Happy first birthday to Bangkok’s top centre-city luxury hotel. Park Hyatt Bangkok opened May 12th, 2017, and top fashionistas and travellers very quickly discovered the value of staying here – the gal was told that some never leave the building, and why should they? The building itself, by Architectural Digest‘s 2018 female of the year Amanda Levete, is a 37-floor glass sculpture that twists in and out. Inside, Yabu Pushelburg’s white-oak floors and walls, complemented by enormous windows and softest-shade carpets, are more soothing than many spa experiences. And of course, being this brand, this is a luxury hotel with statement bathrooms, and pale cream cuddly Kashere robes that exactly match the marble (and toiletries are Le Labo). And everywhere in public areas there is sculpture and culture.
I was absorbed, at breakfast, with one of the fashion books casually placed, with a silver chess set, by the entrance to the indoor-out Embassy Room. Yes, I could have read about Dior but, instead, I picked up Vintage Details, a 2016 coffee table book co-authored by Jeffrey Mayer, curator Sue Ann Genet Costume Collection and Research Center, Syracuse University NY, and London College of Fashion’s Basia Szkutnickas. So there I was, intrigued by the interior construction of some 1960s’ ladies upholstered swimwear as I ate Beillevaire yoghurts, from France, with a Thai omelet (stir-fried chicken with garlic) and addictive hotel-made brown sourdough, with Beerenberg preserves.
Last night I was with the Aussie GM of this gorgeous 222-room hotel, Michael Golden, and we were really lucky to get the last table in the 35th-floor steakhouse-style Penthouse Restaurant – and yes, after an all-red salad, with chia dressing, I went on to a Ranger’s Valley ribeye with green and white asparagus, while we drank Hewitson 2014 Barossa Valley Private Cellar Shiraz. As well as feeling at home, one of the reasons that Australasians love this place is its facilities. There are about 150 whiskies in the 35th floor speakeasy bar, and the views from the 37th floor rooftop’s outdoor lounge are spectacular.
Of course, as in any good luxury hotel today the Lifefitness gym is 24/7, and the spa has Biologique Récherché. If you want retail exercise and/or therapy head down below the hotel, which starts at the ninth floor. Under no circumstances miss Open House, an endless space that morphs ceiling high bookshops with restaurants and bars and just, well, flopping sofas – and down below is a similar vast space with Thai foodstalls and grocery items. Also a cinema, and an array of brands that includes, of course, Chanel and Gucci, and all those boutiques will, via the hotel concierge, open early or late for you, or bring stuff to your hotel room. To feel that you really are in Bangkok rather than just an oasis from the real world, head outside to a corner forecourt that has a skirt of nine layers of bright green grass, and a brightly-coloured Thai temple, and there you have, two minutes’ walk away. Ploen Chit Sky Train station. If you want the river, you can thus make your own way, safely and in under 15 minutes, soaring high over Royal Bangkok Sports club and its golf course as you go. Michael Golden says incidentally, he is overjoyed that even first-time visitors to perennially-fascinating Bangkok may start at one of the hotels right on the Chao Phrayariver and, after a few days, finish their stay here, at Park Hyatt Bangkok. And not only for its shopping. NOW SEE VIDEOS OF THE HOTEL ENTRANCE, MY SUITE, OPEN HOUSE, AND THE THAI FOOD COURT