The first visit to this underrated Bangkok rooftop bar is probably the best. It’s in Phra Khanong so you can see the other tall buildings. You take the lift to the 46th floor, walk through the fancy indoor area, step outside to the terrace and get greeted with a gorgeous 180 degree view of the metropolis in the golden evening haze. The warm breeze plays with your hair while you decide where to sit, and super-attentive waiter brings you the menu. When the waiter comes back to take your order you apologise because you haven’t even looked at the menu, and just gazed at the skyscrapers, the little cars, and the Chaophraya.

cielo bangkok rooftop barThe ambience is perfect: you almost have the whole spacious terrace to yourself, soulful lounge music is playing in the background, the slowly disappearing sun shines on your partner’s face and you just want to take pictures. Hardly any more people show up, and it’s still just as cosy for the next few hours until the colours of the city change. You pay the bill, make your way to the lift and the staff ‘wai’ you upon your departure. Evening well spent. Very well spent.

The reason why it’s so quiet and cosy is because nobody ever goes to this end of town. Even if they do, most people don’t think “oh, I fancy having a glass of wine and an intelligent conversation up at a rooftop terrace”. You can stay downstairs at the W District with the party people, where you can have cheap beer, cheap food, hit on girls and pretend you can hear your friends speaking to you over the loud music. The thing is that the beers at W District are just as expensive, like 250 baht for a pint of something that’s not Chang!

cielo bangkok rooftop barIt looks like the new management has a vision of turning the ‘best cheap rooftop’ into the ‘best rooftop’! If you haven’t been there before, I guarantee you’ll have a great time as it’s the most laid-back rooftop we’ve ever been to in Bangkok. Or anywhere to be honest. Most of the online reviews, old and new, give 4 or 5 stars too. Funny thing happened: before the waiters delivered the food, they put napkins on our laps! It was proper windy and it seemed rather comical, but we let them do it. If they want a Michelin star, that’s a good start!

If you have been before, you’ll still have a great time, but probably feel a tad nostalgic about the new menu with fewer options. They also raised the prices, introduced a service charge and a government tax. Bargain days are over. By bargain I mean 250-baht pasta dishes and wine. Now the dishes start at 350 baht, and go up to 850. House wine comes at 350 baht per glass, beers come at 300, cocktails 350, mocktails 200. So it’s just like any other rooftop really. Just without the cattle.

In terms of vegetarian food, there’s only like French fries on the menu (100B). We couldn’t think of any other dish being modified into vegetarian: salmon, rib eye steak, chicken, scallops, tiger prawns, etc. But we asked for spaghetti carbonara without bacon and they did a good job to suit our needs. It was creamy, with crispy baked parmesan pieces and decorated with rocket leaves.

post-8907We tried the four wines available by the glass: Sauvignon Blanc which was more refreshing and had more aroma than the acidic Chardonnay. The Shiraz was so-so and was served too cold as we guessed it was kept open for some time. The Cabernet Sauvignon was just opened, served in room temperature and was really really nice – smooth, creamy, with some cherry notes.

The only thing is that you’re not supposed to use your tripod. We used it once before but not this time. There’s no need to book a table, but we did a few hours in advance, because we wanted a good spot for photos. I’d say for us the selling point was the refreshing breeze, the spacious area and the view. Come between 5.30 to 6.00 PM to see the changing colours of the sky.

It’s also very easy to get to: From Phra Khanong BTS, take exit 3 and walk to the W District. Just past the 7-11 on the right-hand side you’ll see some entrances to the condominium. They have a ‘Cielo’ sign and their own lift now.