The Siam


Art deco excellence on the Bangkok riverside

Outstanding style: It doesn’t come dandier than this Bangkok beauty. Designed by hotel guru Bill Bensley, this lush riverside palace is inspired by all things Art Deco. In the monochromatic 38 rooms (including 28 suites), expect to find framed, vintage posters and postcards on walls, gramophones and a celebration of travel’s golden era throughout. The crisp lines are a juxtaposition to its green fringes: orchids, ferns and vines dance inside and out.

A highlight? The river-gazing outdoor infinity pool and it’s adjacent Bathers’ Bar. Other guest experiences include daily yoga, meditation and Muay Thai boxing sessions in the gym that’s been used by Thailand’s royal family in the past.

Historic connections: The hotel is the jewel in the crown of the Sukosol family’s Thai hospitality empire, and its creative director, Krissada Sukosol Clapp is a household name in the country, thanks to his musical ambitions and acting prestige. Many of the historic objets d’art and nostalgic curios around the hotel come from Clapp’s private collection – including patina-patched vintage instruments above the Deco bar, and antique military helmets behind the front desk.

The rooms to book: One of the Riverview Suites, to watch waterway traffic, or a Pool Villa for total privacy from Bangkok’s bustle. Each villa comes with a plunge pool, lush courtyard gardens and roof terrace. They also feature polished wood floors, high ceilings, vast beds and spacious bathrooms.

What am I eating? High-flying Thai cuisine within century-old teakwood houses at The Chon Restaurant or fresh, vegetable-focused plates at the recently opened Story House. The hotel also has a patisserie and runs cooking classes.

How’s the service? Tiptop and traditional – in keeping with the hotel’s golden era revival. Guests can even explore the surrounding Dusit neighbourhood accompanied by a staff member, cruise at sunset on a traditional rice barge or organise a private dinner by the river. There’s even an onsite tattoo parlour, at which staff can organise the gift of ‘sak yant’, a sacred tattooing service steeped in Buddhist and Hindu tradition.

Who stays here? Guests tend towards the celestial. Robert DeNiro, Mick Jaggar and Meryl Streep have all checked in.

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