Set on three acres of verdant frontage along the city side of the Chao Praya River, The Siam is a privately owned 39-room luxury retreat located in Bangkok’s royal Dusit district which opened this summer. Perfectly located in the cultural heart of the city, the hotel is just 15 minutes away from many of Bangkok’s premier attractions, including the Grand Palace, the Emerald Buddha, the main shopping artery at Siam Paragon and Silom Road; one of the city’s most cosmopolitan areas, not to mention a very convenient 45 minute drive from Suvarnabhumi international airport.
The Siam, one of the newest members of the Small Luxury Hotels group, is a breathtaking masterpiece of Art Deco and Thai design. In fact, it’s quite possibly one of the most staggeringly beautiful boutique hotels I’ve had the pleasure to stay at. As a fervent lover of good design, I knew I was in for a visual treat when I discovered that globally acclaimed architect, interior and landscape designer, Bill Bensley, was at the helm. Upon entering, my immediate thought was that I had entered a gallery or museum, due to the sheer drama, scale, symmetry and abundance of white, dark wood, glass and natural light employed within the building’s structure. It was therefore no surprise when I later discovered that Bensley, in his creative process, had been greatly influenced by Paris’ Musée d’Orsay:
When I met with The Siam’s owner, the incredibly gracious Krissada Sukosol Clapp (a Thai-American pop singer and actor) he was busy rearranging his highly impressive collection of antiques. But these museum-quality antiques, collectibles, books, vintage posters and furniture are not hidden away for private consumption, but rather dotted around the hotel to be shared and appreciated by all. Here’s a striking example of a typical arrangement in the lobby:
And why bother with traditional signage pointing the way to the garage, when you can use an unconventional marker in the form of this glorious antique automobile:
Kris and his musical family share such a grand passion for antiques, that they decided to open an antique shop/gallery at the hotel for the benefit of discerning guests, with a similar love of resplendent artifacts.
But the ravishing design isn’t just reserved for the communal areas alone; the suites and villas are just as spectacular. Only the very finest, highest quality materials have been used with absolutely no expense spared. I fell in love these sumptuous Deco touches in the bathroom:
As there are only suites and villas at The Siam, space is never an issue, and this is certainly one of the largest boutique hotels I have visited. I stayed in a Pool Courtyard Villa replete with beautiful antique furnishings along with its own private garden, open-air roof terrace and private swimming/plunge pool.
All suites and villa rates include breakfast, butler service, complimentary WiFi and a private boat shuttle between the hotel’s private pier and Saphan Taksin central pier.
A visit to the Opium Spa is a must. Specialising in Sodashi (a Sanskrit word meaning wholeness, purity and radiance) consisting of therapies where only the finest ethically-sourced essential plants and oils are used. There is also a lovely outdoor yoga terrace, a riverside infinity pool and Hammam-inspired Bath House. And rather excitingly, The Siam’s gym houses the first professionally equipped Muay Thai gym in Bangkok, and as you can expect, it’s simply luxurious. ‘Muay’ is a traditional Thai sport and one of The Siam’s specialties. The word ‘Muay’ derives from Sanskrit and means ‘to bind together’. It is referred to as the Art of Eight Limbs because of its use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes. Muay Thai is not simply a fighting sport, it also helps to increase fitness and enhance the emotional condition. The Siam offers a variety of training programs from beginners to advanced and one day to one week training. Programs also include an excursion to a local Muay Thai training centre and Muay Thai fight.
For those interested in gentler pursuits, The Siam’s signature Thai restaurant, Chon, houses a charming riverside cooking school. Guests can master the art of Thai cooking by signing up for a private class with the hotel’s Executive Chef, beginning with an accompanied morning tour of the local fresh produce market to pick up the best seasonal selections for recipes.
For further information please visit: http://thesiamhotel.com/
All images by Julie Eagleton and The Siam.
Julie was a guest of The Siam.