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Reaching high, new hotel opens in Bangkok, the Standard Bangkok Mahanakhon

Author: Andrew J Wood / Date: Mon, 08/01/2022 - 08:47
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Positioned in the field of top world-class hotels in one of Asia’s favourite cities, this property is not only the flagship property of the Standard brand in Asia but also has its sights firmly set on being one of the finest hotels in Bangkok.

Bangkok, Thailand - Situated on 18 of the iconic Mahanakhon building’s 77 storeys, the 155-roomed Standard Bangkok hotel opened its doors today. Positioned in the field of top world-class hotels in one of Asia’s favourite cities, this property is not only the flagship property of the Standard brand in Asia but also has its sights firmly set on being one of the finest hotels in Bangkok. 

Following my recent visit and being one of its first guests to check in, I can attest to their lofty goals. The hotel is a worthy bedfellow. 

The company’s upside-down logo is an anomaly that takes a little time to comprehend. 

Having experienced the hotel and an overnight stay, I now feel I understand the brand and the concept. I get it. The upside logo shouts out that they are NOT standard. Quite the opposite. It is a fantastic brand. 

They have got so many things right. Upclose it becomes clear that they are taking hospitality in a new direction. And I like what I am seeing. 

It's modern, quirky and colourful with exceptional design features and outstanding offerings. Its food concepts, for instance, are excellent. 

I wanted to get a closer look to get under their skin and fully understand the ethos of this hotel company founded in 1999. 

My stay was by far one of my most exciting and interesting reviews of any hotel I have undertaken in recent times. Experiencing The Standard Mahanakhon gave me an insight into the mindset of the company and its vision of how a modern upscale hotel should look and feel.

This is what the corporate blurb says about the hotel, “Bangkok is a buzzy, bold city planned not from the top down but created from the bottom up. That spirit of innovation and unconventionality has made the Thai capital the perfect locale for our Asia flagship, with The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon.”

The hotel is located in one of the most iconic buildings in the city. The hotel is truly a landmark. Rooms range from 40 sqm to 144 sqm. 

Facilities include a terrace pool, fitness centre, meeting rooms, and an exceptional variety of food, drink, and nightlife venues.  The Parlor is the hotel's hub for socialising, cocktails, work, lounging, live music, lectures, and the tea room, Tease.  American steakhouse classics at The Standard Grill, superb Chinese cuisine at Mott 32, and two remarkable sky-high dining experience from Ojo, a Mexican-inspired restaurant and the Sky Beach, the highest alfresco rooftop bar in Bangkok. 

To celebrate the opening, The Standard Bangkok Mahanakhon offers a special deal if you book a room from 29 July to 30 September 2022 you will receive their ‘Bite Into Bangkok’ delicious credits starting from THB 3,000 to use towards drinks and dishes in restaurants, a room upgrade and more.

My first contact with Standard Bangkok at the magnificent Mahanakhon building, which is set to become the brand’s headquarters in Asia, started with a chance meeting during the SEAHIS hotel investment conference last month. I was introduced to Mr Maxime Debels, Director of Business Development Asia & ME for the brand. 

All credit also to Vice President 

Ludovic Gallerne, who took the opportunity to re-introduce himself during my first few hours visiting the property, I was grateful that he took the opportunity to come over and say a few words and to constantly ensure that my visit was satisfactory.

There are so many good points about this hotel. However, it is the single-minded energy of the design concept that has caught my attention.

The enthusiastic use of colour in design and interiors is very evident and, I have to say, very pleasing. It works

We arrived at the hotel and had already pre-booked lunch in Mott 32, the Chinese restaurant. This turned out to be a real eye-opener. I am a great fan of Chinese cuisine, particularly dim sum.

I can safely say that Mott 32 has to be already one of my favourites and I will be visiting and re-visiting. The kitchen, service and ambience are so right. It was an extraordinary good culinary experience, and without hesitation, I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

HOTELS

The guest rooms are modern, high-tech, comfortable, and well thought out. From the Japanese electronic toilets; to the wet room concept of the shower and bathtub, separated by a glass door in the bathroom (no more wet slippery bathroom floors), to the electric curtains and drop-down blinds and the super comfortable beds, to the generous use of full-length mirrors, the choice of deluxe toiletries, the Bang & Olufsen (B&O) Bluetooth mini speaker with its room-filling sound system, all are first class.

The room worked, and I gave very high marks to the design team that came up with the layout and concept.

To have your address as the Mahanakhon Building is already a tremendous marketing advantage with a great location and possibly one of the most interesting iconic landmarks in Asia. As you look skywards from the pool, it hits you what an impressive building this is. Visible across the whole metropolis, it soars skyward with its unique cutout design, unlike any other building in Bangkok.

The pool area continues the clever use of colour, excellent furniture design, and modernity. 

Thick mattress sunbeds with waterproof cushions and bolsters with super large fluffy beach towels and bright, colourful pool umbrellas. It has the vibe of a beach club in the heart of Bangkok. 

If fitness and health clubs are your ‘thing’, then the fitness centre is possibly one of the best-equipped gymnasiums in Bangkok. It’s evident that a great deal of thought has gone into this area, and the choice of equipment is outstanding. The staff in this area are also highly professional and engaging.

HOTELS

I get it that The Standard is not just about a brand. It is about detail, and this detail goes down to the uniforms of all of the staff. OUT with preconceived ideas of what constricting clothes should be worn by hospitality staff and IN with comfortable, loose, well-engineered uniforms and soft flat shoes with rubber soles to ensure the team have little foot fatigue during their service hours.

If you choose to stay in this hotel, please include breakfast. The breakfast experience in the Grill Restaurant is extraordinary, and I can genuinely say, possibly the best breakfast I’ve ever had in any hotel in Thailand in the past 30 years. A great choice, and the quality of the ingredients used to present breakfast, is simply outstanding. Freshly baked bakery items, perfectly cooked hot dishes and beautiful cold dishes, the service was a dream - I couldn’t fault a thing. 

The Standard Grill in the evening for dinner was another highlight. Our server was so professional and elegantly looked after our table. She was an absolute delight and engaging. 

We enjoyed oysters and halibut, but the real highlight for me was the side order of creamed spinach with a hint of nutmeg.

I look forward to returning on a future occasion to do a full review of the restaurant once it has had time to settle in.

I was first introduced to the Standard name some months back following the property launch in Hua Hin. I couldn’t understand why the logo was upside down in a striking red and white design. At first, I thought this was a mistake, but now I get it. 

I get it that it is not standard. The hotel concept and the thought processes, and the management of this brand are not standard. It’s anything but standard, which is why the logo is upside down because they want to stand out and be different. My goodness, they have done that, and I wish them much success in the launch of their world-class product in Bangkok. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew J Wood

English born Andrew J Wood, is a freelance travel writer and for most of his career a professional hotelier. Andrew has over 40 years of hospitality and travel experience. He is a Skal member and a hotel graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh. Andrew is also a former Director of Skal International (SI), Past President SI THAILAND, 2 times Club President of SI BANGKOK and is currently President SKAL ASIA. He is a regular guest lecturer at various Universities in Thailand and overseas.