Above the Fray
Part of a wave of new premier hotels opening in the Thai capital, the Waldorf Astoria offers a fresh look onto the city.
Bangkok has a new addition to it's stunning skyline; the Waldorf Astoria has launched with enviable views.
MID-MORNING IN BANGKOK often means searing heat. Our new favorite respite is the cantilever roof–topped pool of the just-opened Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, which seems to levitate over a gorgeous green swathe in the center of town.
The magnolia-shaped hotel accented throughout by layered bronze paneling is graceful, fluid and elegant, like the Thai dancers that designer André Fu says inspired him. You’ll find nary a right angle in this tower, but plenty of light: floorto-ceiling windows at every level, including guestrooms that start at 50 square meters, truly maximize the space and invite the city in.
Up top is a trio of glam, gilded Art Deco outlets conceived by AvroKO. In Bull & Bear steakhouse, jovial chef Patrick Morris helms an open kitchen starring custom charcoal grills plus dramatic 55th-floor views, an unusual treat for a chef... unless you, like Morris, laughingly admit to a fear of heights. Yet, ascending to The Loft bar, it would be hard for anyone to avert their gaze from the windows come 6, when the sweeping magenta sunset perfectly matches your berry-tinged whisky smash— debonairly topped with Italian mint by head bartender Michele Montauti. If you can figure out how to enter the tippy-top Champagne Bar (hint: there’s a bejeweled button worthy of Cleopatra), pure romance awaits down a stunning harlequin hallway.
At ground level, more beauty can be found on the plates of lovely chef Rungthiwa “Fae” Chummongkhon, whose Nordic cooking methods of Thai ingredients nets gems like her umami-packed Mom’s Soup with springy squid ribbons; and deboned, sous vide, fired and smoked, stuffed chicken wings that taste like light Isaan sausages. Here in Front Room, your head will be swiveling between the action in Fae’s show kitchen and out in the city beyond through, naturally, a panorama of lofty fishbowl windows. waldorfastoria. hilton.com; doubles from Bt13,000.