There are many ways to spend an evening out in Bangkok, but very few match up to the elegance and sophistication of an evening out at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok.
A year after its highly anticipated grand opening last August, the first Southeast Asian outpost of the iconic hotel has established itself as a real glimmering gem on Bangkok’s culinary and cocktail scene, with the three dining outlets at the very top of the building proving the greatest city-wide buzz, particularly for those looking to indulge in a fine night out.
Designed by renowned New York-based design company AvroKO, all The Loft, Bull & Bear, and The Champagne Bar follow three distinct design concepts, and yet come together seamlessly — physically too, by way of an opulent central staircase.
Whisking you away onto the steps for a magical experience from aperitif to nightcap, we put together somewhat a grand guide to a night out at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok. Be it an intimate dinner date or a lavish get-together with friends and family, here’s everything to sip, clink, and toast to at The Loft, Bull & Bear, and The Champagne Bar.
[All images courtesy of the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok]
Before dinner: an aperitivo at The Loft
We begin our evening on the 56th floor.
Evoking a strong sense of New-York-studio-meets-Art-Nouveau-throwback, The Loft sits atop the hotel as both a glamorous and bohemian hideout, serving craft cocktails inspired by the original 1953 Waldorf Astoria Bar Book. It is a reminder of the brand’s storied heritage, but also of an expressive era, and this charm follows through from menu to interiors.
A colour palate of dusty pink, olive green, ebony, and rose gold greets the eye upon entering, with shelves to either side filled with vintage paint tools from tin to brush. The central lounge wraps around a horseshoe-shaped bar, with a sweeping view of a head-bobbing DJ at the booth, and a sprawling cityscape over the prestigious Rajadamri Road, the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, and a twinkling of skyscrapers beyond.
On the menu
The Loft is most perfectly suited for a pre-dinner cocktail or three. Long known for his personal style and deep attention to detail, Michele Montauti is behind the drinks menu here, putting together crafted artisanal spirits and forgotten cocktails in a refreshed nuance for the modern palate. Order the ‘Astoria’ — a refreshing citrus blend of gin, house blend dry vermouth, and orange bitters, if you’re a fan of strong, spirit-based tipples. Swooning over the Bangkok views? Then definitely go for the ‘Waldorf’ — a herbal mix of bourbon, Thai-basil sweet vermouth, chocolate bitters, and coriander.
Do not miss
Dubbed ‘The Art Table’ by the AvroKO team, the large communal table at The Loft is certainly a standout feature of the venue. Rustic and romantic, the table is crafted from reclaimed teak wood boards, finished with layered paint and materials from a real working artist’s studio. It’s a great place for inspired conversation and laughter. Sip your cocktails here alongside a few gourmet bar bites and banter, but keep it at nibbles — we’re heading to dinner, next.
The Loft, 56/F, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, +66 2 846 8888; Open Sunday-Wednesday 5pm-12am, and Thursday-Saturday 5pm-1am.
Dinner: A New York steak at Bull & Bear
For dinner, we’re heading down the stairs to Bull & Bear on the 55th floor.
Here, executive chef Alessandro Santi helms the kitchen, taking inspiration from the infamous Bull & Bear steakhouse at the Waldorf Astoria New York. Those who have been to New York will know that the restaurant is known for being one of the best steak experiences in the city, and those who have not, can certainly get a taste for it here in Bangkok.
Bull & Bear definitely has a very urban uptown feel to it. The interiors mirror shades of ebony, bronze, and deep red, with accentuated brass detailing. Upbeat and metropolitan: it’s exactly what dinner in the city should look like.
The restaurant itself consists of a large, main dining room, as well as a small bar. The highlight is irrefutably the open kitchen and live raw bar, gearing towards a central custom-made grill for smoking, slow roasting, baking, and grilling. Hungry yet?
On the menu
To pair the million dollar view with a few indulgent bites, we’re definitely going for grilled meats and seafood here. Start the meal with the Smoked Burrata with Tomatoes or the BBQ Caesar Salad, before trying Bull & Bear’s signature Chowder. Then, go for a showstopper: the Bone in Ribeye, a 55-day dry aged Wagyu. If you’re still hungry after that (or just feeling really, really ambitious), the one-kilogram-grain-fed Porterhouse also comes highly recommended.
Whilst a bottle of wine is certainly most apt for a steak dinner, Bull & Bear also has a fitting cocktail selection for diners here. The drinks are aptly smoky-themed: from a Burnt Martini over to a Smokey Old Fashioned.
Do not miss
Possibly one of our very favourite components of the entire hotel, there’s more than one place where this New York-style dining outlet gets its name. In first line, it comes from the famous bull and bear statue on New York’s Wall Street, but in a more localised and stylised varietal, it also comes from the statue at the entrance of the venue. Definitely highly ‘grammable, you’ll spot a Thai version of the bull and bear statue at Bull & Bear, detailed with intricate Thai style carvings on wood. In fact, this mythical theme follows subtly through the entire place, with hints of Garuda and Naga (who, as legend would have it, were at war much like bull and bear) peeking through from furniture to millwork.
Bull & Bear, 55/F, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, +66 2 846 8888; Open daily 5.30pm-10.30pm.
Nightcap: A flute of bubbly at The Champagne Bar
Is there anything snazzier than a speakeasy at the moment?
As we steer towards the end of the night, we’re heading to the very top of the hotel to The Champagne Bar on the 57th floor. Intimate and sophisticated, it is a spot for those with impeccable taste in champagne, and marks a perfect ending to a perfect evening.
The vibe here is very Art Nouveau, yet follows through with that touch of Thai mysticism. A two-meter art feature captures the eye immediately, adorned with the heads of six mythical creatures against a backdrop of carved wings, jewels, and brass work. It is through here that guests even get to enter the bar, by way of a secret hidden door that leads them through a surreal tunnel-corridor to the main lounge.
On the menu
Inside the main lounge, a small residential-style bar is the centre point, with a vintage chandelier stylishly positioned just above an ice chipping block. Revel in the truly standout champagne and wine selection, with many a special sip for a special occasion — even if that special occasion is that you’re at The Champagne Bar at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok.
Order champagne by the glass or bottle or go for a creative champagne cocktail. We love a bottle of the 1999 Billecart-Salmon Clos St.Hilaire — a truly spectacular year for champagne. For a sweet night cap before bed, try the Champagne Fizz: a blend of gin, champagne reduction, lemon juice, and egg whites, topped with more Billecart champagne.
Do not miss
An exquisite experience for champagne and liquor lovers alike, be sure to walk (or ‘flow’) through the “tasting corridor”. This features a display cabinet with pull-out drawers filled with special champagnes and liquors as a little heaven and haven for any connoisseur. Consider it being a kid in a candy store, but make it champagne at the Waldorf Astoria.
Deeply rooted in its own history and heritage, with a charming and inspired Bangkok elegance, the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok provides plenty to dream about and take back with you into the night. We end our evening here on that note, swoonful on the car ride back home, or, better yet, in one of the suites overlooking the gleaming stars above Rajadamri. A perfect night out.
The Champagne Bar, 57/F, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, +66 2 846 8888; Open Monday-Saturday 5pm-12am.
For more information on how to spend your perfect night out at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, head to www.waldorfastoria.com/bangkok.