Shaped like a pair of reverential hands, the Rosewood Bangkok – designed to represent the pressed hands of the traditional wai Thai greeting – juts skyward as though in communion with a higher power, bent on bringing peace and luxury to Bangkok's bustling heart. If the hotel can be said to be in the beating heart, however, it’s also the city center’s most stylish sanctum. Every room commands sweeping city views, and features fine fabrics, ornamental screens and hand-picked artwork, adding to your sense of elegant repose. An open-air swimming pool and stylish spa bolster the hotel’s stress-busting powers, as does 30th-floor cocktail bar Lennon’s, a window-walled marvel with a whisky library and record collection that runs into the thousands.
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A THB1,000 voucher to be used on drinks or dining at the hotel
Double rooms from $327.82 (THB9,900), excluding tax at 17.7 per cent.
Rates don’t include breakfast, served in Lakorn European Brasserie. Choose from the indulgent Continetal buffet (THB1,280 for adults; THB640 for children) or go à la carte (dishes start THB380).
The inspiration for the hotel’s striking shape, the joined-hands wai gesture is deeply ingrained in everyday Thai life. It can be used to greet or say goodbye, show understanding or simply to show respect – you might notice Thais making the gesture to portraits of the monarchy, temples and other important monuments.
There’s no such thing as a bad room at Rosewood Bangkok – even the entry-level Deluxe Rooms have sweeping city views, ornate lattice screens and elegant furniture marrying Thai tradition with gleaming modernity. For something really special, book one of the Sky Pool Studios – complete with private plunge pools overlooking the cityscape – or one of the opulent houses.
The large saltwater pool is in a tall, light-flooded atrium facing the Bangkok skyline. It’s covered and enclosed on three sides, but the fourth has been left open to the elements, giving swimmers an uninterrupted view. There’s a separate hot tub and several sunloungers at this end of the pool, surrounded by trees and walls of greenery.
Sense spa draws on Thailand’s rich healing traditions, reworking ancient treatments for the 21st-century traveller. A team of dexterous therapists work from five treatment rooms, each as placid and luxurious as the next; two are designed for couples, so you can destress of indulge side by side. The products themselves are just as impressive, coming from Parisian beauty brand Maison Caulières and Franco-Japanese skincare specialists EviDenS de Beauté. There’s also a nail bar and a salon, each staffed by an expert team.
If a fine havana is your thing, bring a smoking jacket to don at the cigar mezzanine in Lennon's.
All common areas are wheelchair accessible, as are several guest rooms.
All ages are welcome and Rosewood Explorers, the kids club, has plenty to keep little Smiths entertained. Certain rooms can accommodate a cot (free) or an extra bed (free for under-12s, THB2,000 a night for over-12s). Some rooms can be connected, too.
Nan Bei’s velvet banquettes are particularly alluring, but if it’s not too hot, go for a table on the terrace.
Don’t be afraid of dressing up at Lakorn or Nan Bei – at the latter, add a touch of silk as your finishing flourish.
Lakorn is the hotel’s western restaurant, serving European cuisine in a light-washed room with a gleaming marble floor, supple leather sofas and floor-to-ceiling windows – there’s also a stylish terrace if you fancy dining alfresco. On the 19th floor, Nan Bei serves refined Chinese cuisine with a side of sweeping views. Fittingly, the art deco interiors are inspired by the Chinese legend of the Weavergirl and the Cowherd, in which earth and heaven are entwined in a story of forbidden love. Expect perfect Peking duck, divine dumplings and seafood prepared south-Chinese style. Poolside café G&O is the place for brunch or a light lunch, serving Eurasian farm-to-table fare with a green, organic lean.
Cresting the hotel on its 30th floor, Lennon’s splices the nostalgia of a midcentury recording studio with the glamour of a magnate’s penthouse. In one fell swoop, you can step from the lift, order an old fashioned and sink into one of the leather sofas, drinking in the lofty views. If you’re after further old-school refinement, study up in the whisky library or peruse the luxurious cigar mezzanine. Best of all, however, is that you get to set the mood, selecting your soundtrack from the 6,000-strong vinyl collection.
Lakorn serves breakfast from 6.30am to 10.30am; lunch from noon to 2.30pm; dinner from 6pm to 10pm. Nan Bei serves lunch from 11.30am to 2.30pm; dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm. G&O serves an all-day menu from 7am to 7pm. Drinks flow in Lennon’s from 7pm until
Rosewood Bangkok is in Lumphini, a central district home to one of the city’s most famous parks.
The best place to touch down is Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. It takes around 45 minutes to drive from there to the hotel; one-way transfers in a BMW 7-series can be arranged for THB3,500. If you’re a party of more than three, book the Mercedes V Class instead (THB4,000 each way).
The hotel has direct access to Ploenchit BTS, a central station on Bangkok’s elevated Sukhumvit Line.
The city’s traffic is infamous, so most visitors give driving a miss. Thankfully, the public transport system is excellent, and there are countless taxis on hand if you need them.
Worth getting out of bed for
Thailand’s sprawling capital is where cultures collide: temples sit alongside skyscrapers that hide street markets in their shadows. Indeed, Bangkok has more markets than you can throw a fistful of baht at, but none are quite like Chang Chui Plane Night Market. The centrepiece is a decommissioned Lockheed L-1011 TriStar (in other words, a full-size passenger jet), which is encircled by food stalls, boutiques and small restaurants. The entire market is a creative hub of sorts, with stalls selling everything from craft coffee to handmade accessories. If you’re after homegrown fashion and design, try Warehouse30, a vast mixed-use venue on the east side of the river, where you’ll find stores stocked with local brands like Lonely Two Legged Creature. If you’re hankering after greenery but don’t want to stray from the city centre, stroll over to Bangkok's beloved Lumphini Park, famous for its artificial lake – complete with swan-shaped pedalos – and population of monitor lizards. For a more transportive experience, hop on an airport Rail Link train to Ladkrabang Station, a short cab ride from the Metro Forest Project. This entirely man made forest is home to 270 species of tree, planted in a way that mirrors the scattering of seeds in the wild.
For a laid-back lunch, try family-run restaurant Baan (meaning home), where the chefs prepare dishes influenced by their grandparents’ cooking. Their meat, seafood, eggs and rice are all sourced from small, reputable producers that prize healthy and humane farming methods, making this home cooking with a heart. The brainchild of two top Thai chefs, 100 Mahaseth follows the nose-totail’ cooking philosophy, where every part of the animal is given its due – and virtually nothing is wasted. It may sound scart, but it’s part and parcel in China and Southeast Asia. 100 Mahaseth is the perfect place to give it a go, as the dishes are inspired by old-world recipes but cooked and plated with contemporary flair. For a casual dinner, book a table at Bo.Lan, founded by two chefs who met in the kitchen at Nahm London. Having decided to strike out on their own, the pair returned to Bangkok, founding Bo.Lan on the belief that the best Thai food should be found within the country's own borders. Their dishes span the full flavour spectrum from spicy to sour, and are served in a wood-clad dining room that echoes a traditional Thai house. On your final night, go all-out at Gaggan, the lauded Indian restaurant that has topped the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list four years running. Chef Gaggan Anand prepares tasting menus of at least 10 small courses (sometimes many more), which tour India’s many-faced cuisine in the most innovative way possible. Booking essential.
The name sounds seedy, but Teens of Thailand is actually a stripped-back cocktail bar – and a respected one at that. Gin features prominently, often infused with local fruits, herbs and spices to create unmistakably Thai G&Ts.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this luxury hotel in Bangkok and unpacked their jade trinkets found in the night markets, a full account of their capital city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Rosewood Bangkok…
Bangkok’s commercial heart has been in need of an all-out luxury hotel for years. Sure, the city has more hotels than you can count, but until the opening of Rosewood Bangkok, there wasn’t much that gave the impression of being touched by the heavens (shaped like a pair of clasped hands, the Rosewood stretches its fingertips to the sky as if reaching for a higher power). Every room is flooded with light, every bed topped with silky-soft sheets and every cut of fabric or piece of furniture pleasing to the touch. If you’re in need of further restoration, Sense spa is the hotel’s innermost sanctum, where the toil of late nights and long-haul flights is expunged with the help of deft hands. In Chinese fine-dining restaurant Nan Bei, an old legend is woven into the art deco interior, referencing the story of the Weavergirl and the Cowherd, in which a mortal is allowed to ascend into the heavens once a year to be with his true love. If you climb to cocktail bar Lennon’s on the 30th-floor, you too might glimpse something otherworldly – and if even if you don’t, you’ll still understand why they call Bangkok the City of Angels.
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