When Heli Lounge Bar opened earlier this year, I couldn’t be more thrilled. Drinking on a heli pad? That’s a winning combo. So in order to present a fair review, I had to visit the bar twice, at different times (my colleagues think it was just another excuse for me to drink).
There are two parts to Heli Lounge Bar: a proper bar on level 34 of Menara KH and a (active) helipad on top of the building. In order to go up to the helipad, you’ll need to climb a few flights of stairs, and it’s not for the lazy. When I was walking up the stairs, a middle-aged lady in front of me was catching her breath, looking exhausted, trying to make it to the top. You get the point. Ladies, ditch the heels for flats or the steep steps could be disastrous, especially after a few drinks.
The first time, I dropped by the bar on a Monday evening around 6pm to catch the sunset. Upon arriving, I wasn’t sure if it was a bar, a helipad or a new observation deck. Much to my surprise, 90 percent of the crowd was made up of tourists. And all the seats were taken by 7pm.
On the helipad, you will get a stunning 360-degree view of KL city. The sunset here is definitely Instagram-worthy, and you don’t even have to use a filter (provided there’s no rain, of course). The downside is that everyone is so busy taking pictures that it can be quite a distraction if all you want is to sit down, have a drink and enjoy the scene.
The helipad is open every day from 6pm onwards, and from Thursday to Saturday, if you like to party on the helipad after 9pm, you need to purchase a bottle of alcohol. That said, you can always head down to the bar/club on level 34 later at night.
Once you’re in, the bar is heavy on details. You can’t miss the aviation theme here – the DJ console has been constructed from parts of an actual refurbished Boeing 747 and a reconstructed Boeing 737 cabin seat. You can see what they’re going for here, though the shiny, shimmery black and white tiles are rather tacky. Resident DJs hold the fort here with the music policy encompassing EDM, Top 40 remixes and R&B.
Drinking is almost an afterthought. The menu is straightforward, if unspectacular. You can find a couple of in-house cocktails like Hopper, a vodka-based drink with apple syrup, and Fizzy 747, a Mojito-like drink with vodka. Still, the helipad is what you come here for. It’s probably the best place to enjoy the KL skyline. Without barriers. Ian Loh
As featured in Time Out KL's 101 things to do in KL