Overview

Flanked by whisper-quiet embassies and serene parklands, Oriental Residence boutique hotel in Bangkok is a soul-soothing retreat in the heart of the city. The sleek, skyscraper setting may say business, but the chic apartment-style suites, pair of great restaurants and a fourth-floor swimming pool scream luxury living.

Highlights:

  • Central location in Bangkok right near Sukhumvit's luxe shopping

  • Kitchens and laundry facilities make it ideal for leisure trips or family getaways

  • Tranquil, light-filled rooms and communal areas

Smith extra

Daily breakfast for two at Café Claire

In the know

Also need to know:

Pets are not permitted. Smoking is only permitted on the balconies of One-bedroom City View Suites.Sporty types can bust a move in the garden-view gym – the hotel can even arrange personal training sessions if you want to push it.

Packing tips:

A clean credit card so you can do some damage in Bangkok's designer boutiques, oversized sunglasses to tone down the ultra-bright interiors, and cocktail wear for after-dark drinks.

Dress code:

Smart threads to fit in with the suited-and-booted embassy crowd.

Mr and Mrs Smith reviews

You have to love a friend who remembers everything. Barely have I dumped my bags and mixed us minibar cocktails than she’s plugged in her iPod and is playing One Night in Bangkok (downloaded especially for our trip). I’m based in Melbourne and Ms Smith, my bestie, lives in London. It’s been a year since we last saw each other and the exhaustion from our mutual longhaul flights has been overcome by excitement. We’re on our way to the blissful southern beaches of Thailand to celebrate her fortieth birthday. But before we get a much-needed dose of sun, sea and sand, we’re spending a couple of nights living it up in Bangkok – on the eighth floor of Oriental Residence to be exact.

Squeals and hugs complete, we explore our designer den. The elegant apartment-style City View Suite has a bedroom adjacent to a spacious sitting area with large sofa, a desk with an array of international sockets (how thoughtful), a dining table and chairs set for two, and a kitchenette with marble bench-tops, hot plate and cookware. ‘Won’t be needing those,’ I think to myself smugly.

The rapidly-raided minibar, on the other hand, already inspires my complete devotion. It’s full of tasty Thai snacks, delicious TWG tea and a fridge generously stocked with organic soft drinks. There’s even Riedel glassware. With our Belvedere vodkas topped with fresh tropical juice we make all manner of ridiculous toasts on our balcony, soaking up twinkling Bangkok below us.

Damn jetlag! After a blissful night’s sleep I’m wide awake at 7am and sneak off to the sitting room. By day the view is surprisingly green – the hotel is close to Lumpini Park and overlooks the verdant grounds of the surrounding embassies. In the midst of the chaos of Bangkok, it’s surprisingly peaceful.

Emerging from her slumber, Ms Smith joins me for coffee and we spread out a map. The plan? Hit Bangkok’s famous weekend market, Chatuchak, then go for a celebratory birthday dinner. Ms Smith has read all the rave reviews and booked us a table at respected Thai restaurant Bo.lan before leaving London – she truly is the best gastronomic touring companion a girl could have.

To fuel up for the day we head downstairs to Café Claire. With its leafy outlook, marble floors, brasserie-style chairs and tables dressed with starched white cloths, it reminds us of Paris, where we spent another of Ms Smith’s birthdays. Fluffy stacks of coconut pancakes, piles of rambutans, mangosteens and lychees, and young coconuts full of juice, however, remind us we’re in the tropics. As we’re strolling through reception, one of the smiling staff members asks what we’ve got planned for the day, then proceeds to explain how to get to the market on the monorail to avoid the weekend traffic chaos.

Chatuchak is every bit as fascinating as I remember, and we easily pass the afternoon wandering through the myriad vibrant stalls and sampling authentic – read: seriously spicy – Thai food. We finish with cocktails at a tiny, cool bar – not much more than a stall – complete with a DJ spinning house tunes.

Our perfect Bangkok day comes to a somewhat soggy conclusion, and not due to one of the typical monsoonal downpours. On the way back, we’ve only got a short walk from the Skytrain to the hotel but a truck roars through a puddle, completely drenching us in a wave of muddy water. Much hysterical laughter ensues as we compose ourselves before walking through the foyer looking far less glamorous than our surrounds, much to the amusement of the staff.

Before dinner we poke our heads into the Oriental Residence’s Chinese restaurant, Mandopop. With its soaring ceiling, bursts of luminescent blue and sweeping banquettes it looks amazing and I take a mental note to make a reservation next time I’m in town. The tasting menu at Bo.lan, off Sukhumvit Road nearby, is stunning though. As are the cocktails that follow at one of Bangkok’s fabulous rooftop bars. And the dancing. And the nightcaps.

Despite our 3am finish, we awake early and head to the fourth-floor pool. Although undercover, the deck is open on three sides and flanked by sunloungers and cabanas, as well as space-age–style pods suspended from the ceiling. With only a few other couples around, we easily procure a cabana with a killer view before partaking in a hangover-curing dip and poolside snooze.

In what seems like a blink of an eye, we’re back in the foyer, surrounded by bags and awaiting a taxi to the airport. The lobby is exquisite: seriously high ceilings, jaw-dropping flower displays and magnificent art adorning the walls. In the often gritty, manic morass that is Bangkok it’s a joy to be able to retreat to such a serene space. Ms Smith, plugged into her iPhone listening to One Night in Bangkok for the last time, removes one earphone and shoots me a big grin: ‘You’d better start thinking about where we’re going to spend my fiftieth, because Oriental Residence is going to take some beating!’ I agree.

Accommodation details

Address:

110 Wireless Road, Bangkok, Thailand 10330
Bangkok
Thailand

Location:

1.8 mi / 2.8 km from city centre

General facilities

  • Valet parking
  • Pool
  • Exercise gym
  • Internet services
  • On-Site parking
  • Complimentary in-room coffee or tea
  • Room service
  • Lounges/bars
  • Onsite laundry
  • Restaurant

Dining information

Restaurant:

Light-filled Café Claire courts diners for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a menu of gourmet comfort food. Slip into a black leather booth for braised wagyu beef cheek, buttermilk fried chicken or a classic hot dog. At Mandopop, mod-Chinese is on offer for lunch and dinner. Signature tastes include pan-seared foie gras with crisp duck skin, and garoupa in a fragrant chilli sauce.

 

Top Table:

At Mandopop, cosy up in an intimate private room, or perch yourself at the bar to watch the dim sum chefs at work.

Last Orders:

Café Claire serves dinner until 10.30pm; nosh at Mandopop until midnight.

Hotel Bar:

Overlooking the dim sum kitchen, the dramatic bar at Mandopop is the perfect spot to sip champagne, Australian wines and creative cocktails. At Café Claire, draught beers and imported wines are the order of the day. 

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