In August 2022, I checked into the Deluxe King room at The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon. Launched in July 2022 in partnership with King Power Group, the 155-room hotel occupies the lower floors of the iconic 78-storey “digital pixellation” King Power Mahanakhon skyscraper which boasts Thailand’s highest observatory deck, Mahanakhon Skywalk. The hotel is 40 minutes away from Suvarnabhumi Airport, while Chong Nonsi BTS station (Silom Line) is steps away if you need train access to the popular Ratchaprasong shopping stretch and beyond.
The much anticipated hotel’s opening has been long in the waiting – within the span of four years, the property changed management twice. Initially intended as a Marriott Edition hotel, the hotel was then briefly an Accor Orient Express hotel (it would have been the world’s first) before finally becoming the American boutique hotel brand’s flagship Asia property as well as Thailand’s second The Standard property after the recent launch of The Standard Hua Hin.
The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Chic, uber-social Pantone colour wonderland in downtown Bangkok.
The must-dos (if any): Enjoy your stylish room, pose for many photos across the hotel’s numerous Instagrammable spaces, check out their impressive gym, have dinner at Ojo Bangkok, go for your complimentary Mahanakhon Skywalk visit and brave the 78th floor glass tray.
THE STANDARD, BANGKOK MAHANAKHON
Designed by Spanish artist and designer Jaime Hayon and The Standard’s in-house design team, the property is a visual feast for the senses, playing it all playful arches and fluid shapes, lush indoor and terrace greenery, bold Pantone colour blocking and juxtapositions as well as generous uses of warm alcove lighting.
As soon as you arrive at the eye-catching green lobby with its soaring ceilings and handmade rattan lampshades, it becomes increasingly difficult to navigate the way to your room without being drawn by the visual distractions all around. The orange-hued boutique The Shop demands to be visited, while a flight of stairs connects you to Mott 32 Bangkok, the famed international Chinese restaurant which also has outlets in Hong Kong and Singapore. Dramatic art works adorn the walls of the yellow reception area on the 4th level, including Marco Brambilla’s “Heaven’s Gate” video installation behind the reception counter (he also did the “Evolution (Megaplex)” video collage at The Vagabond Club Singapore, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel) and the vibrant “Flood Plain of the Tributaries of the Orinocco” floral piece from Marc Quinn. The reception area segues seamlessly to The Parlor, the lush social hub which serves as an extension of the reception space and boasts its own cocktail bar counter, DJ Sounds Studio, and outdoor terrace area perfect for bringing your fur-kids (the hotel is pet-friendly). Even the elevators to the guest rooms are differently and strikingly coloured, with the sensually red elevator reminding me of a particularly muscular and throbbing v…(Censorship Board: stop right there. Me: I meant to say ventricle, you presumptuous perverted rooster).
The hotel’s F&B spaces are sumptuously designed – Tease is an Alice in Wonderland-esque monochromatic afternoon tea destination while The Standard Grill amps up the American diner factor. Two dining concepts are located on the skyscraper’s highest floors and accessible via the same gantry that brings you to the Mahanakhon Skywalk: Mexican restaurant Ojo Bangkok, which plays it all Great Gatsby rose gold glamour, and Sky Beach, the highest rooftop bar in Bangkok which offers breathtaking 360-degree views.
Access to the Mahanakhon Skywalk is complimentary for all hotel guests so it is pretty much an essential guest experience. I will freely admit that I was absolutely terrified when it was my turn to step onto the glass deck, and I had to gingerly seat-shimmy my way to the opposite end of the glass deck for my obligatory photo opportunity to avoid having to step fully on the glass tray. When I decided to brave crossing the glass floor from my seat back to the safety of the queue area, two children started running and stomping past me, my knees started trembling and I thought “this is it, I am finally going to be punished for eating so much, being so heavy and contributing to the epic collapse of the glass deck”. Thankfully, I survived the ordeal, and even returned to the scene after my dinner at Ojo Bangkok equipped with some Dutch courage and ready to pose for a picture of me seated on the glass floor.
In terms of wellness, the Technogym-equipped and naturally-lit The Standard Gym is possibly the best hotel fitness centre I have ever visited in terms of the sophistication and variety of equipment – think functional fitness rig, Peloton bikes, kettlebells and barbells, medicine and Bosu balls, rowers and climb machines as well as regular and curved treadmills. Elsewhere, the red and sparkling steam room is worth a selfie visit, while the outdoor pool plays it all W-stylish with its vibrantly-coloured daybeds and umbrellas.
With its vibrant colours (including the generous application of marmalade orange) and the dining/lounging banquette with sofa, the 45sqm Deluxe King plays it all American diner-style retro chic. The room features floor-to-ceiling windows, a standalone wardrobe and a Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speaker. The fully stocked pantry and minibar offers Chaidim tea and Nespresso coffee-making facilities, an enticing assortment of chocolates and snacks, various spirits (think Tito’s vodka, Beefeater gin and Mekhong rum) along with bottled beverages which include Lily Fresh juices, a Laiba cocktail and the hotel’s own branded beer.
The lavish coral-coloured bathroom features a vanity area with tri-fold mirror, a large elongated sink that basically occupies the entire countertop as well as a fully enclosed shower room with rainfall shower, a soaking tub and a rectangular mirror which spans across the length of the shower area. (I imagine the mirror caters to those who may want to look at themselves while soaping their hoohahs?) The bathroom is gorgeous, and its colours are best appreciated with the lights on and window curtains drawn. Bathroom amenities are courtesy of Italian luxury beauty brand La Bottega, dispensed from full-size pump bottles.
I enjoyed the Deluxe Room, save for two points. The air-conditioning vents in the bedroom directs the cold air towards the pillows on the king-sized bed, with no clear way of directional change or other forms of mitigation, and as a result I woke up feeling unwell the following day. In addition, the elongated sink was terrible in terms of drainage, with no sensible way of removing waste save for (urgh) using your hands. After helping myself to some of the complimentary welcome cookies, I went to the sink to gargle my mouth, and….well, you get it.
Breakfast is served at American steakhouse concept The Standard Grill on the 5th level. The a la minute buffet menu offers cold dishes such as Bircher Muesli, Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding and Khao Niaow Dam (black sticky rice, caramelised palm sugar, coconut custard) as well as hot dishes such as Brioche French Toast (caramelised banana, gingerbread streusel, passionfruit mascarpone), Flapjack Stack (whipped butter, berries, maple syrup), Smoked Halibut (slow-cooked egg, salmon roe, potato bread, hollandaise sauce), Moo Ping (charcoal-grilled pork skewers, sticky rice, tamarind chilli dipping sauce), Guay Tiew Gai (rice noodles, shredded chicken, clear broth, celery, bean sprouts) and Mee Sua (stir-fry cho mien noodle, fried tofu shiitake mushroom). Pro tip: request for a glass of Iced Thai Milk Tea, which is available but not stated on the menu.
Located on the 76th level, the sky-high and buzzy Mexican restaurant Ojo Bangkok serves a variety of raw dishes such as Aguachile (tiger prawns, green tomato, coriander, chilli, cucumber sauce) and Australian Wagyu Carne Apache (beef tartare, dried shrimps, chicharron, pasilla chilli, peanuts); cold appetisers such as Ojo Guacamole (crab meat, ikura, corn tostadas, prawn oil) and Coconut Ceviche (young coconut, fermented soy leche de tigre, yellow chilli); hot appetisers such as Esquites (roasted baby corn, pecorino, jalapeno mayonnaise, macademia) and Bone Marrow (tortillas, khao khua brulee, burnt salsa, chiles toreados); and main courses such as Carnitas (confit pork ribs, pickled vegetables, lazy salsa), Carne Asada (bone-in 800g ribeye, cricket martajada sauce, onions toreado) and the delicious Pescado Zarandeado (grilled fish, avocado, cucumber, chilli & coriander adobo). On the drinks front, the bar offers a variety of mezcal and tequila-based cocktails (I had the mezcal-based Negroni Extra and the pisco-based Vida Fresca) as well as an extensive menu of various tequila and mezcal options (blanco, reposado, anejo/extra anejo).
Lobby level social space The Parlor serves casual, feel-good fare such as BBQ Tiger Prawns (pomelo, mint, Thai basil, toasted coconut, chilli, citrus), House-cured Thai Pork Sausages, Housemade Chorizo Hot Dog, The Standard Bangkok Handmade Wagyu Burger (David Blackmore’s full blood wagyu beef patty, American cheddar, dill pickles, fresh onion, tomato, baby cos, house-made brioche bun), Pad Thai, Crab Fried Rice and Chiang Mai Bitter Chocolate Tart. They also serve cocktails, and their St. White Negroni (orange-lavender gin, vodka, lillet blanc, grapefruit bitters) is probably one of the most spirit-forward cocktails I have had in a hotel lounge setting.
Rounding up the list of F&B concepts are award-winning Chinese restaurant Mott 32 Bangkok, afternoon tea lounge Tease as well as the 78th floor bar Sky Beach.
The impossibly stylish hotel leaves quite the deep impression, and certainly raises my expectations of future The Standard properties to launch in Asia (such as the upcoming The Standard Singapore). I’m glad I visited this early, because the hotel is likely to become a massively popular Bangkok social media darling like Rosewood Bangkok and Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok.
The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon
114 Narathiwas Road