This isn’t the first Kempinski in Bangkok, but this is the city’s new flagship for the brand. It’s an all-suites hotel, with 274 rooms, which are among the largest hotel rooms in the city. And they are lavishly spacious. There are essentially two room categories: grand deluxe and grand premier. The former are designed like junior suites, with a wide-open floor plan for the combined bedroom and living room, whereas the premier rooms are divided into separate living and sleeping quarters in what only a slightly larger footprint. I booked the deluxe option because I liked having the open floor plan and a larger bank of windows. But when I got to the hotel, late at night, the staff had “upgraded” me to a premier room, which was lovely but not what I wanted and not what I booked. While it was technically larger, the closed-off rooms made it feel smaller, darker and more cramped. I tried to downgrade, but the hotel was full, at least for the next two days, and I didn’t want to spend half the week in one room, then the second half of the week in another room, so I stayed put. It wasn’t tragic, just not what I wanted. The room was nevertheless fantastic. The bathroom was stunning. The walk-in closet, stunning. The terrace, nice. The bed, perfect. The amenities, lovely.
The “Sindhorn” in the name refers to Sindhorn Village, a new development in the heart of the city, across the street from the American embassy, halfway between Lumphini Park and the luxury shopping district of Pathum Wan. The village is also home to the new Kimpton Maa-Lai hotel next door, plus a fantastic restaurant collection just across the shared lawn at complex called Velaa.
Aside from the unfortunate “upgrade” snafu, service throughout the hotel proved fantastic. Bangkok’s five-star hotels are famous for hospitality, and the service here measures up to the service I’ve received over the years at The Oriental Bangkok, Peninsula Bangkok and The Sukhothai, and even (in the days to come) Capella Bangkok.
The hotel’s calling card is its wellness component, the centerpiece of which is a two-story fitness center with cycling studio, yoga classes, boxing area, personal trainers and more, like a mini Equinox, really. There’s also a destination spa, a sprawling sanctuary of tranquility. The pool is great, too. It protrudes from the center of the hotel and overlooks the neighborhood.
One of my favorite things about Sindhorn Kempinski is the grand lobby. It’s a great meeting and gathering place, and a popular spot for luxurious afternoon tea.
Food at the hotel is very good overall. The highlight is Flourish, a split-personality restaurant. On the one hand, it’s an extraordinary international buffet, with a European chef at the helm and more choices than you could possibly need, even for a weeklong stay. On the other hand, it’s also an à la carte Thai restaurant with a native Bangkok chef, Chatsorn Pratoomma, overseeing a modern Thai menu. The six-course Thai tasting menu is outstanding. There’s also a very nice Japanese izakaya next to the pool, and a French bakery and patisserie just off the lobby.
Bottom line: Bangkok has no shortage of super-luxe hotels, and Sindhorn Kempinski competes with the city’s best. What really sets this hotel apart from the competition is the size of the rooms, which are twice the size of the standard rooms at, say, Four Seasons or Capella.
Rates from about $295; 80 Soi Ton Son, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok, Thailand; kempinski.com/en/sindhorn-hotel/overview