BANGKOK—From the traditional home-style dishes found in local streets to the culinary delights served in family-run shophouses to fine dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant, Bangkok is a food scene like no other.
Here, Lebua Hotels & Resorts’ crown jewel is an international culinary hub—the Dome at Lebua, a vertical one-stop destination of bars and restaurants known for renowned culinary experiences. Among the 14 F&B venues, there’s Mezzaluna, a two-Michelin-star restaurant; Sirocco, for fine dining under the stars; Chef’s Table, celebrating French cuisine; and Distil Bar, pouring innovative cocktails, to name just a few.
“The Dome at Lebua is something we want everyone to experience at least once in their lifetime—words do not do it justice,” said Lebua Hotels & Resorts CEO Deepak Ohri. “I’m not saying this because I’m the CEO; I’m saying this because I have never seen such a beautiful place in all of my travels. The Dome at Lebua is the world’s first one-stop vertical destination with more than 10 of the city’s most glamorous collection of bars and restaurants soaring 820 ft. above the skyline.”
Over the last 15 years, Ohri has consistently evolved the venue, bringing in new offerings and partnerships to keep the experience fresh and distinctive for guests and locals alike.
The Dome at Lebua has four restaurants ranked the highest in the region. Ohri attributes their achievement to the guests, staff and the unique energy that is created there every night.
“Our goal is to provide lasting emotional connections for guests, and by continuing to introduce one-of-a-kind culinary and cocktail experiences, we’re able to deliver,” he said. “The reason our restaurants are ranked so high is because it’s difficult to bring the world to one place and create a neutral atmosphere for all to enjoy—that’s what we’re known for and that’s what we continue to do.”
Ohri believes the Dome at Lebua is different because of its unique customer base and the food and beverage offerings—both bring diversity from around the world. It’s their not-so-secret recipe for success.
“First, we created the customer base, followed by the creation of the unique offerings at the Dome,” he said. “Our guests make it special. If you look at us during the day, we don’t seem particularly extraordinary, but in the evening, we have 1,600 travelers arriving from all parts of the world. It’s truly a feeling of globalization—I don’t think even the United Nations has that many nationalities in one session as Lebua hosts in this area every day.”
Ohri finds inspiration everywhere—including while watching Netflix. The series Queen of the South, based on the global best-selling novel La Reina Del Sur, served as the inspiration for the Dome at Lebua’s tequila and cigar pairing bar, set to open Q1 2020.
“The whole idea came from my favorite character—the Mayor—having his tequila and cigar,” he said. “What can travelers expect to see? A lot of tequila—but with ice, a lot of smoke, and a lot of celebrities behind that smoke. Don’t let that smoke blind you, because I can assure you the celebrities behind that smoke will blind you.”
In addition, Lebua will offer a floating day club and bar on the Chao Phraya River.
“This will be the first floating day club in the world, making it an incredibly unique proposition in that respect,” he said. “Travelers usually visit Bangkok for approximately 1.8 days and this new club will provide an additional must-visit destination for travelers to experience, increasing the average visit by over half a day. This is what Lebua is all about, creating an experience that is unparalleled—not just for our company but for the destination itself.”
As a new decade approaches, Ohri sees great things in the future of travel in Bangkok.
“Thailand’s luxury market is going to boom because of the surrounding destinations (CMLV—Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam) welcoming more tourists,” he said. “That is where the global focus is, and Asia is the key. If you don’t believe me, read the book Crazy Rich Asians, or watch the movie, because that is what Asia is all about and that is the future of travel.”