Just steps from the hustle and bustle that characterizes Bangkok’s congested Sukhumvit Road lies a welcome oasis of elegance and tranquility cloaked in a refreshing mantle of lush greenery: the Bangkok Siam Kempinski Hotel. The first hotel in Thailand belonging to the Swiss luxury chain boasts more than 300 rooms (including 42 suites) and 98 serviced residences — ideal units for a pied-a-terre in the capital.
The hotel’s location — right across the street from two of the city’s most popular shopping malls, and just one block away from a station on Bangkok’s modern Skytrain system — represents a major convenience. For those who prefer to eschew public transportation, even though it is often recommended as a way to beat the city’s notorious traffic jams, the hotel’s limousines will whisk patrons around town (or to and from the airport) in comfort and style.
The Siam Kempinski’s elegantly appointed lobby is characteristic of the European brand; but as beautiful as the imposing lobby is, the most striking architectural feature of the complex, comprising Royal and Garden wings, would have to be the landscaping framing the series of saltwater swimming pools, reminiscent of lagoons. There is an outdoor dining area surrounded by water on three sides that is a popular brunch venue for local residents (or, conceivably, guests from other hotels) who come for the delicious food and stay for the poolside relaxation and a refreshing dip among the fragrant frangipani trees.
Kempinski Hotels are, of course, justifiably famous for their food — and the sumptuous, thrice-daily buffets at the Siam Kempinski live up to the chain’s stellar reputation. Still, this particular hotel dares to go one bold culinary step further: its Thai restaurant, Sra Bua, is, remarkably, the brainchild of a chef from Denmark — Henrik Yde Anderson, whose Kiin Kiin restaurant in Copenhagen was awarded a Michelin Star in recognition of his contemporary interpretations of traditional Thai cuisine. The T-Lounge offers a different sort of unique dining experience: high tea, featuring more than 60 varieties from around the world, served by expert tea stewards who can recommend the perfect brew for any palate. Naturally, the standard luxury hotel options of 24-hour room service and executive lounge access are also available here.
With four different categories of guest rooms to choose from — and no fewer than seven categories of suites — the accommodations choices can be as tantalizing as the menu selections. The Cabana Rooms are among the most popular, since they afford direct access to patios alongside the pools. Regardless of the type of room, however, guests can be assured of the highest level of amenities and technological sophistication. The large flat-screen TV’s in particular offer a comprehensive array of entertainment and service options, including the ability to program wake-up calls: at exactly the appointed hour, the television sounds pleasant chimes. There is also a charging station for any number of portable electronic devices; in-room coffee- and tea-making facilities (a separate espresso machine and teapot); a laptop-size safe; and a mini-bar (some rooms come with free mini-bars, others with a complete kitchenette, including ceramic hotplate, microwave, plates, glasses and utensils).
The fitness room at the Siam Kempinkski is similarly loaded with the latest and most advanced gym equipment; it is conveniently open from 06.30-23.00. The on-site spa also has long hours, opening at 10 in the morning and closing at 10 at night. Indeed, one will be tempted to spend quite a bit of time there, as the pampering signature treatments run up to 180 and 210 minutes.
Published rates: THB 7,290 to THB 350,000 (approx. $230-$11,085).
You can also check rates at Priceline.
Text by Buzzy Gordon. Photos by Jason Been. Gordon and Been were the guests of the Tourism Authority of Thailand at the Bangkok Siam Kempinski Hotel.