The original open-air rooftop club and bar in Ho Chi Minh City, Chill Skybar is a Saigon staple, attracting crowds of stylish socialites, businessmen, party-goers and tourists looking to let loose 26 stories above ground.
Few have not heard about Chill Skybar. AB Tower’s crown jewel occupies the entire 26th floor, covering both an indoor lounge and an outdoor bar-and-party space.
Attracting big-name DJs, brand ambassadors and a constant flow of themed events, Chill is relentlessly pumping out new reasons to visit the kinetic vantage point, at all times and hours – from ladies nights to ShowStopper and hip-hop takeovers. One of the most popular promotions is the Beautiful Ladies Night: an exclusive offer to all ladies. With a group of 4 ladies or above, enjoy a complimentary bottle of Sparkling Rosé. This is valid every Wednesday from 9:00 p.m to 12:00 a.m. at Chill Skybar.
Groups from Sorae Sushi & Sake Lounge on the 24th floor pour in, and when the night is finished, groups pour back to the ground floor for some late-a.m. Cantonese grub at San Fu Lou. It’s a cycle of classy indulgence, and Chill Skybar is right in the middle.
The main draw has always been – and will always be – Ho Chi Minh City’s million-light skyline, loomed over by the sail-shaped Bitexco Tower and dominated by the twisting traffic below.
AB Tower has a knack for shaping venues around distinctly chic concepts. Chill Skybar is somewhere between the 90s trance scene version of the future and a vodka commercial. Even the bathrooms can be mistaken for miniature clubs, with profuse LEDs and utopian architecture.
Music transitions from recorded chill-out music from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. to late night live DJs playing hip-hop, EDM and top hits.
With grand views and grandiose décor comes great [monetary] responsibility. It’s much easier to get the socially-attuned staff laughing along with you if you come with company and occupy a table, or if you arrive with ticket-in-hand, than if you simply want a peek at the skyline.
Bartenders themselves are selectively squeezed into employment on the wings of experience and panache alone, and are trained by a German cocktail guru by the name of Bernardo. Each has around four years and change of experience under his belt.
Service is prompt and professional, albeit cold when compared to something more low-key. But it’s what’s expected, the closer you get to space.
You experience largely depends on the night’s event, crowd and what’s playing. Certain factors are constants, however, and build the base experience, no matter what night you come. Namely, the cocktails and service. Since the latter has been covered, let’s dive into Chill Skybar’s primary motivation – mixology.
Signature house cocktails all snuggly fit into a “fusion” category. Which in Chill’s case would be predominantly Western spirits and ingredients mixed with traditional Vietnamese elements.
Western ingredients would include things like: classic spirits, rosemary, cardamom, thyme and pink peppercorn. Vietnamese ingredients would be along the lines of: lemongrass, ginger, mango and other tropical fruits.
CityPassGuide.com tried two of ten signature cocktails to get on the bartenders’ wavelength. (If you desire, the bartenders are flexible enough for custom cocktails, if you have a recipe in mind.
The signature cocktail - Asian Temptation is one of the top choice at Chill Skybar. The cocktail looks so lovely and so “Vietnamese” with the lotus petals and it will amaze you with its taste. The creative combination of Vodka, Sake and Passion Fruit will make you order another round. Try this cocktail with Asian taste when coming to Chill Skybar during Happy Hour.
Bourbon Bow Tie
Another must-try signature cocktail at Chill Skybar. If you are Whisky lovers, the Bourbon Bow Tie is the one that should not be missed. Sipping this cocktail afterwork is a good idea. Remember don’t drink too fast cause you gonna get tipsy quickly. Applied during Happy Hour with the price only at VND150.000++
Reviews on TripAdvisor are mixed, but mostly fall on the Very good-Excellent spectrum. Near unanimous praise is given for the expansive view, drink reviews range from good to great and there is a complaint or two on the dress code (as of July 2015, Chill Skybar allows shorts, but still no gym or sports shorts, tank tops, or flip flops. They do, however lend shoes free of charge). Otherwise, people enjoy the vibe and the music and some label it as their favorite nightspot in Ho Chi Minh City.