Our guide to Bangkok’s stylish fine-dining and drinking mecca
Drink – Vesper
Named after James Bond’s cocktail of choice, this lively drinking den came 17th in the coveted Asia’s 50 Best Bars awards, making it Thailand’s highest entry. Naturally, you can expect nuanced tipples created by a whizz-bang team of mixologists – of particular note is the heady, soft-as-velvet, barrel-aged Negroni. Hearty dishes such as a braised wagyu beef cheek with saffron risotto or a Napoli-style pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and rosemary oil soak up the booze, while the design is a chic spin on a European bistro, with lots of dark wood and marble.
Eat – Nahm
Modern Bangkok is awash with delectable, high-end takes on Thailand’s legendary cuisine, and while spots such as Le Du and Bo.lan are well worthy of honourable mentions, Nahm remains the original and the best. Chef David Thompson has spent decades mastering Thai cuisine, and it shows in a meticulous menu that pulls no punches when it comes to massive flavours and significant levels of spice. There’s no better way to experience this place than the tasting menu, but if you’re going a la carte, start with any one of the relishes and move onto the coconut and turmeric curry with blue swimmer crab.
Sleep – Banyan Tree
Famous for its panoramic views, the soaring Banyan Tree Bangkok is an elegant escape from Sathorn’s abominable traffic. Check-in is as smooth as Thai silk, and while the property is 20 years old it has retained much of the grace it displayed when it first opened – the lobby is backdropped with indoor gardens and a waterfall and the 327 rooms are designed with a modern Thai aesthetic. Wind up your nights, or get them started, at the hotel’s crowning jewel, its spectacular rooftop Moon Bar on the 61st floor.
Relax – Como Shambhala Urban Escape
This calm, cool oasis is tucked away on the first floor of South Sathorn Road’s Como Metropolitan hotel – a minimalist’s dream with stark, striking interiors designed by Singapore’s celebrated Kathryn Kng. The property’s Shambhala spa sports a gym, hydra pools, yoga studios and a 20m swimming pool, but it’s the treatments and expert therapists that set this venue apart. The signature 75-minute massage features a warm and sublimely scented blend of oils, while the Thai herbal treatment uses gentle yoga stretches and warm Thai herbal compresses.
See – H Gallery
This cutting-edge contemporary art space is tucked away down leafy Sathorn Soi 12, inside a striking late-19th century wooden villa. Placing its spotlight on Asia’s most creative talents, the modern gallery isn’t afraid to push boundaries. It has exhibited controversial work by artists such as Bangkok’s Jakkai Siributr, whose detailed woven textiles explore the political instability of Thailand, as well as painter Mit Jai Inn from Chiang Mai and photographer Tada Hengsapkul, whose haunting and often provocative work references youth and sexuality, politics and the naked human body.