The Heritage Baan Silom Review

Bangkok Hotel Reviews

THE HERITAGE BAAN SILOM REVIEW

So, you want a hotel to remember? You're not into those big, expensive brand hotels. And you have no intention, whatsoever, of bumping backpacks with the masses who think Khao San Road is edgy. You're the type who prefers immersing yourself in a local art gallery or handbag boutique, not dreaming of home in the nearest McDonalds. A location near the Skytrain is important, but not to the detriment of what you delight in: spades of style, acres of artistry, and piles of pizzazz.

The Heritage Baan Silom, a new 36-room neo-colonial style boutique on Silom Road, might just be your savour. Housed in an amiable mock 19th-century lifestyle complex, 'Baan Silom', it sits amidst a trendy collection of modern art galleries, clothing boutiques, spas, decent restaurants and the inevitable Starbucks. And its exterior, like the buildings surrounding it, is an utterly enchanting picture of low-rise European elegance sporting white and grey shades and Italian-style arches.


The Lobby: A Bohemian Hipster Zone

Inside, it's clear that local designers, Modiva, are very cool people. Why? Because they haven't just filled this Neo-Colonial shell with the usual Zen or pseudo-Thai decor seen in many other Bangkok hotels (yawn). They've retained the early 20th century sensibility of the surrounding complex - and had fun. They've dragged 32" plasma TVs into cute Victorian bedrooms. They've dipped mock period furniture in huge vats of paint. And, they've created perhaps the coolest check-in/lounge I've ever laid eyes on.

I instantly loved this black, low-ceilinged, subtly-lit space. It's filled with cool art, rustic floor tiles and faux-colonial furniture and curios - a total hipster zone. Art Deco lamps and floor-to-ceiling louvered windows cast soft light over everything, vintage clockwork toys sit on shelves alongside copies of Lonely Planet, and a theatrical mirror glints above a huge coffee table. I especially enjoyed the wooden birdcage, the free Internet and the jazz music atmospherics - but not as much as slouching on the turquoise couches while flicking through the latest design magazines.

I instantly loved this black, low-ceilinged, subtly-lit space. It's filled with cool art, rustic floor tiles and faux-colonial furniture and curios - a total hipster zone. Art Deco lamps and floor-to-ceiling louvered windows cast soft light over everything, vintage clockwork toys sit on shelves alongside copies of Lonely Planet, and a theatrical mirror glints above a huge coffee table. I especially enjoyed the wooden birdcage, the free Internet and the jazz music atmospherics - but not as much as slouching on the turquoise couches while flicking through the latest design magazines.

The Rooms: Cute and dainty

The 36 rooms, found up two flights of carpeted wooden stairs or in the opposite wing, are no less a triumph. Think 1950s European boudoir with splashes of contemporary. Each is a simple white-washed shell with low rising ceilings and light laminated floors. All include a huge 32" plasma TV, electronic safe, and, impressively, free broadband Internet (cable provided on request).

But it's the mock-European furniture that makes them so nostalgic. The marble bedside table, the wardrobe, the rattan chair and 'Arts and Craft Movement' style bed - everything is in matching colours (light blue, yellow, white, black, green or violet). My room, with its black furniture and paneling, had an air of chic masculinity. While those in other colours reminded me of 1950s film/fashion icon Audrey Hepburn: they're dainty, bubbly and feminine.

 

Every decorative touch adds something. Tie-back muslin curtains add romance. Art Deco lamps add 1930s sophistication. And a ceiling fan (alongside air-con) adds colonial atmospherics. But my favourite is the pretty mirrored dressing table - it could be from my little sister's dollhouse. In a nod to 'now', a modern Thai-inspired art print hangs above each bed. Bathrooms are small but debonair: huge rainshowers, gorgeous purple paisley wallpaper, chic translucent sinks and carved wood mirrors. 

Which are the best? The 13 studio rooms (24 square metres) are the smallest, and don't have much in the way of views. The 18 superior rooms (24 square metres) are the same size but include an enjoyable balcony with chairs and views onto the complex below.  If you're happy to fork out slightly more, the hands-down winners are the five deluxes (30 square metres). Not only do you get a balcony and more space, but also an ornate bed, chandelier and an en-suite with transparent doors and a deep Victorian bathtub.

The Restaurant: Brash Bites

This is a boutique, not one of those gargantuan hotels that offer everything. No spa, no swimming pool and no long lists of cosseting facilities. So after you've seen Silom Road, prayed at the nearby Sri Mariamann Hindu temple (don't miss this), and shopped at the surrounding complex, what next?

The hip lobby is ideal for reading, checking email and soaking up bohemian tranquility. Your only other option is the dark, ultra-modern Barcony Bar & Restaurant. Separated from the lobby by cool lime yellow windows, breakfast is served here between 06:30 and 10:30. Expect a functional buffet of fresh fruit, orange juice, tea/coffee, salad, rice, cooked vegetables, and cooked breakfast (eggs, sausages, toast, etc).

However, it's so brash (sleek black and white tables, long tan couches, Mediterranean cushions) that it's hard to appreciate fully first thing. Try their set menu at lunchtimes or a fusion main course like 'spaghetti with prawns and green curry'. Then try their wine list, and raising a glass to Bangkok's very own 'neo-colonialists'. For being highly unique, for being truly boutique, The Heritage Baan Silom certainly deserves it.


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