When I was in high school, one of my best friends and I called each other Bangkokian. Really, it was the combination of teenage giggles and the song by Murray Head ‘one night in Bangkok’ that resulted in a nickname that stuck for a few years. We’ve since grown out of it, but I’ve never grown out of my fascination with visiting Thailand’s capital.
Even though I was visiting for work reasons, I was lucky enough to fit in a few extra bits and stayed in quite the incredible hotel that made it very easy to fall in love with Thai hospitality and a city that is busier than anything I think I’ve experienced. Busier in my books than even New York on New Year’s Eve.
Checking into The Siam, it was very clear that I was in for something incredibly special. The open-air lobby filled with plants was a welcome relief from the bustling street outside. Bangkok’s heat seems to come off the buildings, like a steam that filters through the haze worming into your skin. The Siam made me forget that for long enough to focus on my surrounds.
The art deco style of the hotel is immediately imposing, commanding the attention of its guests with its black features and metallic highlights. The natural foliage scattered throughout the public areas splices through as a reminder that you are actually in Bangkok. Walking through the lobby and out towards the rooms, a giant glass terrarium welcomed me to what would become my Bangkok home for a few nights.
Located right on the Chao Phraya River, but in the older part of the city, The Siam is a relatively new hotel that is an ideal spot to escape from the crazy that can become a little overwhelming in this city. Instead of being near sleezy bars and giant shopping centres, the hotel sits neatly in an old district alongside a residential property that belongs to the Crown Prince of Thailand. It is also the only hotel in this area as property here is rarely available for new development.
The hotel was intimidating for me at first to be honest. My taste in hotel stays is simple at best, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts. There is however something to be said of the opulence of this property and how quickly I became accustomed to it. Although I never used my private butler, mostly because I didn’t realise I had one until I checked out. My room and its lavish bed were a striking contrast to most hotels I experienced in Thailand. The enormous bathtub made me laugh immediately and jump in like a giddy girl just to see how many of me could fit in (I’m guessing three of me for the record).
Small touches in the rooms also make for an immediate sense of comfort. Fresh fruit, complimentary water, a Nancy Chandler Map of Bangkok on the coffee table are all included and available each day of your stay here. A curated guide for shopping and restaurants The Siam Recommends is a great resource placed in the room too.
I was lucky enough to experience The Siam’s Opium Spa while staying at the hotel as well. This fantastic spa experience in Bangkok revolves around the central lounge area of the Opium, fondly called the Opium Den. While there are no banned substances on offer, there certainly are some nirvana-like treatments worth checking out if you’re here. Green tea and fresh fruit after each treatment are a special touch here.
Other facilities at the hotel like the gym, pool, water taxi, restaurants and library are great for travellers looking to relax and enjoy spending time at a resort-type hotel when they’ve just landed and need to shake off some jetlag. There are also tons of surprises that pop up just walking around the property. The antiques and art on display are a collector’s dream and worth a feature on their own.
Being removed from the major tourist centre of Bangkok, The Siam is a great hotel if you’re looking to relax in between experiencing everything the city has to offer. Although the hotel does have two great restaurants, eating here can be a little bit pricey so venture out into the streets nearby and look for some great authentic eateries to sate your palate. Definitely try out all of the facilities if you get the chance as well, recovering from jetlag with a run in the gym was an awesome was to start my trip to Bangkok!
For more info on The Siam, check out their website here.
My stay at The Siam was by invite of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. As always, all editorial contact is my own.