Progress does have its prize and the rapid development of major cities in Asia has seen skyscrapers rising up at dizzying speeds. Breathtaking vistas, vertigo-inducing heights and literally living the high life are just what you might experience when you visit these stunning rooftop bars and restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. So… take that supersonic elevator to the top and before you know it, you’ll be ordering a Dragontini, 118 floors high up in the clouds to admire the view.
Vertigo at Banyan Tree
Just like its more famous sister bar in the City of Angels, Vertigo at the newly opened Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur has a full service restaurant the Horizon Grill appended to it and is located on the floor below. Perched on the 59th floor with Instagram-worthy shots of the Petronas Twin Towers as the backdrop, Vertigo has sofas and lounge seating as well as bar stools, and serves as the perfect venue to relax after work or for an after-dinner drink.
Savour a Marie Antoinette – a blend of Champagne Drappier Carte d’Or and Cassis Bourgogne or a Pandan Love which fuses Stolichnaya Vodka, pandan-infused syrup, lychee and Monin Peach Juice, all created by mixologist Jonathan Zarsadias. Nibble on Oscietra Caviar or a Crab Roll Tapas and you might just recover from your fear of heights!
Vertigo at the Banyan Tree Hotel
59th Floor, No.2 Jalan Conlay
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +60 3 2113 1888
The Rooftop Bar at Marini’s on 57 is everything you can ask for in elevated drinking and dining as all the three distinct areas, the Italian Restaurant, the Whisky Lounge and the Rooftop bar, give visitors a 360-degree view of the city. Proud to claim the traceability of their produce, the restaurant menu boasts juicy prime cuts from Australia, veggies from their own farm in Cameron Highlands and even herbs freshly plucked from their very own herb garden up on their rooftop terrace. However, more exotic ingredients such as burrata, white truffles and Normandy blue lobster are flown in.
With celebrity collaborations from the fashion and sporting world such as Anna Fendi and Formula One driver Jarno Trulli for their wines and a compilation album produced with Jose Padilla and Chris Coco among others, you could do worse than winding down the day with a Tiramisu Cocktail of Spiced Rum, Frangelico, Espresso, Mascarpone cheese and Heady Cream, while puffing on a Cohiba Maduro 5 Magicos cigar, coincidentally just one of the many Cuban cigars available in their lounge. This watering hole which has played host to David Beckham, Benedict Cumberbatch, Priyanka Chopra and Lewis Hamilton, is sure to go down as a treat with anyone else.
Marini’s on 57
Level 57 Menara 3 Petronas Persiaran KLCC
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +60 3 2386 6030
Sky Bar at Lebua
You know you are a member of the sky-high club when you sip a cocktail at the Sky Bar in Bangkok. Hovering at the rooftop of the Lebua State Tower at 820 feet or 62 floors up is enough to warrant the Sky Bar a visit. However, it was its starring role in the hit Hollywood movie The Hangover Part II in 2011 which earned this stunning bar its much deserved fame.
Bradley Cooper et al. may have partied too hard in the ultimate bachelor movie but it certainly put the Sky Bar on the party circuit map. Do not leave without trying the Hangovertini, a drink especially created for the movie. With green tea liquor, apple juice, Martini Rosso and rosemary honey as its main ingredients, overindulging in this cocktail might just give you a mild hangover at best, or waking up with a tattoo on your face a la Stuart Price in the Hangover movie at worst. Just to play safe, if you really are planning to celebrate the last days of bachelorhood at the Sky Bar, maybe the Poptails – cocktails with popsicle ice would be a better choice if you wish to turn up in one piece for your wedding day.
Sky Bar Lebua at State Tower
63rd Floor, 1055 Silom Road Bangrak
Tel: +66 2624 9555
Imagine having not just one, but four floors to drink, dance and party on? That’s the Octave Rooftop Bar & Lounge located on the 45th to 49th Floor of the Bangkok Marriott Hotel in Thonglor. At this elevated altitude, it is perhaps not surprising if you feel chilled and mellow. Head up to the Lounge on the 45th floor where you can kick back in a chaise lounge and knock back a Thai Mojito or a Sunset Swizzle cocktail.
A resident DJ adds to the cool vibes of this rooftop nirvana while a smart and savvy clientele ups the glamour quotient. Book the private indoor lounge on the next floor up for your birthday do and you could do worse than impress your buddies with the panoramic view.
Another bar on the 48th floor is more discreet and less crowded if privacy is what you crave, plus there’s a range of craft beers if that’s your preference. And if you manage to reach the rooftop on the 49th floor with a 360-degree view of this pulsating city, then either you haven’t had enough to drink or your tolerance level for alcohol is as high as this bar. With a completely open-air circular and illuminated bar on the rooftop, you can nibble on Asian-style tapas such as Wagyu Beef Meatball or Salt and Pepper Calamari if hunger pangs attack.
Octave Rooftop Bar & Lounge
45th – 49th floor Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit
2 Sukhumvit Soi 57 Klongtan-Nua, Wattana, Bangkok
Tel: +66 2 797 0000
Smoke & Mirrors
Although its name might suggest something clandestine, there is nothing unsavoury in Singapore’s most seductive bar. Smoke & Mirrors opened its doors back in 2015 and ever since then, it has raised the bar (no pun intended) in cocktails and drinks in the city-state. Helmed by head bartender Yugnes Susela, this wunderkind of mixology infuses his cocktail creations with culinary-inspired techniques, conjuring up innovative drinks which betray his Japanese culinary background.
Located on the rooftop of National Gallery Singapore, first impressions reveal a striking sculptural bar which unites the indoor space and outdoor terrace seamlessly. Soft yet dramatic lighting flatters everyone, regardless of the lack of sleep. The warm copper and wood tones create an inviting ambience which is further enhanced by progressive cocktails such as the signature Smoke and Mirrors concocted from tequila, French herbs and apple, cardamom, raw pistachio and cocoa powder – cleverly disguised as edible soil.
Sophisticated bar snacks Duck Rillettes or Crispy Fish Skin complement the inventive cocktails. Whilst on the rooftop of the National Gallery, it is only apropos that you order Cloud & Air, a masterful concoction of white port at the base, which is tinged with the subtle flavours of nutmeg, eucalyptus, raw honey, apricot brandy and lemon juice. As a finishing touch, a homemade milk meringue is served atop a champagne flute which has tropical citrus smoke diffused within the flute to simulate a cloud and air, the inspiration for this most delicious cocktail.
Smoke & Mirrors
#06-01 National Gallery Singapore
1 St. Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
Tel: +65 9234 8122
With Chef Oliver Hyde just coming on board, this modern Mediterranean dining mecca gets a reboot thanks to Chef Ollie’s pedigreed background, having honed his culinary skills working alongside Jason Atherton and Gordon Ramsay in Michelin-starred restaurants such as the Waterside Inn, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Hostellerie la Briqueterie.
Showcasing the flavours of coastal Spain, Italy, Southern France and Greece, 40 floors up may not be stratospheric compared to the skyscrapers in its vicinity but Artemis certainly scores highly when it comes to culinary credo. Believing that good food does not need to be complicated, Chef Ollie spins – in his case, stirs – his version of Mediterranean cuisine using the freshest ingredients such as the 420-day grain-fed “Côte de Boeuf” or the gluten-free Bay Scallops or New Zealand Snapper.
As a pre-dinner aperitif, begin your evening at the newly refurbished rooftop Sky Lounge under the shade of its eco-friendly and state-of-the-art tulip umbrellas, while you order a G&T from its extensive collection which has everything from the Botanist (Scotland) to Paper Lantern (Singapore) and all the countries in between.
Artemis Grill and Sky Lounge
Level 40, 138 Market Street
Tel: +65 6635 8677
Ozone in The Ritz-Carlton
With two accolades in its pocket – the world’s highest bar sitting atop the world’s highest hotel, there’s very little for Ozone to feel insecure about in a city that often boasts the biggest and the best. Located on the 118th floor of the International Commerce Centre or ICC in Kowloon, this bar spellbinds you with its drama and sleek decor, courtesy of interior designer Masamichi Katayama. But despite all the superlatives heaped upon it, Ozone does not rest on its laurels.
Ozone continues to stun and surprise even jaded Hong Kong billionaires and their equally prosperous visitors with concoctions that knock the socks off – or in this case, the air out of you. Try the signature cocktail, the Hong Kong Skyline, created from a smooth blend of Zacapa Rum, Dom Pérignon and fittingly, Imperial Oolong Syrup. It won’t be just cloud nine you’ll be floating on.
Ozone at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Level 118 The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong International Commerce Centre
No.1 Austin Road W West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2263 2270
Where would you go to continue your retail high in the heart of Hong Kong’s most glamorous shopping mall? Why, at the Café Gray Deluxe and Bar at the Upper House, of course. Located on Level 49 at the Upper House in Pacific Place, Café Gray is anything but mundane as the name may suggest. Its lively and refreshing dishes and drinks – thanks to Chef Gray Kunz – is the perfect restorative for any serious shopaholic worth their Maison Margiela boots. The James Beard-nominated Kunz who hails from Singapore via New York, thrills the palate with his wellness cuisine.
Conscious gourmands who require organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and sustainably-sourced ingredients are well catered to with dishes such as Organic Tomato Crudo and Kasundi and Fresh Seasonal Herbs and Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Spiced Dukkah. With an extensive wine list and specially-blended cocktails available at the adjoining bar, Café Gray is a high achiever in every sense of the word.
Café Gray Deluxe
Level 49 of The Upper House
Pacific Place, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 3968 1106