13 May 2022
First published May 2022 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle
At Horizon Bar you can sip locally brewed craft beer or cocktails in pod-style booths set amid a large infinity pool with panoramic views of Da Nang city and beachfront from the rooftop of the Four Points Hotel by Sheraton. The views are fabulous, the drinks list is extensive and photo opportunities abound. The atmosphere is much more casual and informal that you might expect for the showpiece rooftop bar of an international five-star hotel. Prices reflect this, especially if you take advantage of Horizon Bar’s enticing happy hour(s): 6.00-8.00pm daily; buy one, get one free on all beers.
REVIEW: HORIZON BAR @FOUR POINTS, DA NANG
Address: 120 Võ Nguyên Giáp street, Sơn Trà District, Đà Nẵng, Vietnam [MAP]
Average Prices: 100,000-$ 150,000vnđ ($ 4-$ 7)
Happy Hour: 6.00-8.00pm daily (buy one, get one free on all beers)
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Horizon Rooftop Bar | Four Points, Da Nang
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Review: Located on the 36th floor of the Four Points by Sheraton, Horizon Bar is set beside the hotel’s large infinity pool. Accessed via a glass elevator that soars up the west face of the property, the bar itself it quite small and unremarkable: a freestanding island surrounded by a dozen tables and chairs, garishly lit at night, with large screens showing sports and standard sugary pop tunes playing too loud in the background. It’s rather like a sports bar, except that the views outside the glass windows are huge and impressive. But this is just the interior. The whole point in coming to Horizon Bar is to be outside, in one of the circular pod-style booths indented within the infinity pool looking out over Da Nang’s enormous sweep of beachfront.
Neat pathways of stepping stones lead over the swimming pool to the seating pods, which appear to floating on the surface of the water. With the ocean, horizon and city skyline behind, this is the photo opportunity that everyone comes here for. Because seating is limited, it’s advisable to get here early (or make a reservation) on clear, sunny evenings, especially on weekends or public holidays. Alternatively, just visit Horizon Bar on one of Da Nang’s numerous grey, overcast, windy days: the views aren’t quite as spectacular, but at least you won’t be fighting to get a photo.
Bring your swimming gear, because the rooftop pool is large and fun to play around in, but it’s also possible to swim laps. Oddly, the pool itself isn’t particularly photogenic: in my opinion, there’s too much grey concrete, overhanging structures and bare walls to be considered ‘pretty’. But the views are still great. Look due north to see the jungled heights of Sơn Trà Peninsula; due south for Da Nang’s frighteningly vertical seafront developments; due east out to sea and the Chàm Islands; and due west back over Da Nang’s urban sprawl bisected by the Hàn River, with the encroaching highlands in the distance, including the rugged outcrop navigated by the famous Hải Vân Pass. From Horizon Bar you really get a good sense of Da Nang’s incredible position: is there any better located city in the nation?
Interestingly for a rooftop bar, Horizon’s drinks list focuses on beer rather than cocktails or wine. More specifically, local craft beer (from Da Nang and the rest of Vietnam) is promoted above all else. This is reflected in Horizon’s logo, which features an ear of barely as the ‘i’, and in the daily happy hour, which runs from 6.00-8.00pm, during which all beers are buy one, get one free. Considering the relatively recent proliferation of local craft breweries in Da Nang and Vietnam as a whole, this makes sense and adds a proud local element to the menu. However, if – like me – you prefer a cocktail, Horizon’s menu has still got you covered (although cocktails are not covered in the happy hour). Prices are fairly reasonable when you consider the location and factor in the happy hour promotion on beers. Craft beers, domestic and international lagers start at around 80,000vnd per 300ml glass; cocktails (including craft beer-based signature ones) start at 150,000vnd. There’s also a large food menu, featuring bars snacks, such as burgers and paninis, but also Vietnamese favourites, such as fresh spring rolls. Quality is pretty good and prices are fair: 100,000-300,000vnd per dish.
The most famous Da Nang-based brewery is 7 Bridges, whose craft beers (try the Sunset Tangerine) are well-represented on Horizon’s menu. Indeed, 7 Bridges’ taproom is just a few kilometres due north up the beach from Four Points. I also tried a couple of cocktails: the margaritas were good, but not special. My food – a simple burger and fires – was much better quality than I’d anticipated. Sadly, on both occasions when I visited Horizon Bar, the weather was stubbornly grey and bleak. Nonetheless, the views were endlessly fascinating and I enjoyed swimming laps of the pool (all to myself) in order to ‘deserve’ my cocktails and dinner. It’s well worth stopping by Horizon rooftop bar at the Four Points, especially during happy hour, which makes it an affordable drinks stop for pretty much any traveller.
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