Reasonably priced rooftop bar
33/F, Fraser Suites Sukhumvit, 38/8 Sukhumvit Soi 11, Bangkok
T: (02) 207 9300
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Rooftop bars are Bangkok’s specialty. But unless you’ve got an awful lot of cash to flash, most people are limited to sipping on one expensive cocktail, taking the obligatory tourist snaps and then heading back down in the lift. Above Eleven is a little different
While this lesser-known rooftop bar still offers the excellent views, stylish surrounds and fun cocktail concoctions, it won’t break the bank. Sure, it’s more expensive than your typical ground-level bar, but the views are certainly worth the extra spend.
Bangkok’s skyline isn’t particularly memorable, but the horizon that can be viewed from Above Eleven showcase it to its best. The bar has excellent views of Sukhumvit 11, but really, the best views are of the rest of the city centre.
The neon lights, motorways full of cars whizzing by, and skyscrapers as far as the eye can see, all viewed from the peace of the 32nd floor, makes Bangkok seem exciting and strangely beautiful – particularly if you’re lucky enough to turn up on a night when a distant electrical storm is forking lightening across the skies.
The venue itself offers two levels of tables, sofas and bar-stools which all fill up fast, so be sure to book in advance if you want the best seats in the house (the tables against the glass barrier), particularly on the weekend.
As you’d expect from a rooftop bar overlooking one of the coolest sois in Bangkok, the decor is contemporary and slick, with a few ‘natural’ touches, such as fake ivy winding itself around the entrance to the lift, faux grass walls, a hedge labyrinth in front of the toilets (don’t panic, unless you’ve had an utter skin full, you won’t get lost) and tree-shaped metal columns.
The modern vibe, the crowds of well-dressed 20- and 30-somethings and the DJ spinning laidback house may worry those who’ve agreed to pick up the bill for the night, but fear not, cocktails are priced from a reasonable 300 baht while a bottle of wine will set you back from around 1,000 baht a bottle or 170 baht a glass.
Food is equally reasonable, with appetisers starting from around 250 baht and mains around 400 baht; expensive enough to impress your date but not so expensive that you’ll have to eat cup noodles for the rest of your trip. Sushi and Peruvian food is the unlikely combination on the fusion menu. It works; food is fresh, light, unusual and perfect for sharing. The staff is well-trained in advising on a good complementary wine or cocktail to help wash it all down, too.
Compared to the likes of Lebua and Banyan Tree, Above Eleven’s prices are much more affordable. The result is that it feels less touristy; there isn’t the same number of people photographing every pretty drink, every breathtaking angle of the view and every quirky detail in the decor. You’ll find here a more relaxed expat and hi-so Thai crowd and a very cool venue that’s sure to impress.
By Gaby Doman
Last updated on 8th January, 2015.