Stepping into the lobby of W Bangkok in Sathorn after an evening flight from Thailand’s rural heartland, the contrast between countryside charm and youthful decadence could not have been any more apparent. Still decked in rugged shorts and sandals, I entered via the hotel’s automatic sliding doors that revealed lounge chairs, a DJ booth and purple lighting. With a large W greeting me as I entered, I knew I was in for a unique experience.
lobby of W Bangkok
W Bangkok has the distinction of being well-situated for both business and pleasure. Visitors are often spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding where to stay in Bangkok but the location of this hotel is hard to beat. The gleaming office towers of Sathorn Road is just a short walk away and so is the infamous night market and nightlife district of Silom. For folks who come to Bangkok for shopping, the trendy and upscale malls of Siam are just a short ride away from Chong Nonsi BTS station.
the woobar by day
artwork by the lift -inspired by the myriad of tuktuk lights in bangkok
Among the major hotel chains, Starwood has what is perhaps the most extensive selection of brands at every price point, sometimes with multiple options within the same price point. W is the chain’s high end interpretation of a hip hotel catering to a younger, urbane and more sophisticated crowd. Despite being in a tall building and having several rooms, the overall look of the hotel actually reminded me of boutique hotels in places like Berlin and even Barcelona. Art and fashion are prioritized here and this is evidenced by the numerous art pieces within the hotel grounds and frequent collaborations with designers via events. In a way, W is as much a lifestyle as it is a hotel. As a Starwood Category 4 property, it’s of the same class as many Westin or Sheraton hotels across Asia but with a trendier vibe. You won’t find butlers here, though a Whatever/Whenever concept allows guests to request for anything under the sun.
my room for the night
I was booked into one of the hotel’s studio suites, a 64 square meter testament to W’s brand proposition. From sequined pillow covers to sleek and immaculately white L-shaped couches, the urban lounge ambiance in the lobby seemed to have made its way to the room as well. The room had a very contemporary look. At the heart of it was a tablet that served as a controller for pretty much everything, from the lights down to a “Do Not Disturb” alert to housekeeping staff. An iPod docking station featuring a sound system from Bose was just the icing on the cake.
W’s version of the welcome snack, deliberately placed in sardine and tuna cans
A pair of sequined boxing gloves graced the bed as I came in – perhaps a homage to Muay Thai. What I loved about the room was the lack of over-the-top furnishings. Everything was sleek, sexy and came in primary colors (mostly white). The cabinet for instance was embedded into the walls while the minibar and provision for the refrigerator were also carved out from the walls rather than protruding into the room. This allowed the 64 sqm area to really stand out, and in many respects the clever use of space made the room look bigger than other hotel rooms of the same size.
the standalone tub
Located behind the bedroom, the bath area took the open concept to a whole new level. With just a door to separate the toilet area and a colored glass panel to separate the rest, the segue way from bed to bath was almost seamless. Needless to say, the bath area was equally stylish not to mention spacious. It was in fact almost as big as the sleeping quarters. The freestanding bathtub stood just by the window which offered floor-to-ceiling views of Bangkok. For those who don’t have the time, the rainshower was more than sufficient to refresh after a long day out.
toiletries by bliss
I was most impressed by the usage of bath items coming from Bliss, as is the tradition with other W hotels. These were spread out generously, in big 120ml bottles rather than in sample sizes usually seen in other hotels. They even provided a large bottle of facial wash which I desperately needed after a long day in the Thai countryside.
Breakfast at The Kitchen Table in W Bangkok
i wouldn’t mind having breakfast in a nice place like this every day
The breakfast selection and presentation in W Bangkok is hands down the most contemporary in the city. With an even split between hip and hipster, I spotted juices and yogurt placed in glass bottles and jars usually seen in indie cafes. The stylish and almost lounge-type decor was again in keeping with the overall W proposition. That being said, The Kitchen Table offered a wide selection of items to suit the palate when I had my breakfast there. Although international elements such as Indian and Japanese were clearly visible, the focus here was on the western offerings. The pancakes for instance came in different flavors while pastries came in all shapes and sizes.
The food was cleverly arranged by type rather than by cuisine. Hot items at the back. Fresh items in the middle and pastries at the front. I had as much fun admiring the presentation as I did sampling the food.
With the personality of a boutique hotel and the functionality of a business hotel, W Bangkok’s facilities were well-suited to my needs. I had an early flight out of Bangkok and had to print my boarding pass in advance. A short walk down to the Wired Business Center immediately solved that small spot of bother. A request to get breakfast boxes due to my early flight out was well taken cared of, and I promptly got my breakfast box when I checked out at 5:30AM the next day.
The hotel also boasts of an open-concept gym with just the right mix of exercise equipments. Gracing the entrance was a traditional Thai art piece. I thought it made for a wonderful juxtaposition to the intensity of a gym workout! The modern look of the gym in W Bangkok looked less like other hotel gyms but more like those in upscale fitness chains. I was there on a Sunday morning – a typically busy time in my experience – but never had to wait to use any of the equipments even though quite a few people were there at the same time.
Beside the gym was the hotel’s pool which has the distinction of emitting underwater music. With the pleasant surroundings, I would have wanted to check that out but unfortunately I did not have the chance to use the pool during my stay.
ok – i just had to do this!
There’s something about this hotel that gave me a pleasant feeling never before experienced in all my hotel stays. It may be because I’ve never stayed in place that’s so fashionable before. There’s a fine distinction between traditional luxury hotels and the W. It’s a relatively new concept and I do realize that there are certain segments who may still prefer the look of traditional hotels, which is well and good. For something different however, the W Bangkok is certainly a worthwhile choice in Bangkok. I would stay there again a heartbeat. Next time, I will make sure to have a dip in the pool – with underwater lounge music and all.
106 North Sathorn Road
I was hosted by W Bangkok. However, all opinions are my own.