Is this new rooftop bar the best place to watch a sunset in Vietnam?

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Is this new rooftop bar the best place to watch a sunset in Vietnam?

26 November 2018 | 0 Comment | By Vũ Bình

The up-and-coming island of Phu Quoc, just off Vietnam’s mainland in the Gulf of Thailand, is already known for its stunning sunsets of blazing reds and oranges. However, its sunset game got a further boost with the recent opening of INK 360, the 19th-floor rooftop bar at the InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort.

Sea creatures inspired this Ashley Sutton-designed bar. Photo by: James Pham

In addition to sweeping views from the wraparound deck outside of Phu Quoc’s western coastline, including the brand new Phu Quoc Marina, the bar’s interior is dominated by slithering, seductive sea creatures seemingly straight out of a Jules Verne novel. Conceived by Australian designer Ashley Sutton, famed for his fantastically whimsical spaces, including Hong Kong’s Ophelia, Bangkok’s The Bookshop, and Tokyo’s Iron Fairies, INK 360 is a feast for the senses. Antique light bulbs dangle from octopus chandeliers while mother of pearl and white marble tiles mimic the seafloor and giant tentacles reach out from beyond the half-moon shaped bar.

“INK 360 was conceived in my mind once I was on top of the rooftop parting over the ocean,” said Ashley Sutton. “The shape of the building, with its accommodation wings and its crown, felt like it needed some type of maritime mythical theme. It was extremely hard to build due to each part being hand carved and then pouring in cast aluminium.”

A resident DJ keeps things lively at INK 360. Photo by: James Pham

After the sun sets, only little green lights bobbing in the distance from late night fishing boats break up the pitch black. The action continues indoors, however, with a resident DJ spinning the tunes while Resort Mixologist Giuseppe Carneli turns out the drinks. “We have 20 types of gin, 14 types of vodka, and 24 types of rum,” he told Lonely Planet News. “But we want our guests to come talk to us so we can make them something unique.”

If you want a traditional cocktail, you’ll actually have to order it off-menu as INK 360’s too-cool-for-school cocktail menu includes just 8 drinks, all of them distinctive, like Uncle Ho’s Penicillin, a concoction of Scotch whisky, lemon juice, Phu Quoc honey and fresh ginger syrup to provide a bite, all infused with smoky lapsang souchong tea and black cardamom. “All of our ingredients are made fresh daily,” said Giuseppe Carneli, “and that’s the difference between a good drink and a memorable one.” Another popular drink is the Coral Mule with triple sec, Aperol, Luxardo Fernet Branca, and ginger beer, all topped with a ruffled, crunchy fresh snow mushroom infused with Campari. The bar’s own kitchen also churns out sharing platters including tapas and Japanese yakitori.

Resident Mixologist Giuseppi Carneli at INK 360. Photo by: IHG

So if you find yourself on Phu Quoc, come in time for the amazing sunsets and stay for the innovative drinks on the highest point on the island.


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