The setting sun, the whistling birds, a cold whiskey cocktail, the bright, sprawling Bangkok cityscape as far as the eye can see. It’s no secret that Bangkok is home to countless spectacular rooftop bars, frequented by tourists, expats and well-to-do Thais. Alfresco 64, however, boasts a twist in the rooftop bar scene. Opened just this year, it’s the highest whiskey bar in the world, perched 64 floors (800 feet) above Silom in the lebua State Tower hotel.
Most people will know lebua by Alfresco 64’s now infamous sister bar, Sky Bar (www.lebua.com/sky-bar). If you’re a fan of The Hangover 2 (the embodiment of almost every Thai stereotype in all its glory) and fancy a very alcoholic Hangovertini, then head over to Sky Bar and make your way upstairs to Alfresco 64. The world’s highest alfresco restaurant, Sirocco is also situated close by if you fancy a bite to eat.lebua State Tower gets more impressive as you go up – and Alfresco 64 is its new crowning jewel. Built in 2001, the tower is no longer new by Bangkok standards, but its continued evolution – particularly in drinking and dining – over the years has consistently secured it an evening in the diary of many visitors to Bangkok. Its location in Silom promises bustling streets and magnificent views of the Chao Phraya River on one side, winding pastsome of Bangkok’s most prominent hotels (including the Mandarin Oriental and the Shangri-La) and the ‘Bangkok Eye’ (a mini version of the London Eye). As a Brit living in Bangkok, I still don’t know its real name, if there is one. On the other side is the city – both beautiful and not – stretching out into the hot horizon. For Alfresco 64, the luxury hotel and resort group partnered with Chivas Regal to bring whiskey lovers a unique experience wrapped up in a small, boutique stylebar. It feels exclusive, yet unpretentious. It’s touristy, yet not crowded or noisy. The resident DJ plays a good mix of chilled and lively tunes, which get louder as the sun sets. The whiskey cocktails are wonderfully smooth and creative (‘The Cloud on 64′ is my personal favourite). If you want to splurge, you can reserve the ‘Captain’s Seat’ facing the main balcony and sample the one-of-a-kind lebua Blend, made exclusively for the bar by Chivas Regal. Only 96 bottles have been produced, and 24 have been sold. Customers can also request the selection of cigars rolled exclusively for the hotel.
Is it pricey for a drink in Bangkok? Yes. Is it worth trying out nonetheless? Absolutely. Put on your best summer smart-casuals and head up to the 64th floor for about 6pm to catch the sunset. You won’t regret it.
The bar is open every night from 6pm to 1am. Reservations are recommended: firstname.lastname@example.org or +66 (0)2624 9555. State Tower, 1055 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand.
By Oranutt Narapruet, Contributor.