A riverside retreat at Capella Bangkok
Despite its central location on busy Charoen Krung Road, Capella Bangkok feels like a real retreat within the city. Its tranquil yet opulent vibe, attention to detail and superb service make for a stellar stay, living up to the inspiration behind its namesake, which is drawn from the brightest star in the constellation Auriga.
The first Thai property of Capella Hotels and Resorts sits on the bank of the Chao Phraya River and features 101 rooms, suites and villas. Their accommodation options start rather large with 61m² Riverfront Room and go up ten-fold to the spacious Presidential Villa, which is almost 600m². Regardless of accommodation, guests get to enjoy a river view from their sizeable private balcony or private verandah with a jacuzzi plunge pool.
A stay here starts in style at the snazzy Living Room lounge where you'll be greeted by your own culturist, aka concierge, who takes care of check-in details, shows you to your room and gives you a bit of room orientation. I checked into a Riverfront Premier Room, which is basically Riverfront with a better view as they are located from levels five to 10.
Riverfront Premier Room.
At the risk of sounding finicky, I believe it's the little details that make a stay memorable. Small but luxury touches make you feel special and there's plenty of them. A house Champagne bottle chilled in an ice bucket upon arrival, a tablet to control different room functions, an oversized oval bathtub that you can truly luxuriate in and a divan in the balcony big enough for two people to lounge while enjoying the panoramic river view. The complimentary toiletry set comes in individual boxes, each of which contains a part of the same picture of life on the river from bygone years. Instead of a generic bottle of body lotion, you'll get Etoile de Siam created exclusively for the hotel. Even the dental kit contains a toothbrush engraved with the hotel's logo and instead of generic toothpaste you'll get a tube of mint Marvis.
If you want to live large, opt for two newly-opened accommodation choices namely Verandah Suites and Villas. The suite type highlights an outdoor jacuzzi plunge pool with sala lounge on a private terrace with an unobstructed view of the Chao Phraya River from the hotel's third floor. The 209m² indoor and outdoor space also features a separate living room, spacious bedroom and marble bathroom.
With 259m² in indoor and outdoor spaces, each riverside Villa feels like a standalone sanctuary in itself and is accessible through a private entrance. The private garden comes with a jacuzzi plunge pool and a sala for two to enjoy the front-row view of the river right on its bank. No worries about prying eyes since the garden is flanked by tall hedges. The indoor space includes a skylight, a living and dining room, a master bedroom with king-size bed, a large marble bathroom and a powder room. Villa guests are also entitled to complimentary return luxury transfers, daily breakfast, jet lag wellness on arrival, daily "Apero" service and a bottle of house Champagne.
To celebrate these two new room types, Capella Bangkok is throwing in an extra night for free when you book a stay in a Verandah Suite or Villa by Sept 30. This offer is available for stays until Mar 31, 2022.
Breakfast is served at Phra Nakhon restaurant where guests can enjoy all-you-can-eat a la carte menu with a side of river breeze on the riverfront lawn, on top of a long list of the usual breakfast items. Their a la carte selection features the likes of Unagi Benedict: onsen egg with eel, rice ball and Hollandaise sauce: Omuri rice, a fluffy omelette with bacon fried rice and Wonton soup, which contains juicy prawn dumplings with egg noodles. Come back here for lunch or dinner with several choices of set menus. Have a sizzling lunch with either the Long-chim E-san or Long-chim Pak Tai sharing menus (B2,800), or a decadent dinner with 10+ courses with the Sum Rub set (B2,500 per person).
Côte by Mauro Colagreco is another epicurean stop for lunch or dinner that showcases the culinary heritage from the coastlines of France and Italy. It's conceptualised by chef Colagreco whose restaurant Mirazur in France is three Michelin-starred. The Tea Lounge is where you can enjoy an indulgent high tea (B3,000 for two) against the backdrop of a water lily pond and the river beyond. It starts with choosing your tea from a tea trolley before a trolley of cakes arrive for further selection. Two people get 12 sweet and savoury items on top of scones and each also receive a small tin box of tea of their choice to take home.
You can burn some calories with a morning yoga session on the riverfront lawn while getting Vitamin D from the early sunlight. The main swimming pool is back but guests must book a swim in advance. The state-of-the-art fitness centre (with a refreshment corner with bananas so pristine I thought they were fake) remains closed but their machines and equipment have been moved to the garden in front of Auriga Wellness to create an outdoor gym. If you want to be pampered at Auriga Wellness, you should set aside few hours for it. Receiving a treatment at this spa isn't quick in-and-out experience but that's the good thing about it. After a short talk with a therapist, you'll be led to a single-sex changing room where you can enjoy a vitality pool, sauna and other facilities before going into a private therapy room and bliss out while receiving your treatment. The treatment at Auriga is, unfortunately, limited to foot massage for the time being, as per regulations.
At 5pm daily, all guests can head to The Living Room for Cin Cin Hour during which they can enjoy sundowners and watch the sun set against the ripples of the river. This experience is provided by the bar team from Stella, which remains closed. There are many artworks at Capella Bangkok that will catch your eyes during your stay. If you're curious about the artists behind them, book an art tour with a culturist for a guided tour.
There's a shuttle boat service, which goes between Iconsiam, Sathon Pier and the hotel. So your city exploration is made more convenient.
Capella Bangkok provides a memorable stay with a price tag to match but it's a real retreat that you can get right in the heart of Bangkok. Capella Bangkok is offering various packages, ranging from Weekday Escape (B12,900++ per night) to Riverside Retreat (B14,900++ per night) for the weekend.
Capella Bangkok, 300/2 Charoen Krung Road, Yannawa, Sathon / Visit capellahotels.com/bangkok.