Architecture / Interior /

Southeast Asia’s 7 Unique Luxury Hotels

Each year, I try to explore many parts of the world to see and experience the various types of their luxurious hotels. This year my interest falls into Southeast Asia region, from Singapore to the Indochina region such as Cambodia and Laos. For centuries, history has taken note that the region was home to some of the most opulent kingdoms in Asia. During my first visit to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Luang Prabang this year, I was impressed not only by their glorious historical past but also by the presence of the great luxury hotel establishments. Here is my selection list of seven unique luxury hotels in the region this year!

Bangkok, Thailand

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel:
A Timeless Residence

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The story of Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel can be traced back to 1983 when the hotel was first opened to the public. At that time, the hotel was part of The Peninsula group and designed with a lobby reminiscent of the parent hotel. With the passing of time, this property became The Regent of Bangkok and again The Four Seasons Bangkok. It was not until March 2015, when Anantara group took over and gave it a $20 million makeover to become the new Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel.

This hotel is situated in Ratchadamri vicinity, Bangkok’s most prestigious area especially for five-star luxury hotels (neighbours include Grand Hyatt Erawan and The St. Regis Bangkok). Designed by architect George Wimberly and Dan Wong Prasert, this hotel is conceived as a ‘residential’ hotel combining the inspiration from a Western classical grandeur that reached its pinnacle in the Edwardian age, as well as the profound spirituality of Thai Buddhist art, which blossoms in the Rattanakosin period. The hotel layout draws its theme from the individual units that comprise a traditional Thai house. The main core building is flanked by two atriums, each with corridors open to natural sunlight. Each of the two courts landscaped tropical gardens gives the feeling of a lush rainforest.

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The high-ceiling lobby is adorned with subtle yet vibrant pastel mandala-type silk paintings about the cosmos covering every section of the ceiling. There are also 800 metres of hand-painted silk panels called ‘The Coronation of a King’, gracing the grand staircase right in the centre of the lobby. The hand-painted silk panels are made by Ajarn Paiboon Suwanakudt, Thailand’s greatest traditional muralist in the modern era. The mural puts in details the accession of the Chakri Dynasty to the throne of Thailand, as it is depicted in an allegorical style with lavishly costumed figures in a rich royal pageant, complimented by a tropical idyll of animals, flowers and trees, painted in the early Rattanakosin style.

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Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel boasts a total of 307 rooms and suites across 10 categories. Jeffrey A. Wilkes of LTW Designworks who is recognised for his style in blending cosmopolitan influences with traditional elements is trusted to renovate the deluxe and premier guest rooms. He injected a fresh sense of luxury by infusing more contemporary aesthetic with undertones of Thai details, remaining true to the ethos of the Anantara brand. Indeed, the hotel has a long journey. Yet, the way we see it is that Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel will last for a long time as a statement of timeless luxury.


 

Read more:

The 8 Luxurious Hotels of the Orient World

EDITOR’S CHOICE of Bali’s Finest Resorts

Designing Luxury Hotels in Asia

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