I’ve got a new favorite city center hotel in Bangkok. As much as I’ve loved (and made love) in many of the other luxury Bangkok hotels, the Sofitel So has just blown them (and me) away.
I’m not sure if it was the mouth-watering smells and giant chocolate drop upon entering (at Chocolab boutique), the magnificent view over Lumpini Park or the design surprises which confronted me at every turn…but by the time I reached check-in, I was already totally smitten.
After being welcomed by staff sporting all manner of design features themselves (brightly coloured hair, one staff member even had a fringe sprinkled with diamantes – and I’m talking about the male staff!), I realized that not only did the Sofitel have a fun and progressive attitude, but actively encouraged self-expression and equality, regardless of gender preference.
This was further illustrated by the pool party I joined later that afternoon at the pool deck. It was pumping! Great music and gorgeous semi-naked studs (a healthy number were playing on our team). I was later told that the hotel actively supports the LGBT community, hosting the annual G Circuit party and other LGBT events.
I’ve heard many a hotel call themselves a ‘design’ hotel, but only a few have pulled it off. I guess having Christian Lacroix design the club floor and staff uniforms was a good starting point. Giving several of Thailand’s top designers each a section of the hotel to design was another master stroke. No wonder the hotel made Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List for 2013.
The rooms are split into 4 different designs representing the Earth’s elements. My room was wood. I got wood. It was lovely. I also saw the water rooms – a totally different design aesthetic and very impressive. Design surprises continue throughout the hotel – there’s a small gallery next to the club lounge and even the spa transports you to a Thai forest.
We ate at Café Society. I’ll generally avoid anything with the word society. My worries were amplified when told I needed long pants (I’d only packed shorts – come on, this is Thailand). But in fact the restaurant was young, fun and quite casual. Both the staff and food were great. We couldn’t decide what to eat so our waiter chose – he came up with a perfect and delicious spread.
I stayed late October and the staff didn’t bat an eyelid when I strolled through the hotel wearing my ‘bear in semi-drag’ costume on my way to a Halloween party. I guess they’ve seen it all before (here I was thinking I had come up with something original…).
I could go on about the comfortable beds, huge picture windows with lovely views, great location (close to Silom Road, opposite Lumpini Park & MRT station), amazing HI-SO sky bar, well-equipped gym and Solarium/Oasis lawn and Red Oven (serves up a delicious breakfast).
But the standout feature of the hotel for me is the fab design and that the hotel is so incredibly LGBT friendly. In fact it seems to want to be our best friend. And I have absolutely no problem with that. Enjoy Sofitel So – you won’t be sorry.