Barsu Finds a Niche

Hotel bars have a tough go of it in Bangkok. There are so many other places to sip on dranks why would anyone want to hang out somewhere with a canned design, manufactured atmosphere and inflated prices? The best of this category get around this crutch by offering something either unique or enjoyable, such as V9 or Nest, but these establishments are an exception to the rule.

While Barsu, in the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, hasn’t reached the lofty heights of a V9 or Nest, at least it is trying to carve a niche for itself.

The circular bar serves as the heartbeat of Barsu, complete with neon and black lights to imply that you have entered an exclusive club instead of a lame hotel bar.  A+ for effort. Radiating outward are tables and eventually a few booths for patrons to unwind.

This is not a hard and fast rule, but most hotel bars KohSpot has been to are fascinating for people-watching, and Barsu was no exception. Although we were not able to photograph her due to obvious reasons there was a woman there who very closely resembled Michael Jackson. And some tall, beefy male models that continued to walk, talk and dance like robots.  In fact, they may have been robots. Anyways, the people watching at Barsu was a great lesson in some of societies peculiar manifestations.

A few of the cocktails cost 400 baht, but at a higher end hotel this shouldn’t be shocking. In addition to using premium ingredients, Barsu offers something called the Ladykiller made with cachaca, cranberry juice, sugar and limes that it describes on the drink list as “Think Brazilian Carnival and then wax your throat with it.” What?! Sounds interesting, but we will let you go ahead with the sampling of this specific concoction. Barsu has plenty of appetizers as well, such as a half-dozen fresh oysters for 650 baht, but it would be foolish to come here for the food.

A blind spot for the club is the lack of promotions. Charging the femmes 150 baht a drink on Wednesdays doesn’t really qualify as a ladies night, while on Mondays it’s buy one get one free for ‘members’, whatever and whoever those are.

The bar recently unveiled a new house band called “Hot Gossip”, which it promised would “turn up the heat on the dance floor with a fantastic repertoire of pop, rock R&B, and Top 40 hits.” There’s nothing wrong with covering old hits, but you have to play songs people want to listen and/or dance to, not cringe-worthy retreads. Fix the music, and Barsu might actually have something.

Location: 250 Sukhumvit Road, between Sois 12 and 14. It connects to the BTS Asok footbridge.
Mass transit: BTS Asok or MRT Sukhumvit
Hours: 5:30 pm-2 am daily
Phone: 02-649-8888

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