I had been told the traffic is terrible in Bangkok, so the day I arrived someone must have been looking down on me kindly, serendipitously it was Buddha’s birthday and therefore a public holiday, so no traffic jams. We cruised into town and it took 35 minutes to get to The Siam Hotel, a magnificent, sexy property on the Chao Phraya river, situated way up from the hustle of this vibrant city and the big hotels such as The Mandarin Oriental, Peninsula, Shangri-La and such like.
Here, in Dusit, the oldest and most chic part of Bangkok, the family has created a breathtaking 38 bedroomed property full of beautiful antiques and photographs lovingly collected by the youngest son. The hotel designed by internationally acclaimed architect Bill Bensley, has a modern yet colonial feel. It is open, airy and completely different to the other five star properties further down. As well as two fabulous restaurants, the hotel also has a gorgeous spa, gym, yoga terrace, Muay Thai boxing ring, beauty salon, library/cinema and infinity pool.
The standard rooms, called the Siam Suites, are huge with separate living areas, large sprawling beds and beautiful bathrooms. I loved my luxurious bathrobe, slippers and good hairdryer (so many hotels have bad hair dryers).
Each guest is assigned a shared butler. I was lucky enough to have Mac who was young, enthusiastic and utterly delightful. He booked everything for me from dinner reservations, car transfers and organised my ironing and spa treatment. I highly recommend having a massage; it was seriously good and really worth the pummeling after a hideous night flight. It will rejuvenate you for the evening ahead. (I am seriously unimpressed with BA’s Business Class; they need to take a leaf out of Etihad’s book. The food and presentation in Business Class on Druk Air, the Bhutanese national airline, was miles better.)
The General Manager of The Siam, Jason, is fabulous and amazing with all his guests. He was waiting for me on arrival and when I left for a quick boat trip later on he was on the Pier greeting guests, and waiting for others to arrive. He has been involved since the beginning and loves the property as if it were his own.
I took the hotel’s river shuttle for an early evening cruise – it is a regular service which means you can easily pop out for dinner to perhaps the Mandarin Oriental’s restaurant and then cruise back. It is also the best way to get around town – they will drop you off anywhere along the river with a pier and pick you up where you wish.
We went through Bangkok en route to Bhutan, it was a great stop over. If you would like us to make reservations including flight bookings for you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org