So Sofitel Bangkok is a luxurious, five-star hotel overlooking one of the world’s most vibrant cities.
Located opposite Bangkok’s largest park, the So Sofitel Bangkok is a contemporary hotel conveniently located a short stroll away from the city’s metro line, over ground train, and lively Patpong nightlife district. Taking inspiration from the five elements, the hotel offers guests a calm and relaxing escape from the noise and bustle of the streets of Bangkok.
So Sofitel Bangkok was our first stop after arriving in Thailand following a 12-hour journey from the UK. Arriving by taxi,stepping into the lobby of the hotel was a refreshing welcome to what would be our little haven of peace and relaxation for the next two days as we explored Bangkok.
We were taken by a staff member at the lobby up to the reception level of the hotel, where we were led to comfortable armchairs and brought a welcome drink each from the bar; an empty glass with a stick of lemongrass, accompanied by three different coloured test-tubes.
Lemongrass cordial was mixed with “butterfly” juice (a stunning blue liquid) which was then topped with a dash of lime juice that transformed the blue drink into a purple one. Colour tricks aside – it was delicious and very refreshing.
While enjoying the drink, one of the reception staff gave us a brief overview of the hotel and facilities, and explained that the underlying theme of the hotel was the tree of life, and that there was a focus on each of the five elements. Fire element was reserved for the hotel’s main restaurant and grill, but the other four elements were shared amongst the bedrooms and suites – with each of the elements creating its own ambience on its corresponding floors.
The hotel has 237 rooms and suites which, as I mentioned above, have been designed in association with one the four elements of earth, water, wood and metal. The rooms vary in size with slight differences in amenities from So Cosy, to So Comfy, to So Club, and the suites follow a similar model. Every single room offers a luxurious king size (or twin) beds, a large tub and separate shower. At check in we were actually presented with the option of which element we would like for our stay – this is offered to all guests according to availability. We were told that the signature element was Earth – and were happy to give it a whirl.
We were then escorted up to our room on the 23rd floor. As the elevator doors opened, we noticed a stark difference in style from that of the lobby and reception. The walls were dark, and there was only a soft glow of light. Our room was right by the lift, and it opened to reveal a spacious area, with open plan bathroom, large tub and separate shower room. Retracted sliding doors were all that separated this bathroom area from the bedroom – which itself was roomy with a kingsize bed, arm chair, desk and wall-mounted flat screen television.
I was initially surprised that the colour scheme was blue, perhaps expecting greens or earth tones, but it worked well, with cave-like wall paintings that creating an old-worldly, and suitably earthly atmosphere. Perhaps most impressive, was the floor to ceiling windows that offered views over Lumpini park over to the skyline of Bangkok.
Facilities in the room were explained to us. We had an apple computer console and keyboard which was connected to the television screen, which made browsing the web easy. Snacks and drinks provided in the minibar were offered with compliments and replenished daily, and there were small nice touches like “his” and “her” drawers in the bathroom with a range of toiletries, from shaving gel to make-up removing wipes.
On our second day I asked at reception if it was possible to be shown a couple of the rooms that embodied the other elements, and was happily escorted to two empty rooms. Again, the change in atmosphere was apparent as soon as we exited the lift. Metal was a very modern design, and wood was quite minimalist, with the rooms still offering the same comfort and space – but each definitely having their very distinct ambience.
The breakfast experience at So Sofitel Bangkok was the most impressive we experienced in Thailand, and is up there with the different hotels and resorts that we’ve stayed in around the world.
One of So Sofitel’s restaurants, Red Oven, is utilised for breakfast. This restaurant is the hotel’s embodiment of the remaining element of fire. Also open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant has been created to somewhat represent traditional market-style food with a contemporary flair. There is a large red oven in the centre of the large, open-plan space, with lots of different cooking stations, stalls and zones around the periphery of the restaurant.
At breakfast time, the space turns into a multicultural cuisine extravaganza and the range of options is all but overwhelming. The centre station at the oven offers stations that will prepare omelettes, noodles and various hot cuisine – both western, european and Asian. Other areas offered charcuterie, freshly made smoothies blended in front of you, an extensive range of fresh and dried fruits, sweet and savoury baked goods, freshly prepared waffles, pancakes and french toast with a range of toppings, as well as decadent ice creams and desserts for those with a sweet tooth. Needless to say – there were a couple of separate courses before we felt the breakfast mission had been accomplished. On top of the quality of choice, and of the produce, the staff and cooks were friendly, professional and considerate – making the entire experience a really lovely start to the day.
The hotel has a pool, luxury spa and gym facilities – but during our stay we really only spent time enjoying the infinity pool and water club bar. The bar offers a range of drinks and cocktails that are accompanied by very moreish bar snacks; it’s easy to kill time and enjoy the pretty incredible view across the park to the centre of Bangkok.
It was in the high 30s (celcius) when we were there, so hot that even the pool-water’s temperature was warm, making early morning and later into the evening an ideal time for a more refreshing dip. The under-pool lighting at night also creates a pretty spectacular effect that adds to the view of the sparkling city-skyline.
While some families with children were enjoying the pool later in the afternoons, most of the time we spent there it was an un-crowded, relaxed but sophisticated atmosphere.
The attention to detail throughout the entire experience at So Sofitel made it a very easy place to stay, in what can be a very vibrant, but exhausting, city. With fantastic facilities, it’s an ideal base for business trips, as well as leisure stays – easily accessible by public transport or taxi to anywhere in Bangkok. I think what most struck me, was the stark contrast between the intensity of Bangkok and the calmness of the hotel. There was something so relaxing about stepping inside, making it a perfect haven after a day out in the heat, exploring the city.