All that glimmers
The W Bangkok is, at its heart, all about design. Bold, brash and fabulous, this is a hotel for those who prefer to walk on the wild side. The giant `W’ logo on the building’s façade sets the tone, and that is followed up by a colour palette that prefers shocking pink and glimmering gold over the beiges and browns found in so many high-end hideaways. The razzmatazz is supplemented by striking artworks, including the lobby’s crystal mural, which depicts two mystical creatures using 80,000 individually applied crystals, and “Bangkok Nights”, an installation near the elevators where 800 tuk tuk lights create a captivating light show.
The playful W aesthetic continues into the rooms, where a giant pair of gold- or pink-sequined boxing gloves awaits, perched on the bed in a nod to the hotel’s recurring muay thai theme. Patent black faux brickwork, a shimmering silver shower curtain and a deep freestanding tub are the bathroom’s standout touches, while the generous beds are overlooked by headboards bearing diamond motifs and topped by striking duvets depicting a phoenix boxing with a tiger, devised by celebrated local artist Maysa Yanovan. The W’s rooms are large, stylised and unashamedly eccentric – totally in keeping with the rest of the property.
For a property that markets itself as an “urban playground” it was always going to be important that the W Bangkok got its pool right. And with copious loungers and daybeds offering comfort as one enjoys creations delivered by the hotel’s feted mixologists, this 6th-floor spot has become a Bangkok destination in its own right. Despite the `see and be seen’ vibe, the star of the show is the shimmering, wave-like design feature that curves around and over one side of the pool – as well as a soundsystem by Electro Voice that allows the poolside beats to be clearly heard underwater, of course.
The Long Player
The W takes its role as Bangkok’s premier party hotel very seriously – to the extent that it’s hired its very own `music curator’. DJ Orawan is a female, Thai DJ who comes to the role with some serious credentials having played shows with the likes of Gorillaz, Fatboy Slim and Deadmau5. She oversees the hotel’s overall music concept and direction, ensuring that a night at the Woobar or any other hotel hangout stays on trend with her focus on drum’n’bass, nu disco, UK funky and “anything cutting edge”.
Built during the reign of King Rama V, the House on Sathorn was completed in 1890 and recently renovated by the hotel. This colonial≠style mansion is undoubtedly one of Bangkok’s heritage jewels and, standing separate from the main hotel but on the same plot of land, provides a decadent event space as well as a home for the Dining Room, the W’s award-winning restaurant. With head chef Fatih Tutak serving innovative Asian cuisine with a Turkish accent, the Dining Room shot into the Asia’s 50 Best restaurants list this year at number 36. The restaurant offers three tasting menus, from the 11-course Signature Journey to a seven≠course vegetarian offering.