This is made abundantly clear the moment the lobby doors slide open to reveal an achingly stylish space that’s anchored by soaring white pillars and luxurious Emperador Spanish floor tiles. It offers a cool sanctuary from the broiling bustle of the Thai capital. A refreshing lemongrass tea and perfumed cold towel wipes away any lingering jet lag, while a warm Thai welcome of “sawàt dii!’’ makes me feel right at home.
The VIP service is rolled out before I’ve even stepped foot inside my penthouse, which is one of nine suites that range from executive to the top-tier 240sqm COMO Suite, serviced by its own elevator. My personal butler, Anurat, ushers me along a private corridor lined with ancient teakwood carvings, to my 11th floor penthouse address. The 150sqm, two-floor duplex is the embodiment of interior architect Kathryn Kng’s signature clean, contemporary aesthetic.
Suffused with natural light, the open-plan living space comprises a conservatory-style sitting room, sleek kitchenette and a four-person dining table that’s perfect for stylish entertaining. Modern yet homely accents like the Patricia Urquiola sofa and Helen Yardley rug create a liveable space that’s more akin to a luxurious apartment. No wonder famous penthouse patrons like Kylie Minogue, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey and Cindy Crawford have made the COMO their home-from-home in the capital. Perhaps the stellar city and pool views, which reveal themselves behind the electronically operated floor-to-ceiling Thai-silk curtains, have something to do with it too.
High-tech detailing is one of the suite’s touch points, which boasts features like a BOSE Wave Sound Touch music system and electronic ‘do not disturb’ sign. Pleasingly, these are offset with nurturing touches like the bedroom’s Egyptian cotton linen and a fine goose down duvet. This pursuit of balance is central to the COMO brand, founded in 1991 by Christina Ong – the doyenne of Zen-chic hospitality and a global fashion entrepreneur.
Back to the penthouse, and a floating staircase stylishly leads you to a private office, which vaunts a 21.5-inch iMac – a nice upgrade from working on my laptop, I might add. A dividing wall separates the work area from a generously proportioned bedroom and shaded, private terrace. With a king-size bed fit for Thai royalty and a walk-in closet bigger than most London studios, spacious is an understatement. Original artwork by celebrated young Thai artist, Natee Utarit, hangs on the wall and indigenous Thai Makha wood adds warmth to an otherwise neutral colour palette, which is lifted by colourful vases of fresh flowers.
Unlike many of the capital’s most exclusive hotels, COMO’s interior eschews cultural fetishism, with not a single piece of rattan furniture in sight! Instead, Ong juxtaposes contemporary accessories like Artemide Melampo table lamps, with tasteful eastern antiquities, including Chinese horseshoe chairs and local pagoda bells. Where the brand’s philosophy really comes into play is the suite’s pared-back bathroom, which boasts separate rainforest and hand showers, his and her sinks and a surplus of COMO Shambhala toiletries – the hotel’s award-winning sister wellness brand.
This is just a taster of the hotel’s multitude of wellness offerings, which have been curated to give guests a more meaningful spa experience, versus your run-of-the-mill, hour-long rub down. The vast, light-flooded 1,200sqm COMO Shambhala Urban Escape spa can be found on the first floor, which incorporates a dedicated yoga studio, 10 treatment rooms and hydrotherapy pool. One thing that strikes me as I gravitate between the ground floor’s palm-fringed 20-metre lap pool, and its Zen-like organic restaurant Glow, is how virtually crowd-less and noiseless the amenities are. This is despite the hotel being at almost full occupancy and near to lively, nocturnal South Sathorn.
Come sundown, and I discover the perfect way to counterbalance the spa’s detoxing treatments – with a retox at the hotel’s sultry Met Bar. It is about the yin and yang after all. Like its London progenitor, the lounge-style bar is open to members and hotel guests only. There are some 40 different martinis on the menu to work your way through, including their signature Tom Yumtini, inspired by the popular Thai soup. It’s a spicy finale to a serene and stylish sojourn.
The important bit:
WHAT: COMO Metropolitan Bangkok
WHERE: Bangkok, Thailand
SUITE: The Penthouse
PRICE: from $460 per night
TEL: +66 2 625 3333