Much attention was showered on downtown Bangkok’s striking, 60-storey Magnolias Ratchadamri Boulevard once news broke that Southeast Asia’s very first Waldorf Astoria hotel would call the sinuous building – imagined by architects as a spiralling magnolia flower in bloom – home. Hong Kong’s designer du jour André Fu and New York’s AvroKO joined forces to shape the look of the Hilton flagship; the former is responsible for the 171 sumptuous rooms and suites spread across the first 16 floors, inspired by the Art Deco motifs of the original Waldorf Astoria in New York and Thailand’s rich arts heritage.
“The challenge of putting such a legacy brand into such a contemporary building was the main reason I wanted to take on this project”
– André Fu, designer
But what would a world-class hotel in the City of Angels be without a brilliant rooftop bar? The Waldorf yanks Bangkok’s skybar stakes up a notch across levels 55 to 57, with three glamorous, opulent dining and drinking dens such as the gilded Champagne Bar.
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Created by trailblazing hotelier Ian Schrager and local designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, it’s no surprise that Barcelona’s outpost of the glamorous Edition brand made waves when it opened in September. The 100 rooms – with their understated walnut panelling and Sivec marble bathrooms – ooze elegance, but it’s the hotel’s buzzy bars and restaurants that are getting the most attention. On the ground floor, sun-soaked Bar Veraz serves up creative cuisine and wines from local bodegas, while Cabaret restaurant is a suave, surreal basement space that inspires the kind of late night revelry the Spaniards are famous for. But the jewel in the crown is the 10th floor rooftop bar that lures in the city’s scenesters with craft cocktails, top DJs and cracking views of the old town.
Singapore’s first Kempinski property offers a strong proposition for business travellers looking for a hotel with a difference. For starters, it’s a heritage stay, spread across the 1930-built Capitol Building and the 1904-built Stamford House. It feels both boutique – 157 rooms in 50 configurations – as well as luxurious, with Italian marble floors, a saltwater pool, Art Deco touches and tufted leather booths in the restaurant. And it’s equidistant to the CBD, Orchard Road and Marina Bay.
To book a flight, visit singaporeair.com
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This story originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of SilverKris