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Hotel Highlights

  • Unbeatable location, right on the Chao Phraya River
  • Seductive trad-modern Thai styling, with elegant art and antiques
  • Spacious, river-view rooms and Bangkok's first pool villas
  • Screening room, spa and the only muay Thai boxing ring in a hotel

Overview

If Noël Coward was holidaying in Thailand, he'd book into The Siam hotel in Bangkok, a swelligant, dandy affair inspired by the jazzy art deco era. Vintage posters, gramophones and travel trunks pepper this poised pad, which boasts an unbeatable location right on the Chao Phraya River. Wow-worthy extras include the city's only pool villas, a spa, screening room, cooking school and muay Thai boxing ring.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Siam with us:

A Thai cooking class for two, including market tour and three-course lunch preparation (excludes drinks and must be reserved in advance)

Facilities

View Gallery
The Siam – Bangkok – Thailand

Need To Know

Rooms

39, including 28 suites.

Check–out

12pm, but flexible subject to availability. Check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $353.86 (THB11,950), excluding tax at 17.7 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast in the restaurant, butler service and a speedboat shuttle between the hotel and Sathorn Central Pier (near Saphan Taksin BTS station).

Also

Get active with a bout of muay Thai boxing, then chill out in the Opium Spa by Sodashi, which combines soothing treatments with a serene relaxation space. Come evening, the screening room beckons with its retro cinema seats.

At the hotel

Spa, library, screening room, cooking school, gym, yoga terrace, muay Thai boxing ring, boutique, meeting room, gardens, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen IPTV, minibar, own-label toiletries. Pool Villas also star plunge pools and roof terraces.

Our favourite rooms

In the Main Residence, the light-drenched Riverview Suites offer dreamy Chao Phraya vistas and a stylish salon for lazy breakfasts. For your own plunge pool, retreat to the separate riverview Pool Villas, which boast lush courtyard gardens and an open-air roof terrace. Fancy extra space? Antique teak house Connie's Cottage has a bedroom upstairs and lavish living area below, and was shipped downriver from Ayutthaya by curio collector Connie Mangskau and silk merchant Jim Thompson.

Poolside

Soak up prime river views from the generous outdoor infinity pool beside the Chao Phraya. Sleekly shaped, it's lined with stylish modern loungers and flanked by the handy Bathers Bar for refreshing sips.

Packing tips

Binoculars for scoping river boats; yoga gear for sun salutations on the terrace; a camera for snapping the exquisite antiques and art (we love the rare travel books and prints).

Also

Smoking is allowed in outdoor public areas only. Pets are not permitted. A three-night minimum stay applies between 21 December 2014 and 3 January 2015.

Children

The Siam is a sophisticated, antique-dotted abode best suited to grown-ups, but baby cots are free and extra beds for older kids cost THB4,470 a night. Babysitting is THB300 an hour, with 24 hours' notice, and kids are welcome in the restaurants.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

Occupying an old Jim Thompson teak building, Deco Bar & Bistro is the Siam's main all-day diner, serving delicious breakfasts downstairs and tasty international dishes upstairs, such as lobster salad and goats' cheese souffle (alongside a well-stocked wine cellar). Decor evokes the jazz age, with vintage French cocktail posters, radios and gramophones. For local delicacies, head to riverfront Chon Thai Restaurant; if you like the authentic flavours, learn to recreate them yourself in the cooking school below.

Hotel Bar

Jazz tunes set the mood at Deco Bar, an art deco-influenced watering-hole that whips up a mean Siam Mojito. Musical mementos abound, a reminder of celebrity owners the Sukisols, Thailand's 'musical hoteliers'. For freshly brewed coffee, tea, cakes and snacks, kick back in soon-to-open Café Cha, deckside by the main entrance courtyard.

Last orders

Dinner is served until 11pm, when the bar also calls it a night.

Room service

Sandwiches, pasta, burgers and Thai cuisine are just some of the hunger-ousting options on the room service menu, available from 6am to 11pm.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Panama hats, silk suits and Twenties-inspired dresses in keeping with the Great Gatsby vibe.

Top table

Book a spot by the window at intimate Chon Thai for sunset river views or bag a private dining room if you're travelling with a troupe. Foodies will love the chef's table for two at the cooking school or opt for private dining in-room or on the pier.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

The Siam's intimate Opium Spa by Sodashi is a must for pleasure hounds, drawing on all-natural products inspired by the earth and sea. Choose between solo or couple's suites with steam rooms, saunas and Jacuzzis. Chill out in the hammam-style Bath House, then retire to the relaxation space. Facials, body therapies, massage, mani/pedis and wellbeing programmes are all up for grabs. The Kids' and Teen Menu is a cute touch, and there are specific pampering perks for men. 

It's not often that hotel gyms tick the good-looking box, but the Siam's is spacious and serene, overlooking a monastery, with personal trainers on tap. Unwind on the outdoor yoga terrace, try t'ai chi or get fighting fit in the muay Thai ring (the spa offers a Muay Thai Recovery package if you overdo it). Training options abound for beginners or experienced boxers, and the chef can even tailor your diet to match.

More in the mood for creating your own Thai food? The smart cooking school, under Chon Thai Restaurant, hosts daily classes on request, which begin with a market tour led by the chef (sessions run from 9.30am to 12.30pm).

For cultural highs, ogle hand-picked curios and antiques in the hotel's cabinets and inviting library (home to owner Krissada Clapp's collection of rare, first-edition hardbacks on old Siam and Asia and his mother Kamala's neolithic pottery pieces).

You're just five minutes from the Vimanmek Teak Mansion and child-pleasing Dusit Zoo, both in Dusit Park, and 15 minutes from the National Museum, Grand Palace, and mesmerising temples Wat Pho and Wat Arun downstream. Make the most of the Siam's free speedboat for whizzing to riverside sites, or let the concierge hook you up with an in-the-know private guide. Smith also recommends checking out the floating markets and sleepy scenes on the city's smaller khlongs (canals), easily expored by longtail boat. Fans of muay Thai can watch the real thing at nearby Ratchadamnoen Stadium.

Further afield to the north, the Chatuchak Weekend Market is worth a visit, with hundreds of stalls toting clothing, handicrafts, homewares, food and pets (live snakes, anyone?). The shopping-averse can content themselves with Curio, the Siam's small boutique, which offers an elegant edit of accessories, from travel posters to jewellery, antiques and toiletries.

Local restaurants

For a fantastic local experience near the hotel in Thewit, head for Krua Apsorn (+66 (0)2 241 8528; www.kruaapsorn.com) at 503–505 Samsen Road, a cosy dining room which has served members of the Thai royal family and bagged press plaudits. Crab, shrimp, snapper and mussels star in a range of tasty curries and stir-fries for lunch or early supper, backed up by soups, papaya salad and coconut ice-cream. Another good bet nearby is Rosabieng Restaurant (+66 (0)22 53 5868), at 3 Sukhumvit soi 11, which serves delicious Thai food and cool beers on the terrace.

Local bars

Stick with the Siam's musical theme by popping out for a drink at neighbourhood jazz bar Brown Sugar (+66 (0)89 499 1378; www.brownsugarbangkok.com), at 469 Phrasumen Road. It's open in the day for coffee or lunch, with drinks and live music nightly until the wee hours.

Local cafés

Phra Athit Road, just south of Dusit near the Chao Phraya River, is a charming spot with a host of hip cafés, bars and restaurants set in beautiful old shophouses.

+ Enlarge
Right on the river

The Siam

3/2 Thanon Khao, Vachirapayabal, Dusit, Bangkok, Thailand, Thailand 10300

The Siam is in the historic Dusit neighbourhood, home to royal palaces and government buildings, set on the Bangkok side of the Chao Phraya River at the base of the Krung Thon Bridge.

Planes

Fly into Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport (www.bangkokairportonline.com), 35 kilometres east of the city centre, which handles domestic and international flights. Take the Bangkok Airport Train (www.bangkokairporttrain.com) from Suvarnabhumi for fast, traffic-dodging links into town; the last stop, Phaya Thai, is the nearest to the Siam.

Trains

The nearest regular train station is Hua Lamphong (www.railway.co.th), five kilometres from the Siam, Bangkok's major train hub serving destinations including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and former royal capital Ayutthaya.

Automobiles

If you've arrived with your own wheels, there's free parking at the hotel. Taxis and tuk-tuks for local journeys are available around the clock, but beware of peak traffic times.

Other

The Siam has its own dedicated river pier and offers a private speedboat shuttle to and from Bangkok's Sathorn Central Pier, 25 minutes to the south, just a hop from the BTS Skytrain stop at Saphan Taksin.

Reviews

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The Siam
The Siam 3/2 Thanon Khao, Vachirapayabal, Dusit Bangkok 10300 Bangkok Thailand

Anonymous review

by , Creative nonconformist

Rating: 10/10 stars
One of the most essential aspects of design is its ability to transport you, to alter perception and to help give context to human experiences. At last the urban retreat – once considered an oxymoron – has been transformed into a delightful reality. Mr Smith and I are devout fans of mini spa breaks and we appreciate every aspect of design that transitions you from hectic city life into…
Read more

The Siam

Anonymous review by Ross Urwin, Creative nonconformist

One of the most essential aspects of design is its ability to transport you, to alter perception and to help give context to human experiences. At last the urban retreat – once considered an oxymoron – has been transformed into a delightful reality. Mr Smith and I are devout fans of mini spa breaks and we appreciate every aspect of design that transitions you from hectic city life into a respite from the modern world. The Siam takes this to an entirely new level – and how.

Bangkok hotels tend to be sombre skyscrapers, so imagine our excitement when we discover this boutique beauty. From the instant you arrive, and you’re greeted by your private butler, the extraordinary happens. As you climb the stairs and enter the foyer, there’s a hint of the magic to come. Normally after a long flight Mr Smith and I are beating hotel staff away from our luggage and wishing that the registration process and swiping of credit cards could be more streamlined so that we can just get our belongings and ourselves to our room to unpack and decompress. This time we’re begging the butler to slow down as he whisks us past reception directly to our suite to pop the first bottle of chilled bubbly – it’s a lesson in Thai grace, charm and ease. Exploring the public areas to have piqued our curiosity will have to wait…

We’re in a light-filled Riverview Suite – what an off-the-charts pleasure. Next time we’ll try one of the separate pool villas – a first for Bangkok. Set right on the Chao Phraya River in the exclusive royal Dusit district, this intimate 39-room retreat blends a coolly contemporary low-rise building with heritage Jim Thompson teak houses. We spend our working week in hotels that are beautifully designed and well appointed, but the Siam is unexpected for its individual style. From the generous layout to the subtle detailing and meticulously curated artwork you sense that this room is unlike any other and the owners – Thai pop star Krissada Clapp and his family of ‘musical hoteliers’–have laboured with architect Bill Bensley to create a truly personalised experience for every guest. We don’t want to spoil too much of the surprise.

After a bottle of champagne and a lost hour mesmerised by the river view and the artwork/photography, we venture out. Another hour evaporates before we reach the pool – about 400 metres from the room. By now you’re starting to understand that our 48-hour Bangkok adventure is transitioning into a cultural odyssey. The reason? The Sukosol Clapp family avidly collects artifacts and antiques. The main atrium of the building is surrounded by an exquisitely housed collection of Han dynasty pottery, regional Thai artifacts and 18th- and 19th-century curios. This may sound a little random but the fascinating collection is elegantly edited and the hotel feels more like a private gallery or museum.

Eventually we reach the Hollywood Hills-esque swimming pool feeling culturally elevated and inspired. Nestled on the riverbank and surrounded by perfect gardens, the immaculately maintained leisure area continues a monochromatic theme. I suggest a swim before breakfast and that you try kickboxing in one of the best-equipped hotel gyms I’ve seen – how many places offer a proper Muay Thai boxing ring? Late afternoon and we head to the Opium Spa to find ourselves in a different tranquility. The signature Thai massage soothes away jetlag and muscle aches – I recommend stocking up on the Australian Sodashi products too.

As the sun goes down we find ourselves on the Siam’s own wharf floating over the river, a perfect gin and tonic in hand; this vibrant city is starting to take on its buzzing nighttime persona. We’re about to have a quiet dinner at Chon Thai Restaurant when the manager suggests we take the hotel’s Cipriani-style private launch, crack open a bottle of something moreish and enjoy a cruise along the bustling river. Best suggestion from a GM ever. If, like us, you’re lucky enough to be the only guests in the boat too, this is a seriously stunning way to see the city. Few rivers are as animated and dynamic as Bangkok’s. The option to hop off along the riverbank is a bonus – but we decide to stay on board – it’s been a long week and we feel no guilt relaxing. Historical palaces, temples, contemporary monoliths create a contrasting architectural landscape – what a backdrop. Mr Smith and I fall asleep to the gentle rock of the boat. Was it the tranquil evening on the waterway, getting our Zen on at the Opium Spa or the wine? You’ll have to test it yourself to find out.

After our enchanting river nap we plump for in-room dining – this can be a way to ruin a good hotel evening, but not at the Siam… delicious and romantic. Skip now to day two. Next up: the impressive breakfast at Chon Thai, the restaurant we’d missed out on the night before. Don’t you dare think it’ll be a buffet – here there’s a menu of healthy and decadent dishes. Then another lazy day ensues. Mr Smith spends the morning discovering art collections located in other parts of the hotel while I peruse design and history books in the library and screening room. Slight guilt from our lethargy sets in – so after a languid lunch poolside we leave the property for a stroll around the historic Dusit neighbourhood.

Café Cha lures us back to indulge in cakes and pastries and the famous in-house Elephant Dung coffee. (Note to all: the complimentary kickboxing class in the morning means you don’t need to count calories later.) Adjacent to the café and lobby is Curio, which sells everything from antique tribal jewellery to fashion – and the proceeds from some of the gift-shop goods support the indigenous Thai elephants. The hotel has its own elephant polo team and the general manager is an avid player.

Hats off to the Sukosol Clapp family, Mr Bill Bensley and the Siam team for so, so much – but in particular we commend their respect and understanding of Thai culture, excellent design and slick service. Such admirable vision ensures truly unique experiences await you.

 

 

 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members have to say about The Siam in the Guestbook below…

 

GoldSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Everything! This hotel is just incredible. A beautiful building filled with very beautiful things. Our room was huge and had everything in it you could possibly need. The staff were all friendly and helpful. The restaurant was great and the little pier lovely to sit on with a drink whilst watching the boats go by on the river. We didn't use the spa but it looked nice. It's more expensive than most Bangkok hotels, but worth every penny, it's quite the experience.

Don’t expect

It does lack a slight warmth due to the scale of the building and the museum like interior. This wasn't a big problem, but would probably stop of us from spending more than a couple of night there.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The Siam is a beautiful and unique hotel packed full of interesting features and antiques. The pool area is great, very luxurious. We took a Thai cooking class, which was excellent. The Siam boat was very handy for getting into town. The cocktails on the deck were another highlight!

Don’t expect

The service in the restaurant and on the deck was sometimes a bit hit and miss, mostly due to the language barrier.

Rating: 8/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel is a peaceful riverside oasis with an abundance of interesting and priceless antiques. Service is outstanding and the suite was spacious and elegant.

Don’t expect

The food could be better.

Rating: 8/10 stars