Over the last three years, I’ve been staying at another relatively new luxury hotel property at the nearby Rajadamri Road whenever I visit the land of smiles, Bangkok. And it was not until recently that I decided to change my hotel accommodation to Siam Kempinski Hotel. Opened in Sep 2010, this hotel property is one of the most sought-after high-end hotels in the heart of Bangkok. Located just behind the uber-chic Siam Paragon shopping mall, the Siam Kempinski Hotel is highly popular with tourists for its close proximity to the Erawan Shrine, shops and eateries.
My partner and I arrived in Bangkok on a Saturday afternoon and we were greeted by Bangkok’s infamous traffic jam. The journey from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the hotel took more than 90 minutes. The traffic literally came to a snail’s pace when we reached the ever-congested Pathumwan district. It’s already bad on a weekday but it gets worse on a weekend. With only one driveway leading to the hotel and Siam Paragon’s multi-storey carpark, taxi drivers end up joining the queue with the weekend shoppers waiting to get into the hotel and carpark.
Lobby Bar at Siam Kempinski Hotel, Bangkok
Despite the crazy traffic, there is a sense of calm and serenity once you step into the opulent hotel. For some of us, our frustrations will melt away when we see the inviting lobby. Decorated in earthy tones and huge marble slabs, the hotel looks every bit like a luxurious 5-star property.
Siam Kempinski Hotel Executive Suite
The check-in was rather swift and seamless. After the necessary paperwork was completed, we were led to our Executive Suite on level 2 of the Royal Wing. There are two wings within Siam Kempinski Hotel, garden and royal wings. The former has 8 stories and the latter has 17 stories.
Siam Kempinski Hotel Executive Suite
After my most recent stay at St Regis’ Metropolitan Suite, I have to admit that Siam Kempinski’s Executive Suite is more impressive and welcoming. Despite its smaller floor area (Executive Suite is approximate 70 to 86 m² while Metropolitan Suite is about 80 to 90 m²), I feel more restful and serene in Siam Kempinski’s cozy Executive Suite. The suite is conducive and everything is well layout. There is a small balcony that looks out into the garden and pool.
Siam Kempinski Hotel Executive Suite (Molton Brown Toiletries)
The one facility in the Executive Suite that trumps St Regis’ Metropolitan Suite is the complimentary mini-bar. The drinks (standard Chang Beer, tonic water, Coke, iced green tea and water) are replenished daily without charge. The suite also uses the bespoke bath products from Molton Brown.
My only complaint is that the switches to the lights could have been much better designed. For example, the only switch in the bathroom turns on all the lights (vanity counter, toilet and shower area) in the bathroom. And light penetrates through the glass wall that separates the bedroom and bathroom. It’s rather disturbing to the other person should one party wakes up and uses the toilet in the night. And also, the switch is inconveniently located inside and not outside the bathroom. You have to figure out where is the switch by touching should you choose not to turn on the master switch.
Siam Kempinski Hotel Executive Lounge
The Executive Suite guests have access to the Executive Lounge on the 17 floor of the Royal Wing. Guests can enjoy their complimentary afternoon tea and evening cocktails in the comfy lounge which overlooks the Bangkok city. I must say that the Panini served during the evening cocktails is outrageously good. I had to remind myself not to have too much of it. Guests also have the option to have their breakfast in the lounge should they decide not to dine in the common breakfast restaurant, Brasserie Europa.
I’ve been to the one Michelin-star, Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, on my last Bangkok trip. This time, I couldn’t get a table because it was fully booked over the new-year holidays. I didn’t try the Brasserie Europa and Niche especially when there are other restaurants that I really wanted to try in Bangkok this time.
Siam Kempinski Hotel Gym
Public Areas (Gym, Spa and Pool)
For the sporty individuals, the gym is located on the 8th floor in the Garden Wing. It is well-equipped even though I would have preferred the gym to have more cross trainers and treadmills instead of the stationary bikes. Exercise classes are conducted every day in the yoga room. The separate spa facilities, namely Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, are located on the same floor for both men and women. For the spa junkies, Kempinski The Spa is located just one level down.
Siam Kempinski Hotel Pool Area
There are three pools in the center court yard. Guests looking to do laps will be disappointed as the saltwater pools are more suited for relaxation.
Siam Kempinski Hotel Pool Bar
Double-edged sword – Convenient Location
Like I’ve mentioned earlier, the taxi journey into the hotel is a nightmare. However, you can avoid this chaotic traffic by taking the BTS which is located just besides Siam Paragon shopping mall. Siam BTS station is the interchange station and is connected with all the BTS lines. My advice is to avoid taking the taxi during peak hours and weekend. Most importantly, plan ahead and give yourself more time especially when you’re heading to the airport (it took me 15 minutes just to get to the main road from the hotel).
Despite the messy traffic condition and high number of rooms (303 rooms and 98 serviced residences) and guests, I generally prefer my stay with Siam Kempinski Hotel. Personally, Siam Kempinski Hotel offers better value. Even though this hotel may not be as exclusive as the St. Regis Hotel (with 229 rooms) round the corner, access to Executive Room facilities can easily make up for it. This is the hotel that I will definitely come back to.
Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok
Rama 1 Road 991/9, 10330 Bangkok
Tel: +66 (0)2 162 9000