The Waldorf Astoria recently opened its doors in Bangkok’s most elite neighborhood.
Located within the 60-storey Magnolias Ratchadamri Boulevard, this is the first Waldorf Astoria in South-East Asia. Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is located by the bustling Ratchaprasong intersection, within walking distance of renowned shopping precincts. Just a few minutes’ stroll to the Erawan Shrine, the luxurious Gaysorn Village mall and both lines of the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) Skytrain, the hotel is ideally positioned for guests to immerse themselves in the city’s colorful culture. Other highlights within a 10 to 25 minute drive include the Charoenkrung Creative District, the iconic Grand Palace and the city’s beautiful flower market.
The Waldorf Astoria’s experience starts literally as you land in Bangkok. Like every other airport landing, I disembark my flight and walk out the the plane, only to be greeted by an airport staff holding a signage with my name. I identified myself, a little confused as to why they were looking for me. I was whisk into a buggy, driven to immigration with an assistant who carried my bags and brought straight to baggage reclaim in a record breaking 15 minutes. At the baggage reclaim I was introduced to a woman who worked for the Waldorf Astoria, she picked up my bag from the baggage carousel and walked me to my car where my very own driver pulled up in a stunning Mercedes-Benz S class.
I was thinking to myself, The Waldorf Astoria has done hospitality right. My driver was friendly, and spoke fluent English. He asked me if I the temperature is alright, if I wanted the air condition lower or higher, and gave me an estimated time of arrival to the hotel. He then said there is a cold towel to freshen up, some candy, tissues and cold water. Arriving at the Waldorf Astoria in style I was greeted by the staff and introduced to my butler. I was immediately shown to my room, no hassle with check-in, as check-in was done in the comfort of my room. I had an hour to rest and relax before lunch.
The room was spacious, with beautiful views of the horse racing course in the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. The Waldorf Astoria presented me with some desserts and cold coconut water. As I took a sip, it was the most delicious, fragrant and sweet coconut water I have ever had in my life. I thought and wondered to myself, where did they get such good coconuts? Till today I have yet to find coconut that matched up to the one I had there.
Lunch at The Brasserie
I was expecting a casual lunch at The Brasserie, but instead was delightedly presented with a four course lunch. The Brasserie serves traditional French cuisine, my favourite. I chose to have the Nicoise salad with spiced tuna and quail egg, onion soup gratinee with baguette and Gruyere, Australian grilled lack of lamb, red cabbage, black garlic , balsamic and for dessert the raspberry- clafouti with almond crumble and vanilla ice-cream. I was blown away by how good the lunch was as the chef’s creations were the perfect combination, and the portions was just right, so that you don’t fall into a food coma after a heavy lunch.
We proceeded for the hotel tour, where they introduced their F&B outlets, Three of which are perched on levels 55 to 57 boosting impeccable views of Bangkok’s skyline. The hotel’s crown jewel spans the top three floors comprising three distinctive, artistically curated dining outlets by world-renowned design and concept firm AvroKO.
The Loft on level 56 is a glamorous, New York-inspired bar, steeped in the romance of art nouveau. Taking inspiration from the original 1935 Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, artisanal spirits and forgotten cocktails are crafted to the modern palate using a great collection of house-made ingredients, accompanied by gourmet bar bites. Head Bartender Michele Montauti and his team have crafted artisanal spirits and forgotten cocktails to the modern palate using an extensive collection of house-made ingredients, accompanied by gourmet bar bites. An adjacent smoking lounge brings a leisurely yet intimate smoking experience.
The Champagne bar
The Champagne Bar is located on level 57, offering an intimate and inspirational environment. To enter one must find the secret door that leads to Bangkok’s most desirable bar. An exquisite list of fine champagnes, hand-crafted cocktails and one of the best views of Bangkok combine to create the ultimate setting for a spectacular evening out. I enjoyed the Sunset at The Champagne bar, with a hand-crafted cocktail and delicious canapes of mini lobster rolls, crab cakes, caviar bellinis and oysters. The intimate 34-seater champagne bar is elegant with meticulous attention to design detail, furnished with vintage glass chandeliers, organic wood sculptures and rocking chairs.
Bull & Bear
After sunset cocktails we headed to Bull & Bear on level 55 which specializes in grilled meats and seafood. The restaurant features a live raw bar along with a custom-made grill designed for smoking, slow roasting, baking and grilling. Fitted with art deco seating, the use of bold brass furnishings and a recreation of the infamous Bull & Bear statue from New York’s Wall Street, the venue on level 55 is a vivid portrayal of the Waldorf Astoria legacy.
Bull & Bear offers a variety of traditional favourites on their menu such as Blackened Australian Barramundi with sweet corn, smoked chili and lime butter, Bone in Ribeye – a 55-day dry aged Wagyu, and the one-kilogram grain fed Porterhouse. This is one of my favourite meals at The Waldorf Astoria. For my four course dinner I chose the roasted carrot salad with celeriac, orange, pepper and yogurt to start, appetizer of traditional Tiger prawn cocktail; with smoked sriracha cocktail sauce, lemon, fresh horseradish, the prawns were huge, firm and fresh and I really enjoyed this classic salad. For my entree I had the Tenderloin Diantina Wagyu M6 with salt roasted mashed potatoes and asparagus. The meat was juicy, tender and it just melted in your mouth like butter. For dessert I had the camping favourite S’mores with salted caramel, marshmallows and chocolate biscuit.
Peacock Alley, which sits on the same level as The Brasserie, is an ideal lounge for picturesque afternoon teas and light meals. Modeled after the New York original, Peacock Alley presents a menu of delectable homemade pastries and refreshments throughout the day.
A famed Waldorf Astoria tradition, Peacock Alley recreates typical New York glamour on the Upper Lobby of the hotel. Pairing iconic Waldorf Astoria dishes such as the Eggs Benedict and sweeping views of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, the sophisticated lounge is perfect for idle afternoons indulging in fine afternoon tea and pastries, light meals and elegant evening drinks surrounded by bronze, bright colors and warm wood.
Front Room is the hotel’s signature restaurant, and helmed by acclaimed Chef Fae Rungthiwa Chummongkhon, who brings her experience of working at Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe to present an elegant blend of “new Nordic” and Thai flavors in a relaxed setting.
Nestled on the Lower Lobby, Front Room is helmed by multi-talented Chef de Cuisine Fae Rungthiwa Chummongkhon, who returns to Thailand with a wealth of experience from multiple Michelin-star establishments across Europe, including Frederikshoj in Denmark and three Michelin-starred restaurant La Belle Epoque in Germany.
Front Room’s cuisine combines the opposites: modern and traditional, East and West, and this was a refreshing dining experience. The flavors were familiar to me, but the presentation and technique used by Chef Fae was of Scandinavian origin. The fresh, locally sourced Thai ingredients are brought to life through Nordic cooking styles and served as a tasting menu, which include artfully created dishes such as the King of Beef course with melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu striploin, and the Raised in Chiang Rai, Cooked in Bangkok course with tender chicken, fragrant lemongrass and black rice purée. The à la carte menu showcases Chef Fae’s penchant towards antitheses, transporting diners into unknown territory to surprise even the most seasoned epicurean. Highlights include the Umami of the Sea appetizer with oyster and green cold juice, as well as the Red Sea main course with fresh sea bream, popcorn purée and corn sauce. Guests can sip on creative cocktails and paired wines amidst the classy mineral grey and tropical lime décor.
The Brasserie, located on the upper lobby, is a lively destination that offers stunning views of the city. Using locally sourced ingredients, the restaurant serves traditional French brasserie fare daily from breakfast through dinner.
Serving traditional brasserie fare daily from breakfast through dinner, The Brasserie is inspired by authentic French cuisine, while using locally sourced ingredients and classic preparation techniques. Located on the Upper Lobby, the restaurant is shaped like a horseshoe to emulate the fluid architecture of the building, showcasing a live Western kitchen on one end, an Asian kitchen on the other, with a pastry kitchen in between. Quintessentially French dishes such a Pan-Seared Halibut Provençale served with potato gratin, Sautéed Mussels, Baked Camembert, Steak Frites and Beef Bourguignon are served to complete the lively Brasserie experience.
About the Waldorf Astoria
“From Waldorf Astoria New York to Waldorf Astoria Chengdu, the Waldorf Astoria brand has a long-standing legacy of defining the hospitality experience for the modern-day traveler,” said Martin Rinck, executive vice president and global head, Luxury & Lifestyle Group, Hilton. “We truly believe that the opening of the new, landmark Waldorf Astoria Bangkok will not only redefine the luxury hospitality landscape throughout South East Asia, it will create unforgettable experiences for our guests that will last a lifetime.”
Award-winning architect André Fu and his design studio AFSO designed the main hotel. Globally recognized for their work, which range from modern hospitality projects and art spaces to high-profile fashion collaborations, AFSO has artistically curated a holistic Waldorf Astoria Bangkok hotel experience that unites the building’s contemporary architecture with Thai artisanal tradition. Conceptualized to embrace the gracious Thai spirit in an elegant setting, the 171 residential-style, spacious and luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites feature spa-inspired bathrooms and marble bathtubs.
The hotel’s crown jewel spans the top three floors from levels 55 to 57, comprising three distinctive, artistically curated dining outlets by world-renowned design and concept firm AvroKO. Exuding glamour and luxury, the opulent interiors of Bull & Bear, The Loft and Champagne Bar showcase a nod towards the Waldorf Astoria legacy
Award-winning architect André Fu and his design studio AFSO designed the main hotel. Globally recognized for their work, which range from modern hospitality projects and art spaces to high-profile fashion collaborations, AFSO has artistically curated a holistic Waldorf Astoria Bangkok hotel experience that unites the building’s contemporary architecture with Thai artisanal tradition. Conceptualized to embrace the gracious Thai spirit in an elegant setting, the 171 residential-style, spacious and luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites feature spa-inspired bathrooms and marble bathtubs. The other F&B outlets in the hotel are Front Room, The Brasserie and Peacock Alley.