Could Alto234 Be The World’s Highest Urban Open-Air Bar?

Up until today, OZONE in Hong Kong proudly positioned itself as the highest bar in the world, located on the 118th floor (490 meters above sea level) of The Ritz-Carlton, but now, Alto234 at The Leonardo in Sandton could be taking that title.


  • Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak at 5’895 meters above sea level.
  • At 2’874 meters above sea level, Sani Mountain Lodge has claimed the highest pub in Africa.
  • The name Alto234 is a combination of the word ‘Alto’ for height in Latin and 234 (meters) for how tall it stands in meters above Sandton.
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It’s an interesting scenario, as Sandton, located at roughly 1’500 meters above sea level, and The Leonardo, touching the sky at 234 meters, welcomes a new nightlife attraction for both local and international guests, looking to enjoy a drink with a view.


Situated at over 1’734 meters above sea level, Alto234 opens its doors in Sandton this weekend, offering patrons a view of Sandton and greater Johannesburg unlike any other. It can safely claim the title of Africa’s highest urban bar, boasting 360-degree views over one of the largest urban forests in the world.


Earlier this week, The Sandton Times posted an extravagant delivery, as a helicopter hauled a black fridge with Moët & Chandon insignia up to the rooftop.



A first in Africa, Alto234 will feature a Moët & Chandon vending machine also known as a ‘Moët Mini-Matic’ dedicated to dispensing mini bottles or ‘Mini Moët’ champagne at the touch of a button using Moët & Chandon tokens. Whilst quaffing down champagne out of the bottle is quite unseemly, the use of a golden sipper is encouraged.


With the space being only able to accommodate around 100 patrons, the exclusive Alto234 will provide guests and tourists an opportunity to capture the amazing sights of Sandton and greater Johannesburg at different times of the day – west to the Magaliesberg mountain range, north to the Voortrekker Monument, south to the once home of Nelson Mandela, and east to the planes taking off at OR Tambo International Airport. The space can accommodate up to 100 people across seven seating areas, each with its own unique view of the city below.


The bar and food offering will be headed up by the award-winning AURUM Restaurant and promises to be nothing short of sublime. The wine list conveys the best of the Cape Winelands as well as familiar favourites from around the world.


Situated in the rooftop structure of The Leonardo in Sandton, Alto234 will serve looks to deliver some of the world’s finest when it comes to drinks, bar tapas and service. Image: Alto234

Cocktails will aim to be fun, trendy, and edgy with the right amount of sophistication. And for those feeling peckish, a luxury tapas menu will be available with a bespoke range of snacks, many of which have been paired with the bar menu.


The exact definition of ‘highest bar in the world’ is up for debate and if Ichuri Food with its rooftop bar in La Paz, Bolivia at roughly 3’640 meters above sea level has anything to say, the debate could be over, long before it even started. And whilst a group of mathematicians and urban planners arm-wrestle it out, it’ll still make for one hell of a conversation starter or pick-up line, when next you sip your Moët & Chandon Piccolo, bar side, at Alto234.


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Sandton Times Correspondent

Curated content from The Sandton Times newsroom desks.


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