Hotel Review: Tatler Checks Into... Rosewood Bangkok
Weekend jaunts to exotic countries nearby are a luxury for those of us who live in Singapore. We can be in Bali in two hours, Hanoi in three, and Sarawak in 90mins. When a free weekend presented itself to my husband and me, there was no hesitation to check out of reality for two days, and check into the colourful city of Bangkok. Specifically, into the newest kid on the block—Rosewood Bangkok.
What struck me upon entering the hotel premises were the chandeliers and lighting. I have never seen so many varying types in one hotel, from fan-shaped ones in Perspex at the lobby by Unolai Lighting Design & Associates, to an Art Deco one shaped like peas in a pod at Nan Bei Chinese restaurant by AvroKO.
The attention to the lighting in this hotel consumed my imagination and I had an unexpectedly good time exploring every level and luxuriating in the differently designed spaces.
For me, this is what immediately sets the Rosewood apart from the other luxury hotels in Bangkok—the asymmetry of design. No two public spaces had the same furniture, upholstery or lighting, yet they all melded seamlessly into each other and made you feel as if you were walking along the corridors of the same home. Well, that is, if your home were a modern-day aristocratic manor!
The other thing that pops out is the art and decor. From a pink-hued oil painting by Torlap Larpjaroensook at the foyer to a quietly humorous wooden sculpture of a man at level six by artist Korakot (aptly called “BTS Man” as he sits facing the BTS station) there is a lot of visual content to feast your eyes on.
Yet what increased the enjoyment of all this art is not their art gallery-like presentation but the opposite. The placement of décor pieces at the Rosewood Bangkok seems almost careless—a huge artwork is hung on a wall, skewed a little off centre, while a sculpture of a dog with its head shaped like a watering-can sits between two couches and seems almost wrongly postured.
Whether deliberate or not, Thai interior firm Celia Chu Design Associates got it right. The philosophy behind the Rosewood brand since it was founded by American heiress Caroline Rose Hunt in 1979 has always been about creating spaces that make you feel like you were coming home. Now, under its new owners (the Hong Kong-based Rosewood Hotel Group) this homely spirit remains palpable, and in this case, it’s largely due to the décor style that perfectly mimics the elegantly eclectic home of a wealthy nomad.
2/5Do Not Disturb
My Premier Room is dubbed the “corner room” (1305) and as the name suggests, it is privately tucked away at the end. The angled ceiling-to-floor glass panes are due to the unique, curved architecture of the entire building (by Tandem Architects) and they immediately challenge your idea of what a regular hotel room should look like.
The bed has non-matching bedside lamps and the coffee table is flanked by two different chairs, but all this brilliant design asymmetry was lost on my husband who headed straight for the TV console while mumbling “brilliant” and “amazing”.
If, like him, you think invisible wiring is the holy grail of interior design, then analysing how the TV is mounted in this room is entertainment enough. The screen is mounted on a sleek metal casing, with a swivel platform that allows the screen to pivot almost 90 degrees when in use, and then be tucked back neatly into position when not in use. All this movement is done without one single wire in view at the back of the television which shows the planning and superior mechanism of the whole TV unit.
The best part? Turn on the TV and you’ll see the user interface is designed for the Netflix lover—channels lined up neatly on the left, with thumbnails of available movies on the right. No stodgy holding video on loop showing you slow-mo footage of the hotel business centre!
Remember, the hotel room is designed to mimic your own bathroom and daily routine so don’t expect to find toiletries laid out in typical hotel-room fashion. Toothbrushes and other items aren’t lined up in a drawer; they’re all stored in a large toiletries pouch as if you’ve just returned from your travels. And if you can’t find the cotton wool, look around. It’s in a ceramic pot behind you on that shelf.
I’m a sucker for frills, so the bunch of hydrangeas that sat on my coffee table really brightened my mornings, as did the daily supply of mangosteens. And, if you become a VIP of the Rosewood, you won’t have to wait at the lobby to check in; your Client Service Manager will take you up to your room where all the paperwork will be handled in the comfort of your room with an iPad.
4/5Food & Drink
Try to have at least one breakfast at LaKorn European Brasserie. The poached eggs and mashed avocado on sourdough is the kind of comfort food every traveller needs. While you’re here, check out the insanely majestic curtain that lines one side of the restaurant. Look closely and you’ll see it’s fashioned out of metal Thai “fingernails”, the accessory that is worn by traditional Thai dancers.
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As a health nut, I couldn’t resist checking out organic café G&O that boasts locally grown and sourced natural ingredients. The must-try: Chicken Wrap. The wrap was heated just enough to render it a little crispy and the meat inside was substantial and succulent.
In place of a floral arrangement, every table at G&O has a pot of green mint leaves, and you’re welcome to pick the leaves for a nibble. But be warned, this variety is extra hot! Unfortunately, I realized it a little too late.
Go ahead and wash your hair because you’d be able to dry it with the Dyson hairdryer that’s in every room! What a treat.
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