1. A sense of place
Towering high above Bangkok’s ritzy Phloenchit district, the hotel’s gleaming exterior is shaped like a wai, the traditional Thai greeting where the palms are pressed together. Further nods to Thai culture mingle with marble, chrome and luxurious leather interiors: silk wall coverings feature intricate Thai motifs, chandeliers shaped like traditional hand fans hang from the lobby ceiling and mirrors etched with temple-roof shaped gold leaf can be found in the hallways.
2. Welcome home
From the entry-level studios to the multi-bedroom suites, all the cream-coloured rooms resemble an art collector’s elegant penthouse. Embellished with art books, brass trinkets and lacquered candy jars, the rooms feel more home than hotel, while marble-clad bathrooms and butlers-on-call remind guests they’re still at one of Bangkok’s most luxurious addresses. Ultimate high-flyers should book themselves into one of the four “houses”. Occupying the hotel’s top floors, these palatial dwellings – the “smallest” spans 189m2 – come with private outdoor terraces, marble plunge pools and private dining rooms surrounded by silk and teakwood.
3. North meets south
On the 19th floor, signature restaurant Nan Bei brings out the best of China’s southern (nan) and northern (bei) cuisines. Designed by New York-based AvroKo, the gorgeous interior, in shades of mustard and deep purple, is inspired by the romance of the ancient Chinese folktale The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl, with gleaming chrome chandeliers, exquisite marble inlay floors and sultry velvet upholstery. Just as remarkable is the top-notch Peking duck – carved tableside. Nan Bei’s take on xiao long bao (soup-filled dumplings), with blue swimmer crab and black truffle, is another indulgent treat.
4. Making a splash
Tumbling down 10 floors into an indoor-outdoor swimming pool replete with an infinity whirlpool overlooking the cityscape, a dazzling waterfall at the heart of the building references the peace and harmony that water symbolises in Thai culture. At its source, a seven-metre-high light installation made up of hundreds of illuminated metal birds draws the eye, while also marking Nan Bei’s entrance. Resembling a night sky full of stars or a fireworks display, it’s hard to pass by without snapping a picture.
5. An extraordinary art collection
Dozens of contemporary works – some covering entire walls or ceilings – by established and emerging Thai artists dot the property and peg it firmly to the local creative scene. Highlights include a metal rendering of ancient Thai lettering by local interdisciplinary artists Jiradej and Pornpilai Meemalai, as well as an abstract temple drawing by former National Artist of the Year Preecha Thaothong. Exhibitions in the mini-gallery on the lower-level lobby change with the seasons and showcase up-and-coming homegrown talent, with works around relevant contemporary themes such as “East meets West” and “City Pollution”.
This article was originally published in the April 2020 issue of SilverKris magazine