July 18, 2018

Bold claim alert: this might just be the swankiest hotel in Bangkok.

Without a doubt, Bangkok, being one of the top tourist’s destinations in the world, also boasts a superbly high concentration of fine-dining restaurants, brilliant bars, unique shopping experiences and the whole shebang. The city is packed with everything from excitement and chaos, to freedom, beauty and adventure. Sometimes, the hustle and bustle can become just a little exhausting. If you’re looking for more than just an adequate pillow to rest your head on—midway between Siam and the nightlife district of Thonglor, rising up from the bedlam of clattering ladles against woks, is a skyscraper of a hotel, better known as 137 Pillars Bangkok. And boy, the view of the city skyline from the infinity pool at sunset… makes you want to luxuriate in it, with every fibre of your being screaming “yes”.

137 Pillars offers plenty of panache—silent marble-tiled bathrooms housing enormous round bathtubs ooze contemporary big city elegance, while the traditional rocking chairs on the balcony represent classic colonial-style aesthetics. My 95-sqm Ayutthaya suite is not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but its spaciousness is stitched together with thoughtful details. Think, auto eco-friendly settings on the living room’s air conditioning when guests choose to open the balcony doors, smart toilets that light up at the sneaking suspicion that you’re tip-toeing to the bathroom and BOSE surround sound systems that sync up both the bedroom and living space. 137 Pillars has invested some serious dollar in design ergonomics, using empathetic design to map out the guest’s journey from room to room with seamless efficiency—and it pays off. Despite the overwhelming luxury, this feels like home.

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Located right in the heart of the exclusive Sukhumvit district, 137 Pillars Hotel gives unparalleled access to Bangkok’s cultural and enticing retail quarters; yet it preserves the same haven of tranquility sported by its predecessing Chang Mai property. There’s no need to pack earplugs—from any one of the 34 suites occupying the uppermost levels on the 32-storey building, even if it were a Sukhumvit street facing room on a Friday night, all you hear is a slight murmur of the revelry outside.

During my recent stay in 137 Pillars Bangkok, I spent a good half of my stay, sprawled out on the oversized daybed, my nose buried deep in a David Mitchell novel, traversing the lines to the the low resonating sounds of ambient study music. Such is the spirit of 137 Pillars Bangkok that aims to restore and rejuvenate the spiritually jaded, a possible by-product of an industrious city. At sunset, saunter up to the 20-metre infinity pool on the roof. A dip in this pool will make you feel as if you’re straddling the edge of the city; it also makes for a beautiful backdrop for popping the big question, just saying.

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Looking for a place to dine? For those intimidated by the breadth of choice outside, or just plain lazy to brave the sweltering heat, Nimitr on the 27th floor, demonstrates that unlike most hotel restaurants, dining in-house doesn’t have to be wildly pedestrian. Exhaustive and almost trenchant, Nimitr dishes out what they coin as oriental fare. As a result, it sets a low value upon which its triumphant dishes could appreciate. One of the dishes, worthy of admiration has got to be the Tandoori Lamb ‘Naan’ Ravioli—organic lamb ribs sport a burnished brown crust, this is doused in makhani sauce and flanked by ghee sautéed edamame beans and tiny naan bread pillows filled with chive ricotta filling. Bite straight into the grilled lamb and a stunning explosion of flavour oozes out, with frills of rendered fats dissolving in a spice-laden haze on the tongue. Desserts are serviceable and you’re better off skipping to avoid disappointment.

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Facilities wise, it’s a nightmare for guests looking to spend only a single night. In fact, the owners couldn’t have crammed more amenities into this complex if they’d tried. Two gyms with state of the art cardio machines like Tour de France bikes and Jacob’s ladder, indoor golf simulator, sky garden and hair salon on the 6th floor and Nitra spa on the 28th floor, each with its own ensuite steam and shower facilities. Add to the, not one, but two stunning infinity pools. You’ll be so spoilt for choice that you might even forget about the virgin bed jump till nightfall (the 400 thread count bed linen might just serve as a timely reminder).

Looks wise, 137 Pillars Bangkok threads lightly on the razzle-dazzle scale of things. Instead it excludes a classy, contemporary vibe that is just casual enough that nobody’s going to stare you down if you wander into the breakfast buffet at Bangkok Trading Post Bistro and Deli in a T-shirt and shorts get up. Corridors to rooms are sultrily lit, and the rooms graduate with the setting of the sun; from a well-lit creative space into a decadent den where you can get up to all sorts of naughtiness. The basic Sukhothai suite can be bagged for S$500 per night but those with deeper pockets might enjoy the flourishes of the Thonburi suite (S$850) better. 137 Pillars Bangkok offers guests an oasis of serene splendour in a city that is full of life, a quality that you’ll come to love if you spend the previous evening drinking. It’s hard to not stay under their spell, in fact, I almost chained myself to the bed in silent protest to having to leave. True story.