Being one of The Leading Hotels of The World (LHW), Capella Hotels and Resorts have until to this day only totalled 6 properties in Asia, so in a sense it has been a luxury boutique brand for those in the know. They were still spreading their wings while Covid put the brakes on some opportunities, nevertheless, Capella Bangkok opened its door to welcome guests since 2021 despite not really being able to capitalise on their pre-eminent position as a new resort in Bangkok of some note. So, it has only been this year that they have really made a mark and this understated luxury urban resort that should not be ignored will most definitely shake up the hierarchy of luxury hotels in Bangkok accommodation scene from now on.
Nested along one of the most historic streets in Bangkok, the Charoen Krung road is the past and present sitting side by side, which runs the length of the Chao Phraya River from the historic palace district stretches many kilometres and is itself a tourist destination for many interesting sights, the authentic and the spurious, natural charm and glamour that creates an instant contrast with inventive people from all walks of life, both those born here and those who have chosen to adopt this city as home. So you will be surprised to turn off this thoroughfare into a beautifully landscaped driveway that seems to signal “be aware of something special coming your way”, as you reach the top of the hilly driveway to turn right and suddenly realise that you have arrived at this sought-after destination.
It is only a 101 rooms property and many of which have private plunge pools, so luxury is not on a huge scale, but more intimate to give you that personalisation, so the Concierge quickly whisks you from the car to your ‘check-in’ which is a little different to many hotels and this is where you realise that they set themselves apart with those small touches that you will come to love and admire. They strive to do things differently!
From the understated interiors by San Francisco design studio BAMO right through to service, The Living Room is a light filled, river facing lounge where your staycation journey really begins as this lounge is exclusive and only accessible to Capella Bangkok guests. It is a grand affair that has a luxury of space and an elegant residential feel and this is where guests enjoy a tapestry of creative and engaging gastronomic and cultural vignettes throughout their visit.
To the backdrop of the hotel’s carefully crafted music list, it can be easy to lose a good part of the day lazing on a sofa by enjoying a complimentary glass of French sparkling wine. If that is not your average drop, you may also partake in a non-alcoholic beverage if that is your preference, and then the gorgeous chocolates made in-house are offered and you begin to realise that you are gradually stepping into a dream of luxury.
While we were unwinding ourselves and admiring the sophisticated lounge and surroundings, at the same time well looked after over the check-in process with a short and clear briefing and by Khun Pon Tangdhammakiati (you may want to challenge yourself to read out her full name in a blink of your eyes or in seconds which may score you another top up of your welcome sparkling) best known as Pony, our Senior Capella Culturist who has an extremely great sense of humour knew that we were in for a very memorable and inspired stay, her unique and charming character instantly lighting up our heart with a cheeky yet professional and friendly approach that is constantly sending out good vibes to her prestige guests and most importantly is that Pony knows exactly when to “back off” and reappears at the right timing when you need her assistance. Sounds like a ghost in the shadow with full protection in a nice way. Don’t you worry, Pony is not a stalker!
After the enlightenment and laughter shared by Pony, she graciously escorted us to our Riverfront Premier Room on the top floor followed by a brief and needed room tour before she excused herself out for her duty for the rest of the day. Be aware of the power of surprise, the 61sqm spacious haven had more space than we needed, but so much to enjoy that exercises in great spatial design with an elevated heritage 2.0 panoramic view of The River of The King with a private balcony.
The layout of the cocoon-like bedroom is just perfect, the effect is that of a living room with a mix of furniture in myriad styles, colours and patterns with desk and sitting area and the heavenly luxurious king bed with flat-ironed Egyptian cotton linens directly overlooking the majestic river through the floor to ceiling spotless windows to take in the spectacular and uninterrupted river view.
All these are well packaged in a superb black and white photo montage of an historic photo of the life of the bustling Chao Phraya River that has been bought by the hotel for their exclusive use and each little box put together makes the photo and this is such a clever way to bring a bit of history into the room. There are many thoughtful touches that makes a difference on the luxury scale and well suited for this sophisticated boutique brand.
A muted scheme allows minimal distraction from the sweeping views of the river, taken in from the bedroom, bathroom and double daybed on the private balcony. After a rejuvenated sleep, you then draw the blinds by a gentle touch of the bedside switch and the entirely new scenic river view awaits your morning mood to excite your new day ahead by tirelessly witnessing boats gliding by as birdsong fills the air if you are lucky. Simply Stunning!
Small and intimate as resorts go does not mean that this resort is short on other amenities. The lap swimming pool is a decent size and quite secluded, so you will not find outside guests traipsing past to get somewhere, thus a peaceful enclave to the side of The Living Room which is to be enjoyed. The cabanas are great to escape some of the sun and feel cocooned.
Immerse yourself into a sense of wellbeing at the AURIGA Spa wellness offering a spa treatment that is quite superb with a fit-out that oozes luxury, including a fantastic wet area in the change rooms to be enjoyed at all times that includes a water therapy area. Their signature massage at the spa will cure any hangover, plus a gym that is quite a decent size and well equipped, including a swing yoga room. Daily sunrise yoga session takes place at the wellness pavilion outside also available with prior booking to realign your body, balance your mind and soul or simply a space to be at one with yourself in the morning air.
Your fascination with food and beverage is well catered for as well. Phra Nakhon is the authentic Thai restaurant in a sun washed contemporary setting on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
A must-dine for its inventive Thai cuisine that stays truthful for its genuine taste over dinner. You will be utterly impressed by the entire dining experience.
Phra Nakhon is set in a Thai ‘greenhouse’ design inside which is delightful and it serves the freshest locally sourced ingredients daily and coincidentally this is where you can also enjoy a sumptuous breakfast.
The breakfast fires on all cylinders and you will not want it to end, encompassing local Thai dishes that cannot be faulted, as well as superb daily baked French patisserie creations that will result in pastry overload. Also, the daily booster is sensational and a great detox fluid to hydrate and quench your morning thirst.
A wide selection of seasonal tropical fruits are well spread with inviting presentation at the buffet section. Main and hot dishes are cooked a-la-minute and you can eat as much as you like and all are artfully garnished to excite your appetite. The many egg dishes selection all have a refined twist and are simply delectable, not forgetting the Thai selection as well as some really appetizing waffles.
The Tea Lounge in the main lobby at the entrance is the perfect place for all drinks as well as their signature indulgent afternoon tea set served with awfully tempting pastries on colorful and china settings.
An evening cocktail ritual is not to be missed by marvelling at the evening sun down view of the river and bottom ups at the bespoke silvery Stella Bar before heading for your dinner arrangement. The chic and slick lounge of an art deco ocean liner has very tempting libations in a stunning setting. The entrance narrow hallway is adorned with antiqued mirrors and panelling with intimate booth cart seatings as well as the long white marble top bar against the fully equipped and well stocked bar welcoming you to chill and unwind.
A full size long tail stuffed white feather peacock stand atop the furniture which is part 'love' seating and part decorative in the round with a classy blue semicircular seating overlooking proceedings and it has views out to the river as well as dramatically reflecting the nouvelle neo-classic aesthetic juxtaposed with the gigantic crystal glass chandelier with branches of leaves designed motifs that illuminated the entire intimate lounge area.
Lots to absorb on the interior side, sensational cocktails, aperitifs with local twists and touches are served with canapes in this vibrant, live-music speakeasy chill out atmosphere and interiors to the point that was our favourite hangout every evening for the sun setting.
<City of Khai> - One of the many signature cocktails at Stella Bar with authentic Thai Rum, roasted rice, spices and Tom Kha Foam. Simply refreshing!
A lunch at CÔTE, the Michelin-starred restaurant with limited seating helmed by the Three-Michelin star chef Mauro Colagreco, is another bliss to unwind over a great wine and dine sojourn with carefully seasonal crafted exotica menu, showcases a contemporary reinterpretation of the traditional recipes and culinary heritage of the French and Italian Riviera.
The refined presentation comes with bespoke tableware, which makes for a very inventive way to showcase each dish and really shows how food and receptacles complement each other to elevate the whole experience.
Service was very on point and a very knowledgable sommelier presented us with the wine list which is incredible with some great selections that is only exclusively dedicated for this establishment, especially the very long list of French champagnes, with most grower champagne brands that you may have never seen before or heard of on the wine lists, so kudos to them for being so immersive in such grape varieties.
A true sparkling gem!
Should you wish to step outside the resort, the ever ready Capella Culturists team have spent time scouring Bangkok for identifying the right experiences to recommend within the local community to engage and discover local heritage and culture and meeting fascinating people on the way. We put them to the test and they came up trumps, especially exploring most of the historical sights, off the beaten track cultural scenes, typical local eat-outs well designed to discover the unknown.
Each recommendation met our expectations and then some and it was delightful to sample some local life that was outside the realms of luxury but was spot on in that sphere of authenticity and gave us another side to Bangkok that many tourists probably don’t get to experience. All you need is an open heart and put on your most comfortable shoes and off you go. They even offered to escort us to some close by sights if we weren’t sure about directions, so it is not merely lip service. Highly recommended!
Capella Bangkok is not just another tranquil luxury urban resort with modern amenities, but one that will, or maybe already has, set a new standard for bespoke luxury. This urban luxury escape is a delightfully leafy getaway and once you have arrived, you really don’t need to leave the environs of this magical place and although it is normally location, location, location…We always recommend a short walk around to explore the surrounds at your leisurely pace which is absolute necessary, but after the first day, you will find your slice of heaven. The romance of this urban discreet luxury lifestyle can be enjoyed any which way, but you will find your favourite spot to enjoy the sun-kissed day lying ahead.
The discreet and personalised service that they strive to deliver at all times is more than just an added value in any kind. This understated luxury hospitality that facilitates all the needs to pamper you is just the right balance of knowing your every whim without being stuffy. Cappella Bangkok has this magic touch that envelopes you within the destination that offers perspective with adventure to share while exploring the extraordinary and step into a dream of luxury. The entire team lead by soft spoken General Manager, John Blanco, together have taken the time to create the magic to allow you to sample a life of authenticity, by curating unique experiences that are punctuated by unforgettable moments. They truly show an understanding for escapism beyond the simple indulgence of travel and show respect for the surroundings. After all, it’s your endless passion for discovery that leads you there. A chic and luxury urban staycation redefined and the Capella Bangkok is awesome and simply majestic!