Whether taking it easy in Phuket or going 100% nightlife-mode in Bangkok, we’d argue there’s no better place to raise a glass than from a view-drenched watering hole. Here are the best places to celebrate Mother Nature’s nightly display of cotton candy-hued skies, cocktail-in-hand.
For a sumptuous sundown experience, don your finest dinner jacket or dress and head to this 65th-floor restaurant in the lebua Hotel. Two Michelin-starred food aside, the 180-degree river and city views that Mezzaluna
gives way to are worthy of awards itself. With tourist-teeming Sky Bar just below, you can trust that the panoramas here are worthy of a visit. Just replace the buzz of chatter and the sound of cameras snapping with the melodic music of the string quartet that greets you on arrival.
Endless city skyline from Mezzaluna on lebua at State Tower's 65th floor.
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Get a front-row view of one of Bangkok’s most iconic vistas from Supanniga
’s riverside venture directly across from Wat Arun. The temple dazzles at night with its lit up spires but get to the restaurant as the sun lowers behind the striking structure for the real show. The cocktail list was thought up by the bartending pros at Vesper, so the last thing you’ll have to worry about is a gimmicky or syrup-heavy drink. Go for the Bangkok Negroni stirred with gin infused with kaffir lime or the jasmine-infused gin and tonic, which also pairs nicely with the restaurant’s rockstar dishes.
While away the evening from the couches at Supanniga Eating Room (Tha Tian). Photo courtesy of Supanniga Eating Room.
If you're looking for a rooftop bar in the city with a more laid-back vibe, go to Scarlett
on top of the Pullman G hotel. Although there is still a "no flip-flops" rule, it’s less of a place to go to see and be seen and more of a spot to while away the evening with good conversation and plenty of wine. With one of the best happy hours in the city (house wine goes for only 100 baht a glass) and a menu of French comfort bites, you’ll have no problem getting cosy under the restaurant’s foliage-covered outdoor terrace. Raise a glass when the sun dips into the horizon and tints the Chao Phraya River, which Scarlett faces, in shades of orange and pink.
Tangerine skies go notably well with a glass of wine at Scarlett. Photo courtesy of Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant.
With more than three drinking outlets on-site— including the well-stocked bar at Michelin Plate establishment, Zuma
— view-drenched St. Regis knows a thing or two about stylish imbibing. With dark wood and gold accents, the St. Regis Bar on the 12th floor of the hotel is reminiscent to something out of old New York, but the sweeping views over the Royal Bangkok Sports Club with buzzing Siam Square to the right are distinctively Bangkok. Though the classics are done exceptionally well here, we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend the Siam Mary, the Thai flavour-infused version of the hotel chain’s iconic Bloody Mary.
For a greener sunset view, head to the St. Regis Bar. Photo source: St. Regis Hotel's website.
This boutique hotel, tucked into a quiet soi in Bangkok's Old Town doesn’t just offer uninterrupted Wat Arun views, but also peaks over the gilded spires of the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. Luckily, even non-guests can get in on the Instagrammable vistas at Above Riva rooftop restaurant. Signature cocktails nod towards iconic Thai flavours like the Tom Yum
Martini or the Arun Mojito made with ginger and spiced rum. But for the purposes of your visit, go for the fruity Riva Sunset made with vodka, strawberry liqueur, strawberry purée, and lemon juice.
Across the river, newly opened Seen at Avani Riverside offers a different view of Bangkok’s sweeping skyline with the Chao Phraya River and Asiatique at the forefront. The double level bar oozing in glam with décor drenched in gold and black and a large glittering bar where bartenders seem to shake cocktails to the beat of the booming music. Your Instagram followers will love the glass-box dining room that doesn't sacrifice any views, but we recommend snagging one of the outdoor loungers next to the infinity pool that seems to cascade into the river for sundown. Here, a martini feels most appropriate.
Bangkok definitely looks it’s best from high up, and The Loft at the Waldorf Astoria is here to prove so. Although the only spot on this list isn’t outdoors, the glitzy 56th-floor bar with floor-to-ceiling windows still does a good sunset justice. You’ll bask in extreme views of the city with bustling Siam Square below and a partial view of the Chao Phraya River and Wat Phu Khao Thong
(The Golden Mount) in the distance, all of which is even more impressive as the sun peaks away behind the horizon. Looks and views aside, it’s bartender Michele Montauti, who steals the show with tipples based off The Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, written in 1935. Find a seat at the window and sip on The Waldorf, which mixes Michter’s Bourbon with Thai basil, Mancino sweet vermouth, chocolate bitters, coriander and maple, as the sprawling capital gets cast in shades of orange.
Try to take your eyes off the hunking sautéed lobster smothered with garlic on your plate long enough to take in the panoramic sea views at this restaurant at Paresa Resort. The cliffside spot is located amidst shady banyan trees and is set with both tables (for those who are enjoying some of the restaurant's tasty bites) and daybed and coaches, which is where we’d recommend you get cosy as the sun begins to sink. Order the Parrot’s Nest, a boozy mix of rum, Courvoisier VSOP, gin, orange juice, lime, orgeat syrup and sherry wine, which looks as if the sunset has been trapped in your glass.
Sea views for days at Talung Thai restaurant at Paresa Resort. Photo courtesy of Paresa Phuket.
A floating bar in the centre of an infinity pool is one thing. A floating bar in the centre of an infinity pool on the peak of Cape Panwa that gives way to 360-degree views of the Andaman is another. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Phuket’s coolest resort, Sri Panwa, also boasts the island’s most exclusive outdoor bar, especially when bird’s-eye views like this are involved. Take in dreamy tones of pink from one of the scattered oversized pillows and sip an oh-so-appropriate Srijito (Sri Panwa’s lemongrass-infused twist of a mojito). Though, be warned: the spot is popular. Even hotel guests can get turned away without a reservation.
Baba Nest at Sri Panwa gives way to bird's-eye views of the Andaman. Photo courtesy of Sri Panwa Phuket.
Closer to the ground, Catch Beach Club (part of Michelin-recognised Twinpalms Resort) provides upper-crust flair in a seriously gorgeous Bangtao Beach setting. In all honesty, it doesn't really need to be sunset here to prop your feet up on a lounger and take in the swaying palms and rolling waves with a glass of bubbly. But the insane tangerine sunsets that the swish beach club has a front row show to are worthy of a little celebrating. The cocktail list here isn’t anything to write home about, however, the wine list is expansive and G&Ts are reliable. Whatever you're imbibing, we’d bet it’s best enjoyed on the rope swing that faces out towards the sunset-swooning beach.
Drinks are best enjoyed with your toes in the sand at Catch Beach Club. Photo source: Twinpalms Phuket's website.
Vanilla Sky Bar & Gastro Pub
Perched on a clifftop of Nakalay Bay, the wide deck of this bar on top of Cape Sienna Hotel guarantees unobstructed views of Kamala Bay. Laid-back yet still more swish than the beach bars tucked into the sand far below, Vanilla Sky boasts a vast drinks menu which includes six different types of martinis to choose from (limoncello martini, anyone?). Work your way down the list then grab a beanbag and chill out on the grassy area adjacent to the bar as the sky turns from shades of orange to pink.