After a 12-hour long-haul flight, despite the class or comfort of the plane, all you want to do is collapse upon arrival. From the culture and timezone shock of arriving at 3pm at Bangkok airport and navigating the huge taxi queue, to rush hour in Bangkok and navigating our way through the megacity we were both ready for the tranquillity of our first destination on our grand tour of Thailand, The Siam Hotel Bangkok. Set on 3 acres of verdant frontage along the city side of the Chao Phraya River, The Siam Hotel features 38 spacious suites and private pool villas with rooftop terraces located in the Royal Dusit District. Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Bill Bensley, the Art Deco-inspired, Thai antique-infused hotel offers a premier urban resort in a rather crazy capital city.
Upon arrival and pulling up to the elegant monotone frontage we made our way into the lush and relaxing lobby where we were greeted by Tan, who instantly put us at ease with a delicious welcome drink and cold towel. After a speedy check in our bags were whisked off to our suite and we were introduced to our Butler, Gub, an absolute delight of a human who was throughout our stay the happiest and most helpful person I have ever met! From organising river cruises to dinner off-site to our transfer to the next hotel nothing was too much effort and all done with a beautifully catching smile.
The rooms and suites at The Siam Hotel are rather unconventional with an array of uniquely designed suites on multiple themes which is down to the owner Kamala Sukosol and her son, creative director Krissada Sukosol Clapp. Each suite embraces a unique theme: from local architecture to beauty queens, music to military, diplomats to contemporary art. Our suite, located on the second floor, was a Premier Garden View Suite inspired by Muay Thai, or Thai Boxing.
Upon entering the corridor you could see the vastness of this suite and the light airy decor with soaring ceilings and full-length windows, exuding tranquillity and peacefulness with monotone and touches of rich purple. The bed was huge, and I mean huge, with crisp white linens and old black lacquer tea chests as bedside tables which overlooked a lounge area with a massive TV that was playing tranquil French jazz music. The bathroom was however maybe the highlight, split into two regions with a massive his and hers sink area with dressing armoires behind the bed, then through an archway between the wardrobes was the freestanding bath in front of a huge mirror, then off to the sides the waterfall shower in one room and the toilet in the other. Again in light airy monotone decor with glass and subtle lighting to create a clean and tranquil space. We were ready to collapse into that vast bed but The Siam Hotel had other plans for us, and wow did they make for what might be the best first night I have ever had on a trip.
Before we knew it, Rachel and I were in our robes and slippers and down in the Opium Spa, a sanctuary of wellness located on a subterranean level of the main building. Unlike the other decor, this spa is sumptuous, rich and sensual, with dark wood, stone floors and leather. Low lighting adds to the atmosphere as your eyes adjust allowing you to take in the sound of the water feature in the main reception area. We were greeted by our therapists Fon and Mint, who escorted us into our couples suite. They first performed a feet ritual, cleansing our feet in warm water with herbs and oils, before taking us into the therapy area with two massage beds. We were about to be transported to nirvana with the 90-minute Muay Thai Massage. This is a stronger massage that uses slow strokes and firm pressure to ease built-up stress and muscle tension, assisting in the release of blockages, knots and toxins from the body. Perfect for fitness recovery or deep-seated tension (or post-12-hour flight numbness), this treatment is designed to realign and relax your muscles by offering improved movement and circulation. It is safe to say that we were both very much over our long-haul flight by the end of the treatment, all the aches and pains of long-haul travel had been massaged away leaving two very happy and grateful ladies.
After a quick turnaround in the room we made our way down to The Story House, a newer dining concept within the hotel, located off the main lobby. A contemporary restaurant offering cuisine using exciting ingredients, techniques, and modern flavours from around the world, with a large array of modern European and vegetarian options.
Tired but hungry we ordered the Garlic Soup, Roasted Cauliflower and Scallops to start with, these were fresh and vibrant with a focus on flavour. We followed these with the Red Snapper and Lobster Gnocchi, both hearty portions but beautifully presented. The snapper came with sea vegetables and clams in a jus that was light and fresh, whilst the lobster was creamy and packed full of flavour all topped with fish eggs that burst in your mouth. We washed these down with a suburb New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Whispering Angel Rose from Provence.
To finish what was already an incredible meal the team presented me with a beautiful perfectly decorated birthday cake, accompanied by singing and candles. The only way to finish this epic first night in Bangkok was a walk down to the famous Chao Phraya River, which The Siam Hotel has direct access through its Chon Thai Restaurant, where breakfast is also served. We sat there admiring the river in all its majesty with two glasses of Whispering Angel, blissful after our wonderful welcome to Thailand by The Siam Hotel, then to cap it all off the heavens opened and a truly awe-inspiring thunder and lightning storm lit up the city like Christmas. We sat there, sheltered in the old Teak house, watching the thundering rain and taking it all in, realising what a truly wonderful welcome The Siam Hotel had provided. From stepping into the lobby to our massive suite, the relaxing spa to the delicious dinner, all topped with a beautiful summer rainstorm, we couldn’t have wished for a better first night in this vibrant capital city.
At The Siam Hotel, you will experience living in a museum with all the wonderful curated artefacts. Guests also have an array of superlative amenities at their fingertips from restaurants, a cooking school, bar, café, spa, gym, yoga terrace, Muay Thai boxing ring, beauty salon, library and cinema, riverside infinity pool, gift and antiques gallery, conservatory and traditional Thai houses. So for an unforgettably unique experience that relishes the exclusivity of staying in one of the Orient’s most distinctive destinations look no further than The Siam Hotel, I know I hold my stay there in very fond memory.
The Siam Hotel
The Siam 3
2 Thanon Khao
Vachirapayabal, Dusit District