Thailand has become the “land of smiles” again, calm on the streets and business as usual. Travellers coming back to Bangkok, voted number #1 in the world for shopping in 2012, will be pleasantly surprised to fine some exciting changes. The skyline has been redefined by one of the most impressive, forward-looking shopping centers in all of Southeast Asia, if not the world!
The new luxury Central Embassy, flagship of the Central Group, is conveniently located in the heart of the city. It even has it’s own walkway directly off the BTS Skytrain system at Ploenchit Station. The iconic infinity-shaped design is an impressive 37 stories tall. The curved facade has been made with shimmering shingles, a symbolic respect to Thai-Buddhist Temples.
The interior is light and open making for tranquil walking areas. This is a one-stop luxury shopping center that features the best in fashion, food, lifestyle, art and culture.
Beginning on the lower level is Issaya Cooking Studio, managed by Ben McRae. Here you can learn Thai as well as European styles of cooking in a three to four hour session for beginners as well as experts.
On the same level is Eathai, an expansive 5000-square-meter restaurant featuring the finest cuisines from the 4 diverse regions of Thailand.
I tried a dish from each of the regions, all very delicious; I even tried the popular fruit durian that has such a pungent odor it is not allowed on public transportation systems. It was surprisingly sweet and tasty, served in warm coconut milk with sticky rice.
Also on this level is a designer grocery store with a souvenir shop featuring all Thai products.
From here we took the escalator to the upper levels. Most of the world-class designer brands such as Prada, Hermes, and Harrods of London are here.
What makes Central Embassy unique are the one-of-a-kind Thai designer shops and restaurants. Thai’s can be very creative with names!
Nitrogenia is the first ice cream shop in Bangkok to make ice cream with nitrogen.
The concept and company comes from Australia. What makes this ice cream different from tradition ice cream is by injecting nitrogen the ice cream freezes instantly not allowing ice crystals to form, thus making a very smooth and creamy texture.
I had a scoop of the “Nutella.” It had a smooth & rich chocolate flavor!
Another shop that is very unique is Siwilai, which in Thai means, “Civilized.”
This is a multi-brand retail store. The concept is “to provide a platform equipped with carefully curated goods to stimulate self-expression and encourage the growth and exchange of new ideas.”
The 6th floor has a state-of-the-art movie cinema complex with 5 theaters utilizing the most advanced screens, projectors and audio systems.
The seating is as few as thirty-two people per theater able to provide each guest with personal service. “ Upon arrival, you will be greeted with gourmet snacks, and throughout the screening a private lounge and fully stocked bar with butler service is available.”
Topping of the complex will be the luxury Park Hyatt Hotel due to officially open in 2015. When the hotel opens it will feature a new look to the Bangkok skyline with its artistic “twisted coil” exterior. The hotel will have 222 rooms including forty-nine suites, with all day dining and signature restaurants, swimming pool, fitness and spa center.
There is so much more to Central Embassy a follow-up article is definitely in order. Better yet, just plan a trip to Thailand and come experience this amazing city and new complex for yourself. January and February are the best times to visit, mild temperatures and little rain.
I would like to personally thank Natakarn Sirijaraya, Department Manager, Central Group, for giving Splash a personal and exclusive tour of this extraodinary shopping center for the article.
Feature and Photography: Daniel Herron Copyright 2014
For more information on Central Embassy visit: centralembassy