Natural Ville Executive Residences Review

Bangkok Hotel Reviews

NATURAL VILLE EXECUTIVE RESIDENCES REVIEW

Many things impress at Natural Ville, Accor Group's three-year-old executive residence in the leafy central enclave of Soi Lang Suan. There is the faux-art deco facade towering into the sky, the attentive staff and calorific cakes at the Le Notre cafe. There are the clean lines and fresh interiors of its 150 serviced apartments, the slick kitchenette and snazzy home entertainment system that come as standard. Oh, and let's not forget the in-house spa fit for a Siamese Princess...


Views that put the 'Natural' in 'Natural Ville'

None impress, however, quite as much as Natural Ville's views. Outside most windows (except the diminutive suites) lies a carpet of lush green that puts the 'Natural' in 'Natural Ville' - and rivals an apartment overlooking, say, New York's Central Park. Punctuating the scene, no more than 200 metres in the distance, is Bangkok's own equivalent - the manicured heap of flora known as Lumpini Park. With grass areas, playgrounds, walking and running paths, evening aerobics, boating and concerts, this ecological retreat is the tonic of choice for locals looking to counter the effects of noisy, jarring city living. One of the delights of a stay at Natural Ville is that it can also be yours.

On the building's doorstep is Soi Lang Suan - a long, thin road shaded by trees, office blocks, condominiums, serviced apartments, great restaurants and shops that bring the neighbourhood a touch of chic affluence. Stay here and mingle with office suits and street vendors by day, food and wine loving socialites at night. At one end of the road is Lumpini Park, at the other is prestigious Ploenchit Road, with its upmarket department stores and malls (Central Chidlom, Erawan, Gaysorn) and access to the city's elevated monorail, or BTS, which soars gracefully above gridlocked traffic. (Tip: Even closer - a five-minute walk past the Villa Market opposite - is Ratchadamri BTS station. From here, it's one stop to Siam Square or Silom.)

Ultra-modern rooms with a soothing serenity

Natural Ville has three types of rooms, with size the biggest difference. The 31 square metre studios have limited views onto neighbouring buildings, while one-bedroom suites feature open living and dining areas in a 52-59 square metre or 75 square metre (807 square feet) floor plan. All are united by a clean, ultra-modern look. Shaping it are simple lines, warm-hued parquet wood floors, stately dark wood furnishings (including oversized writing desk), cosy cream sofas and muted earth-tone fabrics.

Artistic motifs tying in with the 'Natural' slant - surreal two-tone prints of grasses, ferns and plants - lend a sense of depth and balance to the pale white interiors. And, throughout living and sleeping areas, the glare of ceiling spotlights has been ditched in favour of chic fabric lampshades that lend rooms a warm nocturnal ambiance. Apartment amenities are as exemplary as the aesthetics. A king-size bed with velveteen duvet promises, and delivers, sound slumbers. Bathrooms are shiny and contemporary, with separate marble walk-in shower and bathtub (except in studios), raised ceramic washbasins on marble, and space for a lot more than just a toothbrush.If the quality restaurants on Lang Suan Road don't whet your appetite, knock up a snack in the kitchenette with fridge, microwave, kettle, toaster and crockery (no cooking hob in studios, pop over to the supermarket for supplies).

Rooms also come with flat screen TV with cable, DVD/CD/MP3 player and crystal clear surround sound home entertainment system. And there's a wired internet connection (costs extra) by the work desk and, next to the electric safe in the cupboard, an iron, ironing board and hair dryer. One-bedroom suites also come with cute dining area (sleek round table and chairs), individual area climate control and an extra TV in the bedroom.


 

Amenities to clean, refresh and purify

A washing area, with large tub washers and dryers (60 baht a load) is a welcome amenity - the least exciting of the many found beyond your quarters. Suited to small board meetings are the business facilities, with two conference rooms and space to seat around 30 people. There's also an internet room for those without a laptop. On the seventh floor is a large, bright gym with state-of-the-art treadmills, bikes, weights and even an instructor on hand to lend morale support (06:00 to 22:00). There's ample floor space here for perfecting yoga postures or judo throws, and, in the changing area, a separate male and female sauna. One floor up, the swimming pool with blue pastel tiles would feel exposed to the elements if it weren't so elegantly walled in by a shuttered dark wood fence.

Step through the European-style wood doors that open onto the pool decking for the rejuvenating and ravishing delights of the Nibhana Spa. With warm teak interiors reminiscent of the King Rama IV era and treatment rooms (eight singles, three doubles) that embody all the opulence of the Orient, it's like entering a mystical, bygone world that outclasses most hotel spas - even before you consider treatments offered. These, as it happens, are equally compelling: white pearl body massages, rare ancient flower powder scrubs and hot compresses involving 28 Thai herbs, are just some of the alchemistic delights inspired by treatments once bestowed upon Emperors, Maharajahs and Siamese Princesses.

The World Revolves Around You...

A simple, tasty continental buffet breakfast (included) is served in the Le Notre restaurant which flanks the lobby. Or, if your willing to pay, in the privacy of your room. This chic, wood-panelled fusion cafe with al fresco option really comes into its own from lunchtime onwards however, with dishes like egg shells filled with goose liver custard, lobster cous cous and salmon tartar (180 baht). Its true talent, though, is its pastries. So prized are gourmet treats like the Volute Chocolate - an exquisite dome of light chocolate mousse, with chocolate biscuits and melting tea cr-me brulee - they're even sold in beloved high-society malls Siam Paragon and Emporium. One rich, decadent mouthful and you'll understand why. 

Include into this luxurious equation the affable staff, and Natural Ville adds up to an alluring, modern establishment that has earnt its motto: 'The World Revolves Around You'.

Reviewed by: Max Crosbie-Jones


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