Siam City Hotel Bangkok Review

Pratunam - Bangkok

SIAM CITY HOTEL BANGKOK REVIEW

At the doorway of Siam City Hotel, classic turn-of-the-century grandeur and Thai charm warmly welcomes in modernity. Doormen wearing late-19th Century national costume, a grand marble lobby, and a splendid art nouveau stained glass dome atrium set the tone. From top to bottom, this 16-year old hotel - minutes from the Phayathai Skytrain (BTS) station - celebrates the European palatial style championed by the father of modern Thailand, King Rama V.

Far from merely finding faithful recreations of the past, however (alluring as they are), this is a hotel also sculpted very much in the revered King's modernizing spirit. To ensure guests are pampered, the management embraces modern Western elements while staying faithful to Thai traditions. Among the many pleasing results: a vast lobby strewn with antiques like Benjarong and Suwankhalok ceramics, just metres from hi-tech trimmings like free Internet. And, while supping on contemporary international cuisine, the exotic sounds of classic Thai stringed 'Kim' music fills the air...


Location - embrace the past and dive into the future

In keeping with it's fusing of traditional and contemporary, is a location as suited to embracing the city's past as to diving into its present. Across the road is Suan Pakkad Palace, a little known collection of teak houses filled with glorious antiques, a museum many tourists sadly miss. Two stops (five minutes) away on the BTS is Siam Square, a bona-fide shopper's paradise with soaring luxury brand malls like Siam Paragon and the ever-popular MBK. Many other city treasures are just as easy to reach with the BTS or short taxi rides. If location is everything, Siam City Hotel comes close to top of the pile for being quietly situated within easy reach of everything that means something to tourists.

The rooms: European furniture meets creative Thai

As lovingly fashioned as the opulent lobby, are Siam City Hotel's 279 well-appointed rooms (currently, the Ayuthaya Tower is undergoing refurbishment). There are four kinds: Deluxe Rooms (38 square metres, double bed, combined shower and bathtub), Family Rooms (58 square metres, two queen-sized beds), Club Siam Deluxe Suites and the top-end Club Siam Executive Suites (76 square metre, separate living room, dining table, separate bathtub and shower). Each have a warm, earthy bronzed tone, and are furnished in a blend of European period furniture and commissioned Thai art.

Stately wooden drawing desks, chairs and tables mingle with exotic paintings, Eastern vases and serene ornaments. Beds are bouncy and pillows plump, duvets decoratively adorned with traditional Thai fabrics and cushions. Throughout lighting is subtle but, with daylight pouring in through windows and plenty of lamps, ample and conducive to work. Oversized bathrooms are cast in marble with long mirrors, large bathtub (currently separate shower and bath only in Executive Suites), and all the bathroom amenities guests nowadays expect.


 

Modern conveniences, bodily comforts

On top of bodily comforts and elegant aesthetics, come modern conveniences like high-speed Internet (costs extra except for Club Siam Deluxe or Executive Suites), cable TV, pay-per-view movies, and all the little in-room extras one would expect. Beside each bed a nifty control pad rounds off the subtle emphasis on functionality, giving control over lighting, air-conditioning and television, while allowing you to remain horizontal.

With Club Siam Deluxe Suites or Executive Suites come additional exclusive benefits, not least of which is private check-in and check-out in the classy Club Lounge up on the 21st floor, as well as use of its facilities during your stay. A beautiful turn-of-the-century furnished drawing and dining room with oversized plump sofas, wooden flooring, gilded antique cabinets and an aura of elegance make for a decidedly colonial club-house affair. Perfect for business executives or those with a love of refined frills. An American breakfast is served in the Club Lounge, complimentary tea or coffee, free local calls, complimentary shoeshine, airline ticket confirmation, and late 16:00 check-out (subject to availability).

Culinary experiences and getting pampered

Harmonizing pleasingly with the lavish decor see throughout Siam City Hotel, are its luxurious culinary offerings. No less than five restaurants serve up fine international cuisine in equally fine interiors. Guests can pick dim sum in a Chinese teahouse, pasta in a romantic Mediterranean setting, or Japanese in dark, chic surroundings, among others. The flagship though has to be the recently refurbished Patummat Restaurant. Here, sumptuous buffet breakfast (included, except for Deluxe Rooms booked on Latestays.com), lunches and dinners (around 700 baht) are served - everything from fresh sashimi and succulent roast lamb to divine cheesecake. Then, out by the open-air courtyard and two-floored white colonial style building known as the Garden Pavilion, are the pastry-based temptations of Siam City Bakery, and authentic Thai fare nightly at the atmospheric Spice and Rice.

The sixth floor is a hive of places to get pampered and pursue health, with a hi-tech fitness room, sauna and steam rooms, a 25-metre outdoor pool, and the fragrant corridors of Lotus Spa. The latter's long list of treatments range from aromatherapy and traditional Thai massage, to body scrubs, rubs and facials.

A small village of services and amenities

Practically a small village in its variety of provisions, the list of amenities continues unrelentingly. There's a bar lounge, tour desk, jewelers, tailors, news agent and, on the second floor, no less than nine plush conference and banqueting rooms, as well as the opulent Kamolthip Ballroom that can seat up to 600. Alongside it is a Business Centre with secretarial services, so businessmen can remain plugged into their worlds while lounging on antique sofas. This canny ability to give guests everything modern - whether in hallways, rooms or restaurants - and without surrendering what is unmistakably Thai, makes Siam City Hotel one King Rama V would surely be proud of. How many hotels can say the same? That they're truly fit for a King? 


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