Akira Pattaya Soft Opening
Akira from the top floor.

Ushered in by taiko drums and acrobats, Pattaya’s most luxurious new nightclub, Akira, opened Thursday in the shell of the former Angelwitch Pattaya go-go bar.

Two hours of free-flow, top-shelf spirits welcomed VIPs and invited guests to the Soi 15 club May 2, with the general public discovering the new nightspot after midnight and partying until the wee hours. Dutch DJs Jimmy Clash and Tricky Gullvan led the entertainment lineup, which also featured DJ Marco VDP, La Moz and DJ Rapper.

Akira + Sapphire = First Class

More than a year in the making, Akira’s is led by the owner of the absurdly successful Sapphire Club nearly opposite the new nightspot. They describe Akira as the “future of clubbing” with a venue that features a “supreme sound system and breathtaking lights and visuals”.

Those walking into the former Angelwitch – arguably the best-looking and sounding go-go bar of its era – were left slack-jawed impressed. Angelwitch was more than gutted: Only the exterior walls were left. Interior floors and even the roof was removed during the months of renovation. In its place now are two exquisitely laid-out floors of seats and tables under a soaring roof covered in LED panels and high-tech lighting.

“It’s hard to believe there were diggers still in here six months ago,” managing partner Gerry Cronin said shortly after the doors opened.

Angelwitch has stood vacant since it closed in 2016 with no one, until now, willing to take on the cost of the building and lease.

The main floor is ringed by plus sofas and low tables with the middle area filled with high barstool tables. A massive stage dominates one side with the entire wall covered in computer-programmed screens.

Eschewing exclusive snobbery, the club’s coveted seats on the second floor are not reserved only for VIPs. The reserved section with sofas is on one side, but the other has the same bar tables available to anyone.

“This is Pattaya,” Cronin said. Akira is a place for everyone, be they tourists, expats or celebrities.

Akira Outshines Angelwitch’s Aesthetics

When it comes to sound and visuals, the new club actually outshines its Angelwitch heritage, filling the space with booming sound that is immersive, not abusive. Conversation is possible while you still feel every beat.

As for the lights, it runs through all the seasons and moods, lighting top-to-bottom, corner-to-corner with colored lights and lasers. The on the walls and ceiling explode with color and eye-grabbing scenes.

Perhaps Akira’s best feature, however, is its size. It boasts aan official maximum capacity of only 500 people, making it far more intimate and clubby than the cavernous warehouse-feel clubs like Myst, which failed to upstage Akira’s debut by hosting its second anniversary party the same night.

With its high ceiling, Akira looks big, but feels small in the best way. It’s a place where a warm atmosphere and vibe can flourish, not freeze in the empty cold of big box clubs.

Akira is open nightly from 10 p.m. and will carry on each night until at least 4 a.m.

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