Fans of the film The Hangover Part II must love The Hangover suite at Lebua at State Tower. I’m not a fan but can’t help but be impressed by the photographs on the walls, stills from the film whose opening sequence was shot at Lebua’s dazzling Sky Bar just a few floors above. Boasting four balconies with spectacular city views, it’s super-spacious luxury with more than a touch of Hollywood glamour.
Not surprising given that the suite hosted the movie’s famous cast including Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis who undoubtedly gave the fully stocked mini bar a respectable workout. Dangling high above Bangkok, the Sky Bar’s Hangovertini has become its signature drop, a kick-ass blend of green apple juice, rosemary, honey, martini Rosso, green tea liqueur and Chivas Regal. Ker-Pow!!
Dress Code Alert
Floating like an island in a velvet sky 65 floors up, musicians peel off cool jazz standards as the Sky Bar lures social butterflies, the wealthy and wannabes like a glamorous beacon. But you’d better think smart. Hangovertinis come with a dress code at Lebua and it’s aimed straight at the guys. You won’t even get into the elevators to be whisked up to Hangovertini Heaven if you’re wearing athletic or sports clothes, beach sandals or flip flops, sleeveless tops or shorts. And to someone who’s seen men at the theatre in track pants or wearing athletic singlets in restaurants, all I can say is ‘about time’.
My Hotel Rules
Good manners and social rules are an integral part of Thai life and it’s good to see them being embraced by some of the city’s hotels. The Peninsula and Mandarin Oriental face-off across the Chao Phraya river, twin bastions of impeccable taste and manners that have stemmed the tide of bad behaviour for some years. At The Siam, the rules may be implied rather than stated at this fabulous lifestyle hotel bang on the river but with immaculately turned out butlers waiting on your every whim, one must make an effort! Back at Lebua, even breakfast in the 52nd floor Club Lounge comes with its own dress code. Covered shoes and long pants expected for guys (girls it seems always know what looks good!) and stepping into its cool, dark chocolate world with chilled pots of yoghurt, pureed fruits, delicate pastries and artisan breads, Bangkok’s traffic snarls far below.
Not for the faint hearted, pedestrian crossings seem merely a target to aim for so I’ve trialled three methods to cross the road. One is to close my eyes and make a mad dash – not recommended. Two is to take tentative steps, stopping and starting while tuk tuks and motorbikes swirl around – believe me, they can smell the fear. Or my preferred method which is to rust myself onto a local and cross in lock-step with him/her/them. Ancient Thai ladies carrying plastic shopping bags are particularly reliable and have taken me under the wing more than once.
Under the Dome
Having done (and been done in by) Bangkok’s hyper malls and equally hyper traffic, I can’t wait to head skywards to Lebua’s Mezzaluna restaurant nestled beneath State’s Tower’s burnished golden dome. Bangkok’s highest restaurant with distracting 180 degree city views, chef Ryuki Kawasaki conjures up fusion dishes nightly from an open kitchen where diners select from a connoisseur-worthy wine list including natural wines from France and USA.
We sampled Nova Scotia lobster with Thai beans and peas, a velvety texture of pureed peas with crunch of baby beans and snow peas complemented by the smooth flesh of scallop and lobster. Served with a rose, a rich blend from Nappa’s Menage-a-Trois label of three wine styles including a Guertztramminer, the heady sweet rose left the mouth with a warm glow much like the ambience.
Brimming with grown-up glamour, Lebua at State Tower is at 1055 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok www.lebua.com