If ever there was a hotel I didn’t want to leave, then this was it. Capella’s hotel in Bangkok, located on the Chao Phraya River next door to the Four Seasons (reviewed here), is a luxury hotel destination deserving of that acclaim. Here’s the rundown on my short 1-night stay a this excellent property.
Capella Hotels & Resorts provided this stay free-of-charge in return for a review. They did not receive advance copywriting approval or editing rights of this article. The first time they see this article, is the same time as first publication on TLFL.
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Capella Bangkok can be found in Charoenkrung district which is considered the ‘most creative’ and ‘oldest’ neighbourhood of Bangkok (Time Out). The area is charming and a marginally quieter than other parts of Bangkok although I would say that there is less tourist sights to be found here. Depending on what you want from a visit to Bangkok, this may or may not be a deal breaker. It’s not particularly difficult to get elsewhere in the metropolis though with Grab taxis everywhere, a BTS station one kilometre away or a private Capella-operated boat to the popular Icon Siam shopping mall.
Initial impressions and atmosphere
Set on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and away from the main road, the Capella Hotel feels like an oasis of calm in a city of (delightful) madness. With a private guarded entrance to the estate that holds both this hotel, the Four Seasons hotel and residences, this is a luxury escape in the city.
Once afoot in the resort, there is a clear divide between the events/public zone and the hotel proper – divided by a sliding door that can only be opened by those with a room key.
Check-in takes place in the Living Room – a beautiful space which turns the usual frantic process into a relaxed event. While signing the relevant forms, we were offered an iced honey and turmeric drink as well as ice cold towel (the first of many on this trip across Thailand and Cambodia).
Our one-night stay, which extended to around 24 hours thanks to early check-in, would centre on one of the property’s ‘Verandah’ suites.
An expansive room at 137sqm with panoramic views looking over the Chao Phraya River, it comprises of four key areas:
- Combined lounge, office and sleeping space
- Walk-in wardrobe along the rear wall of the above room
- And outdoor terrace
With a smart design, Capella has managed to eek a lot of functionality out of the combined lounge and bedroom. At it’s centre and looking towards the river is the large king-sized bed with plump duvet and cushions, with the obligatory menu of options. The latter could be ordered on the in-room service tablet – as well as on the hotel phone if preferred. Other services can also be requested through the device including in-room dining.
Curtains and blinds for the entire suite can be controlled through the tablet with varying degrees of daylight let in – all the way up to total darkness.
A small sofa and table are found towards the window pane and a large desk with comfortable chair which I could work from for a number of hours (not that I did on this visit).
Opposite is a large television with the obligatory hotel promo video playing located in a suitable but not perfect alignment to the sofa. Around here, you’ll also find the in-room minibar along with Nespresso coffee and tea. Non-alcoholic beverages are free of charge.
Behind the bedroom, there is a walk-in wardrobe with plentiful space – easily enough for a week’s worth of clothes for two. An in-room safe is provided by the hotel while a cubby hole for collection and drop-off of laundry is quite a useful feature to avoid being disturbed in the room.
In the final part of the room’s interior, the bathroom was an equally impressive affair with dual sinks, a centrepiece bath with enough room for me at 188cm and excellent rainfall shower. Expansive windows make the light space feel even more airy and a delight to relax in.
Capella Bangkok also provides an extensive selection of amenities with local suppliers in mind. Shower gel, shampoo and conditioner are produced by Etoile de Siam with a beautiful scent. The property has a mind-boggling array of amenities in-room on arrival and even more available through the tablet on request.
The outdoor terrace is easily my favourite part of the room. With space that is almost as big as the room itself, along with multiple types of seats (arm chairs and loungers), you could easily watch the world go by from here as I did for a few hours. There’s something quite charming about this space being enveloped in luxury as you watch sunlight go to dusk and celebratory fireworks let off in the distance.
This atmosphere could also be taken in by sitting in the plunge pool. Capella have managed to make the entire interior and exterior space feel seamless in it’s design – with a touch of class that isn’t tacky.
Capella Bangkok has a significant number of amenities on offer despite being in the middle of Bangkok and not formally considered a resort.
If you have enough of your plunge pool, or you’re looking for a bit more space to complete your laps, then a large swimming pool can be found closer to the riverside. Despite being a weekend in peak season, the pool was rarely busy and plentiful sun loungers available for use.
Nearby is the wellness section of the hotel that encompasses the gym, boxing zone and separate spa. I didn’t use the latter two but I can vouch that the property has a excellent fitness facilities on offer. With sufficiently heavy weights and a good variety of weight or cardio machines to target various parts of the body, you can easily get your workouts in while travelling to Bangkok at this hotel.
And of course, the obligatory ice cold towels were available for post-workout.
Food and service
We sampled both the dinner and breakfast service during our short stay at Capella Bangkok in their Phra Nakhon restaurant.
With a riverside table, it’s a great place to sit and embrace Bangkok as the downtown lights turn on while boats head past in quiet or blaring out party music. I love the contrast in this city.
We were offered a Thai set tasting menu during our stay which is rather pricey. The food was excellent, flavourful and, surprisingly, I felt full afterwards – which rarely happens for me with a tasting menu.
Yes, you will be able to head to a couple streets away for similar dishes at a much lower cost. As with any luxury property anywhere in the world, you’re paying for the entire excellent experience and tasty food – which frankly it needs to be in order to adequately compete with the excellent flavours found on every street corner in Thailand.
Breakfast is served in the same space as dinner with a slight reorientation of the interior to have a small self-serve buffet.
The buffet selection is good with a variety of Western and pan-Asian options available to eat. Even if their attempt at a Sausage Roll is more akin to a hot dog croissant, the options for pastries or bread were fresh and well-produced.
However, the best food to be had were on the a la carte menu where a broader selection of Thai breakfast dishes and international options can be ordered. It was extremely tasty, flavourful and you were not left waiting too long for each dish – although I definitely recommend arriving before 0830 on a weekend.
Capella Bangkok offers a great dining experience but I will say their neighbour next door at the Four Seasons slightly edges them out due to the sheer size and scale of their buffet offering. You will not be disappointed if you choose Capella for your stay, though.
Service across the board was brilliant with attentive, helpful staff as you come to expect in this nation. Evening turn-down is provided without request with stocks of drinks and amenities replenished without question. Capella’s Culturist team in the main lobby area are also on-hand for any support with excursions or just general help in getting round Bangkok.
Safe to say, I loved this hotel. As a whole, the quality of the offering ever so slightly edged out Four Seasons Bangkok for me and blew others like the St Regis out of the race. This is a modern hotel that embraces the local culture with a beautiful, classic design that doesn’t chase trends but will remain timeless in its appeal. I could easily have spent several more days here to truly make the most of it.
If you’re in Bangkok and fancy an escape to a luxury property without leaving the city, then the Capella Bangkok can easily fulfil all those requirements.
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