Heli Lounge Bar (Heli-Pad) – Kuala Lumpur

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Yes, it is literally a bar on a heli-pad. Incredible.

Throughout the past fourteen months I’ve had quite a lot of visitors: from close friends and family to friends of friends and friends of family etc. An absolute must-do for every visitor has been Heli-Pad; I even managed to get my 80 year old granddad up there!

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However, recently a friend of a friend visited, Heli Pad was suggested but shock-horror she didn’t seem keen. Why??? This cannot be true!!!

Apparently Heli-Pad has terrible reviews, a strict dress code, an even stricter door policy and it’s just not that good. WHATTTTTTT??? This could not be further from the truth. As a KL expat who puts Heli-Pad right at the top of every visitor’s itinerary I thought I must clear a few things up. (I’m also a KL expat who works with many other KL expats and Heli-Pad is a key feature on their visitors’ itineraries too).

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Right, why should you go to Heli-Pad? Quite simply for the views. The absolutely astonishing views of Kuala Lumpur and its wonderful, often surprising, surrounding hills. You can view and view and view until your heart’s content on the top of a heli-pad. When have you done that before? There’s no other roof-top bar in KL like it, it’s one of a kind. Do you need any more reasons?

 

Heli-Pad is not an overly smart bar, it doesn’t have incredibly comfy furniture or a beautiful entrance but that’s not the point. It doesn’t need those things and I don’t believe you should be looking for those things here. This is a bar ON A HELI-PAD. Forget what you’re sat on, walking past, holding, LOOK AT THE VIEW. It’s a simple bar because the view and the experience of sitting on a heli-pad with no surrounding walls or fences do the talking!

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I’m not saying that other rooftop bars in KL are rubbish, no, I love them all (well, I’m not a huge fan of Marinis…) for different reasons (side note, my new obsession is Coppersmiths). Heli-Pad just stands out on its own for the one of a kind experience you get; watching the sunset over this thriving capital city as the lights of the Petronas Towers turn on, as you’re  literally sat on a heli-pad right next door. Wow.

Ok, first things first, how do you get there? As with many things in Kuala Lumpur it’s not straightforward unless you’ve been there before or you’re arriving with instructions. Heli-Pad is offcially called Heli Lounge Bar and it’s located at the top of the Menara KH building which is right next to the monorail station Raja Chulan. There are no signs for Heli-Pad outside the building, in the lobby or the lifts; outside look for a large circular structure. There’s absolutely nothing that indicates there’s an amazing bar 34 floors up. On the ground floor of the Menara KH building is INTI International College now this place is obvious, if you spot INTI you’ve made it!

dsc04102Enter Menara KH, go to the lifts furthest to the right and take a lift to the top, the 34th floor to be precise. All the lifts do not go to this floor and there are always lifts not working with their doors open and no lights on, ignore these, choose your lift carefully.

When you exit the lift you will get to a mini reception for Heli Lounge Bar, they’ll be a couple of security staff and possibly a receptionist. The security will search your bag and if you are male they will search you (they don’t ever seem to search women). You can’t take in drinks bottles but when I’ve had one before the staff have kindly kept it at reception. When you get to the mini reception desk, for some reason they usually start with ‘have you booked a table’ mainly referring to their restaurant. The vast majority of people are not visiting to eat in their restaurant, so say no you’re just here for drinks. You will then be shown to the bar which is actually on the floor below the heli-pad. You have to order your first drinks here, wait to receive them and pay before you are allowed to go up to the heli-pad (all the drinks are priced similar to each other, around 30rm). This rule is strictly enforced.

The flying themed bar below the heli-pad is nice, comfortable, rarely busy and has great views too so you might aswell sit and enjoy it while you wait for your drinks. As soon as you get your drinks and pay you can walk up about four flights of stairs to the actual heli-pad… this will be a test of your cocktail carrying skills.

As soon as you step foot on the wrought-iron stairs and start to see the sky you will be wowed!

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Before 9pm there is no dress code. You can wear shorts, flip flops, trainers, singlets….whatever. You will see a wide range of people up there, some dressed very casually perhaps visiting Heli-Pad after a day spent wandering the city. You’ll also see people dressed smartly perhaps because it’s a fabulous place to start a night out. At the small reception there is a sign listing dress code rules however I have never seen these enforced, on weekdays or at the weekend.

I believe if you go to Heli-Pad after 9pm dress code rules are enforced and I’ve heard that you’re only allowed up if you buy a bottle of spirit. I have never arrived after 9pm so I do not know if this is accurate or a complete myth.

img_20160930_192353If you want to experience Heli-Pad at it’s most incredible I’d really recommend that you go in the daylight and stay for sunset (it’s also less busy). You will witness the city go from day to night, the lights of the Petronas Towers sparkle and the multi-colour lights of the KL Tower flash on the hour every hour. (Also if you want a seat it’s best to come when it opens at 6pm, get up there quickly, seats go fast).

Once you’re up there Heli-Pad is open all night and you can stay for as long as you want, on a Saturday night they often have live music too (although watching them set up huge speakers close to the edge was a little unnerving). There is waiter service on the actual heli-pad so after you’ve bought your first drink downstairs you don’t have to go anywhere to order again.

Over the past fourteen months I have witnessed Heli-Pad change slightly and get a lot busier as its popularity spreads. There are now VIP couches in the middle, many more tables and last weekend I even noticed they’d actually introduced a small bar on the Heli-Pad itself.  This does not diminish its wow-factor, you’re here for the views.

A sunset trip is essential for anyone visiting Kuala Lumpur, I’ve never had a single visitor complain.

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