A garden oasis in urban Bangkok
It’s safe to say The Sukhothai Bangkok is unlike any other downtown hotel in the notoriously busy Thai capital. It feels like a hidden oasis far from the chaos of tuk tuks and street food hawkers, nestled on six acres filled with gardens in the central business district of Bangkok. This prime placement gives The Sukhothai guests the best of both worlds, offering an escape from the city’s signature madness without being too far from the action.
And what an escape it is — you can dine at one of several restaurants, lounge at the rooftop infinity pool, get massaged into a state of bliss at the spa and meander through a labyrinth of courtyards and lotus ponds.
Thanks to the fine work of architects Kerry Hill and Edward Tuttle, plus that of Thai designer Pichitra Boonyarataphan, the Bangkok hotel has maintained a contemporary Thai elegance since its opening in 1991. A long driveway lined with lily ponds transports you from the busy cityscape into the hotel’s hushed, verdant grounds.
The neighborhood may be full of skyscrapers, but The Sukhothai’s tallest buildings are just nine floors. With 210 guests rooms on six acres, the hotel makes you feel like you have the place to yourself. This sense of privacy, coupled with the property’s secure front gate, is just one of the reasons A-list celebrities like Beyoncé have stayed at this lovely luxury hotel.
A walk around the property will introduce you to art inspired by Thailand’s ancient Kingdom of Sukhothai. The red brick chedi, stupa, stone carvings, and Buddha statues add a historical touch to the hotel’s decor. Serene reflecting pools decorated with greenery or Thai art give the hotel a spa-like ambience.
Guests rooms have teakwood furnishings, silky Thai fabrics and a muted earthy color palette. A wide desk and free high-speed Internet will help those working on the road; flat-screen TVs and Bose sound systems are also standard.
Bathrooms are as generous in size and are a gorgeous departure from the all-marble rooms you’ll find at other luxury hotels — these have mirrored walls, hardwood floors and black granite. Some suites have private balconies overlooking the resort’s manicured grounds.
The Sukhothai may already have a therapeutic atmosphere, but you’ll still want to make a trip to Spa Botanica. The seven golden treatment rooms are furnished with natural materials such as light stone and bamboo. Spa Botanica’s thorough menu ranges from beauty treatments like aromatherapy facials and creative body scrubs to therapeutic massages.
Ease through time zone adjustment pains with treatments like the Jetlag Tonic, a massage designed to soothe, stretch and awaken. Take the pampering outdoors with massage services in one of the plush burgundy lounge chairs around the 82-foot pool.
The luxury hotel caters to the fitness crowd, too, with a well-stocked health club, air-conditioned squash facilities and floodlit tennis courts. Personal trainers are available upon request for those seeking extra exercise motivation and guidance.
For such an intimate property, The Sukhothai offers a wide range of food and beverage options. Savor a night of local culture and grab a table at Celadon, the hotel’s acclaimed Thai restaurant, where you’ll see Thai dance performances throughout the week and get serenaded with traditional instrumental music.
The Sukhothai’s fine dining concept, La Scala, entertains hotel guests and Bangkok locals alike with its lively open kitchen. The low-lit restaurant features a wall lined with portraits of world-renowned chefs, including the likes of Ferran Adrià and Alain Ducasse, who have participated in the hotel’s annual guest chef series, The Art of Dining. The restaurant’s culinary reputation and stacked wine list make this a go-to celebration spot in Bangkok.
Chocolate lovers won’t want to skip the weekend chocolate buffet, which features 22 kinds of chocolate in addition to coffee, cocktails and tea. Goodbyes are bittersweet, so pick up some of the hotel’s signature chocolate truffles at the shop near the lobby before heading home.