Welcome to Bangkok, a place referred to by some as the City of Angels, by others as the City of Squalor…and just about everything in between. There is no doubt that Bangkok one of the main business centers of Southeast Asia, second only to, perhaps, Hong Kong. So, if and when you do come through Bangkok on business, we’ve prepared a list of the top business amenities in Bangkok – an insider’s guide to doing business like a pro in this city.
If you really want to impress your clients, it’s a must to take them to Sirocco for dinner. Sirocco is famous for being amongst the top 10 rooftop bars in the world, and its prices are reflective of this. Take them for dinner, which will run you around 3,000 THB per person (approx $100 USD) but it is well worth the cost as the food is excellent, and it allows you to have a place to sit for your business talk. One of our community’s pet peeves about this place is that if you just go for drinks, you’ll be told you have to stand around the ‘standing bar’ and that’s not ideal for a business meeting. Plus this is right in the same complex as our team’s Bangkok Bureau.
If your clients prefer something more low key, Kuppa on Sukhumvit Soi 16 is always a good choice. It’s a large space full of big tables with comfortable seating. The food is sophisticated and delicious, and since the restaurant is too big to ever get too crowded, you’ll be able to chat without having to raise your voice.
Leapfrog, a new restaurant/bar at the Ramada Encore on Sukhumvit soi 10, is another great find for meetings. Their outdoor area has a funky yet classy ambiance, providing the ideal atmosphere to close a deal.
The tea room at the Mandarin Oriental, called The Author’s Lounge, provides a bit of class as well as culture to compliment your meeting. The Mandarin Oriental is the oldest hotel in Bangkok, and its history is literally written on its walls. Enjoy some tea, cakes, and scones, and impress your clients with your knowledge of old Bangkok. The room is particularly famous because Joseph Conrad is said to have composed some of his works there.
Want to impress your clients with your experimental, adventurous nature? Take them to Gaggan on Soi Lang Suan (near BTS Ploen Chit). Here, you’ll find the world’s only Indian molecular cuisine restaurant. Set in a whitewashed colonial-style house, it’s elegant and progressive. Be sure your clients are open to trying new things first.
The Ascott, in Sathorn, has an amazing poolside restaurant in its Cascade Club that is ideal for more casual meetings, or maybe even just lying by the pool to catch some sun. You can even dine and drink poolside in one of the private salas that are oh-so-very Thai. The Cascade gym facilities are also excellent.
Another great way to see one of Thailand’s best features – its white sand beaches – is to rent a yacht for the day. It’s possible to get ones that leave from Pattaya (just a two-hour drive from Bangkok) and you can have your business meeting while sailing some of the most beautiful, picturesque waters in the world. Check out the Lady Ann, which has a special corporate entertainment package.
- POST MEETING FUN
Once you’ve closed the deal, head to The Bar and Restaurant by Moet & Chandon. It’s just about as posh as bars come in Bangkok. Special semi-enclosed seating areas are available. Bring your credit card, because this place is pricey. A glass of Moet will set you back 750 THB, while a full bottle costs 4,500 THB (and includes six oysters).
Club Per Domo is a gentleman’s club that is exclusive to members, and only 300 memberships are available (though memberships are transferable). The club consists of four sections – the lounge, a formal and intimate area that seats just under 20 people; the bar, which is more upbeat and a great place to smoke a cigar and drink a fancy cocktail; the boardroom, which is ideal for meetings of up to eight people and provides the ideal atmosphere for closing a deal; and the vault, which is for more private, intimate meetings, be they business or otherwise. Consider purchasing the Explorer membership for access to their clubs worldwide.
- LUXURY HOTELS WITH BUSINESS AMENITIES
The Banyan Tree is located in the heart of Bangkok’s business district, is an ideal luxury hotel for business travelers. With meeting and conference rooms available, there is also a full-equipped business center with secretarial services, equipment rental, internet access, a function room, and a business library.
Siam Kempinski is fantastic for business travelers. Located in the heart of downtown near the fancy malls, including Siam Paragon and Central World, not only does the Kempinski have a slew of conference rooms to offer, but also a business center with photocopying, printing, scanning, video conferencing, internet computer stations, and more.
Conrad Bangkok is a luxury hotel that boasts excellent conference spaces and meeting rooms. It has 22 meeting rooms, many of which can accommodate up to 14 people. The rooms have high-speed WiFi, as well as a range of AV and video conferencing equipment. In addition, there is a business centre, and a ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,200 people.
Vie Hotel has some great packages available, one of them being the Vie Business Experience. You get complimentary in-room WiFi, complimentary two garments per day of laundry or dry cleaning (plus 30% off all additional items), complimentary one-way transfer from airport to hotel, and 15% off food and beverage services at all hotel outlets. There are also plenty of function and meeting rooms available, in many different sizes, and a fantastic gym for those who want to keep in shape while on their trip.