The unique feature of Bangkok’s Siam Kempinski hotel is the fact that many of the luxury hotel’s 303 rooms enter direct to the complex of outdoor canals, which are just, but only just, deep enough for swimming. It is a marvellous marketing tack. The hotel is also directly linked to the massive Siam Paragon shopping mall and through it to Sky Train. Everyone wins. Get there easily. Shop, swim, and eat. The gal was enthralled, and it was lovely, too, to dine in Niche, a really friendly and casual restaurant that is only a few minutes’ walk from room 016.
Yes, 016 is one of the water rooms. I had, before, stayed in 035, another water room but a duplex which meant that as well as having five stone steps down into the water I needed another 20, wood, steps to get up to my bedroom. Honestly, 016 was much more ergonomic and saved a bit of time, and as we know time is of the essence for busy travellers. I had a long talk with the GM, Alex Pichel, who was with Rosewood before joining Kempinski. He told me how pleased he is with the rooms business he gets from Kempinski’s membership of the Global Hotels Alliance GHA, and then we turned to his favourite subject – motor bikes.
He and his wife both seem to be addicted to their BMWs. They have done 7,000 km trips here, 5,000 km there, but now they are somewhat stymied. They want to ride back to Europe for a summer break. Think geographically, Bangkok to their home in Madrid. Among the challenges are Pakistan and Iran… then the conversation moved on to other matters. A separate wing of the hotel is currently being renovated. Intended for residences it is being turned into ‘ordinary’ overnight letting rooms, all the better in an establishment where average length of stay is 1.5 nights for those who want a quick break here, shopping, swimming and eating and so on.
Sensible guests also buy into Club access. I really appreciated the light and airy 24/7 gym up on the eighth floor. A workout provided a great prelude to breakfast in the Royal Wing Lounge, on the 17thfloor of that block – considerably quieter than the breakfast buzz in both the all-day restaurants down on the ground floor. I was sorry not to return on this occasion to the Michelin-starred Sra Bua by Klin Klin signature restaurant, or to visit the spa, which works with Raison d’Etre, but, as always, there was plenty happening in my short stay back at a luxury hotel that has so successfully replaced the dear old Siam InterCon which stood on this very spot decades ago. HERE IS ROOM 016