Cushioned couch seating and a long rectangular open bar with seats all around it giving off dazzling 360 degree panoramas of all Bangkok make this slightly hidden off the main sky bar circuit one of the best rooftop bars in town, and a great spot to watch the sunset and stay past the blue hour as all the city lights come on. Due to its location just south of Sathorn, where there aren't too many hotels, this is one of the few sky bars in town that has a view of the Chao Phraya River as it winds its way southeast towards the sea (the majority of the sky bars look out west towards the Thonburi side). Zoom also doesn't get quite the crowd numbers like the Moon Bar or Sky Bar at Lebua, so it's easy to get a prime seat here for all the action. The bar is also an excellent restaurant, with French and Asian fusion offerings dominating the menu. There is also music here after 9pm, with a DJ spinning tunes, plus a live saxophonist once a week.
Park Society and its upstairs deck known as Hi So (a play on high society) is an outdoor bar area (adjoining the indoor upscale French focused restaurant of the same name) in the cutting edge Sofitel So Hotel that provides some stunning views over Lumphini Park and the urban cityscape at night. There are both chairs and tables to relax at, as well as sofas and ambient lit cabanas up above the crowds at Hi So (you need to pay an extra 500 baht entrance fee to this section). It's a pretty chilled out place to check out the killer sunsets and gorgeous night panoramas, and by day, you really do have a full bird's eye view of Lumphini, perhaps the best park view in town.
This stylish tavern and bistro restaurant combo has a dark timbered interior set to look like something right out of 1920 New York. This small speakeasy style decor has become all the rage in Bangkok as of late, and Lady Brett and it's self contained UNCLE bar is a welcoming new face on Sathorn Soi 12, which has become a popular nighttime hangout spot as of late. There are some great mixologists behind the bar here, concocting drinks like the Mulberry Shrub Fizz, made with pisco, mulberry-shiso shrub, and lemon, or the Kryptonite, made with bourbon, raspberry, lemon, and licorice foam. There are drinks listed on the menu for "before," "during," and "after," and there are also some superb dishes to accompany the booze, like pulled pork and kimchi burgers or Alaska king crab legs, plus homemade ice cream for dessert.
The Moon Bar, perched on the rooftop of the Banyan Tree Hotel, offers one of the most stupendous panoramic views of Bangkok, and a sunset here is a memorable occasion, well worth the price of a cocktail. The bar sits in a stylish roof garden, seemingly sprawled out across the sky. Long divans, chic bar stools, and comfortable tables surround the bar, each with their own unique panoramic view. The cocktails are as astronomical as the views, running 350 baht per drink, but they are actually a pretty fair deal, as they are well mixed, strong on the alcohol, and are served along with complimentary dishes of cashews, wasabi peas, and chips. The drink menu is extensive, featuring mango margaritas, golden paradise concoctions with passion fruit juice and triple sec, and all sort of other exotic creations
Fashionable and vibrant are the keywords here at the W Hotel's signature bar, located right in the lobby to the left of the dramatic sliding door entrance. The dazzling bar features blinding white floors, leather sofas, and barstools, offset by cool purple lights which give the whole place a bit of a space craft ready for takeoff look. It's definitely very futuristic. This place runs all day, with hotel guests popping in before, during, or after check-in/out to enjoy a drink, but it really gets going at night, when there are DJ's spinning electronic tunes, and office workers and well heeled types come in for after work drinks and a bit of a party. They do a lot of product launches and fashion shows and events in this space, so it is prime model territory. Besides all the pizazz, the drinks are darn good as well.
Wong's Place is a Bangkok legend and institution. You won't get any sky views here, nor elegant wannabe seen types, not to mention that there certainly isn't a dress code. What you will get at this dark, dingy, ramshackle late night bar is plenty of atmosphere...and history. Wong's hails from the early backpacker days of Bangkok, when people stayed at the infamous GI r & r friendly Malaysia Hotel around the corner, and everyone hung out at Wong's. These days, the clientele is decidedly more gay, but this is THE place to drink when everywhere else in the city has closed down. They usually open around midnight, although sometimes later, and it won't really get going until 2am. Drinks are dirt cheap, but nobody is here for the drinks. It's just a great institution, and Sam Wong still tells stories behind the bar and handles the crowds just like he always has. An added bonus are the 1980's music tunes played on VCR, you won't find anything like this anywhere else.
Revolucion Cocktail made a name for itself in China, with five branches of the Latin-style cocktail bar becoming a big favorite. Founder Sebastien Bonnefoi, who also runs the top Urban Bar bartending school in China, decided to bring his class act to Bangkok, and the result is a fun and happening colorful bar, which also has a Mediterranean restaurant (El Clandestine) upstairs. Going away from the trend here of having crafted cocktails served in hole-in-the-wall speakeasy-style spots, Revolucion is far more of a party spot, with Bonnefoi describing it as a "jumping bar," due to the number of folks dancing and having a good time. It's unique to Bangkok in that it is somewhat of a cross between a fine cocktail bar and a club. Drinks are no slouch here, as the fine mixology team in front of the long bar shelf lined with hundreds of bottles of different spirits create a range of classic and new drinks, some of which include molecular and fire tricks. The most popular drink is the aptly named Revolucion, which combines 3 year aged Havana rum with fresh rosemary, apple juice, and passion fruit.
Yet another one of whimsical nightlife guru Ashley Sutton's creations, Maggie Choo's is set in what used to be the vault room for the East India Company Bank. To get here, you have to go through carved doors that disappear into a Cantonese noodle restaurant, which then emerges into the vault! It isn't just the 1930s Shanghai setting that is wild, but the stylish and sexy Chinese costumed dance shows on Thursdays and burlesque corset cabaret performances on Wednesdays. On weekends the club turns into the city's best live jazz spot, and there are also Big Band performances, live DJs, and international artists who come in for shows. It's sleek, suave, well choreographed, and totally unique, and well worth a visit.
The Club at KOI is Bangkok's latest dance club, and opened with much fanfare in one of the city's most dazzling locations. Set up on the upper floor of the Sathorn Square building overlooking the city, it replaces the former resident, the popular Ce La Vi club, which might be a hard act to follow, except that KOI has a stellar record, combining an elegant Japanese restaurant with a cutting edge dance club. KOI has opened branches in New York, Las Vegas, and Abu Dhabi, as well as its original location, Los Angeles, where the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, and Jennifer Lopez were some of the regular clientele. The huge space here offers world class clubbing and features international entertainers and touring DJs, and while the glitterati might not be the same as in LA, you'll find plenty of fashionistas and Bangkok's most well-heeled here strutting their stuff. Plenty of hip hop features in the play lists, and Saturday nights offer electronic and house music, with live DJs and special entertainers guaranteed on the thumping weekends. Make sure to come with deep pockets, as the fun does not come cheap here.
Set in a three story shophouse over on Suan Plu off of Sathorn Road, which seems to be Bangkok's most up and coming new drinking spot, Smalls is the brainchild of David Jacobson, the nightclub whiz who started the famed Q Bar in Bangkok several decades ago. His latest venue is a far cry from the large and noisy Soi 11 club. Smalls is as the name says, very cozy and intimate, although it does fan out over three levels, with an open rooftop plus several indoor spaces to choose from. The decor is decidedly Parisienne, and the mesmerizing signature cocktail list is enhanced by a large selection of absinthe drinks, with a traditional absinthe spigot sitting on top of the bar counter. It's a great little spot for escaping Bangkok, with its eclectic crowd and funky vibe, one feels more like Paris, Berlin, or New York here, and the bar has become the latest nightclub afficionados top hangout. There is some great live jazz here, featuring the picking prowess of Dan Phillips and his quartet, who play every week, and the bar also has plenty of special nights, like Vietnamese pho served on Sundays and buy one get one drinks for members of the hospitality industry on Mondays.