By Amira Hashish
There is a buzz around Bangkok but it may not be for the reasons you expect. Long hailed as a party destination, a wave of chic openings are putting a more sophisticated spin on Thailand’s capital. From the hotels that are making the world’s must-visit lists to the first Soho House club in Southeast Asia, here are the new places to know in this vibrant city…
The Standard Bangkok
The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon is nothing short of a show-stopper. So much so that it was voted as one of the best new hotels in the Condé Nast Traveller Hot List 2023. Acclaimed designer Jaime Hayon worked with The Standard’s in-house team to create an Asia flagship that packs a punch. In one of the most iconic buildings in the city, the 155-room property has fast become a landmark since opening its doors in 2022. All bases are covered with a terrace pool, 24/7 gym, several restaurants and nightlife venues. There is an eclectic and unexpected tea room called Tease alongside American steakhouse classics at The Standard Grill. For a fine dining experience, check out the award-winning Chinese cuisine by Mott 32. If you are seeking a mega view, there are two sky-high dining venues courtesy of Mexican restaurant Ojo and Sky Beach, the highest alfresco rooftop bar in Bangkok.
Soho House Bangkok
Soho House has chosen Bangkok as the home of its first club in Southeast Asia. Set over three floors and surrounded by tropical foliage, it is in the former Eugenia Hotel building in the Sukhumvit neighbourhood. As well as a buzzing restaurant and three bars, there is a 12-metre pool and suitably glamorous outdoor terrace. The interior design champions the region’s artisanal talent and a collection of Thai contemporary art elevates the space further. The city’s burgeoning music, food and art community is brought to the forefront through the events programme.
Intercontinental Khao Yai
A two-hour drive from Bangkok, on the cusp of Khao Yai National Park, lies a railway themed resort that showcases the design wizardry of Bill Bensley. Intercontinental Khao Yai is inspired by the glorious reign of King Rama V and the 19th-century Pak Chong Railway station nearby. Bangkok-based Bensley has created a fantasy land centred around Southeast Asia’s grand railroad journeys of yesteryear in what feels like a cut above your usual hotel experience. Fom the fictional protagonist Khun Somsak, a local train conductor who used his savings to commission the hotel’s Rama V-era architecture, to the actual backstories of the upcycled railway carts that have been saved from junkyards around the country it is easy to get swept up in the fun and flamboyance of it all. Bangkok residents escape here for lavish weekends but visitors in the know will venture beyond the big city to reach this nature-filled playground.
1905 Heritage Corner
Recently thoughtfully renovated throughout, the decor and furnishings at 1905 blends its heritage as a teahouse for the merchant-class gentry with the comfort sought by today’s international visitors. The original Colonial style forms the backdrop for the meticulously styled bedrooms, of which there are just three. If you are seeking a boutique retreat close to royal palaces, exotic temples and bustling markets this is your spot.
Bangkok’s chic bar scene is blossoming with Stella, inside the luxurious Capella Bangkok hotel, at the forefront. With panoramic views of the majestic Chao Phraya River, Capella always attracts a glamorous crowd but Stella is the secret jewel in its crown. The interiors are fabulously dark and moody with a healthy dose of bling. Inspired by the mesmerising stories of celebrated women in history, the cocktails are beautifully crafted. There are delicious pastries on the menu too.
With sister restaurants in Bad Ragaz, St. Moritz and Zürich, this is the first location outside Switzerland for IGNIV. The fine dining restaurant is pulling in the A-List crowd with Robert Downey Jr. amongst recent diners. Andreas Caminada, the head chef of the internationally acclaimed three-Michelin-starred restaurant Schloss Schauenstein in Switzerland, created IGNIV to offer a fine dining sharing experience. His Bangkok outpost, in The St. Regis Bangkok, is lead by David Hartwig and lives up to the standards of the Swiss counterparts.