The Thai capital has never really been known for stylish places to stay.
Everything about the Metropolitan Bangkok – from its graphic, post-modern exterior to its sleek and eyecatching lobby – exudes a cool, contemporary aura. A hip and happening hotel set back in a quiet part of South Sathorn Road in the heart of Bangkok’s CBD (it’s just behind the French Embassy), the Metropolitan is everything it promises to be and much, much more. The minute you arrive, smartly dressed staff (their uniforms are designed by Yohji Yamamoto) efficiently register you with minimal hassle and escort you to your room. A warm pot of Mulberry tea is then brought to you while you are unpacking your suitcase; a nice touch in this busy, harried world where homogeneity in services has become the norm. The guestrooms are clean and calming, not to mention soothing, for the senses. Dark-wood flooring contrasts with the spare aesthetic of the interior. Modern lighting gives the rooms a very seductive ambience. Beige slate bathrooms have a luxurious feel, even though it is stripped of any clutter and embellishments, testimony to the skill of interior designer Kathryn Kng. A Chinese meditation chair and a yoga mat add to the new-age element that would be appreciated by those who can tell the difference. The brainchild of Singaporean style maven, Christina Ong, the Metropolitan Bangkok is a sister to the hotel of the same name in London – a property already deeply entrenched in the psyche of Europe’s smartest set.
The swimming pool deserves a special mention for the clever way it is partially concealed from the view of the entrance and lobby, yet visible enough to impart a cooling effect on a hot Bangkok day. A separate entrance and the Thai capital has never really been known for stylish places to stay. Sure, there’s the Oriental and the Peninsula but they don’t exactly rate high on the cool scale. But in Bangkok, things don’t stay still for long, writes Ong Chin Huat exteriorprivate lift transports guests to the pool, an ingenious solution for guests who prefer to keep a lower profile in their swim suits. But the jewel in the Metropolitan crown must be its spa, Shambhala. Developed in line with the group’s flagship retreat at Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the massages and facials are reason alone to warrant a stay. Therapists honed by experience gathered from Parrot Cay transport you to Cloud 9. Shambhala also make their own bath and body products that utilise essential oils like geranium, lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus. The Metropolitan boasts 2 restaurants that are already making waves in culinary circles. Cy’an is a Mediterranean seafood restaurant with major influences coming from Moorish cuisine. Overseen by Australian chef Amanda Gale, the food is light and innovative. Glow, appropriately located adjacent to the spa, serves healthy, fresh organic food with an emphasis on energising juices rich in living enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Those wanting a detox or are recovering from a hangover could do worse than try their wheatgrass juice shot – freshly squeezed juice from actual crops grown on the premises. And finally there’s the Met Bar – the bar that shoots up the mercury on A-list in London – replicated for fans here in Bangkok. Sexy and stylish, it’s a members-only club (luckily hotel guests are allowed too) where the sleek and chic are in their element. Try the Tom-yam martinis because, like everything else in the Metropolitan, they are unique, unforgettable and leave you wanting more!
Metropolitan, Bangkok, 27 South Sathorn Road, Tungmahamek Sathorn, Bangkok 10120 Tel 662 625 3333
Review by AK