One afternoon, I found myself sitting at a lounge, taking small bites off a French macaron and sipping on an afternoon mocktail to fend off the tropical Bangkok sun. Whilst taking Instagram photos of the lounge and of my food—typical Asian behavior—a group of glamorous women glide gracefully back and forth for a fashion shoot. It was just one of those afternoons at Sofitel So Bangkok, where sophistication, style, and high society are the norm. Recently, I had the chance to be billeted at one of the most voguish, happening hotels in the City of Angels. Read more…
Those familiar with Bangkok will say Sofitel So Bangkok occupies an enviable location at the corner of Rama IV and North Sathorn Roads. It’s situated across Lumpini Park, the green lungs of the city, and near top corporations and financial institutions—thus giving it a beautifully contrasting vantage of trees and skyscrapers.
Opening the hotel to the rest of the city are the Lumpini MRT station, which is just across, and the Sala Daeng BTS Skytrain station nearby. The shopping and entertainment district of Silom can be reached easily by foot, or for a more touristy experience, the hotel’s tuk-tuk can take guests there anytime for free. For even more shopping, the shopping districts of Siam and Ratchaprasong, where Siam Paragon and CentralWorld are, can be reached by train or taxi in a few minutes.
Sharing the same DNA with other Sofitel Luxury Hotels, Sofitel So is a hybrid between French elegance and the best of local influences. The label is exclusively designated for Sofitel’s designer boutique properties that epitomize ultra-contemporary style, and to date, only three Sofitel So hotels in the world exist: the Maldives, Bangkok, and most recently, Singapore.
Sofitel So Bangkok was designed by one of the country’s prominent architects, Smith Obayawat. Because of its blend of materials, its contemporary and high-tech look, and its striking metallic shades, the high-rise property, with not one but two facades, is a clear standout.
Drawing from the contrast of the serenity in Lumpini Park and the busyness of the surrounding commercial area, the hotel’s interior design was based on the harmony of the five elements: water, earth, wood, metal, and fire. Five top designers were commissioned to give life and inspiration into each element, and save for fire, there are themed accommodations for each one. A quiz on the hotel’s Facebook page guides guests into what room element they should take.
I arrived in the hotel past nine in the morning, and from the hotel’s landing, I was directed to the ninth floor lobby for check-in. I was told to be seated as my stay arrangements were facilitated, and a mixologist emerged from MIXO, the hotel’s lobby bar. Like an alchemist, he nimbly poured liquids from their tubes and created a drink that shifted in color. As I sipped on the drink, I marveled at the hotel’s lobby that spoke of the chic image the hotel goes for.
I earlier took the Facebook quiz and got water, so I was ecstatic to know that there was a So Club room in my element, which corresponds to “sophistication and calm.” The rooms are by Pongthep Sagulku of August Design, a firm that specializes in sleek, timeless aesthetics.
So Club rooms afford an above-standard room size of up to 45 square meters. As with all other rooms and suites in the hotel, it features floor-to-ceiling windows that afford stunning views of the city—in my case, I had a full, soothing view of the lushness of Lumpini Park.
Design inspiration was of course drawn from water, albeit subtly—shades of white, gray, and white were favored over obvious hues of blue. Water is hence exemplified most by the flowing patterns of the décor and the shale-like marble wall panels, resulting to a serene resting environment.
Found in the gorgeously elegant room are conveniences present in all Sofitel Luxury Hotels, foremost of them is a very comfortable signature MyBed with a pillow menu and high-quality beddings. In addition, there are a walk-in closet with a safe, a complimentary minibar, an Illy capsule espresso machine, a work desk, and a couch, among others. An Apple Mac Mini hooked to a 40” LCD TV provides not only a range of TV and movie options, but also hotel information, restaurant reservations, and other hotel services via an innovative interface.
The spotless bathroom, meanwhile, is rather spacious, and it comes supplied with YTSARA luxury bathroom products, and his and hers amenity kits. What makes the bathroom unique only to water element rooms though is the onyx tub positioned purposely by the window.
Breakfasts are served at the hotel’s international buffet restaurant, Red Oven. The place is set up market-style with live cooking stations, thus creating a lively yet classy atmosphere. Their spread of fleet starters is truly five-star, and I must admit, their food is excellent.
Since I wasn’t particularly busy on that trip, I was able to spend some time at the hotel’s Club Signature. What ultimately defines it is its inspiration from Monsieur Christian Lacroix. The visionary fashion designer’s influence is imprinted throughout the ritzy lounge, with its art pieces and modish furnishing. The lounge serves breakfast, afternoon tea, and pre-dinner cocktails.
Elsewhere in the building are features expected of a five-star hotel. Nestled on the 10th floor is an infinity pool that serves as the venue for hi-so (high society in Thai culture) and Songkran parties, and close by are So Fit, a full-service fitness center, and So Spa, the hotel’s signature wellness center. Park Society, meanwhile, is the hotel’s rooftop restaurant and bar.
Regarding service, Sofitel So Bangkok has some of the warmest staff on deck, and they’re always smiling and pleasant in dealing with me, so I only have praises. I must highlight that their artsy uniforms were also designed by Monsieur Christian Lacroix, so they’re always nice to look at. Unfortunately, guests cannot purchase the uniforms—I did dare ask.
I found out first hand how there are a lot of things to love about Sofitel So Bangkok—from its design and inspiration to its rooms, facilities, and fashionable staff. The hotel now counts among my top picks in Bangkok and perhaps everywhere. How I wish we had a Sofitel So here in Manila!
SOFITEL SO BANGKOK
North Sathorn Road, Bangrak, Bangkok, Thailand
Telephone: +66 2 624 0000
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