Colombo's sky is getting increasingly crowded as everyone competes for cloud space and slick views. There's really no reason to be sitting on the ground floor like some indigenous mole when you can be sipping on a view as potent as your cocktail, so here are some of our favourite roofs in Colombo - just in time for Valentine's Day!
41 Sugar might be priced higher than other contemporary bars in Colombo, but both its cocktails and food are honestly excellent. You can expect daytime views of Colombo's green playing fields, and night time views of Colombo's green-bucks playing the field. We strongly, strongly recommend you swing by when they have one of their international jazz acts in town (it's currently an amazing South African band, Major Minor).
Sunset at Sky Lounge is still one of the best options in the city, with its 360 view starting with the sea, slipping into the port, the Fort area, the World Trade Centre towers, and back to the Galle Road strip that stretches out like a multicoloured ribbon of headlights when the sun goes down. The crowd is generally pretty chill too. You'll get your usual couples, post-work drink buddies, and if you're unlucky or turn up late unruly Indian businessmen.
We also love that Sky Lounge is open till about 5 AM, which means if you're really determined or alcohol-dependent you can catch both sunset and sunrise.
The ambience is easily the key draw of Cloud Red. You've got a 360° view of Colombo's undulating skyline; watching construction, traffic, and trees flap about below you. The perfect time to arrive is around 5:30. You can catch sunset near the pool, then watch as the sun dips and Colombo gets gradually sparklier as headlights and lamps are switched on. They also do fairly cheap bottles of wine.
ON14's view is still one of the best in the city. The bar offers unhindered sights of the horizon, charming aerial views of the shoreline, and a vantage look at the coastal railcars trundling along. We'd definitely recommend their arrack cocktails.
The whole area is beautiful, and the panoramic view will leave you breathless mostly because it's so windy up there. You're in for a real treat as soon as the sun starts to set thanks to the display of light, colour and silhouettes of buildings far off in the distance. It's also probably one of the only nice spots to drink in Kirulapone.
The Loft Lounge and Cloud Cafe are Colombo Courtyard's two-in-one bar combo. The latter is on the rooftop, and serves up a nice view of the sky and the surrounding Colpetty area. It's quite nice and chic at night, but also pricey so we recommend you head there during happy hour.
Okay this isn't a romantic spot at all, but Colombo City Hotel's rooftop has a pretty good view of the Dutch Hospital area, along with cheap drinks and bites. Not bad for a budget date or a post-work beer with friends.
Perched on the 24th floor of Colpetty's Mövenpick, Vistas serves up vistas (surprise!), a whole selection of imported drinks, and some sparse nibbles. We wouldn't particularly recommend it if you're on a budget or hungry, but it's a good spot for a group catch up or a fancy sunset date.
This is definitely one of the most expensive watering holes in the city - although the quality of food makes it worth it. Overall, we'd strongly recommend this bar for the view, the reasonable wine, and the inventive food.
Happy sky, star, and eye gazing!
Care facilities for the elderly in Sri Lanka can be hard to find. Here are a few reputed places we've found.
The kitschy new bar in town
A Guide to Getting Down in C-Town.
Countries that let you in without a fuss with your Lankan passport