Why should I go now?
Thousands of tourists flock to Thailand every year to take part in intensive wellness and meditation retreats in monasteries round the country, but whilst most of these tend to involve at least degree of comfort deprivation, The Siam is offering its own luxury holistic programme throughout 2017 with visiting artisans running classes to help guests restore a sense of balance into their hectic lives. Think aromatic essential oils, cold towels, soft, fluffy dressing gowns and slippers. In other words, pure, indulgent bliss.
What’s the lowdown?
Designed by renowned architect and interior designer, Bill Bensley, The Siam is a contemporary Art Deco palace with traditional Thai elements, but whilst Art Deco architecture is usually known for its heavy facades and oppressive detailing, the hotel is light and airy with stark white walls and a glass roof atrium. Unlike most of the city’s other luxury hotels – towering skyscrapers, glinting on the skyline – The Siam is more like a creative home with a well curated art collection and original antique furnishings as well as cosy communal spaces where you can curl up in an arm chair listening to one of the hotel’s vinyls; the library area can also be transformed into a private cinema room, on request, complete with popcorn. As such, it attracts a stylish and refined crowd who value aesthetism over elitism. The Opium spa is seductively sultry and Thailand’s Princess trains regularly in the hotel’s gym, which feature its own miniature Muay Thai ring. The real charm here is in all the thoughtful details; free water bottles to keep you hydrated in the humidity, umbrellas in case of sudden downpours, cards specially printed with Thai instructions for guests to hand taxi drivers, even a guard standing by to stop the traffic when you cross the road for a lunch time street food snack. If you must venture further into the city, The Siam’s sleek yacht transports guests up and down the river from its private pier. It’s as James Bond as it sounds.
Our suite was a sensual chamber of cool Art Deco black and white, with enough mirrors to satisfy the most vainglorious of guests and smooth jazz set as the default soundtrack. The room came with a butler, who took personal responsibility for all our needs and was fitted with its own bespoke smart phone programmed with city guides and useful hotel information.
The only window in the room was behind the bathtub, but in Bangkok that’s not necessarily a disadvantage. It’s one of the few cities in the world where people actually avoid the views unless you’re into mazes of futuristic skyscrapers. Plus, since most of the hotel is glass and full of exotic plants, it’s easy enough to find natural light when you need it.
Rates: From THB 17,971 a night inclusive of breakfast, excluding tax and VAT (approx. USD $ 500/ €500/ £400)