Singaporeans love a quick getaway to Bangkok. The charm of Bangkok is its wonderful mix of the traditional and modern elements. Having been to Bangkok countless times my default hotel choices would be anything near the BTS (their railway line) as it was the best way to commute around the traffic-heavy city. But that also means, you never escape the crowd and noise that comes along with these hotels situated on major roads. And, despite my frequent trips to Bangkok, I have never stayed near the famed and historic Chao Phrya River – well, until recently.
I discovered the Capella group just set up its hotel in Bangkok in 2020 and it was right smack by the Chao Phrya River. I have always loved my stays at Capella and when I was planning my long awaited trip back to Bangkok after the pandemic, I was very excited to book my stay at Capella Bangkok.
The Capella Bangkok is situated on the historic Charoenkrung Road — the first road in Thailand built in 1861 (more about the area below). The street may be busy but the hotel is designed in a way that it is tucked in a discreet compound (which it shares with the Four Seasons Bangkok) with a very private main entrance — which if you ask me, is a breath of fresh air compared to most hotels dotted along the bustling streets of Bangkok.
I liked that after a crazy day in the heat, hustling with the crowd engulfed in a cacophony of street sounds from honking cars to loud billboard videos on the facade of mega malls, I get to retreat to some peace and quiet. Don’t get me wrong though, this chaotic energy is exactly why I love Bangkok but a spot like this in Bangkok is rare — so that’s definitely a plus point.
For the uninitiated, Capella was conceived in 2002 by the legendary hotelier and Ritz-Carlton co-founder Horst Schulze. It is now owned by Singapore’s Kwee family (they own one of Singapore’s largest property groups—including the Regent) and the Capella brand stays true to its benchmark of top-notch design and hospitality.
But let’s talk about the highlights of the Capella Bangkok and why you should consider this your hotel of choice for your next trip in Bangkok.
Wake up to a picturesque river view every morning because out of the 101 rooms and villas, all of them boast panoramic views of the river through floor-to-ceiling windows . Yes, you’re paying top dollar for this modern luxury hotel, but let me tell you, it’s worth the splurge.
There are seven villas with one bedrooms, two-bedroom presidential villas and the riverside villas. On the upper levels, you will find the verandahs and verandah suites with private plunge pools in gardens and terraces respectively. It feels like a resort in the heart of the city, but not your cliche palm trees and rattan furniture types, Capella Bangkok’s decor is minimalist and ultra sleek.
My favourite part of the room ( I stayed in the Riverside Premier Room) was the generous walk-in wardrobe and the huge travertine marble bathrooms, which by the way, also overlooks the river.
Now even if you are not residing at the Capella Bangkok, you need to make time to experience the hotel’s fine dining restaurant Côte by Mauro Colagreco, its Thai restaurant Phra Nakhon and Stella, a pan-Asian cocktail bar. Yes, it’s that good!
It is worth mentioning that the hotel has tapped Italian-Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco of three-Michelin-starred Mirazur in France to head its fine dining signature restaurant Côte by Mauro Colagreco. So, if you’re looking for fancy wine and dine night at some of Bangkok’s best restaurants, you need to slot this in your travel things-to-do.
And if you would like to have a posh yet authentic Thai dinner (or lunch) by the riverfront, Phra Nakhon sits in a glasshouse-like dining area with an alfresco terrace shaded by trees that serves delectable Thai food inspired by the Thai restaurants around this historic district.
Last but definitely not least is Stella, a cocktail bar with the most instagrammable Asian design references with an Art Deco finish. We’re talking a mirrored ceiling, a taxidermied white peacock and an “antique-styled bed” which looked straight out of the Qing Dynasty era. It’s a great place to chill for a night of drinks with your friends and a fun excuse (like you need one) to dress up!
Nestled in one of Bangkok’s oldest districts in Charoenkrung Road – Bangkok’s first paved road built by the order of King Rama IV in 1861 – and the heart of the city’s vibrant creative arts district, this quaint little neighbourhood is such a gem to explore.
There are street kitchens that still dish up 100-year-old family recipes like Prachak, a 100+ year-old eatery for Chinese-style roast duck and pork, Pan Lee Bakery which has been around for over seven decades (the BBQ pork bun is their signature), Hung Huad ice cream maker who have been churning Thai-style ice cream for many decades (my favourite and their bestseller is the coconut milk ice cream with red jelly) and so much more!
Get in touch with the Capella Culturists who are always on hand to guide you through a unique experience of the city from walking tours of Bangkok’s eclectic local cafe culture to private meditation sessions with the head monk of a 250-year-old temple.
I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that the Capella Bangkok was actually located near a BTS station. As I mentioned earlier, that’s one of top criterias for me when choosing a hotel in Bangkok in terms of convenience. But what’s even lovelier and extra special is that you can hop on the hotel’s posh river boat (a complimentary shuttle service available daily for hotel guests) which will take you right to the Sathorn pier and from there, its a 2-minute walk to the Saphan Taksin BTS.
If you would like to do some serious shopping, the river boat also takes you to one of Bangkok’s most impressive malls, the IconSiam which boasts all the top luxury fashion brands from Bottega Veneta, Celine to Louis Vuitton and even has an indoor floating market.
Another unforgettable memory at Capella Bangkok, was their sumptuous breakfast buffet spread. I have been to many hotel breakfasts but Capella’s breakfast trumps everything else. My personal favourites are the Japanese specialities which includes unagi benedict, a Japanese style congee with sea bass and the onigiri rice balls in Japanese broth.
Lastly, at breakfast, don’t forget to ask for the fresh coconut. I have never seen a coconut shaved so perfectly, it retained a perfectly round shape with a membrane so soft you can poke a straw in it to slurp the fresh juice.