Top of The World: Drink at one of Asia's Highest Bars

 Kate Springer

Thanks to rapid development over the past decade, Asia has become synonymous with futuristic architecture and cloud-piercing skyscrapers.

It makes sense: After all, seven of the top 10 tallest buildings in the world are in Asia.

And inside those towers? Many of the region's skyscrapers contain lofty bars, pairing classy cocktails and unparalleled views.

For a sky-high experience coupled with spectacular sights, here are a few of the tallest bars in Asia.

1. Alfresco 64 - A Chivas Bar

Where: Bangkok, Thailand

The recently opened Alfresco 64 - A Chivas Bar, atop Tower Club at Lebua hotel inBangkok, has claimed the title of world's highest alfresco whisky bar.

Located on the 64th floor, the bar is the latest addition to The Dome, a popular restaurant and bar destination atop Lebua hotel.

Travelers will also find Sky Bar (which made an appearance in "The Hangover Part II") and Flute, A Perrier Jouët Bar (the world's highest Champagne bar).

Focusing on exclusive nips, Alfresco 64 is powered by Chivas Regal. The Scottish whisky brand has even produced a special Lebua blend for the bar.

Even if you don't care for whisky, it's hard to argue with the views, which showcase the Bangkok skyline and Chao Phraya River from a bird's eye vantage, 800 feet above the city streets.

2. Ozone

Where: Hong Kong

You can't round up a list of sky bars without Ozone -- the highest hotel bar in the world on the 118th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong.

Set atop the International Commerce Centre (ICC) on Hong Kong's Kowloon Peninsula, the ultra-modern space is a popular stop on the tourist trail.

To reach the bar, travelers take a special elevator which gradually dims its lights as it ascends to the 118th floor.

From there, a moody blue-lit room comes into view -- picture contemporary geometric decor, a white marble bar and lounge-like seating.

The spacious terrace offers the best views, where guests can sip on a meticulously made martini while admiring 180-degree views of the city's iconic skyline and Victoria Harbour.

During Hong Kong's humid summers, reach for one of the chilled signature cocktails -- the Basilic is especially refreshing with gin, basil, green apple, lime and yuzu foam.

3. 1-Altitude

Where: Singapore

As the highest bar in Singapore -- and the highest alfresco bar in the world -- 1-Altitude crowns One Raffles Place tower in the center of town.

It's actually more than just a bar, with several levels of dining and drinking venues stretching from the 61st to 63rd floors -- the highlight being the rooftop.

Sporting 360-degree views, there's nothing but a slender glass panel to impede the vista below.

Of course, Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer dominate the view, but it's also possible to see smaller neighborhoods and quays.

If the neon lighting doesn't give it away, the bar is best known for its swanky parties, live music and DJ nights -- getting progressively clubbier as the night goes on.

It's also a top spot for sunsets, though it's best to make reservations in advance to ensure a table.

4. Bar 81

Where: Seoul, South Korea

The moment Bar 81 opened on the 81st floor of the Signiel Seoul hotel -- inside the newLotte World Tower -- it instantly became the highest bar in the country.

At least, the highest bar that's accessible to the general public.

The hotel also has a secret restaurant and bar, called Signiel Club, on the 107th floor -- but that's members and VIPs only.

The title was basically a given, considering that the 555-meter-tall Lotte World Tower is the highest building in South Korea and the fifth tallest tower in the world.

But a postal code in the clouds isn't the only thing Bar 81 has going for it.

This sophisticated spot specializes in Champagne, with more than 80 labels on offer -- the largest menu in South Korea.

To drive the point home, there's a glitzy glass art installation overhead, meant to resemble the bubbles in your glass.

5. Cloud 9

Where: Shanghai, China

The most iconic bar in China's futuristic commercial capital, Cloud 9 at the Grand Hyatt Shanghai is a sophisticated spot to savor the city's neon-lit skyline.

Decked out in mahogany and chrome, the posh bar wraps around the 87th floor with intimate nooks, terraced levels, and dividing columns that offer a bit more privacy than your typical open-plan rooftop.

From the western side of the building, the bar seems to hover over the Bund -- from everywhere else, it's urban sprawl in all directions.

If you're celebrating something, this is the place -- there's an impressive Champagne collection, as well as classic cocktails and bar snacks.

6. Bridge Bar

Where: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

One of Malaysia's highest bars can be found in the capital of Kuala Lumpur, in a precarious position between the Petronas Towers.

Located on the 28th floor of the GTower Hotel, the Bridge Bar features floor-to-ceiling windows and a few glass floor panels -- so you won't need three martinis to feel like you're walking on air.

By day, the place has a retro-chic atmosphere with winged leather chairs, saddle benches and intimate table arrangements.

But come nightfall, blue lighting ricochets around the mirrored ceilings for a trippy, energetic vibe.

Looking for the highest bar in Malaysia? Right around the corner on the 57th floor of Petronas Tower 3 next door, travelers will find Marini's on 57 -- an Italian address with a dining room, lounge and terrace.

7. Rock Bar Bali at Ayana

Where: Bali, Indonesia

Rock Bar Bali at Ayana may not be set atop a skyscraper, but the bar still provides a gravity-defying experiences.

Located on the edge of a cliff along Jimbaran Bay, in central Bali, Indonesia, travelers reach the bar via cable car, with dramatic cliffs on either side.

At 46 feet above the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean, the bar is the island's premier sunset spot.

Come 5 p.m., the place is usually full of stylish couples who've come for the sunset drinks and signature popcorn-fried chicken.

As the night goes on, Rock Bar turns into a dance club with performances from a rotating roster of international DJs who perform from a booth that's been carved directly into the rock face.

8. Rooftop Bar

Where: Tokyo, Japan

Already checked off the Park Hyatt Tokyo's New York Bar, of "Lost in Translation" fame?

There's another show-stopping skybar in town that's worth a visit.

Atop the 52nd floor of Toranomon Hills tower, the Rooftop Bar at the Andaz Tokyo hotel is the highest bar in the city.

The terrace has a retro-Zen design -- all very polished and elegant, with white couches and a few bird's nest hanging chairs -- while floor-to-ceiling windows frame Tokyo Bay on one side, and the dense city streets on the other.

The specialties here are tea- and fruit-based cocktails, but classic cocktails, Champagnes and sakes are also on hand should you prefer to keep it simple.

9. 28 Skybar Lounge

Where: Melbourne, Australia

Decked out in retro-chic furniture and polished chrome, 28 Skybar Lounge in Melbourne is one of the most sophisticated bars in the city.

On the top floor of Crown Melbourne Hotel, just steps from the Yarra River downtown, the lounge bar brings together spectacular city views, a cosmopolitan vibe and locally sourced wines.

The cocktail menu is worth a look too, with signatures including the Sky High Royal -- a triple threat with Blue Curacao, peach schnapps and sparkling wine.

While the sleek interiors scream fine dining, the bar menu is actually relatively approachable, featuring mini wagyu sliders, BBQ pulled pork buns, and bruschetta.

10. Vertigo and Moon Bar

Where: Bangkok, Thailand

Home to one of the best rooftops in Bangkok, the Banyan Tree hotel provides two distinct rooftop experiences -- both on the 61st floor.

A popular after-work spot for the city's stylish set, Moon Bar provides a glamorous alfresco lounge with soft blue lighting, panoramic views, live jazz and fresh cocktails to take the edge off Thailand's omnipresent heat.

Just a few steps down, romantic Vertigo restaurant offers wining and dining for those who plan to linger.

Complete with crisp white tablecloths, the restaurant is best known for surf 'n' turf, so expect barbecued seafood and massive steaks.

The signature sundowner? A Vertigo Sunset Malibu -- essentially, pineapple, cranberry, lime and a hit of Malibu rum.

It's advised to arrive early, around 5 p.m., in order to stake out a spot and watch the sun set.

Views: 2107
Domain: Afterhours
Category: Food & Wine
Kate Springer
11 October, 2017
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