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I pulled up the private driveway of the Rosewood Bangkok—an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property—after the nearly 24-hour journey from New York to Bangkok, willing the oncoming jet lag to be a gentle blow. Upon arrival–and throughout the entirety of my stay–I felt the perfect blend of homey and luxury comfort, and any jet lag that was threatening to strike magically subsided.
I jumped right into afternoon tea at the Lakorn European Brasserie on the hotel’s 7th floor, and then wandered the halls, taking in the work by interior designer Celia Chu– the aesthetic marrying Thai culture (many pieces of art featured by local Thai artists) with contemporary and sleek décor. Between the saltwater lap pool and infinity whirlpool (paired with the gorgeous 10-story interior waterfall, one of the several water features within the hotel, a nod to the city built on water), the hotel’s signature Chinese restaurant Nan Bei, Lennon’s (a speakeasy-style bar on the top floor of the hotel), and the Sense Spa (treatments that refresh ancient Thai beauty practices), I felt distant from the active city below and was too preoccupied to be overtired.
The Rosewood Bangkok opened its doors in March 2019, a project 6 years in the making by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), an Architecture Firm headquartered in New York City who worked on several other Rosewood properties, including the new Hong Kong (also opened March 2019) and Taipei (due to open 2024) properties. Forth Bagley, a design principal at KPF, explained that the firm was tasked with a challenging undertaking for this project considering the small piece of land that the property sits on–how to maximize the vertical space available while abiding by Bangkok’s zoning restrictions. After developing several plans concurrently, the one that ultimately landed was a design inspired by the wai, the Thai gesture of greeting displayed by a slight bow, leaning into your palms pressed together in front of your chest.
The angular shape of the building not only represents an important element of the Kingdom’s culture, but it allowed KPF to be structurally innovative with their floorplan (each floor has a unique room configuration). They were able to reimagine where the core of the structure could stand, resulting in securing more rooms and creating several private spaces, including the secluded terraces and plunge pools in the sky villas.
In the end, the architectural spectacle, located in Bangkok’s central business district near embassies and upscale retail outlets, has 30 floors and 159 total rooms in total. Every member of the staff that I came in contact with was kind, warm, accommodating, and expertly balanced providing attentive care and privacy. The Rosewood Bangkok achieved their “Sense of Place” philosophy, as with every Rosewood location, and created a space for each guest to feel as if they’re in their own version of home. With Thai influence, of course.
When it did come time to forfeit to the heavy eyelids (I couldn’t completely avoid the jetlag altogether–I’m only human), I retreated to my room. I closed the shades on my floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows overlooking the city, climbed into bed with the plump, heavenly Frette linens, and fell asleep thinking about the delicious Lakorn breakfast awaiting me the next morning.