Ozone, Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
Shanghai has dominated the “highest bar in Asia” competition in recent years, with the city’s 100 Century Avenue Bar on the Park Hyatt Shanghai’s 92nd floor taking the crown from the Grand Hyatt Shanghai’s 87th-floor bar, Cloud 9. But that changed in March, when the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong unveiled Ozone on its 118th floor, making it the highest bar in the world.
The experience is worth splashing out for at least once, but visitors who go to Ozone expecting a great view may be disappointed. Like Shanghai’s “highest bar” contenders, a location high above a rather smoggy city means the vistas are often obscured by fog. Ozone doesn’t accept reservations, but tables aren’t difficult to come by early in the evening.
Salon de Ning, The Peninsula Shanghai
Unlike other bars on Shanghai’s famous Bund waterfront, Salon de Ning is not fêted for its impressive views. But the Peninsula’s basement bar still has plenty of interesting décor to keep eyes busy.
This “Paris of the East”-themed bar is inspired by the Bund-side mansion of Madame Ning – a fictionalized art deco Shanghai socialite with eccentric tastes. Four separate sections of the bar are styled on different other-worldly experiences, from safari to “upside-down” themes. The upside-down room is not to be missed by anyone who has wanted to experience drinking cocktails in a Disney movie’s surreal haunted mansion.
Vue Bar, Hyatt on the Bund
Between 100 Century Avenue, Cloud 9 and Vue Bar, Hyatt hotels have got a lock on bars with epic views of Shanghai. But it is the Puxi-based, two-story Vue Bar at Hyatt on the Bund which takes our prize for the best view of the city.
Its position on the 32nd and 33rd floors of the hotel places it lower than the Hyatt-based bars across the Huangpu River, meaning you are less likely to have your view obscured by cloud cover. Its location on the north side of the Bund also means the Vue Bar’s view stretches around the river, giving its patrons access to both sides of the Bund’s beauty. Speaking of beauties, you can also check out the upstairs terrace and Jacuzzi for another kind of scenery altogether.
Yin Bar, The Emperor Hotel
The Forbidden City is a quintessential part of Beijing, and the Yin Bar – a multi-level rooftop terrace – is a perfect place to view it. From a chaise lounge or its Jacuzzi, soak up the sights of Beijing’s ancient rooftops, Jingshan Hill and Tiananmen Square, while enjoying Yin’s huangjiu cocktails. It’s a winning combination that’s difficult to find in just any old hotel bar.
Galleon, InterContinental Shenzhen
As the name suggests, this restaurant and bar at the InterContinental Shenzhen is housed in a larger-than-life replica of Christopher Columbus’s infamous galleon, the Santa Maria. The nightlife experience in a 40 by 20 meter ship is unique, to say the least. Located on the hotel’s 3rd floor, this ship-shape restaurant and bar’s indoor and outdoor areas can hold up to 600 people. Who knows what discoveries are in store for intrepid explorers aboard the good ship Galleon?
Playboy Club, Sands Macau Hotel
Macau is increasingly cashing in on its reputation as China’s gambling mecca and now, more than ever, it seems to be following Las Vegas’ lead of becoming a city of sin. Although Hugh Hefner originally wanted to open China’s first Playboy Club in the so-called “Whore of the Orient” of Shanghai, city authorities denied the plan. And now, it is Macau that offers customers a chance to party hard with infamous bunnies.
Macau’s 1,115-square-meter Playboy Club is located in the penthouse of the Sands Macau Hotel and features private gaming areas, luxe lounges, high-tech media rooms and live entertainment provided by an imported range of bunnies. A neighboring 2,787 sq m Playboy mansion is scheduled to open in 2012.