It is a toss-up between The Siam and the Mandarin Oriental for the title of Bangkok’s best hotel. American-born and Bangkok-based architect Bill Bensley designed this Art Deco beauty, and The Siam is the crown jewel in his hotel collection, which also includes the Four Seasons Tented Camp in Chiang Rai.
The Siam is decorated with antiques, art, and objets from the musically inclined Thai family that owns the hotel—one of the sons is a Thai rock star. Well-appointed rooms mix Art Deco with Asian touches, and they’re effortlessly chic. Connie’s Cottage is a two-story teak house that belonged to a friend of Jim Thompson; pool villas are free-standing houses with a private pool. Be sure to explore some of the hotel’s secret hideouts, like a screening room, record room, library, and muay thai ring. The spa is outrageously opulent, and private butlers make any request possible, including organizing ceremonies for sacred tattooing in the hotel’s dedicated Sak Yant studio.
The hotel is miles from any form of public transportation, but a stylish boat makes the 30-minute commute to the main riverside attractions an elegant affair. Smartphones with a useful chat function allow guests to connect with their butler at all times.