What’s the vibe? A design-savvy urban retreat that’s as much about good times as it is bona fide rest and relaxation. Set on the banks of the River of Kings, it comprises 299 contemporary rooms and suites set across multiple storeys, with a palm-framed, multi-layered pool area, Mediterranean-leaning gardens and an incredible wellness centre with a spa inspired by ancient Thai rituals. Big, bold and buzzy, it’s a key player in Bangkok’s new-wave hotel scene.
Design notes: Scale is key here. Feeling more like a resort than a city pad, with seamless indoor-outdoor transitions and interconnected courtyards extending the natural flow of the river within, the property shines a spotlight on cascading architecture, with abundant glass, slick marble, high ceilings and huge pieces of modern art by local talents. Renowned designer Jean-Michel Gathy took the lead on the aesthetic front: rooms – some of which come with their own private terrace space – channel muted elegance, while breezy communal areas flit from tropical modernism to gilded opulence.
Eating and drinking: Convivial BKK Social Club – No.3 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2023 list – brings a sense of timeless glamour with its living walls and towering back bar laden with craft spirits. Helmed by Philip Bischoff, a tight drinks list draws upon Buenos Aires’ bar culture and the spirit of bonhomie. On the food front, Yu Ting Yuan is the property’s flagship restaurant, serving up the city’s only Michelin-starred Cantonese cuisine to eager punters. Expect to see Peking ducks hanging in the glass-clad show kitchen ready to be cooked over open flame, and a lengthy offering of authentic dumplings and dim sum. Elsewhere, French classics are put centre stage at Brasserie Palmier and Italian-leaning Riva Del Fiume is a dreamy alfresco spot where river views form the ideal backdrop to modern Italian plates.
Neighbourhood appeal: Flanked by one of the city’s oldest roads to one side, and the bustle of the metropolis to the other, the hotel sits at the crossroads of Bangkok culture affording jetsetters the best of both worlds. The wider Charoenkrung district reveals streets and alleyways studded with antique shops, galleries and independent stores, along with a low-key eateries and cafés. And those who don’t want to hit the pavement can explore via a breezy longtail boat from the river.