As your car rolls off the baked, dusty roads of the dense Dusit area – a district filled with government buildings and hardware shops – and into the private driveway of this elegant boutique hotel located on the Bangkok side of the Chao Praya River, you will invariably wonder why it took so long for you to visit. The Siam needs to be on the list of the world’s most Instagrammable hotels, right now.
Religiously monochromatic, the predominantly black-and-white property does not have a bad angle. It is stunningly photogenic. Every curated corner of this suites-only hotel comes with pleasant Easter Eggs – a restored barber’s chair, a vintage grand piano, a giant bird cage – perfect for those carefully-manicured Instagram moments. There’s a private screening room – designed like a members-only gentlemen’s club – for movie nights with guests.
With a classic anatomy that synthesised a charming European aesthetic with old-world Thai decadence, it’s easy to see how celebrated interior designer Bill Bensley – known for his eclectic work with the Four Seasons properties in Thailand, and the Intercontinental in Danang, Vietnam – fused simplicity with sophistication. The aesthetics are classical without the tackiness, and modern without the smugness.
An Experiential Stay
A leisurely stroll through her grand halls in the afternoon will reap tons of photo opportunities. Browse the rare travel books and curios available in the souvenir shop. The experience is like house-sitting for a mysterious Asian tycoon who has a soft spot for artefacts from a bygone era.
Considering the hotel’s pedigree – it’s owned by famed Thai rock star and actor Krissada Sukosol Clapp of the Sukusol Group, which owns The Sukosol and The Siam Bayshore, among other commercial properties – it’s not far from the truth. An air of romanticism stitches the hotel together.
The Siam’s architecture breathes an old-world charm. There’s a hushed decorum in her common spaces, like the measured mannerisms of a coy debutante. Her refined beauty arrives in the simplest of details, from the lazily-rotating ceiling fans to the perfectly-trimmed hedges around a riverside pool.
You are encouraged to practise yoga on the riverside terrace, or indulge in a game of pool in the guest lobby. The result is a highly personal-yet-invigorating, intimacy rarely experienced in a five-star hotel.
You won’t find giant tour buses spewing rowdy tourists toting souvenir gift bags and selfie sticks, or a lobby overrun with screaming toddlers (although baby cots are free and baby-sitting services are available at 24 hours’ notice). All 28 suites are generous in their layout, with the Siam Suites starting at 80sqm.
The guest profiles here are a tad more restrained – the privacy-seeking honeymooners, the discerning C-suite businessmen, the well-heeled hipsters with a taste for pumpkin spice lattes.
Must Try: Chon Thai Restaurant
If you’re craving local delicacies but are reluctant to leave the premises to forage, there is authentic and satisfying Thai fare available at Chon Thai Restaurant. Located in a cluster of original teak houses sourced by silk tycoon Jim Thompson for the socialite and antique dealer Connie Mangksau, it’s a lovely place at night.
The flavours in classics like the Papaya Seafood Salads and Tom Yum Goong are enough to warrant top reviews even for seasoned food journalists.
Get A Tattoo At The Opium Spa
For a permanent memento of your stay at The Siam, consider getting an authentic Sak Yant tattoo – a sacred Southeast Asian art that’s gaining traction with serious tattoo enthusiasts.
Supermodel Cara Delevinge has one on her nape. At the hands of Arjan Boo, a soft-spoken disciple who studied at the Wat Bangphra Buddhist temple some 50km west from The Siam, the simplest designs appear delicate and intricate. Choose from existing designs. The best bit? These Thai tattoos are said to ward off evil and bring good luck.
The Siam, 3/2 Thanon Khao, Vachirapayabal, Dusit, Bangkok, Thailand, Thailand 10300. For more information visit www.thesiamhotel.com Tel: +66 0 2206 6999