One of the most stylish hotels I’ve stayed in is W Bangkok from the W hotel chain marketed towards a young, modern and fashionable crowd. From its trendy location to its luxurious Thai-inspired interiors, this 31-storey five-star luxury hotel sure knows how to turn up the wow factor. True to its signature global brand, here are 7 reasons why W Bangkok is the coolest place to stay in the city:
It’s centrally located amidst trendy districts.
It’s all about location, location, location. W Bangkok is situated in Bang Rak district, near the popular nightlife district of Silom and the business district of Sathon. Accessibility isn’t a problem, as the hotel is steps away from Chong Nonsi BTS Station, which easily links you to the rest of the metropolis. Saphan Taksin BTS (where you can board the Chao Phraya river ferry) and Hualamphong Railway Station (where you can take day trips to destinations like Ayutthaya and Kanchanaburi the old-fashioned way) are only a few stations away.
Luxurious interior designs are inspired by Thai street culture.
Nothing says bling like a huge mosaic of a tiger battling a phoenix – made up of 80,000 Swarovski crystals. This is what greets you the moment you enter through the sliding glass doors of the lobby. W Bangkok’s interior design is modern and glamorous but look closer and you’ll notice accents drawn from Thai culture, often times turning tacky to trendy. To your left is Woobar, a restobar with booths bordered by ropes from a muay thai boxing ring. A wall next to the elevators is covered in multicolored tuk-tuk lights. And a staircase chandelier is made from acrylic pieces molded from plastic bags with straws – a common way to enjoy beverages in the streets, just like in the Philippines!
There are over-sized muay thai gloves in the rooms!
Bold creative design is carried over into the hotel’s 403 rooms. I stayed in the 41-square-meter Wonderful Room with a king size bed, accented with a printed runner with quirky traditional designs of tigers and nagas (mythical serpents) wearing boxing gloves. In the middle of bed are a pair of oversized muay thai boxing gloves covered blinged out in gold sequins. A blue stained glass divider separates the toilet and bath, covered by a velvet curtain with flame motifs taken from muay thai boxing shorts. The rooms are hi-tech too, as one can control the lights, air-conditioning and even contact front desk or room service using a touch screen tablet on the bedside table!
Room rates start at THB 7,180 (PHP 11,022; prepaid rate) for a Wonderful Room with buffet breakfast for two. Find discounted room rates here!
The eye-shaped swimming pool has underwater music.
Located at the sixth floor is the oasis in the middle of the city: the 206-square-meter Wet outdoor swimming pool, surrounded by lounge chairs, couches and covered day beds. A sultry pair of brass cats decorate the pool. When viewed from above, the pool – covered in iridescent mother-of-pearl tiles – is shaped like a human eye. Besides its unique shape, the facility’s most standout feature is its underwater sound system, which entertains swimmers when submerged in the water.
Spa treatment rooms glow in mood-enhancing colored lights.
Away Spa is the hotel’s signature day spa, also located at the sixth floor, offering full-body treatments, facials, beauty services and much more. Each treatment room has glowing beds that change color to suit your mood: green reflects a calm and peaceful demeanor, red enhances body energy, purple radiates happiness while pink signals romance and sensuality. The post-treatment zone magnifies your spa experience with separate male and female wet facilities, which include a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi.
One of Asia’s best restaurants sits next-door – in a restored colonial house.
Juxtaposing the modern main building is The House on Sathorn, a restored colonial home built in 1889, sitting right next door. The neoclassical home was built by Luang Sathorn Rajayutka, the wealthy Chinese businessman who developed Sathorn Canal during the reign of King Rama V. The heritage building now houses three restaurants and several function rooms. Listed in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017, sponsored by S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, The Dining Room is the signature restaurant which serves a modern take on Turkish cuisine by Chef Fatih. The other two establishments are The Bar, serving curated cocktails, sake and other spirits, and The Courtyard, offering afternoon tea as well as Thai and global comfort food in an open-air garden setting.
Shop designer gift items from the souvenir shop.
One can take home the funky creativity of W Bangkok. Located at the ground floor, W The Store sells W branded gift items and funky designer goods from local designers like 31Thanwa and Ogulee. I bought a pair of W branded black flip-flops, which had the same quirky print of tigers and nagas with boxing gloves as the bed runner in the room; and, for my sister, a pink tote bag that can be stored in a tuk-tuk-shaped pouch.