives unique perspectives on the neighboring giant, and is one of the only bars in Bangkok featuring outdoor air con! It’s worth sitting indoors as well, with bar décor right out of a black and white 1960’s Vogue Magazine shoot, and the creative drinks and bites here are some of the best in the city.

Vogue Lounge
MahaNakhon CUBE, 6th Floor
Tel. 02 001 0697

Sky Bar and Alfresco 64 - Lebua at State Tower, 63rd Floor

Sky Bar and Alfresco 64 | Credit: Lebua Hotel

Sky Bar and Alfresco 64
There are actually several bars up on the top of the golden-domed Lebua at State Tower, and any of them can make your jaw drop. The Sky Bar has been named by numerous publications around the globe as one of the top rooftop bars in the world, and it really is a magical place to watch the lights of city come on as night falls. Suspended on a precipice some 250 meters up in the air, hordes of visitors head up here for the sunsets, and many coming to sample a “Hangovertini”, the signature drink of the bar made famous when the Hollywood blockbuster Hangover II had several scenes shot up here. Distil Bar sits slightly above the Sky Bar, separated by a short staircase, and both offer bird’s-eye views of the Chao Phraya river down below.

You’ll also find their new Alfresco 64 up here, the world’s highest whiskey bar. Designed like a luxury yacht, the connoisseur bar features a variety of cocktails made with Chivas Regal and served over semi frozen flavored ice granita. They’ve also got a new elegant champagne bar just opened up here, the debonair Flûte, A Perrier-Jouët Bar. With an exclusive champagne selection, such as the Perrier Jouet Blanc de Blancs, Cuvee Belle époque Brut & Rosé, and Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé, guest can experience the champagnes either by the bottle or by the flute.

Sky Bar and Alfresco 64
Lebua at State Tower, 63rd Floor
Tel. 02 624 9555

The Speakeasy Rooftop Bar

The Speakeasy Rooftop Bar | Credit: Dave Stamnboulis

The Speakeasy Rooftop Bar
This sophisticated bar is actually a combination of several connected venues, including the Long Bar, Terrace Bar, The Blind Pig cigar lounge, the open hangout space The Lawn, and The Roofop Bar, all spread out over the 24th and 25th floors on top of Bangkok’s most iconic boutique hotel – Hotel Muse Bangkok Langsuan, MGallery Collection. The atmosphere at The Speakeasy Rooftop Bar is elegant, and guests can choose from intimate tables for two set out on an elongated deck, head upstairs to sprawl out on the roof.

The Speakeasy Rooftop Bar
Hotel Muse Bangkok Langsuan,
24th and 25th Floors
Tel. 02 630 4000

Moon Bar

Moon Bar | Credit: Banyan Tree Bangkok

Moon Bar
The Moon Bar at Banyan Tree Bangkok is pretty legendary. This is where everyone sends their friends when they come to Bangkok. It’s just as high, ritzy, and dramatic as the nearby Sky Bar, but from here, you actually see the Lebua’s golden dome shimmering as the sun goes down, and especially photogenic at the times of the year when the sun sits directly behind the dome.

The panoramas from here are numbing, and the Moon Bar has the added plus of being the highest bar set smack in the middle of the central business district, meaning you are surrounded by a sea of skyscrapers seemingly at arm’s length. The
cocktails here are excellent, come with free refills of gourmet nuts, and while there is also a dress code, photo-lovers can set up their tripods here for those blue hour long exposures, something that many other rooftop bars don’t allow.

Moon Bar
Banyan Tree Bangkok, 61st Floor
Tel. 02 679 1200

Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar

Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar | Credit: Dave Stamboulis

Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar
While most rooftop bars are located in the center of the city, surrounded by plenty of nearby tall buildings, Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar does a slightly different take on it all by being one of the only tall buildings around the mid-Sukhumvit area, giving guests an unrivaled view across the city from Bangkok’s east side.

Set up on the 45th floor of the Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit, the bar actually has several levels, with a balcony area with chic loveseats downstairs, and a Manhattan apartment terrace inspired, mood-lit lounge up under the stars on the highest level.

High-end fusion food featuring foie gras, wagyu beef burgers, and creative Asianstyle tapas are popular accompaniments to the signature drinks. Guests relaxing for a drink after work get a completely uninterrupted view of the whole Skytrain line running all the way down Sukhumvit from up here. It’s also the bar to hit up if you want to see the moonrise, as you’re up above everything with full horizon views to the east.

Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar
Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit,
45th Floor
Tel. 02 797 0000

Dave Stamboulis is a travel writer and photographer based in Bangkok, Thailand. His photos, represented by Alamy and Getty Images, have appeared in publications around the world. He is the author of Odysseus’ Last Stand, which received the Silver Medal for Travel Book of the Year in 2006 from the Society of American Travel Writers. In addition to working as the updating writer for Fodor’s Guidebook to Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, he is the "Bangkok expert" for USA Today's 10Best website, and a regular contributor for publications throughout Southeast Asia such as Silver Kris (Singapore Airlines), Asian Geographic, International Traveller (Australia), Virgin Voyeur, Tiger Tales (Tiger Air), Bangkok 101, Look East, Tropical Magazine, Get Lost (Australia), Sawasdee Thai Air, and Bangkok Post among others.