Glittering with more art deco glam than a Busby Berkeley movie, the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is a show stopper and since opening late last year, its myriad charms have been wowing the critics.
The hotel inhabits two sections of the new landmark in town, the gleaming white sculptural Magnolias Ratchadamri Boulevard high rise. Luxury condos take up the other floors in this building, which is a star in its own right, offering uninterrupted views across the Royal Bangkok Sports Club and neighbours that include the Anantara Siam. This opening is a fitting entrance for Waldorf Astoria's debut in Bangkok, and also marks its first foray into South East Asia.
A brains trust of adventurous and acclaimed designers was handed the task of ensuring the hotel's interior matched its stunning surrounds and pedigree. Hong Kong architect Andre Fu and his design studio, AFSO (The Upper House Beijing, The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore) designed the main hotel in the first 16 floors of the building. Thai art and craft traditions and references to the original New York Waldorf Astoria's art deco stylings abound, along with lines that reference the organic exterior curves of that highly visible building. It's a mix present in the 171 glamorous rooms and Fu-designed foyer, Brasserie restaurant and Peacock Alley bar, where there's a replica of the New York hotel's clock.
New York retail and restaurant concept firm AvroKO, under the hand of decorated lead principal, William Harris, created F&B offerings from floors 55 to 57: the Bull & Bear grill, The Loft and The Champagne Bar, an exclusive speakeasy accessed through a hidden door. They too, drip with theatrical art deco.
And don't look now, but is that Esther Williams emerging from the dazzling, 70-metre infinity edged swimming pool on the top floor? A grand finale, indeed.
January rates from around $440 (10,000 Thai baht) a night. See waldorfastoria3.hilton.com