As the taxi stopped in front of Cabochon Hotel in Bangkok, my husband and I were greeted by a friendly face. We were graciously welcomed in, and before we knew it, we were being served cold coconut drinks. Now just because I was asked quite a few times since I came back from Thailand, I want to pause for a moment here and say that the taste of the fresh coconut drinks has very little to do with the actual coconut we are used to in the Western world. Nevertheless, it is a sweet, transparent liquid that has a soft fragrance to it. My guess is that you either love it, or hate, there's no middle way.
Cabochon Hotel is a boutique hotel nested on Sukhumvit Road, one of the main commercial streets in Bangkok. Actually the Sukhumvit Road starts in the Thai capital and continues as a highway for over 400km, ending up in the town of Trat. In Bangkok, this road is framed with modern skyscrapers and the traffic is horrible to say the least. But Cabochon Hotel is somehow hidden in an oasis of peace and quiet, among tall palm trees, away from the maddening crowds. Due to its position at the end of a lonely alley, the hotel is safe from all the hustle and bustle of the city and it's capable of offering its guests an authentic yesteryear experience.
Cabochon Hotel is an elegant and chic place, with only 4 suites and 4 studios. This ensured a very personaltreatment during the whole duration of our stay.
The hotel tries to recapture the atmosphere of the 1920's Shanghai, with vintage furniture and a collector's touch. So we were surprised to find out that the building itself and all the amenities within are completely new and modern, only a few months old.
The Walpole Building which houses the hotel, really stands out against a background of tall and modern architecture. This building is barely 4-story high, with beautiful white columns, and balconies decorated with green plants, a very nice contrast if you ask me. And just seeing the two architectural styles in the same context, makes me sigh. I'm an old fashioned girl when it comes to design; but very much 21st century when it comes to amenities.
We stayed in one of the beautiful suites and we were completely smitten by the decor from the moment we walked it. The furniture was chosen to perfectly fit the style of the hotel, which gave the whole place a homey continuity. Everything made sense, from the orchid on the table, to the choice of colors, the vast array of magazines at our disposal, and the decorative objects on the shelf. There was a plate of exotic fruits awaiting for us upon arrival, tea facilities, comfy Belgium linen on the beds...
The suite was spacious, elegant and meant to pamper us. From the balcony we could see palm trees and the elevated yard which totally gave us a sense of being somewhere remote, surrounded by nature instead of in a 14 million people metropolitan area. It just felt natural to lay on the sofa and watch the evening movie on HBO. We were really settling in this hotel at a faster peace than usual.
The common areas
All over Cabochon Hotel there was a great number of what could have been personal items of a reknown collector. The hotel had style and continuity and we loved this, for it gave the place a strong personality.
The rooftop pool was yet another proof that the hotel was build with the modern person in mind.
Breakfast and dinner
With only 8 rooms, it is surprising this hotel serves breakfast at all! But as they want to keep with the luxury standards in place at the moment, a buffet breakfast is served every morning in The Joy Luck Club. There were pastries, fruits and cold cuts mostly, but what called my attention above everything else, was the beautiful presentation and the blue and white china the food was served in. Truly elegant and classy!
The hotel also has its own restaurant, and one evening we decided to give it a try. The restaurant specializes in authentic Thai street food cuisine, and as we are not exactly connoisseurs we ended up with some pretty spicy plates on out table, in spite of the waitress' reassurance that these were not the spicy dished on the menu at all. We had the same experience in different restaurants in Bangkok, and by the time we left, we were wondering how do the really spicy dished taste like? Well, not that we actually wanted to find out... But I guess for those who like spicy food, Thailand is heaven, plus the Thai Lao Yeh Restaurant at Cabochon Hotel can satisfy anyone's curiosity about the Thai street food in a safe environment and without the health issues the plates served on the side of the road might raise.
Cabochon is one of the newly open hotels in Bangkok and it looks like it really managed to impress us. It has a wonderful atmosphere, it is clean and quiet and above all, like a 1920's gentleman, it has style.