Levels has to be admired for its chutzpah. As every Sukhumvit partier knows, Bed Supperclub and Q Bar have been the all-reigning Soi 11 night palaces for over a decade now, and both are very slick operators, so entering the fray takes some guts. Others clubs have attempted to join the party (anyone remember Twisted Republic?) and failed. Our opinion on the matter: the more the merrier. More choice is a good thing, or so modernity would have us believe. And besides, there’s nothing like a bit of competition to keep a party scene dynamic and fresh.
Located on the annex building of the Aloft Hotel, directly opposite Bed, entry is via a lift. Step out of it and you emerge out on to the semi-open air terrace lit by a glowing bar. In our opinion, the banquettes to the left of it backed by a plate glass barrier, the street visible 50 metres or so below, are one of the best perches on the soi. The DJ here spins laid-back sounds (and is joined by a saxophonist and bongos on Saturday), everyone mingles over beers and martinis, and if Levels ended here we really wouldn’t mind.
Our second favourite spot is the circular bar, located past the doors, at the top of three steps that lead you into the high-ceilinged, hangar-like main room. With a giant chandelier that resembles the tentacles of a jellyfish dangling overhead and backlighting turning everyone ordering drinks a shade of pink neon, it’s ostentatious and 1980s-style overthe- top and we like it. Why? This part of the club transports us to the disco scene from a Hollywood movie set in louche, yuppie-era New York (think Cocktail or American Psycho). Bear with us, but we can imagine Tom Cruise or Patrick Bateman sweet talking a babe here while bodies gyrate in the sea of neon and lasers around them.
The rest of the club hasn’t made such a big impression on us, yet. At the far end of the main room, a DJ spins house music in front of a tiered danceflooor spotted with tables and podiums. Dancers step up to get the crowd going. Overlooking it all is a VIP section that isn’t open yet. And out back, there’s a low-ceilinged, more intimate room that opens up later. It was fairly dead on our visit but, with the focus on the DJ and impressive lighting, it’s certainly primed and ready for some hands-in-the-air action.
Levels has a few rough edges and already has its fans and its haters, but certainly there’s a nook for every Soi 11 socialite or house-head out there. Come hit up the very enticing Friday or Saturday happy hour (B500 for an open bar until 11pm) and make up your own mind.