If you want a more deluxe experience, Park Hyatt (Central Embassy 88, Wireless Road, Lumphini, Tel: 66-2-012-1234. www.hyatt.com) has a beautiful, art-centric entrance (you feel like you’re entering a soaring sculpture) with art pieces featured throughout the property, and a quiet infinity pool with lounge chairs arranged in tiered seating for extra privacy.
For shopping and entertainment options, EmQuartier (opened in 2015) continues to host the latest, buzzing attractions and activities in the city, mostly food-themed, like Dinner in the Sky and Gourmet Food Fest. In fact, I like to think of EmQuartier as a dining spot that happens to have a shopping mall. Even Kris Yenbamroong, Thai chef of LA’s award-winning restaurant Night + Market, and guest writer for GQ, raved about the food court not only for its food, but for being a place where you’ll find the majority of Thai citizens having a meal outside their homes.
Speaking of malls, ICONSIAM is a $1.7 billion, riverside project that’s been in development for years, and finally welcomed visitors at the end of 2018. The four-acre complex, however, is more than a mall. There is a Waldorf Astoria hotel, an immersive cultural attraction, SookSiam, that feature shops and creations from Thailand’s 77 provinces, a river park, and a restaurant district. ICONSIAM is the first of several, over-the-top, multi-billion-dollar malls that will open in the next five years, which will include Bangkok Mall, a 40-acre shopping destination slated to be the largest in Southeast Asia.
For now, one of my favorite mixed-use shopping destinations is on a much smaller scale. Jam Factory (41/ 1-5 Charoen Nakhon Road, Tel: 02-861-0950. www.bangkokriver.com/place/the-jam-factory) is another riverside lifestyle compound that includes Never Ending Summer, a modern restaurant featuring traditional Thai dishes with a contemporary twist, a cafe, an art gallery, and a bookshop. The entire complex is a day and night hangout for stylish locals and expats who make it a one-stop destination. Anyroom, a home design boutique, recently opened and has some of the best souvenirs made by contemporary Thai artists. I’m constantly wandering the store for its novelty gifts, from fun office accessories and home furnishings to bedroom amenities and outdoor gadgets. I adore the clothing boutique inside the shop, Two-Legged Creature, which features both men and women’s clothing by young fashion designers. Jam Factory is also home to pop-up social events every month, including a farmer’s market on the last weekend.
To the joy of many stylish hipsters and trendsetters, JBB* (2nd floor Gaysorn Tower, 127 Rajdamri Road, Tel: 66-2-252-8786. www.jbbmenswear.com), a popular men’s boutique, is now in its flagship location in the Gaysorn Tower. Featuring the fashions of a local designer, JBB* is known for its fashionable sports coats, as well as pants, polos. and dress shirts.