It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.
It’s 2012 and roof bars are in. But the vibe and quality of the bar notwithstanding, the ultimate measure of any roof bar can only be one thing – how high it is.
This desire to reach for the heavens – and also get as far away as possible from the Jakarta grime below! – is nothing new of course and many bars and clubs have opened up in Jakarta’s high rise buildings over the years.
I have fond memories of the Jalan Jalan nightclub-cum-bar/restaurant located on the 35-37th floors of the Menara Imperium all those years ago. In particular, the revolving restaurant at the top and, of course, the manic nightclub where the decadence lasted until the final days of the Suharto regime. Talking of which, I’ll always remember the time when I had to suffer the ignominy of receiving some very unwelcome “attention” from one of Suharto’s ministers – in none other place than the changing room of the ultra expensive fitness centre located on one of the building’s lower floors. Bloody creep!
So which is the highest bar in Jakarta? Well that accolade must go to the aptly-named Skye Bar which is located way up on the 56th floor of the BCA tower, some 230 meters above the ground, just by the Hotel Indonesia roundabout.
Although managed by the experienced Ismaya Group (Kitchenette, Social House etc), the bar has received some criticism for poor service – most especially during busy periods – but if you go at a quieter time like I did, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the experience. The views of Jakarta below are, despite the pollution, spectacular – either during daylight hours or at night. As for the prices? Well naturally they are sky high too!
Tip: access to the bar is not easy. I reached it via the Gramedia bookstore at the East Mall of Grand Indonesia. On level 3 of the bookstore there is an elevator which takes you straight up to the 56th floor.
SKYE Bar Jakarta
Menara BCA - 56th Floor
M.H. Thamrin No.1,
Telp: (021) 522 5285
NB: Jakarta’s Skye Bar, although high, is by no means the highest bar in Asia. That honor goes to Ozone located at the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong on the 118th floor!!!! Globally, the world’s highest bar is somewhat ironically in the Arab world – more specifically Dubai. The bar is called at.mosphere and you can find it on the 122nd floor of the insanely futuristic Burj Khalifa building in Dubai.