The Siam – Jewel Of The Chao Phraya
Stepping into The Siam is like entering a grand mansion harking back to an era of the greatest grandeur under King Rama V (circa 1853-1910) or more famously known as King Chulalongkorn the son of King Mongkut of the Anna and the King fame.
Sited on a prime location on the Chao Phraya River in the historic Royal Dusit district in Bangkok, its understated façade belies its fabulous interior. Once inside the hotel we are transported into a dreamy world of elegant opulence. It is a luxury urban retreat that oozes country charm, sophistication and splendour. Its unique feature is its dual role as a hotel as well as a museum and art gallery of antiquities, paintings and objet d’art.
The collection belongs to Krissada Sukosol Clapp, founder and director of Sukosol Hotels and the brainchild of the concept behind the hotel, which was designed by the internationally acclaimed architect Bill Bensley.
The interior design is a temple of style with seamless flow of floor space in symphony of black and white aesthetic of marbles, wood and stone in neutral tone and muted colour that rocks class and grace rooted in Thai heritage. The eclectic style is a perfect harmony of avant-garde and Art Deco creating a delightful harmonious vision that encourages sweet energy to waltz through the building.
In the inner sanctum, a stunning water feature with islands of traveller’s palms form the centrepiece of the atrium conjuring an image of a romantic sanctuary in an exotic spa. It lends an air of serenity that you find in a temple or spiritual retreat.
Set in a three-acre frontage, the ground is a green repose of beautifully landscaped garden with an avenue of frangipani trees and foliage leading to the picturesque riverfront.
An infinity swimming pool sparkles invitingly in a secluded enclave of the garden while a terrace by the river is the perfect place for a pre-dinner sundowner watching the bustling river activities. Just a stone’s throw from the river are the food and beverage outlets Deco Bar & Bistro, Café Cha and the hotel’s signature restaurant, Chon Thai.
Spoonful of Scrumptiousness At Chon Thai
Chon is the word for spoon in Thai and is the hotel’s symbol for “service, dining and sharing” at Chon Thai which is set in a century-old teakwood house.
We dine and share a sumptuous dinner one night in a private room at Chon Thai with an exquisite menu prepared especially for us by the chef. The restaurant prides itself in reviving traditional authentic Thai cuisine with a hint of contemporary touch that are beautifully presented like edible art.
Our culinary feast commences with a starter of fluffy rice clusters served with a spicy fruity sauce. This is followed by a cornucopia medley of slow cooked and seared crispy duck on a bed of spicy salad of green mango and herbs with tamarind dressing; char-grilled chicken with a melange of ginger, garlic, lemon grass sauce and garnished with crispy shallots and chilli.
The feast continues with scrumptious creations of Australian short-rib beef slow-cooked for 8 hours served with pineapple and drizzled with tamarind sauce; deep fried prawns wrapped in betel leaves with sweet plum sauce and crispy tamarind-coated sea bass. The grand finale is a Thai-style coconut panna cotta accompanied by clear cubes of jelly. Chon Thai offers cookery classes to learn the art of authentic Thai cookery.
The Siam has 39 bespoke-designed suites with its own theme and elegantly furnished with luxury amenities and super-size king beds.
We stay in the fabulous Mae Nam suite with an open-plan design and huge bathroom with walk-in shower and freestanding bathtub. Oriental artworks and antiquities add a touch of class to the décor while fresh orchids and a large bowl of local fruits inspire a homely chic atmosphere. Our bright and commodious room overlooks the lovely garden. Each suite comes with a personal butler and our own butler Jill was exemplary in his attentive and excellent service catering to our every need.
The Siam prides itself in its sincere service to make guests feel at home and pampered. We certainly feel like we are staying as houseguests in a palatial manor house rather than a city hotel. It is very attempting just to luxuriate in the gorgeous air condition suite without venturing out into the hot humid day. But it would be a shame not to take a leisure ride on the hotel’s private shuttle boat to enjoy the sights on the Chao Phraya, the River of Kings.
We would like to thank The Siam for their generous hospitality and gracious service. www.thesiamhotel.com