Capella Bangkok interprets the city’s rich history — Bangkok, Thailand
‘Good things come to those who wait’ seems to be the mantra in Bangkok’s hotel scene as of late, and that’s certainly the case for the highly anticipated Capella Bangkok. Sandwiched between the city’s oldest paved road and the Chao Phraya river, the brand’s first Thailand outpost was initially slated to launch in 2013 but finally opened its doors this October.
Spearheaded by Singapore-based architecture firm Hamiltons International and interior design studio BAMO (whose portfolio includes the Four Seasons Bora Bora and Ritz-Carlton in Chicago), the design offers a decidedly modern interpretation of the district’s rich history as a cultural meeting point between East and West. In the double-height lobby, swathed in marble, taupe and cream, local touches can be found in the little details. A set of armchairs covered in artfully woven rattan. Sunlight seeping through Thai-inspired latticework. Wall-spanning fine art drawing from ancient Thai craft techniques.
But the Chao Phraya river, the aorta of old-time Bangkok, steals the scene. Intentionally, because from the home-like Living Room lounge (hosting cultural workshops such as indigo tie-dye classes) to the hotel’s three restaurants and 101 guest rooms and suites, every space has been designed to draw the outside in and frame panoramic river views through floor-to-ceiling windows. Muted interiors offer minimal distraction and architectural lines guide eyes towards the water.
Raising the bar for luxury accommodation in the city, the ‘Verandah’ rooms open to private terraces with raised plunge pools overlooking the river. Other room types, all straight-lined cream-and-wood affairs with travertine marble bathrooms, have access to generous balconies to take in Bangkok’s cacophonous river scenes. The prime real estate, however, is reserved for the hotel’s seven riverfront villas. The first of their kind in Bangkok, these private retreats come with plunge pools, separate dining and living rooms, and private gardens leading right up to the waterside.On the food front, the hotel has tapped Italian-Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco of 2019 World’s Best Restaurant
Mirazur in France to bring his vision to its signature restaurant, Côte by Mauro Colagreco. Here, in a classic dining room flanked by white wall panels, antiquated mirrors, and a rustic-chic show kitchen, menus feature contemporary riffs on French and Italian coastal cuisine paired with natural wines from around the world. On the riverfront, Phra Nakhon takes over a glasshouse-like dining area and tree-shaded alfresco terrace with punchy Thai recipes inspired by the long-standing Thai restaurants spread around the district.
And then there’s Stella, a pan-Asian cocktail bar and ’omakase patisserie’ celebrating heroic women of the East in made-to-order pastries and playful cocktails incorporating Asian spirits and herbs. Like its cocktail list, the boudoir-esque drinking den touches upon a variety of Asian design references with an Art Deco finish. Under a mirrored ceiling, a taxidermied white peacock takes centre stage, while another nook is decorated with throne-like chairs and hand-painted frescoes that wouldn’t look out of place in a Qing Dynasty palace. §