Bangkok lifestyle update: hotel picks in the metropolitan

As Bangkok’s normally massive travel market gets going again ScandAsia highlights the evolvement of the scene via new, relatively new and a refurbished hotel – all connecting to downtown’s Sukhumvit road, and also to its expanding CBD up north from Asoke, along the subway line.

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Swissotel Bangkok Ratchada – at the heart of Bangkok’s expanding downtown

Swissotel Bangkok Ratchada now finds itself nearby Bangkok’s “mid-town” central business district (as the mega city’s density keeps on growing).

Skyscrapers and shopping centres have mushroomed at nearby Rama 9 station (with well-known Fortune Town mall for IT and electronics). And one station away from the hotel the slightly smaller shopping mall Esplanade and nearby Huai Kwang nightmarket is situated.

If you drive yourself you will need an international drivers license which is easy to get.

The hotel is a draw for both business (domestic, regional and international) and leisure; including the luxurious Spa De Concorde designed as contemporary Thai, a large outdoor swimming pool and a large, state-of-the-art fitness centre with steam rooms.

Come evening and it looks majestic with its high-rising black pillars and soaring glass frontage, and at the centre of a very impressive lobby: a high-vaulting ceiling in the centre stretching up to the meeting floors, featuring a stately chandelier and a European-style ceiling mural.

It is all a timeless grandeur that this lobby exploits to the fullest. After all, this is Swissotel, which is a manifestation of the brand’s Swiss heritage and hospitality, including a warm and welcoming look and feel – something of a hidden gem in Bangkok.

Both lunch and dinner can be enjoyed the hotel’s three adjacent restaurants 204 BISTRO (international dining, normally also serving weekend brunches), Loong Foong Chinese Restaurant or Takumi for authentic Japanese cuisine.

Refurbished Deli Swiss also serves lunch, and right after that follows the highlight for those who love to sup on scones and sip artisan teas: Afternoon tea during three long hours includes classics like scones with cream and jam; fruit tart; egg tart, bagels with shrimp salad bagels and macarons.

The interior design comes with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the street, and black-white marble on walls and mini-pillars, flanked by blue high-back vintage style and velvet upholstered purple chairs etc.

This laidback and stylish cafe also offers fabulous pastries and mouth-watering cakes such as Strawberry yoghurt cheese cake, Chocolate cupcape, Bundner nut cake (traditional sweet, caramelised nut-filled pastry from Switzerland), Carrot cake and Swiss chocolate muffin. It also serves a selection of wines!

With ample seating Deli Swiss is something of a best-kept secret in Bangkok when it comes to finding top-notch bakery and cakes combined with coffee and tea, offering real value for money too.

The Deluxe King Club room is spacious, a sanctum of soft lighting and muted colours, with blonde wood and accented by bright yellow bed lamps, while a velvet lounge chair. A wall mirror produces further visual space perception. There is also a dark timber regal work desk with a comfy upholstered armchair.

The bathroom is decked out in discerning, sandy wavy-veined marble.

204 BAR provides the perfect spot for a discreet tipple, as well as the ideal setting for a post-dinner drink from the bar’s mixology expert.

Swiss Executive Club Lounge access entitles guests to evening cocktails. Sparkling wine to start with, together with plates of antipasti, including also bruschetta with mozzarella and cherry tomato, chorizo, cheese, ham, grapes, biscuits, olives and also some Thai canapés. Also a nice Chardonnay wine is served as well as mocktails and cocktails with playful titles.

At breakfast there are even more Swiss surprises, including a vegetarian dish as well as Swiss Rösti (a traditional dish of fried grated potatoes). It is all to satisfaction, just as the overall experience is at this five-star Bangkok hotel!

Young vibe inspiration at Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 24 hotel

For business or leisure, the new hotel Mercure Bangkok Sukhumvit 24 is a commendable choice – for its fabulous location, its design with colourful and comfy rooms, and also its amenities, combined.

Exercising in the gym, swimming laps in the pool, or working on the lap top al fresco – all on the rooftop level – are part of what is on offer. The rooftop also offers its evening bar, with an extensive drinks list paired with food, while the ground floor comes with the all-day ‘Deli And Bar’ and also a co-working space!

Overall, this park-fronted Mercure has been designed with a nod to a young and fresh aesthetic where its concept with modern décor is inspired by the fashionable EM District, situated just steps from the hotel, along with a skytrain BTS station.

Besides the lobby there is a deli with bar and bar stools to the left, offering alcoholic drinks, coffee, tea and other beverages, along with fresh bakery (carrot cake, strawberry tart, apple Pie, butter croissant and pain au chocolate croissant etc.) and sandwiches.

A very cool check-in desk consists in a counter mounted on tree oval metal foundations. Above it hangs an artistic ceiling lamp, while opposite the reception one finds designer orange armchairs and grey sofas. There is also a lobby lounge which includes designer furniture, marbles floor and table, frosted glass partition walls, wooden details etc. – all bringing further sophistication to the interior.

A bright and warm-coloured co-working space, adds to this hotel’s attraction – open for all guests and drop-in use.

The rooms are lively with splashes of purple, dark wine red, mustard yellow, grey blue and peach. Superior, deluxe and deluxe suites (most spacious and with a tub) offer indulgent bedding (very comfy mattress) and a warm colour scheme. The glass-partitioned bathroom comes with a walk-in rain shower and roller blind. It’s a stylish room design with very appealing colours.

The Vue Bar Rooftop Restaurant basically doubles as pool bar and rooftop venue, integrated with a lap pool. At night this setting transforms into a low-lit, vibrant spot, with arresting views over the Bangkok skyline. A free flow unlimited drinks package, including hose wine is on offer.

Some daring cocktails are on the menu, all with elements of tropical Thailand in the ingredients.

The bar menu at the breezy rooftop affair includes temptations such as: Beef & cheese quesadillas (with spicy dip and sour cream), Chorizo & cheese potato croquettes (with tomato-paprika sauce), New Zealand mussels (roasted with smoky bacon & garlic crumbs), Pizza boat with salami and Cold cut & cheese platter (salami, chorizo, brie and emmental cheese, olives, pickles, cantaloupe and bread).

The Market Restaurant – that has a homey feel – features some vintage-inspired décor items and Thai handicraft as part of its modern interior with designer fittings.

This is where to head for the breakfast buffet; an outlet with ample space for guests to spread out and dig in to the various food stations. There is also a variety of seating in several sections with partition walls, including semi-circle grey or purple sofas plus grey, purple, wine red, mustard yellow and mint green armchairs and chairs.

The breakfast offers a decent selection of western and Asian dishes, basically cooked à la minute, and varying from day to day. Among the hot dishes there is hot ginger soup, stir-fried kale with bacon, pork spare ribs soup with white radish, stir-fried noodles seafood with black sauce, Spaghetti ‘Kee Mao’ etc. Then there are also Danish pastries, gouda and emmental cheese, bread pudding with vanilla sauce, fruit salad, French toast etc.

Boutique Deluxe at 137 Pillars Suites & Residences

In the same Sukhumvit area as Mercure, but on the opposite side of the main road, this high-rise luxury residences and boutique hotel is also in close proximity of Bangkok’s lifestyle attractions and business centres. Its 34 suites very much give this splendid hotel its ‘boutique’ feeling and exclusiveness. The hotel’s in-house blue ‘Louie the London Cab’ transports residents and guests to and from the nearby Emquartier by the Phrom Pong BTS station in style.

The suite guests enjoy butler service, and exclusive access to the hotel’s garden (huge bonsai trees) rooftop with its 360-degree infinity pool, skybar and cabanas. They are also privileged with a lounge; ‘Leonowens Club’ on level 26, serving complimentary a-la-carte afternoon tea and canapés and sunset drinks.

Then there is the ‘Pool Bar’ with its cantilever plateau, including a round glass whole in its floor where one can look down (if not afraid of heights) and also and infinity-edged pool and large Jacuzzi.

The lobby comes with elegant furniture in bright marine blue and brown wood, including the wall panels, and marble chocolate-brown, veined flooring. Its check-in counter is covered with gold leaves. The hotel has a nice coherence of the appearance and colour scheme throughout.

With personalization and the intimacy of a boutique hotel 137 Pillars Suites & Residences offers every guest VIP service.

The generous suites range from 70 – 127 sqm, featuring in-room private wine cellars and Maxi bar (with spirits), en-suite marble bathrooms with circular free-standing 137 Pillars bathtubs, built-in TV and state of the art Bose sound system, and also spacious balconies.

The bespoke interiors (including also a walk-in wardrobe with vanity and window) of the suites have characteristic white-grey Zig Zag carpets, stepped ceilings, stylish wallpaper, black-veined marble, combined with designer furniture and indulgent bedding.

With a digital switch you can instantly change the atmosphere to the mood of your liking.
The en-suite bathroom is covered with a grey-veined white marble, and the toilet has automatic built-in flush, cleaning and showering.

The welcome set includes surprises like boxed coconut biscuits, and butterfly pea juice, along with 137 pillars-branded artisanal loose-leaf teas. The in-room Maxi Bar offers a chilled bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne or Marbera del Monterrato red wine to uncork.

Breakfast is enjoyed in the majestic Nimitr Restaurant on Level 27, its entrance being a carved old timer door brought from a house in Northern Thailand. Its interior is quite amazing with the floor-to-ceiling windows stretching very high, and with custom designed ceiling metal rod lamps, lantern-like lamps hanging in chains, and drapery. The table set is discerning, where the plates, water glasses and table cloths are all in a blue hue, as is also a mosaic wall. Bespoke latticework screens cover the windows. There are high designer stools and tables – wooden with tinted glass tops or made of black and white veined marble.

Later afternoon is the perfect time for suite guests to head up to the exclusive rooftop spot, which affords arresting views over the Bangkok skyline, where one can also enjoy cocktails, fresh juices, light refreshments and culinary delights from the Sky Bar menu.

5 – 7 pm it is also time for Sunset Drinks Leonowens Club, stylishly furnished with shiny marble tables, grey chairs, and with brown floor panel and dark chocolate-veined marble as part of its interior. Choose from a selection of sparkling wine and wine, beers whiskey, spirits, and standard cocktails.

Jack Baines bar boasts and an amazing chandelier resembling an oversized water lily but entirely in bronze metal. Bringing us back to the British teak-trading days in old Siam its exclusive interior includes round golden tables, leather high-back armchairs and brown wood wall panels with pictures in brass frames. At the bar there are designer bar stools made of golden metal.

Following the same theme about the teak trade of yesteryear the Bangkok Trading Post Bistro & Deli on the ground floor has a truly unique design with a touch of ‘vintage cool’. Also here the materials are dominated by marble and brown wood, with built in leather seating, dark-green upholstered chairs, silver metal and timer tables etc.

This Bistro & Deli is focused on serving high quality Western and Asian Eclectic Comfort Cuisine; serving “artisanal breads, jams, coffee, eggs, rice, grains, along with cakes, pastries and pizzas as well as a selection of delicacies from Thailand and its local regions”. Here one can enjoy fresh brew and newly baked pastries from sunrise to late supper. Micro brewery beer on tap includes: Brothers Toffee Apple, Maisels Weisse, and Peak A Brew.

The ‘Wine Down’ promotion was offered in two of the eateries; a Free Flow wine package, handpicked daily by the sommelier and served during two hours from the starting time of one’s choice. Here at the deli and then also at Level 27’s open air Pool Bar, where the marble-clad setting includes neon glass and marble pillars; dark wooden and sandy daybeds and upholstered high-back chairs. To be served sparkling wine here is to truly wind down…

Hyatt Regency Bangkok’s residential luxury vibe

The 273 suite-room Hyatt Regency Bangkok belongs to the new breed of the metropolitan’s hotel selection, ranking in the more exclusive portfolio, while feeling less formal and more laidback in style.

Both modern business travellers and in-the-know shoppers will find this to be an undeniably great base for any work or exploring the city. Its location is at close distance to downtown’s offices and increasing selection of shopping malls, and with direct access from one skytrain station. A lush mini park, with water feature, faces the street.

Inside, guests are greeted with a perfect blend of cultural heritage and modern vibe. The hotel designers have come up with something natural (including earth tones and several elements) and with interesting interpretations of Thai art and culture: homey, understated and warming.

There are some truly intriguing design items. The lobby’s reception desk, for instance, was inspired by the Buddha. In the centre, on the white sand marble floor, stands a gold-hued love-themed sculpture depicting a warm embrace.

In the Lobby Lounge zone (as well as in the ceiling!) the marble floor is more cappuccino-veined, flanked by pierced fret work designs on dark timber (found on the ventilation panels of Traditional Thai houses). This social space offer light meals, snacks and beverages.

The hotel has also not gone unnoticed for its ‘Spectrum Lounge & Bar’- a perfect sundowners’ cocktail setting, as well as a late-night party venue.. This features a large and spectacular open-air go-to-venue venue, featuring an elevated Disc Jockey booth, and cabanas with trees and ample seating choices for guests – all enclosed by high tilted side walls.

Indoors it features an open kitchen, with a marble clad interior. Its bar and dining room comes with a bright-beige, incredibly stylish geometric latticework in its ceiling, paired with design furniture.

This rooftop attraction provides an ideal vantage point for watching the pulse of the city. There is sometimes also a 2 hours free flow package with sparkling, white and red wine, plus local beer.

Among the tempting food bites and meals are: Italian cold cuts selection; Marinated olives; Crispy calamari with avocado chili mayo; Snow crab salad (with celeriac, cucumber micro herbs, truffle mayonnaise); Grilled tiger prawn with garlic butter, citrus salad; Grilled king Tasmania salmon; Spaghetti Puttanesca (olive, caper, garlic, anchovy, tomato sauce) etc.

Living room style Market Café is the spot for a sumptuous breakfast. Organic eggs are prepared to your liking; omelette, poached, Benedict, Florentine or Signatures. From the grill smoked ham, pork/chicken skewer, grilled sweet potato, roast tomato, sautéed mushroom and grilled bell pepper are among the many items. And the list goes on… smoked salmon, wellbeing bowl, toasted open croissant with your choice of topping, freshly pressed juices including an awesome passion fruit juice etc.

Market Café also serves an All-you-can-eat river prawn & crab lunch. Then, open for dining only the white-tablecloth Market Café by Khao (a partnership with Michelin-starred, award-winning and iconic ‘Khao restaurants’) showcases modern Thai fine dining.

Its interior is dominated by marble combined with wood (lattice partitions and bookshelves) as well as rose gold mirror panels and framed antique glass windows.

The outdoor lap pool comes with blue mosaic tiles, enclosed by lots of lush greenery including plants and trees. There are cushy padded daybeds and grey sofa beds seating two people. The big gym comes with the very latest cardio equipment from Life Fitness and the spa/gym locker room comes with an impressive design consisting in sandy marble… plus framed mirrors, blond wood curved walls, and panels with that vintage textured rose-gold copper.

Guests with access to the Regency Club can enjoy pre-dinner canapés and cocktails, from 5.30 pm, that actually includes several choices of hot dishes cooked à la minute are: Sukiyaki seafood, BBQ pork bun, Fusilli salmon sink sauce, or Tuna melt.

This handsome space is done up in shades of light brown and rose-gold – here with copper panels dominating on partition walls, and combined with wood floors and ceiling. And lots of the copper-glass lamp tubes are mounted on walls and in the ceiling. The furniture consists in sandy-hued rattan armchairs, design sofas, stylish pillows and veined black and creamy white-beige marble tables. The club also serves breakfast as well as snacks and refreshments throughout the day.

The entry door to the ‘Club Deluxe’ room has a beautiful veneer wood panel, and the same goes for the bathroom and closet slide doors, the cabinet with mini bar plus the wall panels to the left and right of the bed.

The design is awash in earth tones: beige, light brown, grey, and black, featuring a beautiful beige carpet with floral petals motif and brown black-out curtains.

The sandy-hued, copiously marbled bathroom has been finessed with a freestanding bath with a view through floor-to-ceiling windows, a vanity including a large mirror, plus a separate glass-enclosed rain shower. There is even separate air-condition installed!

The Residential-style room also comes with an upholstered corner sofa in shades of beige and creamy white.

The nod to local heritage is found also here: a traditional Thai textile pattern, whose depicted flowers turn out to be inspired by one of the Thai queen’s traditional dresses.

There is also artisanal tea from the local brand Chaidim.

To top it off a fabulous mattress with feather-soft pillows and duvet ensures a good night’s sleep.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

View all posts by Joakim Persson

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