Given the building boom of the past decade or so that swept across Asia and the Middle East, it’s not surprising to find some compelling vantage points there (although there are obviously fewer in the Middle East). And just in case you’re wondering, no, the Bulldog in Amsterdam didn’t make the list. Yes, it’s high, but we’re not talking that kind of high. And though it didn’t make the list I did manage to sneak it in here!
It’s no surprise that Bar 44 is located on the 44th floor, but it may be surprising that you can see the whole world from this bar. The World Islands that is; Dubai’s man-made islands that have become emblematic of the excess of the last decade. Not to worry; a few drinks up here, accompanied by views of this booming city, will help those memories melt away.
At almost 50% higher than Bar 44, Neos, located on the 63rd floor of The Address (don’t ask because I don’t know) has become one of the places to see and be seen in Dubai. Perhaps it’s the grand view, but I’d like to think it’s also due to the avant-garde yet art deco like feel of the place, which lends it a certain Blade Runner cast.
At 61 floors above street level, the Vertigo restaurant affords visitors some dizzying views of the chaotic city that is Bangkok. Sneaking up a level or two, you can find the Moon Bar (not quite, but OK I’ll go with it). From this height you can see the curvature of the earth, giving you a taste of an outer space- like perspective and what’s in store if you over-indulge in the Moon Bar’s fine cocktails!
The people in Bangkok must really like to party high, high up that is. Sirocco is only 3 floors higher than Vertigo, but it affords an even better view of the city sprawled out at its base. At this, the world’s largest open-air restaurant you’ll have ample opportunity to check out the view, though you might have to plan ahead as reservations are sometimes only available 4 weeks in advance.
Located in the world’s second-tallest hotel, the Cloud 9 bar makes other bars -- such as the 53rd floor Piano Bar and 56th floor Patio Bar, both also located in the Shanghai Grand Hyatt -- look down right earthly. Cloud 9 itself is located on the 87th floor, but for those looking for that little bit extra, take the stairs one flight up where you canto enjoy your drink al fresco some 88 vertigo- inducing floors up!
100 Century Avenue Bar
OK, so here we are, the highest of the high buildings: the 100 Century Avenue bar in the Shanghai Park Hyatt, which is now the world’s tallest hotel (what is it with these Hyatt folks?). Take the elevator up to the 92nd floor and you’ll be greeted by the awe-inspiring, and also curiously Blade Runner-ish, views from this crowning achievement in bar building. In fact, this is two bars. Half of the space is devoted to an intimate Chinese-style experience, while the other half exalts in the view and celebrates it with live jazz and cool cocktails.
Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge
At the only hotel located at Machu Picchu, or so they say (though I have not seen anything to the contrary), you can amble up to the Tampu Restaurant’s bar and enjoy a dram or two at almost 8,000 feet above sea level. Now I’m estimating that’s about 666 floors up in building terms. The view may not be as crazy as at some of those 60 floors and above establishments, but you are right next door to Machu Picchu! Yes, that Machu Picchu!
Kulmhotel Gornergrat, Switzerland
So, this may not be the highest bar on earth, but it must be awfully close. At 10,170 feet above sea level you can find the highest hotel in the Alps: the Kulmhotel Gornergrat. Open since 1907 and surrounded by some of the most beautiful peaks known to man -- yes, the Matterhorn comes to mind and in view -- this is the place to enjoy your highest cocktail. Watch the last shimmering light of sunset before partying until the sun comes up, if you really want to blow your mind. With only 23 rooms make sure you book well ahead if you want to get this high!