Weekend getaway: Bangkok
Bright lights, busy city
The call of Bangkok is due in part to its fast-paced, high-octane mania but amidst the flashing lights and blaring noise of traffic and street vendors, there is a safe pocket of calm and luxury for you to spoil yourself and indulge the senses. Located in the heart of the city surrounded by the main shopping and entertainment roads such as Ploenchit, Rama IV, Wireless and Rajadamri Roads, Central Bangkok is a faction of hotels, malls and restaurants all conveniently situated in slightly under a two-kilometre radius—completely accessible on foot so you won't have to endure the hassle of Bangkok traffic.
Its newest addition is the stunning Central Embassy—an eight-storey shopping and eating destination that's attached to 37 floors of luxury accommodation in the form of the soon-to-be-open Park Hyatt Hotel.
Drawing inspiration from the infinity symbol, Central Embassy is an architectural masterpiece that glimmers proudly in the Bangkok skyline. The retail podium is connected to the hotel tower by a series of three-dimensional curves, making it beautiful to look at from any angle. More than 300,000 custom-made aluminium shingles adorn the façade of the building, all set in slightly varying degrees that sparkle like silver grey sequins when hit by the sun. Seven of the world's most well known names have the most prominent seats in the house as Central Embassy's façade brands. Bottega Veneta, Chanel, Gucci, Hermès, Miu Miu, Prada and Ralph Lauren all have duplex storefronts-a sight made more impressive by the huge panes of seamless glass.
Inside, shoppers will be spoilt for choice with stores ranging from the high street to the ultra high-end-everything from Levi's and Zara to Tom Ford, Chopard and Christian Louboutin. A must-visit destination sits on the fifth floor: Siwilai, the incredibly chic multi-label store that plays host to fashion-forward brands such as Haider Ackermann, Simone Rocha, The Row and Maison Kitsune as well as homegrown favourite Sincerely Yours by Sretsis. Offering a wide range of men's and women's apparel and accessories, a well-curated vintage section, a beauty lab, as well as a collectibles area with toys, gadgets and an impressive array of vinyl for the music collector, Siwilai also has its own organic café, Rocket Coffeebar, where you can head to when the sugar levels are low and caffeine is required before rash decisions are made.
Dining options abound at Central Embassy, with the presence of several international brands such as Le Salon De Thé de Joël Robuchon, Dean & Deluca and Maisen. However, sprawled across the entire lower ground floor is Eathai-a premium Thai food arena offering the best street food vendors from all regions of Thailand. There is also a supermarket section for last minute souvenirs such as snacks or spa products and if you are feeling particularly inspired, sign up for a Thai cooking lesson at Issaya Cooking Studio, led by Chef Ian Kittichai.
Below, Buro's picks for the perfect weekend getaway.
Where to stay
Park Hyatt Bangkok (scheduled to open Q4 2016)
Located right in the heart of Bangkok, and attached to an equally luxurious retail space that is Central Embassy, Park Hyatt Bangkok will offer some of the largest room sizes in Bangkok with an average room size of 70 square metres.
With CentralWorld and Zen department store right at its doorstep, Centara Grand offers comfortable rooms with a great view of central Bangkok.
Where to eat
Craving street food? This upscale food hall offers the best of street food, minus the heat and traffic noise.
Helmed by Chef Thitid 'Ton' Tassanakajohn, Le Du describes itself as a modern Thai-inspired eatery that focuses on sourcing quality ingredients from all over Thailand.
Located in the hip Thonglor area, this cosy, casual restaurant serves traditional Thai food inspired by family recipes passed down from generations before.
Where to drink
The rooftop bar at Zen World offers a fantastic view of the Bangkok city skyline. There are also five restaurants within this space if you feel like have pre-drink bites.
Sister outlet to Maggie Choo's, Sing Sing is another of Ashley Sutton's brainchilds. Chinoserie influences abound in this speakeasy-style bar-club with its sunken alcoves and single-table balconies.
Another place designed by aforementioned Ashley Sutton, J. Boroski is a real speakeasy, with no signboard, no website—even the street it's on doesn't really have a name. Intimate and discreet, we found it with the help of a very nice barman from Black Amber Social Club, a whiskey bar in Thonglor. Order a whiskey flight and he might just let you in on this little secret...