Iconsiam is set to be Bangkok's new 'it' place for groups with incredible dining, activities and venues for groups spread across its 525,000 sqm floorplan. It’s also easily accessible by boat from the many riverside hotels nearby.
With more and more delegates wanting free time in the host city – but organisers not wanting them to stray too far – it can help to have a landmark new destination within paddling distance. A new monorail line is also under construction and expected to open in 2020.
A luxury mega-complex may not be a group’s usual destination for authentic local experiences, but that impression is exactly what the developers are keen to disprove. Icon Craft is a 2,500sqm area dedicated to local craftspeople practicing centuries-old trades and who are often selling souvenir-friendly items.
Meanwhile, SookSiam is an indoor floating market and “co-creation space for local communities” representing all 77 provinces of Thailand. It also serves as a platform for local products to be further developed with merchandising and marketing ideas to help them penetrate international markets. Corporate groups should talk to TCEB about getting behind these creative start-ups.
It may be much more than a mall, but it would be a crime to overlook the retail on offer – much of it the biggest, best or only physical store for that brand in Southeast Asia. There’s a huge Takashimaya offering 530 shops including seven cafés and seven restaurants; the first Nike Kicks Lounge in the region for sneakerheads and delegates needing to bring home teenager-approved gifts; and the largest Adidas Original Concept Store in Asia.
For automotive fans there’s Maserati, Porsche, Rolls-Royce and at BMW, its Asia-first VR experience that allows you to design – and step into – your new car. At the new Apple flagship store, free ‘Today at Apple’ sessions led by Apple creative pros offer delegates the chance to make the most of their Apple products via activities such as photo and sketch walks.
There have been plenty of selfies posted of people simply standing in front of Iconsiam’s impressive glass façade. But other cities also have luxury mega-complexes, and to really see (and capture) the difference you need to wait for the right moment to strike a pose in front of its multimedia water fountain that runs the entire 400m length of its Chao Phraya River frontage. It can project water up to 35m high as well as multidimensional water shapes.
Dedicated event venues
For big groups, True Icon Hall is a state-of-the-art auditorium seating 3,000 people that will open in July 2019. This is supported by a second hall and two terraces on the same floor as well as its own underground lobby.
Also opening in July next year is the River Museum Bangkok – a first-class, 6,500sqm joint initiative between the developers and the Fine Arts Department of the Ministry of Culture of Thailand. It should prove a great reception venue, with permanent and visiting exhibitions to impress. If that’s not enough, there’s also a 10,000sqm River Park that can be booked by application.
Dine for days
In addition to Siam Takashimaya’s 14 F&B outlets, including Baikohken Ramen and Arizuki hot pot restaurant, there are around 100 restaurants for groups to check out. Among the most anticipated is Singapore export Jumbo Seafood, famed for its chilli crab and black pepper crab.
The 6th floor offers Alangkarn, a large dining zone with four cafés, 17 restaurants and 12 international restaurants. On the same floor is a 2,000-sqm sky-view restaurant and bar zone called TasanaNakorn.