Euro-Thai high rise
A lollop from Lumpini
Get this when you book through us:
A refreshing (non-alcoholic) welcome drink each, a fresh fruit platter and a guaranteed late check-out of 2pm
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If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.
Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (THB3,909.94), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Euro-Thai high rise
A lollop from Lumpini
Get this when you book through us:
A refreshing (non-alcoholic) welcome drink each, a fresh fruit platter and a guaranteed late check-out of 2pm
174, including 11 suites.
12pm; check-in, 2pm, but both are flexible subject to availability.
Double rooms from $128.99 (THB3,910), excluding tax at 17.7 per cent.
Rates include free WiFi, but exclude breakfast at THB650 a person, plus tax and service charges.
In-house music compilations by Julien Barthe (aka Plaisir de France) set the tone at Muse with mood-enhancing blends of jazz, lounge, funk and electronica. If your ears are enamoured, buy the collection on CD when you leave.
Concierge, tour services, library, gym, games room, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: 65-channel flatscreen TV with international radio, movies and in-house music selection, iPod dock, minibar, own-label toiletries. DVD players on request.
Bag yourself a Dowadueng Corner Deluxe suite for drool-worthy city views through dual-aspect windows in the dusky black- and grey-toned bedroom or via tall glass panels in the bathroom. The lighter-hued Yama Executives have espresso machines; for delicious indulgence, you can’t beat the spacious Nimman Suites; those on the 17th floor tout manicured outdoor terraces for taking in the skyline while savouring the well stocked bar.
Nestled 19 floors up, the foliage-fringed infinity lap-pool and sun-baked deck with daytime Wet Bar is pleasingly breezy. Scoff Angus beef burgers and slurp smoothies as you soak in the skyscraper scenes.
Arrive with a modest amount of baggage so you can top up your suitcases with goodies from the city’s finest markets and malls. Bangkok bakes from April to October, so stock your valises with cool cotton threads.
Make time for vertiginous thrills at the Speakeasy, Muse's lofty rooftop lounge bars with killer Bangkok views.
Muse is more adults' abode than toddlers' playground, but the hotel offers baby cots, and one child under four can share a bed with parents for free (breakfast costs THB325). Extra beds for kids aged four to 12 cost THB1,250, including breakfast.
Despite the adult sophistication of Hotel Muse, children are welcome, with free baby cots and affordable babysitting, as well as family-friendly interconnecting rooms. One child under four can share their parents' bed for free, but breakfast is extra at THB325 (plus tax and service charges); an extra bed for a maximum of one child aged four to 12 in their parents' room costs THB1,250, including breakfast. For older children, the cost rises to THB2,500.
Independent teens. Space is pretty slim for toddlers to run amok.
Some Dowadueng Corner Deluxe rooms interconnect with twin-bedded Jatu Deluxe rooms, making them perfect for families. Extra beds can be added to rooms for a fee.
Lumpini Park is a hop and a skip down the road if the kids are craving green play space. Swan pedalos are a fun way to explore its languid lake. Teens will love the shopping at Siam's cluster of malls.
There are shallow sections at each end of the main pool, but these are designed for submerged sun-beds rather than paddling infants. Kids under 12 must be supervised.
Kids' menus aren't provided, but the chefs are happy to rustle up mini-portions of mainstream meals at all of Muse's three restaurants. Highchairs are available and the staff will heat up baby food and milk for parents with tots in tow.
Babysitters can be booked from THB500 an hour, for a minimum of four hours, but reservations must be made in advance.
Baby cots and highchairs, which are supplied free of charge.
Dusid Duplexes and the Nimman Suite come with handy pantries and refrigerators.
Grab one of the window tables at Babette's, the Steakhouse Bangkok for supreme city vistas. In Medici make a beeline for the lounge tables furthest from the bar – they’re quieter, cosier and better positioned to hear the opera singers’ dulcet tones.
Cool cocktail clothing you can dress up or down.
Muse's sexy gourmet mix stars basement-belle Medici, a modern-rustic Italian eatery with seductive furnishings set against exposed brick walls, wooden casks and arty industrial ironwork. Abbruzzese chef Nicolino Lalla brings a little of his homeland to the menu, championing its famed lamb ragu, Ventricino salami and spaghetti alla chitarra as DJs and opera singers entertain. The truffle-studded and pasta-proffering menu may be staunchly Italian, but dishes such as Japanese scallops with saffron cream add a little local flair. Babette's, the Steakhouse Bangkok has glittering views from the 19th floor and jazz-era swagger, with art deco interiors, soft leather armchairs and live blues musicians. Wagyu, and grain-fed, Jack's Creek Black Angus steaks are excellent, but the menu's Canadian lobster, French oysters and Norwegian salmon should take a bow too. The American classic cocktails are eminently drinkable too. Lobbyside French bistro Le Salon serves up café fare, including salads, sandwiches and afternoon tea.
The Speakeasy, Muse's social epicentre on the 24th and 25th floors, has become the talk of the town. Prohibition-era styling and eclectic beats set a glamourous scene for sultry soirees spent sipping, nibbling and mingling in its two open-air bars. The west-facing Long Bar clings to the side of the hotel and is great for sinking sundowners, but the rooftop Lawn Bar boasts the best city views. Vintage cocktails, such as Aviators or Negronis, are the order of the night, or get the barman to whip you up a Rotavapour, a signature tipple of house-made vodka infusions. Downstairs, Le Salon’s all-day bistro serves up the sort of crisp, classic martinis beloved of James Bond.
Sup in Le Salon until 9.30pm, with last orders at 11.30pm at Babette's and Medici (although the latter stays open until 1.30am as a bar). The Speakeasy's bars are open from 6pm until 12.30am, getting busiest around 8pm on weekends.
An extensive à la carte menu promises Italian, Thai, French and American dishes for gorging en privé 24/7.
Hotel Muse is in the upscale residential area of Bangkok's business district, with leafy embassies for neighbours along Langsuan Road.
Bangkok's international airport, Suvarnabhumi (www.bangkokairportonline.com), is about 45 minutes away by taxi. Alternatively, hop on the super-speedy Bangkok Airport Train (www.bangkokairporttrain.com) for the fastest traffic-free route into town.
The nearest Skytrain stations are Ploenchit, Chitlom or Lumpini, two minutes away via Hotel Muse’s free tuk-tuk shuttle service. Two stops down the line are the mega-malls of Siam Square, or a 10-minute trundle will take you to a host of historical landmarks including the Royal Palace, the Erawan Shrine and the Chao Phraya River.
If you've arrived by car, there's free valet parking on-site.
Taxis are easy to find in Bangkok although they might not always want to take you where you’re going! The concierge will make bookings for you and write down the hotel's name and address in Thai for your return journey. Make sure the driver switches on the meter and doesn't charge a flat rate. If you're planning a day trip, or want a taxi for a few hours, the concierge will help you out. Otherwise, Sam Tourist Taxi (+66 (0)863 246 824; [email protected]) has staff with reasonable English and a fleet of well-maintained cars.
With the Skytrain a short stroll away, most of Bangkok’s cultural attractions are within easy reach. Just two stops to the east are the mega-malls of Siam (‘nuff said), cheek-by-jowl with historic royal temple Wat Pathum Wanaram – go early in the morning for glimpses of monks making offerings to Buddha.
Close to Siam is the Jim Thompson House at 6 Soi Kasemsan 2, off Rama 1 Road. It's the former home of the American entrepreneur who revitalised the Thai silk industry in the Fifties, but who disappeared in mysterious circumstances a little over a decade later. His trad teak house, filled with priceless art and antiques, offers a nostalgic taste of the past as well as the chance to splurge on sumptuous silks at the on-site branch of his world-renowned shop.
If you're pining for some greenery, wander into lush Lumpini Park. It's best shortly after sunrise for gawping at breathless runners and nimble-limbed locals practicing yoga and t'ai chi.
Set in a rare 70-year-old building, Gaggan, tucked up a laneway opposite Soi 3 at 68/1 Soi Langsuan, boasts whitewashed, colonial-style interiors a world away from the high rises that tower above it. Gorge on progressive Indian dishes or try the eclectic, if sparse, tasting menu. For Cantonese duck with crackling edges and juicy meat, unassuming Prachak Pet Yang delivers, and Bo.lan is elegant and minimal with daintily presented, powerfully flavoured dishes (prawns in coconut cream stuffed with hummingbird flowers, duck salad with guava and peanuts).
If your sweet tooth is calling, the delicious offerings at The Ninth Café, just a hop from the hotel at 59/5 Soi Langsuan, are sure to satisfy any cravings, although with such an eye-popping selection – cherry crumble, lemon meringue pie, towering chocolate mousses for two – you’ll be pushed to pick. Sit in air-con cool or outside on the garden-fringed veranda and watch the world go by.
Wander down Langsuan Road towards leafy Lumpini Park and dive into one of the bars along Sarasin Road, busiest at weekends after 9pm. The retro late-night discos of the locally-lauded 70’s Bar are renowned. If the hotel's bar gives you a thirst for speakeasies, head to Maggie Choo's on Silom Road, a hush-hush hideaway with parasols suspended from its ceilings and fruity cocktails. Rooftop bar Above Eleven, on Sukhumvit Road gives good view.
Minutes after landing in Bangkok the cloying humidity washes over me. Fortunately Thais have an uncanny ability to detect TEP (Tourists’ Excessive Perspiration) and my pre-booked taxi driver greets me with a cold wet-wipe and cranks up the AC to the point where I don’t feel quite so ridiculous wearing winter boots designed for a different hemisphere.
Rocking up in the Financial District, there’s not a single financier in sight. Instead I spy Hotel Muse, standing out among neighbouring high-rises because it’s draped in an intriguing warm light. I’m ushered through the inviting lobby, seated in a leather chair and promptly served an assortment of candy-coloured drinks. ‘Are they all for me?’ I exclaim. The concierge laughs sweetly and tells me that they are, as I notice how immaculately manicured she is and make a mental note to do something about my nails. Sipping on fragrant lychee juice and drinking in the luxurious furnishings, I feel like I’ve accidentally stepped on to the set of The Great Gatsby. I’m half expecting Leonardo DiCaprio to appear at any moment. It’s as if I’ve been transported to the Golden Age of decadence when guests can drink champagne to save water (a playful hotel promotion) and indulge in lavish feasts at one of the many dining venues within this old-worldly wonderland. With check-in complete, I glide up in the elevator to the 16th floor to explore my room – perhaps Leonardo is waiting for me there?
Much to Mr Smith’s relief – who is thousands of miles away – no Hollywood heartthrobs are to be found in my Dowadueng Corner Deluxe room, but fortunately the essentials for pure self-indulgence are. The sleek black marble bathroom captures my attention and I audibly gasp at the size of the gleaming claw-foot bath, although resist the temptation to hop straight in. I open a mahogany cabinet which to my surprise reveals the minibar, complete with proud little bottles of Belvedere vodka, Chivas Regal Scotch whisky and Beefeater gin. I swear I hear a voice saying, ‘Drink me!’
Suitably rebellious, given it’s well past midnight at home, I sashay out to the elevator and press the button marked ‘Speakeasy Rooftop Bar’. Getting in at night after a long-haul flight I should feel sleepy, but it just wouldn’t be right when I know things are only just kicking into gear on level 25. There’s a well-groomed medley of pretty young things in glittery dresses, international travellers who look like they might dabble in oil and businessmen with stiff drinks enjoying the magical view. The city skyline is alive with a carnival-like energy blending splashes of neon blue, embers of fiery orange and a bright purple haze that seduce the eye and beckon pleasure-seekers out to play. A towering billboard in the distance, emblazoned with the word Ideopolis, adds to the futuristic urban vibe.
My gin-spiked cocktail arrives along with a complimentary serving of edamame. I’m peckish so I order some tightly rolled tuna maki but am a dash disappointed that my first meal in Thailand is Japanese. It hits the spot though and as I feel myself slipping into a food coma, I retreat downstairs to my king-size bed and slowly sink into soft pillowy bliss.
Waking up I quickly pull back the crushed velvet drapes of my corner window to observe daily life below. There’s an incongruous mix of smooth corporate suits, shiny new Toyotas, buzzing tuk-tuks and ladies spruiking grilled meats. Imagining the wafting aroma of sweet, sticky pork skewers makes my tummy growl, so I venture to Su Tha Ros, the hotel’s Thai restaurant, where an international buffet breakfast awaits. I have always had issues with Western-style breakfasts in Asia; give me Vietnamese soup over bland Weetabix any day. So imagine my delight when slippery pad-see yew, fluffy fried rice and delicate chicken congee are some of the treats available to devour. I pile up my plate and greedily order two fried eggs from the cook-to-order chefs. I’m on holiday, after all, and besides I’ve booked a morning bike tour of Bangkok, so it may well be my last meal…
Whizzing around Bangkok’s backstreets on a bicycle isn’t for the faint of heart, especially on a day so hot even the locals are fanning themselves. Yet it’s a wonderful way to explore the city and I’m happy to be pedalling around gritty laneways knowing that I’m returning to an opulent oasis complete with ice-cold cocktails. Back at the Muse I slip into my bikini and recline in a shaded deckchair by the sparkling pool. A heavenly waiter from the Wet Bar produces a ginger and kaffir lime concoction along with the hotel’s signature club sandwich. For a moment I wonder if the sandwich is a bit dry, but then I take a sip of my summer-in-a-glass drink, plunge into the crystal-blue water and remember that just a day ago I was at home stoking my fireplace.
My date for the night is a Sydney friend who now resides in Bangkok, and we’ve planned to meet at Medici, Muse’s flagship restaurant which promises authentic Italian cuisine in a seductive space. Admittedly, I’m sceptical, but Ms Smith assures me that the Italian food in Bangkok is excellent. We descend a spiral staircase and immediately drool over the whole leg of cured pork that sits theatrically at the chef’s pass ready to be carved to order. We do as any good Roman would and promptly order a vast amount of antipasti, primo, secondi and dolce! Handmade ravioli stuffed with braised wild boar follows slivers of mouth-melting shaved prosciutto. Our meal is punctuated by short bursts of dramatic live opera that makes us simultaneously cringe and laugh, but results in an entertaining evening that I’m certain could not be experienced anywhere else in Asia. After a few mouthfuls of oozy chocolate pudding, it’s time for a nightcap and we head up to the rooftop bar, the jewel in the hotel’s crown.
Looking out over the dazzling lights with a French martini in hand and a belly full of Italian delights, you really could be anywhere in the world. A welcome change to the Asian boutique hotel scene, Muse embraces hedonism in a playful, tasteful way and has left me feeling inspired, albeit still rather sweaty.
The room – I was upgraded to the Yama executive – was huge and very comfortable. The location – walking distance from the metro, good restaurants, the malls of Siam square. The rooftop pool and its lockers saved me as I had a late flight and allowed me to enjoy the pool, have a shower and change. The secret rooftop bar above the official rooftop bar with a great view and an amazing choice of gin to make up your own G&T. The service – everyone was nice and helpful.
A great breakfast. A room with a lot of light –it goes with the hotel style, which is quite dark overall but you will get your fair share of Vitamin D when stepping outside. Noise – it was one of the quietest hotel rooms I've ever slept in!
Everything about the hotel and its facilities was perfect!! The attention to detail was amazing. Very nice atmosphere throughout the hotel and the staff were very attentive and polite...would we stay again? In a heartbeat! I didnt want to leave
The area, and the bar. The Smokin' Pug was great for BBQ, and only a few hundred meters away.
The hotel's location is in the business district, so you might need to travel to see the grittier side of Bangkok.
Hotel Muse is in a great location. There are lots of shopping malls, restaurants and cafes in easy walking distance and the Skytrain, which is the best and easiest form of transportation in Bangkok, is only a 5 minute walk away. Despite the fact that the hotel is in the middle of town you hear absolutely nothing in your room. We booked a Dowadueng Corner Deluxe room, which was beautifully decorated, had a very comfortable bed with lovely linen and the bathroom was in black marble – everything is very stylish. The Rooftop Bar on the 24th floor is fun and we enjoyed cocktails and our complimentary Muse Platter from Mr & Mrs Smith on the first evening. All the staff were very friendly and helpful, especially concierge Boom, who even managed to book us into the legendary restaurant Gaggan (24 hours after arrival). We sat at the Chef's Table and Gaggan himself was present for the entire meal – what an experience. The breakfast buffet was excellent with a great choice. We also ate in Babette's (the Steak Restaurant) and the quality of the food was very good.
At weekends the restaurants are very busy, especially at breakfast, so don't expect to find a quiet corner.
The room was excellent, and easy to get there using the train. The pool area, although small, allows you to take in some rays of sunshine and cool off in the Bangkok heat. There are a number of cafés close by for coffee, breakfast and lunch.
Bangkok traffic is crazy and taking a taxi or tuk-tuk down to the river areas can be quite challenging.