The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Beautifully designed and uber-stylish hotel also possesses much substance.
The must-dos (if any): Have breakfast at Red Oven, enjoy the Club Signature, soak in the bathtub with Ytsara amenities.
Intro: In July 2018, I checked out the uber-stylish SO Sofitel Bangkok in Sathorn. Heavily incorporating artistic flourishes from French designer Christian Lacroix throughout the property – from the showily vibrant uniforms to the show-stoppingly gorgeous Club Signature – the property places a big premium on style, but never at the expense of substance. Easily one of my favourite Bangkok property stays.
The urban design hotel offers four unique room theme designs – Water, Wood, Metal and Earth. The boldly Avatar-blue Earth Element rooms, featuring Thai primeval wall paintings, are inspired by North-Eastern Thailand caves; black stainless steel takes the lead in the Metal Element room’s combination of whites, glass and metal; and you probably have a rough idea as to what the Wood Element rooms look like.
My initial booking was for a SO Studio room, but the rooms under this category only come in Metal, Wood, and Earth elements. Whilst on my way from the airport to the hotel, I casually glanced through the posts tagging the SO Sofitel Bangkok Instagram account and realised that the most popular room category was the Water Element rooms. Everybody who posted in-room photos appeared to be 1) next to the floor-to-ceiling window, 2) in the bathtub which was often next to the aforementioned window, and/or 3) in some state of undress, with one particularly daring post involving a proud man wearing nothing but a T-shirt (yes) as he bravely faces the world and its tribulations while standing at the window. Yowza.
Whilst checking in at the Club Signature (see below), I brazenly asked if I could have a Water Element room, and was promptly and graciously upgraded to the next-category SO Suite room which did offer Water Element rooms.
The 85-94sqm SO Suite (Water Element) room plays it all dark pantone, modern luxury apartment-meets-Schnauzer chic. The bed itself is wondrously comfortable courtesy of Sofitel’s MyBed™ comfort, whilst elsewhere a deep bathtub in the bathroom allows you to relax and deeply enjoy the spa-esque soothing and expensive-smelling Ytsara luxury amenities (which come in large SO Sofitel dispensers, and not takeaway bottles). The room comes with two 40” LCD TVs and an Apple Mac Mini multimedia entertainment system, while the mini-bar stocks local flavour beverages as opposed to any forms of alcohol. The coffee machine available is an Illy espresso machine, with complimentary capsules.
The powder room in the living room comes with a breathtaking view of Lumpini Park, which allows you to do a Number Two whilst relaxing your eyes staring at with the lush greenery in the distance.
THE HOTEL AND AMENITIES
SO Sofitel Bangkok’s 32m Infinity Pool is located on the 10th floor, with underwater LED lights providing illumination at night. Whilst the pool is relatively small, it is a far superior calorie-busting option than the humble SoFit gym on the same floor. Poolside bar The Water Club supplies the necessary liquid bliss for those seeking a languorous poolside lie down. The infinity pool is the venue for the SO Pool Party, a naughty monthly event where happening revellers people enjoy poolside cocktails and kisses.
Situated one floor above the pool, the hotel’s award-winning and gorgeously forest-woody SoSPA concept offers various beauty treatments such as waxing, manicures and pedicures, as well as signature massages and traditional body scrubs.
DINING AND BARS
Breakfast is served at The Red Oven, the hotel’s all-day dining buffet restaurant which is located on the 7th floor. Breakfast was quite the sumptuous spread, and notably featured many local dishes across the morning selection. The egg station serves several unique Thai-style egg dishes like kraprao egg (fried eggs with runny yolk and ground pork basil), Thai fried egg (Chinese sausage, ground pork, spring onion and soy sauce) and Thai omelette (thin, crispy Thai-style omelette). Elsewhere, the noodle station offered tom yum noodle soup, and even the fruit station included very exotic finds like the very scarily scaly Snake Fruit and longan-meets-passionfruit Longkong. Unlimited young coconuts are available for your electrolyte replenishment needs.
The breakfast buffet throws out a valentine to the sweet-toothed via the sheer smorgasbord of sugary treats available, from glazed donuts (white chocolate! dark chocolate! just sugar!) and pear/berry crumble tarts to an entire ice cream station offering flavours like Coconut, Lychee and Chocolate Fudge. The health-conscious can go for the various wellbeing balls such as their Anti-aging Goji Berry and Chia Seed ball, or opt for one of their wellness smoothies for Anti-Aging or Detox.
Park Society is the hotel’s 29th floor glamorous rooftop restaurant serving refined Western and seafood dishes – think Wagyu Striploin, Mallard Duck, Maine Lobster and other indulgent things. It is situated next to the al fresco HI-SO Rooftop Bar, which overlooks Lumpini Park and serves various signature SO Cocktails.
The chocolate aroma which fills the ground floor lobby comes from Chocolab, the hotel’s sweets-based cafe, while elsewhere MIXO is the hotel’s lobby lounge which serves high tea treats and cocktails as the night draws near.
THE CLUB LOUNGE
Proudly designed by Christian Lacroix – he literally leaves his mark on one of the walls with a grand flourish – the hotel’s executive lounge for SO Club and Suite guests, Club Signature, is one of the most beautiful rooms in the hotel, being all bold and brassy fashionable with the striking colours giving your visual sensibilities quite the sucker punch. The ceiling-to-floor windows allow sunlight to stream in and lovingly caress every inch of the marvellously stylish room, which would probably give long-haired Instagram starlets a tougher and more exhausting workout than one session at Genesis Gym (“where the male trainers are supposedly very attractive and motivational” – testimonial from Herme-toting long-time Genesis Gym-mer) given how many “lower eyes and quasi-smiling as I sip on butterfly pea drink” and “reading a big coffee table book while shades rest on my wild tresses” photo opportunities exist.
Club guests can enjoy their breakfast (second round of course, given the quality of Red Oven’s offerings), afternoon tea as well as cocktails and canapes at Club Signature. The food is really, really impressive. One of the all-day staple sweets is a yam treat which is all sorts of memorable amazing, playing it like a solid version of Orh Nee. One of the evening canapes, a slab of steamed fish dressed in lemon sauce on a tiny saucer, is exactly like a painstakingly cubed and plated version of the spicy Thai whole steamed fish in lime and garlic dish that I adore. Elsewhere, the Steak & Eggs on the breakfast menu is much better than it needed to be, and is plated as if it just waltzed off from a posh restaurant.
A magnifique club experience.
Club Signature (SO Sofitel Bangkok).
One of the most beautiful and stylish properties I have stayed at yet, and one of my most enjoyable club lounge experiences so far. SO Sofitel Bangkok is a winner.
SO Sofitel Bangkok
2 North Sathorn Road