Stunning views that definitely hit a high note
In Thong Lor, no fewer than five community malls have opened over the past four years, and an equal number of condos have gone up in that time. Countless restaurants, clubs, and bars have closed, too. All of this is to say it’s a testament to quality that Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar has not only survived the past four years, but that it still packs in guests every night, too.
From the riverside to the northern reaches of Lad Phrao, there’s no shortage of venues sitting more than 40 floors above Bangkok. They don’t all have staying power, mind you, but Octave does. Start with the setting. Perched atop the Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit, the outdoor lounge on the 45th floor gives you either an eagle-eye view down the shimmering chute of Sukhumvit Road, or off into the city’s skyscraper-less expanses to the east. Head up to the alfresco bar on the 49th floor, and suddenly you have breath-taking views in every direction.
Octave has more to offer than pretty scenery. Those in search of a sundowner should heed the 5pm-7pm happy hours, when signature cocktails are half-price. That brings them down to about B200 each. It’s a great deal for a rooftop bar, even better when you factor in the service: shortly before 7pm, the wait staff will visit your table to collect last-call orders.
The signature drinks on special play to the breadth of international tastes. Those who like simple and strong cocktails should try the Back to Basics (B450). This riff on the Old Fashioned uses vanilla syrup and homemade coffee bitters to give it a sweeter fragrance than the original recipe, but with a more rounded bite. If you prefer tropical flavours, try the Thai Mojito (B370). This locally inspired spin on the global classic brings mango into the mix and swaps Thai basil for mint; the latter adds an anise-like note that plays off the citrus.
The Shining Sun (B380) also combines tropical and Thai flavours, but with one obscure ingredient. Flor de Caña aged rum is mixed with tamarind, homemade pomelo-and-lime shrub (tangy, vinegar-based fruit syrups), and mango and pineapple juices, then topped with the green fairy: absinthe.
There’s a long list of classic cocktails, beer, and wine. That includes some quality champagne labels, a welcome sight for people celebrating special occasions. It all goes well with the lounge’s light dishes. For the most variety, and the most fun, get one of the boxes. For B1,550, four compartments of a clear jewellery box hit the table filled with oysters, sushi rolls, sashimi, and prawns, or Wagyu sliders, pork ribs, Japanese fried chicken, and black cod.
In many ways, Octave really does take rooftop bars to the next level.
By Craig Sauers
Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar
45-49F, Bangkok Hotel Marriott Sukhumvit
Sukhumvit Soi 57
Tel: 02 797 0000
Open daily: 5pm–2am