Sunday, 30 August 2015 19:38

Skylight

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Skylight, Nha Trang, as pictured from the lighthouse

A new rooftop bar has opened in Nha Trang. It’s spectacular

 

Every now and then, a game changer comes along that irrevocably transforms something. In recent times, we can point to the iPhone and Facebook. In Vietnam we can single out a number of companies — Trung Nguyen, Kem Nghia, KFC, the Vin Group. On the restaurant and bar scene the Al Fresco’s Group, Quan Ut Ut, Hoa Vien, Mekong Merchant, Zone 9, the original Vine in Hanoi and, if we head to Nha Trang, the Sailing Club. All the people behind these ventures are visionaries. At one time or another, they saw something that no-one else did. They made it happen.

 

The recently opened Skylight bar in Nha Trang is of this ilk. Sat 45 floors above ground level and even fitted with its own lighthouse, this self-styled, rooftop beach club is phenomenal. First are the views — the venue has a 360-degree skydeck fitted with telescopes, making it the only point in Nha Trang where you can take in the entirety of the city. It’s a wow-factor panorama that is attracting both tourists and locals, despite the VND100,000 entrance charge.

 

Vision

 

But even the entrance charge is a clever ploy. Coming with a free drink, it ensures that those who make the journey to the top of the world experience not just the physical surroundings, but the atmosphere and the feeling of being in a bar. On a recent Thursday night visit, more than 700 people rode the elevator to the top. At the time of writing, the record was 1,000.

 

Then there’s the fit-out. It’s not sensational — it doesn’t need to be. The views take care of that. Rather, with grey concrete and deck-style flooring and comfy, beach-style sofas, it’s got a tropical, Bali-style edge, befitting its outdoor environment. With slogans like “it’s always 5 o’ clock in paradise” lining the walls, you get a sense that what the brains behind this place want to provide is experience. With a mixologist from LA working the bar and a selection of beautifully presented tapas (a restaurant is on its way), as well as nightly DJs avoiding the urge to spin Vinahouse, they do it with aplomb.

 

But let’s take a step back. Skylight really does have the potential to be a game changer, a bit like Sailing Club was in the 1990s. The word here is potential. What the people behind this rooftop bar have started is bold. Very bold. It’s expensive, too. And all four of them, three from the US, one from Canada, have different skill sets which contribute equally to the day-to-day running of this venue.

 

But as American Olympic gold medalist and probably the best female soccer player of all time, Mia Hamm, writes, “It is more difficult to stay on top than to get there.”

 

For the sake of the investment and Nha Trang in general, let’s hope Skylight manages to stay on top. Because at this very moment, it might just be the best bar in Vietnam. 

Skylight, Nha Trang, even has its very own lighthouse

Oh, it's also got 360-degree views of Nha Trang...

Last modified on Sunday, 30 August 2015 20:42
Nick Ross

Chief editor and co-founder of Word Vietnam, Nick Ross was born in the humble city of London before moving to the less humble climes of Vietnam. His wanderings have taken him to definitely not enough corners of the globe, but being a constant optimist, he still has hopes.

twitter.com/nickrossvietnam

5 comments

  • Comment Link Nick Lesson Monday, 07 September 2015 01:43 posted by Nick Lesson

    What about The Rooftop Lounge? It seem more genius than Skylight and the nice Canadian brothers are there for far longer. I prefer to hangout there anytimes...

  • Comment Link NickR Monday, 31 August 2015 17:13 posted by NickR

    @Paul Zwerling. Except for a couple of Italians, Al Fresco's was the first mid-range international restaurant in Hanoi. While today they may seem different, back in the late 1990s and early 2000s they changed Hanoi's dining scene.

  • Comment Link NickR Monday, 31 August 2015 17:12 posted by NickR

    Actually, should have put Highway 4 / Son Tinh in there as well, Dan. Good point!

  • Comment Link Dan Dockery Monday, 31 August 2015 13:40 posted by Dan Dockery

    Odd array of "game-changers" and "visionaries" listed in the article ...

  • Comment Link Paul zwerling Monday, 31 August 2015 01:27 posted by Paul zwerling

    Sorry, comparing at fresco and skylight... Where is your sense of taste?

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