You can arrive by car, limousine, taxi, tuk-tuk — or, famously, via the hotel’s riverboat. Perched on the historical Chao Phraya River, lies The Siam, a luxurious hotel that’s a cut above your typical boutique — a unique showcase of traditional Thai culture meets contemporary suave, run by Thai rockstar Krissada Sukosol Clapp and family, with the Sukosols.
Kamala Sukosol, CEO and president of mother company Sukosol Hotels, initially had the idea to turn the hotel’s prime Chao Phraya River location into a Thai temple theme. But together with renowned architect Bill Bensley, the team realised an Art Deco and Beaux-Arts look could also salute Thai heritage through the use of historical artifacts and the signature teak houses. Every angle of the property is a symmetrical art piece.
Stepping into the tranquil, the ethereal, The Siam Hotel makes you quickly forget you’re in Bangkok, one of the busiest cities on the globe.
A hop skip from downtown, the riverside boutique sits further out from the metropolis bustle, but it’s well worth the trip if you’re in dire need of a quiet yet accessible escape. As my first destination, let alone hotel, outside of Hong Kong since the start of the pandemic, The Siam exceeded expectations and gave a prompt reminder of what makes Thailand the world’s top tourist spot — and how it’s very ready to re-welcome travellers back with open arms.
And that’s exactly what we experienced, checking into the hotel’s Bangkok outpost for the first time. Aside from its laid-back aesthetic so synonymous with Thai hospitality, this little gem strays far from any other hotel in the city with its unique vintage appeal. Designer Bill Bensley, who’s known for his eclectic penchant for design, takes the reigns of the Art Deco-inspired aesthetic. It’s a distinct, graphic theme that runs through the property.
The Central Atrium is inspired by Paris’ great 1800s and sets a precedent for what’s to come in this hotel brimming with hallmarks.
Co-owner of The Siam Hotel and local Thai celebrity Krissada Sukosol Clapp scoured near and far to compile its endless collections of antiques, artworks and eccentric decorative pieces together in the most tasteful manner. Peek inside the state-of-the-art cinema room which showcases old books, films, and vintage galore in a room that can also be rented for watching movies.
There are only 39 suites and villas on the property, emphasising its exclusive appeal and commitment to personalised service. It's the type of place you wake up each morning, to birds chirping and gentle pool splashes, before rising for the welcome greetings from staff, on a first-name basis.
Images courtesy of Faye Bradley | CSP Times
Images courtesy of Faye Bradley | CSP Times
The walk to the suites and villas is a visual journey that lets you appreciate the hotel's tranquility. We stayed in the Riverside Pool Villa, the largest of the lot at 1,400 square feet, equipped with a private pool, staircase to the rooftop sundeck (with river views), and an expansive bathroom. The butler service is an added touch that allows for your every need to be catered to, any time – no detail is too small.
Enter the space with its huge double doors to the sheer sight of bliss, rendered in its signature Art Deco theme that you'll be all too familiar with by now. To the right, the pool awaits, and you can walk on to find the bedroom and bathroom, fitted with tall ceilings to let the air circulate in the wooden space. There's a desk for working in the aircon (with high-speed WiFi throughout the property), or you can use the table and chairs outside too, while the wardrobe space makes ample room for all your belongings and the dressing table is the perfect spot to get ready before your forthcoming adventures. At about US$1,300 (HK$10,000) per night, you can only expect the best of the best in this little oasis to call home. The king-sized bed is an obvious plus, and you'll almost not want to leave in the mornings if it weren't for Bangkok's calling for you to explore the city of dreams.
We loved the screening room, open to guests any time of the day (booking in advance is required). It's adorned with antiques including a little Yoda and ET statuette, and you can perch yourself on one of the old-school theatre chairs, or (perhaps more comfortably) on the plush sofa. A true cinephile's dream, as one can explore the historical artifacts collected over the years, including old cameras and filming equipment. We sat in for a late-night private movie and it'll always remain a fond memory of the hotel's distinctive offerings.
You wouldn't feel like you're in Thailand without going to the spa – and what better way to unwind than within the hotel's immaculate grounds? Spa and wellness are embedded in The Siam's philosophy, with something for every type of traveller: the Opium Spa, hair and nail salon, gym with personal trainer options, Muay Thai, the sacred Sak Yant tattoo tradition, and of course, the riverside infinity pool. Those looking for an immersive wellness break can enquire about the hotel's personalised programme options, which range from yoga and meditation to Ayurveda, Reiki and Tai Chi.
We experienced the 60-minute Muay Thai massage at Opium Spa, focusing on exclusive Sodashi therapies and spa products to refresh and rejuvenate the mind and body. The spa itself takes up a huge portion of the hotel's lower ground floor, and we don't doubt that all treatments will equipt you with a spring in your step for the rest of the day.
Images courtesy of Faye Bradley | CSP Times
Chon Thai restaurant is favoured by many locals and tourists for its fresh take on traditional cuisine. We had the pleasure of enjoying breakfast on the property during our two-night stay, and can say it's been among the best of any hotel. Instead of doing a breakfast buffet as many properties do, The Siam offers unlimited made-to-order delicacies, from the toasty banana waffles to the indulgent lobster eggs benedict – and for Thai dishes, guests can tuck into the chef's finest curations which include khao niew moo yang (char-grilled pork with sticky rice), khao jai jiew (Thai flat omelette) and guoy teow nahm (rice noodles soup with your choice of topping). Drinks range from herbal infusions like fresh ginger tea and hibiscus with lemongrass to, the usual caffeine and tea array. Something we took a particular helping of was the fresh juices on tap.
Head for cocktails at sunrise at The Pier, a private docking area for the hotel's complimentary riverboat shuttle. The pre-ride drinks can even be taken on board your trip – we recommend in the evening when it's cooler. For casual all-day refreshments, you can also enjoy Bathers Bar which sits adjacent to the infinity pool with private views of the river. The Story House is an exciting project in the works also in collaboration with Bensley Design Studios and styled by The Siam’s founder and creative director Krissada Sukosol Clapp, and will feature a series of rooms with different personalities in an eclectic theme synonymous with the hotel's concept, serving contemporary cuisine.
While Bangkok is certainly at no shortage of choice when it comes to hotels, The Siam feels like a place you wouldn't find elsewhere – let alone within the Thai capital. There's a quintessential charm and character that you'll feel from the moment you walk in, and its incredible service and state-of-the-art facilities only add to its appeal, and we hear from a little birdie that it's even got a second property opening in Thailand soon.
Marvel at the antiques and beautiful interiors throughout the property – and just spend an afternoon exploring the hotel in its entirety to discover a wealth of intrigue, from the personal library to the age-old artworks
The private screening room is a unique abode perfect for cinephiles
Breakfast – its unlimited made-to-order concept will set you in a good mood for the day
Book yourself for a complimentary riverboat cruise and ask your butler for a recommended stop – they'll pick you up too from a designated location
The Opium Spa offers a range of targeted treatments for every type of traveller
Although it may set some visitors back with its hefty price tag, the Riverside Pool Villa is one of a kind, echoing the hotel's vibrant and comforting hospitality and is highly recommended
Perhaps not relevant for the overseas traveller, but The Siam is actually dog friendly and can stay overnight for an additional cost
Website: thesiamhotel.com | Phone: +66 2 206 6999 | Fax: +66 2 206 6998 | Email: email@example.com | Visit: 3/2 Thanon Khao, Vachirapayabal, Dusit, Bangkok 10300, Thailand | Facebook: @TheSiam | Instagram: @TheSiamHotel | YouTube: @The Siam | Trip Advisor: The Siam Hotel Bangkok
All images are subject to copyright by CSP Times and are not to be downloaded, copied, reproduced, published or distributed without written permission from the CSP Times team.