Luxury Hotels


Why don’t designers give more bathrooms with views?  When what was then MANDARIN ORIENTAL SAN FRANCISCO opened in 1987, with bedrooms on floors 38 to 48, media raved about the views from upper floors’ bathrooms. That hotel is now FOUR SEASONS HOTEL SAN FRANCISCO EMBARCADERO and undoubtedly it has you don’t ee the same online bathroom raves. Today two of the top global contenders for views for you as you tend to your ablutions are definitely Capellas, in Singapore (where it has a rival in RITZ-CARLTON MILLENIA) and, no competition, CAPELLA ON CHAO PHRAYA RIVER in Bangkok.

Not everyone can see a rainbow, as in the image above, taken from room 803 of the ten-floor hotel. Some would call this a suite (what IS the definitive necessity of a suite?) but it is technically a room, a walk-round space taking in bed-living area, walk through closet and bathroom. That-all takes three-quarters of a square. The remaining chunk is outside, with day bed. The bathroom’s windows look over the day-bed, to the view above.  You can thus stand at one of the two rectangular basins for the view, or, from the oval corian tub, practise your neck exercises as you turn your head sharply through 90 degrees.

But the view here is not confined to bathrooms.  Every one of the 100 bedrooms, designed by BAMO, has all-wall windows, for the view. Dine in Côte, the haute cuisine restaurant overseen by the great Mauro Colagreco, and you can admire the river all evening. Colagreco’s disciple in the kitchen here at Côte is Davide Garavaglia and he produces a leisurely procession of amazingly sensual one bite dishes. Five, seven or more courses?  Go for five and you end up with about ten, anyway. But then what IS the definition of a meal’s ‘course’? First came two mini tartlets on one plate and an oyster in jelly on a separate dish (one course or two?). Similar presentations followed. None at this stage was immediately identifiable, but the tastes were exquisite. In between courses we admired the simplicity of the table setting – an ogee-shaped copper vase holding five small blooms, green or purple, and a 20cm-tall glass sleeve protecting an inner oil burner, with wick.

Aha, after several more presentations we came to the bread. Superb, a heavy wooden trough holding a small round loaf half-cut into six, with a poem by Pablo Neruda ‘the earth, beauty, and love, all tastes like bread’. It Menton lemon-infused dipping oil from Huilerie St Michel oozed Mediterranean flavour. The finale, also an easy joy to understand, was a thick cross-cut of Australian wagyu fillet. And that, with the help of organic wines delicately dripped from a Corovin, was that, and very satisfying.

This is a hotel beloved by younger-gen fashionistas – Seoul’s top influencer liked it so much when he came for a Louis Vuitton event he came back a month later, to stay in one of the hotel’s inner-sanctum pool villas. These eyes-open youngsters, from Bangkok and Malaysia and Singapore as well as Korea, fill every one of Côte’s tables. Afternoon tea, at lobby tables set with fine linens and absolutely gorgeous delicate porcelain, is a sell-out. For hotel guests – who have a living room accessed by the room key – there’s 5pm nightly Cin Cin drinks with management, and there are craft lessons.  Somehow a 111skin facial should be fitted in.  And, of course, this is a Leading Hotel with ‘that view’.

Want to see what #803 looks like?