Bangkok has no shortage of rooftop bars, and that’s not surprising. Great weather and an intricate skyline provide magnificent views – especially after dark when the city shimmers with light. The setting sun turns the Chao Phrya River into a golden streamer snaking seductively across the landscape. On a clear, sparkling night the most breath-taking playground for dinner and drinks is the Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar, anchored ship-like 61 floors above the busy heart of the city. This romantic and sensual venue – crown of the renowned Banyan Tree hotel – is the only completely open-air rooftop dining experience in Bangkok. There is absolutely nothing above you but sky, stars – and if you’re lucky – the moon.
Vertigo’s menu is a creatively composed international feast with something for everyone. Imported Wagyu, Kobe and Angus Beef; succulent lamb; and superb seafood integrate well with pleasing vegetarian options and a compact selection of classic desserts. Wander across the central deck towards Moon Bar for after-dinner drinks. The signature Vertigo Sunset is a jubilant explosion of fresh pineapple, cranberry, and lime juice finished with a generous splash of Malibu Rum.
Getting there: The Banyan Tree Hotel on South Sathon Road is less than an hour from Suvarnabhumi International Airport. From the lobby take the express elevator to the 60th floor where a flight of stairs will lead you to the top-most level. Vertigo Grill is open from six to 11pm and Moon Bar from 5pm till after midnight daily. Arrive early to secure a good spot with unobstructed 360-degree views. The low, framed-glass railings all around offer a safe but unobtrusive background for your Instagram selfies.
Vertigo’s upmarket ambience requires smart-casual attire. If it’s raining, you will have to settle for the slightly less impressive Vertigo Too on the 60th floor. Same menu, but less sky.
When to visit: Bangkok’s weather is defined by the tropical monsoon climate. It’s sizzling hot from March to June, mostly wet from July to October and then cools down to more comfortable levels from November to February. Your best chance for a night beneath the stars is in late November and early December before the holiday crowds arrive. Diarise 12 November if you want to catch the full moon.