The opulent Siam Hotel in Bangkok is an urban luxury oasis and a design lover’s dream
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Nestled in the heart of Bangkok, on three acres of land on the edge of the serene banks of the Chao Phraya River, The Siam stands as a quintessential emblem of lavishness, tailored for the elite traveller and design aficionado.
It has unparalleled opulence and elegance that has come to define this luxury landmark, and made it an instagrammer’s dream at very turn.
During my stay, two vivacious guests from Hong Kong noted the pristine white interiors, a feature that ensures every photograph captures flawless skin tones – a detail the social media generation will no doubt cherish.
Design & Architecture: 10/10
With a reputation for pioneering black and white striped luxury sanctuaries across South East Asia, Bill Bensley, the visionary behind The Siam Bangkok, has arguably outdone himself this time. Many consider The Siam Bangkok to be his best work.
The Siam’s intricate design, often touted as Bensley’s magnum opus, is a true testament to his unrivalled prowess. The staggering six-metre high ceilings, not just in the bathrooms but also the communal areas, illuminate a grandeur that’s as breathtaking as it is refined.
The 25 metre pool is one of the hotel’s highlights and overlooks the Chao Phraya River. The hotel has its own magnificent boat to ferry guests to shopping centres and neighbouring hotels. And there is a vinyl room with a record player to play from the vast selection of classic vinyl albums. Cocktails overlooking the river are a daily highlight.
Bensley’s magic is omnipresent throughout the property. The 38 sweeping suites are a confluence of luxury and comfort, making every minute of a stay a delightful surprise. They are some of the biggest in Bangkok – big enough to get lost in.
They have super sized king beds, turn of the century artwork and antiques and every room has a butler. Mine had a huge bath and separate shower. I’ve never been cleaner.
I also had my very own lounge area, and a separate desk to WFH. There are two basins for couples, and block out curtains for that perfect night’s sleep.
The attention to detail is simply astounding, with every prolonged stay revealing another layer of Bensley’s genius. There is a lot of white, as well as striking marble and mauve hues.
I loved the seemingly parochial guide to bars and restaurants neaaby, placed in the room, with very clear instructions on transport – a gift in traffic ridden Bangkok where a night out can quickly become a disaster when traffic prevents getting anywhere fast.
The Chao Phraya River offers an alternative transport option with a lot less stress and this litlte booklet explains exactly how to get the best out of your stay when exploring outside the hotel.
Dining and Drinks: 9.5/10
New Zealand-born executive chef, Blair Matheson, helms the kitchen with an international flair, ensuring an array of dietary preferences and trends are catered to. Matheson was the opening chef in 2012 and returned during covid to consult on the launch of The Story House and returned as Executive chef of The Siam and Group Culinary Director of Sukosol Hotel group recently.
Breakfast is from a huge a la carte menu, and is a hedonistic mix of açai, yoghurts, fresh fruit and pastries, the best eggs, sausages, bacon and western delights. The Thai dishes at breakfast are a highlight, and all can be served with no or low carbs, popular choices.
The wide ranging palate throughout the food venues within The Siam spans from vegan delights to Thai culinary masterpieces. Whether it’s globally acclaimed coffee or the array of cocktails, indulgence is at the heart of the dining experience here.
An intriguing observation, particularly for an Australian eye, is the subtle incorporation of Australian food and beverage trends.
The three in-house restaurants occasionally echo the freshness and nutrition-centric offerings often associated with Australian cuisine.
Sunset cocktails on a serene deck overlooking the Chao Phraya River is a highlight, and a calm contrast to the frenetic pace of Bangkok.
At The Siam Hotel in Bangkok, wellness isn’t just a feature; it’s an immersive journey. The hotel’s opulent Opium spa located in the basement of the hotel offers a tranquil oasis amidst the bustling city, providing treatments inspired by traditional Thai healing techniques.
Products are the ultra luxe Australian premium brand Sodashi. Guests can indulge in a myriad of rejuvenating therapies, from Thai massages infused with organic herbs to meditation sessions guided by seasoned practitioners.
With a state-of-the-art fitness center on the ground floor which I used daily, The Siam Hotel ensures every guest seeking a wellness journey during their stay leaves feeling more invigorated than when they arrived.
Sustainability and luxury coalesce seamlessly at The Siam Hotel. Acknowledging the need for environmentally-friendly practices, the hotel champions green initiatives from energy-efficient designs to sustainable waste management.
The architecture itself is a testament to sustainable luxury, using locally-sourced materials and techniques to reduce the ecological footprint.
Guests will notice eco-friendly amenities, from organic bath products to curated experiences in the spa and nearby that highlight local conservation efforts.
This hotel stands as a beacon, proving that luxury need not come at the expense of our planet.
Management & Hospitality:
The esteemed Australian General Manager, Nick Downing, with over six years at the helm, has transformed The Siam into a preferred choice for the global elite. Downing’s exceptional management was distinctly evident during the pandemic’s peak, as affluent travellers reserved the entire 38-room estate, making grand entrances in their private jets.
Hidden gems abound in the property, from private riverboat rides to curated cultural experiences, ensuring that every stay is filled with delightful discoveries and treasured memories.
The Siam, in essence, marries the best of Bangkok, with fresh elements from Sydney, New York, and Bangkok. It feels global.
Its design is a harmonious blend of style, wit, and sophistication. Think abundant natural light, verdant interiors, and iconic black and white flooring. It stands tall, not just in its six-metre high ceilings but in its unparalleled offering of luxury in Bangkok. A true jewel in Bangkok’s luxury hotel crown.
It is a cult hotel amongst luxury hotel fans, and one they keep returning to, and I can see why. I cannot wait to return.
Insider Knowledge: This is such a great value for money experience given the incredible interiors and elevated food and beverage. Plus there are happy hours in the bar every night, and well worth looking into.
Who Should Stay here: This is the ultimate South East Asian city experience for a couple or friends.
Who shouldn’t Stay here: I can’t think of anyone who would not love it.
Location: Around 70 minutes from Bangkok airport, depending on traffic.
Best culinary delight: The chicken satays at breakfast, the best.
The Highlight: Opium Spa. Heaven, but quiet afternoons in the extraordinary suites is hard to beat.
The lowlight: Locks on the doors of the rooms are difficult to master – bit I cannot think of a better location to be locked in.