From the hushed reprieve of the 57th floor Champagne Bar at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, the only sound that can be heard—save for some light conversation and the occasional rumble of monsoon season thunder outside—is nothing but the joy of utter quiet. Which is something you’re hard pressed to find in the heart of one of downtown Bangkok’s busiest intersections and shopping districts, where the city’s already engrossing sensory experiences are dialed up to a fever pitch. Standing a resolute 60 stories above the fray, the city’s sleek new hotel will officially open its doors on August 31st, marking Waldorf Astoria’s inaugural foray into Southeast Asia and ushering in a new era of luxury to the ever-evolving Thai capital.
Boasting high ceilings and a neutral color palate, stepping off the street and into the property is like coming home to your parents’ house—if your parents lived in tastefully designed palatial modern palace, that is. It’s familiar and light. And with a minimal approach to interior design save for the oversized brass screens depicting traditional Thai dancers, there’s nothing stuffy or ornate happening here. Subtle touches, and a steady mix of Thai and western influences were thoughtfully employed by Hong Kong based architect André Fu and his design studio AFSO throughout the lobby. “I want [guests] to look at it and think, ‘Is this really modern or is this classical? Is it very contemporary or very Thai?’” Fu explains. “My goal is that they can’t completely [put their finger on it because the space] is an amalgamation of all of these elements together, but somehow it feels right.”
This harmonious mix continues upstairs in the 171 guest rooms, which come in a variety of categories ranging from spacious to sprawling. Each carries out a sense of comfort and serenity found in the public spaces. A dash of modern flair is incorporated by way of a state of the art touchscreen tablet, capable of controlling floor-to-ceiling window shutters (a view that extends all the way into the marble-clad bathrooms), lighting, and temperature. It also serves as a direct line to your own personal butler. It’s details like this, not to mention to the blazingly fast Wi-Fi connection, that are sure to make the hotel a hotspot for business travellers and luxury seekers alike.
Another major draw are the five restaurant and bar options nestled throughout the skyscraper. Of particular note is the hotel’s signature Front Room. The restaurant is helmed by chef Fae Rungthiwa Chummongkhon (though you can refer to her as chef Fae), who has put her experience at Noma to good use with a tasting menu of Nordic-meets-Thai flavors and cuisine. Back on the 56th and 57th floor, a trio of watering holes – Bull & Bear, the Loft, and the Champagne Bar – are all designed to evoke the properties sexier, more exclusive side. The crown jewel, however, can be found back down on the 16th floor. There, you’ll find a beautiful infinity pool – along with Instagram-ready cabanas – overlooking the whole of Bangkok below. It all adds up to provide the perfect perspective shift on one of Asia’s most dynamic cites.