PHOTO: The Kee Sky Lounge in the heart of Patong
The island of Phuket, with its dramatic east and west coast clifftops, means we have an abundance of ocean-facing rooftop bars and restaurants where we can enjoy a perfectly chilled beverage while taking in the beautiful scenery. There are so many on the island it is very difficult to choose the ten “best” (we could rattle off 20 without blinking) so apologies to other worthy contenders who might be on the list in the future.
Here is, in no particular order, our Phuket Top Ten Roof-Top Bars (or open bars with stunning views) on the island of Phuket….
Rang Hill is a popular hangout for locals especially, it is located on the north side of Phuket Town and has stunning views over island. There are a number of restaurants and bars located on the hill offering local dishes and their most famous specialty is ice coffees. The most popular at Khao Rang Breeze Restaurant and Tunk Ka. They call it a hill, but it’s actually only 150 metres high which is not so tall at all, however the views are amazing even at the low height.
As the name suggest 360 Degrees at The Pavilions Resort has uninterrupted panoramic views of Layan and Laguna. 360 is a magical spot with fairy lights in the trees, has excellent service, delicious tapas and mouth watering cocktails. It opens just in time for sunset at 5.30 pm and a place where we love to sit in the lounge chairs and take it all in. Chef Belinda Tuckwell foodie style features in all outlets at Pavilions and the perfect fusion with the cocktails in the bar. An absolute must for any visitor or resident in Phuket.
An oasis in the middle of the madness in Patong, On Top is located on the 7th floor of the Swissotel Resort Phuket Patong Beach. More recently it has established itself as a cool vibe for in house guests and locals, happy hours and live DJs add to the ambience not to mention the million dollar views, prior to this it was more popular for events and private parties.
The newest member to the rooftop bar club, Escape, at the Novotel Karon opened late in November 2017 with an extensive cocktail list, and to keep the munchies away an equally impressive tapas and antipasto selection. Open daily from 6pm Escape has a rustic feel with varying specials throughout the week, including “Double Trouble” on Tuesday (buy one get one free on selected drinks) and “Treasure Box” on a Thursday where you have keys to a lucky draw treasure box with many different prizes and deals.
Located in the heart of Patong on the rooftop of The Kee Resort, The Sky Lounge has an enticing vibe with DJs and daily happy hours. Unlike many bars the happy hour is from 5.30pm – 8.30pm with classic cocktails as well as their signature cocktails all just 150 baht, locals beers 100 baht and house wines 150 baht. Whether your looking to dance the night away or spend a quiet romantic evening with your loved one The Kee Sky Lounge is a great place to do both.
Set on the edge of the resorts stunning floating swimming pool with unparalleled views of the Andaman Sea, Kata Rocks Bar is chic in design with funky creative cocktails paired with sumptuous tapas. The impressive team of mixologists create unique and left of the middle cocktails that are not found anywhere on the island, the resort itself has its own branded Gin which features in many of the drinks list. My personal favourite is their Lycheetini which is crisp short drink made from vodka, lychee, lime juice and a dash of palm sugar, problem is I can’t just have the one! Try their non-alcoholic home-made ginger beer too.
They say a picture paints a thousand words, don’t be fold by the plastic chairs and rustic tables at Wassa Homemade Bar, though ascetically underwhelming, the drinks list and to-die-for views are very impressive. Placed at the top of Phuket Hill facing perfectly West for sublime sunsets Wassa is a local hangout and also for expats in the know. Like any locally owned and operated bar the Thai menu accompanying the drinks is tasty and cheap as.
The relaunch of Vanilla Sky Bar & Gastro Pub at Cape Sienna is a welcome back to the ultra cool rooftop bar to the Phuket scene. It is positioned perfectly on the cliffs of Kamala’s Nakalay Bay to take in the stunning Phuket sunsets. With daily happy hour specials from 5-6pm, occasional guest DJ spots and delicious Gastro Pub dishes, Vanilla Sky Bar is an institution for locals, tourists and expats. With stunning sea views, creative craft cocktails, modern stylish Gastro Pub food it is a fabulous place to hang with friends, say hi to Pepe the resorts F&B Director a good guy and always up for a chat.
Sri Panwa Resort at the very bottom of Cape Panwa has the rare 360 degree ocean views around Phuket. The award winning Baba Pool Club and Baba Nest has lounge chairs positioned and sunken in the mirrored splash pool the colours alone during sunset are fabulous. High end cocktails matched with a high end prices, Baba is a cool hangout with friends and family but perhaps just for a special occasion.
Located on the ‘Millionaires Mile’ in Kamala, Talung Thai at Paresa Resort has dramatic high cliff views over the Andaman Sea with like so many West coast properties, amazing sunsets. You are welcomed to the bar with floor to ceiling wine fridges that immediately say ‘wow’, the drinks list is award winning and their mixologists have competed year on year at the Thailand best of the bests Diegeo cocktail competitions. Monthly cocktails specials and as well as the resorts signature cocktails keep you going back for more. My personal favourite is the Thai inspired ‘Chilli and Lime Caipiroska’ the perfect combination of spice and sour.
- Donna Toon