Plenty of folks might wonder why on earth Bangkok needs another mall. The city has so many of them that you'd think saturation point was already reached years ago.
Yet with the grand opening of EmQuartier – The Mall Group's latest project, which transforms the old Emporium Mall into a greater zone known as the "The Em District" – it looks like another luxury liner will be part of the Bangkok shopping scene for years to come.
Red carpet welcome at EmQuartier — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
EmQuartier is comprised of three zones. There's the Glass Quartier, home to top-end fashion and beauty brand shops. From Issey Miyake to Diane Von Furstenberg, every luxury name can be found here.
There's also a Virgin Active fitness club in the Glass Quartier, featuring a swimming pool, climbing wall and even sleep pods as part of the latest technology.
The Waterfall Quartier, besides having the largest manmade waterfall in Southeast Asia, pays homage to Thai designers, and it's stocked with more than 60 Thai fashion brands of all types.
This zone is also home to the CineArt eight-plex movie theater, as well as an IMAX theater for cinephiles as well.
The Helix Zone at EmQuartier — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
The most popular area, however, is undoubtedly the Helix Quartier, where big glass elevators whisk customers up to the fifth floor, where spiral walkways inch upwards, packed with hundreds of restaurants and eating/drinking options.
The cuisine choices are truly staggering. You'll see all the usual fast food players, from McDonald's to Kentucky Fried Chicken, but also plenty of diverse ethnic cuisine.
The popular Mexican restaurant La Monita has a new branch, which focuses on high-end, beautifully presented, harder-to-find Mexican dishes (They even make their tortillas by hand, a rarity in Bangkok.), and Thailand's first New England seafood restaurant has opened next door, serving clam chowder and lobster.
EmQuartier Bangkok's waterfall area — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Other attractions at EmQuartier include a gourmet food market downstairs, with aisle upon aisle stocked with fresh seafood and meat, imported goods from around the globe and a selection rivaling Siam Paragon and Central World for sheer amount of food.
The mall also features a food court that, given the uber-high-rent district one is in, serves up reasonably priced Thai dishes of all types – along with Japanese, Chinese and other cuisine options – in a swank environment.
The mall even boasts Thailand's first automated parking service, where drivers don't need to spend hours driving around looking for a space. Instead, they put their car on an automated plate, which transports the vehicle up to an open space.
Needless to say, these high-end outlets and services ought to make the EmQuartier Bangkok's most popular shopping option for years to come, or at least until the next megamall rears its shopping-crazy head.