Travel writer Julie Miller looks at five stylish hotels in Bangkok where the design is far from ordinary.
Bangkok is a stylish city; its residents dress smartly, are concerned with their appearance, and love to be seen in fashionable and trend-setting restaurants and bars.
For travellers who care about aesthetics and design, there are some fabulous hotels to stay in which won’t necessarily break the budget. Here are some of my favourites:
- The Siam: If I could steal everything off the walls of this hotel, I would. It’s a paragon of good taste, a Bill Bensley-designed riverside space that combines Art Deco touches and modern practicalities. From the soaring plant-filled atrium, to the spacious guest rooms featuring antiques from owner Krissada Sukosol Clapp’s personal collection, to the old boxing paraphernalia in the hotel’s boxing gym, everything about this hotel is quirky, classy and covetable. A gift shop selling more of Kris’ precious antiques means you can take a little of The Siam home (and not resort to theft! Please don’t do that. Ever.) See thesiamhotel.com
- The Lit: This modern boutique hotel, perfectly located in a quiet soi just minutes walk from MBK and the shops of Siam Square, is full of quirky surprises and provocative design elements. Guest rooms are far from standard, cleverly utilising awkward spaces and always surprising with ever-changing coloured lighting and secret nooks. Although in danger of being ‘over-designed’, there’s an endearing sense of humour and an invitation for guests to keep an open mind. Other quirks include a swimming pool located up a spiral staircase and fun sculptures on the steps of the outdoor bar. See litbangkok.com
- Hotel Muse: The design of this M Gallery Collection hotel is inspired by the turn-of-the-century Rama V era, the golden age of travel when East met West. There are European touches, Asian opulence, a speakeasy rooftop bar and a stunning black and white colour scheme. The guest rooms ooze with luxury, with the most comfortable beds ever – repeat, ever. I never wanted to leave. hotelmusebangkok.com
- Shanghai Mansion: I haven’t stayed at this romantic boutique hotel in Chinatown, but it’s definitely on my list – it looks so divine, a fantasy ode to old Shanghai with lanterns, rich red colour scheme, black lacquer screens and draping galore. The lobby alone – with its three-storey, lantern-filled atrium and grand staircase – is worth a squizz, while you can chill to hot jazz on the outdoor terrace each night. Sign me up. See shanghaimansion.com
- Sofitel So: This urban oasis in the Sathorn Rd business district utilised the talents of five Thai designers, linked to famous French design Christian Lacroix. Themed accommodation is based around the five elements of fire, water, earth, metal and earth – a reflection of nearby Lumpini Park – while every room features an Apple Mac Mini, free wi-fi and complementary mini bar. Don’t miss the incredible infinity pool and the stylish outdoor bar. See sofitel-so-bangkok.com
All images by Julie Miller.