High design in a Bangkok tower
Sofitel So Bangkok fits right into the colorful chaos of Thailand’s vibrant capital — the 30-story building overlooks verdant Lumphini Park and the city’s modern skyscrapers making for some spectacular views from guest rooms, the top-floor spa, an outdoor glass-walled swimming pool and the several in-house restaurants and bars (including a fashionable rooftop watering hole). Located in Bangkok’s business center but close enough to walk to shopping and restaurants, the hotel speaks to both business and leisure travelers looking for luxury.
One of the most visually interesting hotels in Bangkok, Sofitel So pays homage to Mother Nature with a concept that centers around the five elements — water, earth, wood, metal and fire. Lauded architect Smith Obayawat worked on the intricate facade, showcasing an angular metallic mosaic that looks as if it’s undulating in the sunshine.
Meanwhile, the public spaces embody the element of fire: As soon as you step inside to the sun-kissed lobby, you can feel the energy. Floor-to-ceiling windows usher in light, while wooden furniture and shimmering ceilings warm up the atmosphere. Splashing loads of color into the mix, French designer Christian Lacroix created the fashion-forward staff uniforms as well as the visually stunning Club Signature lounge on the 25th floor.
The rooms at the artsy luxury hotel feature wildly varying palettes, materials, textures and personalities. In the water-themed rooms — created by Pongthep Sagulku of August Design — soothing shades of gray ripple across the walls and a huge onyx bathtub takes center stage.
More abstract, the wild earth-themed rooms are the vision of IAW Design’s Vitoon Kunalungkarn, with vivid purple-blue hues and animal motifs running across the walls. Meanwhile, the sleek wood rooms have gleaming hardwood floors and vertical bamboo-like beams, and the metal rooms inherit a minimalistic Japanese aesthetic with clean white walls and accents with a splash of sparkle.
To complement the diverse and dramatic décor, the spacious rooms come equipped with lots of tech touches, including large LED TVs with wireless keyboards as well as iPads.
As mentioned, the public areas and restaurants are all about fire, beautifully reimagined by Rujiraporn Wanglee of PIA Interior. The space with the most obvious connection to fire is Red Oven, a hugely popular open-kitchen buffet that’s meant to resemble a market. Dine on pan-Asian and European eats while watching chefs cook on the huge central red oven.
Mixo is a chill cocktail lobby lounge that pours molecular cocktails. And serving an international menu and experimental tipples, stylish Park Society exudes sophistication from its more subdued 29th-floor rooftop perch. When the lights go down, poolside cocktail bar The Water Club comes alive, with comfortable lounge chairs, moody tunes and unbeatable views. Save room for a treat from Chocolab café in the lower lobby — it whips up imaginative creations that are almost too cool to consume.
One of the biggest highlights in the Bangkok hotel is the two-floor wellness center, which includes a rooftop infinity pool overlooking lush Lumpini Park. (Tip: Wait for nightfall, when the pool’s color turns a radiant shade of violet.)
On a health kick? Hop on the latest Technogym equipment at So Fit gym or re-energize at the luxurious 6,458-square-foot spa. Dark marble floors, wall-to-wall windows, artfully placed tree trunks and vertical wood beams lend the So Spa lobby a mysterious air. (In fact, the space was designed to evoke a mythical Thai forest.)
Inside, it’s pure relaxation, with a sauna, steam room and experience shower at your disposal before and after treatments. For even more intimacy, ask about the So Suite Spa, where you can stay overnight and enjoy in-room treatments.