In what initially seemed to be another in an endless array of typical copycat schemes, another rooftop bar has opened up. It may be a surefire way to lure in the tourists and bring in a constant stream of money, but too much of anything usually dilutes the offering and gets old fast. However, it seems not so, at least not for us with our penchant for rooftop bars – the latest to impress is at Sukhumvit Soi 57 atop the new Marriott Hotel.Marriott’s Octave Rooftop Bar & Lounge is an interesting one. No views of the river, or the bustling business district, or even of the parks that some of Bangkok’s more affluent sky-high establishments boast. Neither is it a half-arsed attempt at overselling the rooftop idea like many others (such as a private apartment balcony made into a random ‘ rooftop bar’ on the 7th floor of some residential condominium).
So what’s there to see anyway, around Sukhumvit? For us, this one has pulled out all the stops…somewhat. Not, one, not two, but three levels of playing space, cater to all the varied tastes of rooftop bar aficionados.
Enter on the first level, or ‘The Lounge’, and the dazzling shine of neighboring buildings together with the sprawling suburbs of outer Bangkok greet you (it’s that immense, the view). The famed Rama VIII bridge can be seen in the far distance. A DJ pumps out groovy tunes, while bigger tables cater to groups and those wanting a bite.
Climb up to the second floor, the ‘Upper Bar’, and you’re perched on the edge, while cosying up to your date, your facial features backlit with soft lighting and romanticized by the glimmering flickers from down below. Seating here is on bar stools, mostly in doubles, with only a few tables available, some of which extend around the corner, into a dark, unlit area, the only lighting coming from the magnificent view below. Wink wink (Need I say more?).
The top floor, known as ‘ The Bar’, takes the cake. It’s what makes Octave unique to the other rooftop bars around the city, no matter how grand they are. Unobstructed 360-degree views all around, made especially more impactful with see-through, low rise glass panels for ‘walls’. You literally feel like you are on the edge. The bar is minimally lit, so as to not wrestle for attention with the impressive skyscape all around. And it’s a huge deck. See the the BTS line snake through Sukhumvit Road, the cluster of tall buildings that is Silom in the distance, and play ‘eye spy the river’ further away.
Service is warm and friendly, with an array of interesting tapas and a good wine list along with the usual tried and tested cocktails, plus their own tasty signatures.
Definitely worth a repeat visit – especially since the droves haven’t discovered it yet (it’s only been open around 3 months). Do the business deal on the first floor, steal that first kiss on the second, and get a natural high on the third – above everyone else!
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