Opened earlier this year, 137 Pillars Bangkok is the newest hotel to take up residence in the trendy neighborhood of Thonglor. Like most of the city's hotels, it's a towering skyscraper with luxury residences on the lower floors and a collection of stylish suites at the top benefiting from the best views over the urban jungle.
We arrive at the hotel embarrassingly early on a train from the North. It's 7:00am, well before the time of check-in, but the staff graciously lead us to the Leonowens Club and offer us breakfast. The lounge area is exclusively for the use of suite guests; you can relax here any time of the day or make the most of the complimentary afternoon tea and evening cocktails.
For breakfast it's a buffet of fruit, pastries and juices with plates to order a la carte. The homemade raspberry muffins are divine as is the smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese. As we eat, we gaze down on the city below, watching commuters pick up street food on the way to work and the shops beginning to open their doors.
“Your suite is ready,” the receptionist informs us and we take the lift down one floor to our private corner of luxury. Despite the intimidating scale of the building, 137 Pillars somehow manages to feel homely through the use of soft fabrics, art works and cosy seating areas. Our Ayutthaya suite is the same with a small bar area, snug sitting room, bedroom with a cloud like double bed and a marble bathroom featuring a stand-alone circular bathtub, which looks a lot like an elegant, private plunge pool.
On one of the side tables there's a huge fruit bowl and a charcuterie board with breadsticks and homemade dip. With all the latest high tech facilities, including, as we alarmingly discover, a heated toilet seat that rises automatically as you walk in, it's a space built for comfort and indulgence. It sort of feels like walking onto the set of Gossip Girl.
Unlike most of Bangkok, Thonglor is a neighborhood that's perfect for exploring on foot with little side streets lined with designer boutiques, artisan cake shops and art galleries. It's quieter too, which means that you're not blasted with a wave of sound every time you open your balcony doors. If you're new to the city the hotel will help you devise an itinerary, or else you can just hop in their violet London taxicab and choose your destination (it drives back and forth between a smart nearby mall at various intervals throughout the day to aid weary shoppers with their heavy loads).
There's also no need to leave the hotel at all. On site, there's a mini golf range with a pro on stand-by to give lessons, a hair salon, two well equipped gyms (the running machines allow you to choose your route so that if you're bored with staring at Bangkok through the windows, you could go for a jog through the Swiss Alps) with a personal trainer and yoga studio, a spa and two swimming pools.
The rooftop pool is the real highlight with sweeping views of the city and Jacuzzis with strong jets to pummel out any stress from your back. To prevent over-crowding, this pool is only open to suite guests (a real downside for residents) with a cocktail bar and stylish cabanas for soaking up rays.
There's also the sultry Nimitr restaurant with a open-air terrace for alfresco dining on cool, dry evenings. The menu is “avant-garde Thai cuisine”, translating into elaborate, innovative dishes, with varying artistic flourishes such as whipped basil oil and truffle syrup. It might sound terrifyingly eccentric, but the food tastes just as good as it looks. The star of the menu being the melt-in-the-mouth Nordic snow cod marinated in sweet miso and served with ginger and a rich broth.
Whether it's for a night, the weekend or a longer trip, 137 Pillars Bangkok is the perfect urban hotel. It combines unique, contemporary design and five star facilities with friendly service and a warm cosiness that can be difficult to find in a city, especially one like Bangkok.
Book in at 137 Pillars Bangkok, here.
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