THE SIAM HO­TEL, BANGKOK, THAI­LAND

Vacations & Travel - - Travel Talk - By He­len Hayes

Even just en­ter­ing this lux­u­ri­ous bou­tique ho­tel on the banks of the re­gal Chao Phraya river in Bangkok fills me with won­der. A quick check-in and our but­ler, Philip, takes us out along a pas­sage­way and into a space so di­vine, I keep com­ing back to it dur­ing my stay just to breathe in its tran­quil­lity.

The Atrium is the cen­tre­piece of the prop­erty, which was de­signed by Bill Bens­ley, with in­te­ri­ors a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Bens­ley and the owner of the prop­erty, Kris­sada Sukosol, a Thai rock star and an­thro­pol­ogy ma­jor from a fam­ily of hote­liers. The Atrium is a heady mix of ar­chi­tec­tural bril­liance, wa­ter fea­ture and green­house, its soar­ing palms and trick­ling wa­ter a pho­tog­ra­phers’ de­light.

The whole prop­erty has an am­bi­ence that is the per­fect blend of el­e­gance and style and the com­forts of home. You can see many items from Suku­sol’s pri­vate

col­lec­tion through­out the prop­erty, in­clud­ing in the 28 suites and 11 vil­las. They all fol­low a Thai theme with my suite – the Mae­man – fea­tur­ing a Thai kick box­ing (Muay Thai) theme. Philip shows us the mo­bile phone that we can use, with com­pli­men­tary data and in­ter­na­tional call­ing.

I could have had a les­son in kick box­ing with a Muay Thai ring in the gym down­stairs, but I pre­fer to step into the Record Room, with a pi­ano, record player, head­phones and a library of vinyl to play some clas­sics. Su­per­tramp Live

in Paris is the record of choice.

The river­side pool also calls my name, do­ing some laps be­fore sit­ting pool­side to watch the throng of life go

by on the rich brown wa­ters. The ho­tel has a tra­di­tional boat to whisk guests up to Bangkok’s cen­tral Saphan Taksin pier, but I opt to read in the library be­fore bliss­ing out with a mas­sage in the ex­cel­lent Opium Spa.

Din­ner is in the prop­erty’s Chon Thai restau­rant, lo­cated in a trio of cen­turiesold tra­di­tional Thai teak houses by the river. We also en­joy af­ter­noon tea in

Café Cha and drinks in the very glam Deco Bar & Bistro. The Siam Bangkok is a true oa­sis of calm in bustling Bangkok, and it is right up there as one of the best ho­tels I have ever had the plea­sure of stay­ing in. The Siam is a mem­ber of the Leg­end Col­lec­tion from Pre­ferred Ho­tels and Re­sorts. pre­ferred­ho­tels.com

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