Bangkok is a city that knows how to provide luxury experiences to the millions of travelers who visit every year. The city has some of the best hotels in the world, all locked in a fierce battle with one another to lure luxury travelers to their properties. When it came time for me to choose a hotel on my recent trip to the City of Angels, it was a challenge. There were just so many options, all at very competitive prices that it was almost sensory overload. Then I discovered a luxury brand that was new to me and I was instantly intrigued. While visitors to Chiang Mai have been familiar with the exceptional quality offered by the 137 Pillars House, the company only just recently opened their Bangkok hotel, but already it’s winning rave reviews as one of the best properties in the city. Since I was already staying with them in Chiang Mai, I thought it just made sense to also try out their Bangkok hotel and wow, am I ever glad I did. I’ve enjoyed some amazing experiences in Bangkok before, but nothing quite like the new 137 Pillars Suites & Residences, a luxury escape that just may be the best in the city.
In 1886, Louis Leonowens, son to Anna Leonowens of “The King and I” fame, established the Chiang Mai headquarters of the Borneo Trading Company in his home on the outskirts of Chiang Mai’s old city. It’s this history upon which not only the 137 Pillars House in Chiang Mai but the entire company is built, a legacy found throughout the hotels today. In Bangkok that old world flair is seen through the rocking chairs on each of the 34 suites’ private balconies; the same kind that has become a hallmark of the House in Chiang Mai. On the ground level there’s a Bangkok Trading Post cafe and even the bar, Jack Bain’s bar, is named after one of the Borneo Trading Company’s most famous managers.
That 19th century, Southeast Asian flair is definitely well represented, but so is modern design and elegance, reflecting the hotel’s home in one of the world’s most exciting and frenetic cities. Both the 137 Pillars House in Chiang Mai and the 137 Pillars Suites & Residence in Bangkok are members of the exclusive collection of properties, Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Small Luxury Hotels is one of the first places I look when it comes time to discover those one of a kind hotels that offer not just fantastic accommodations, but experiences I know I’ll never forget. And, sure enough, their inclusion of 137 Pillars is well deserved.
As soon as I walked through the door of my suite, I knew I was in for a special treat. Calling the 24th to 32nd floors home, this all-suite hotel features perks for all guests that most would associate with only the top-level suite at any other hotel. Large living spaces, walk-in closets, massive marble bathrooms, butler service and more all add up to a hospitality experience no one will soon forget. As if these private retreats amidst the hustle and bustle of the city weren’t enough, the hotel features plenty of perks for its suite guests including the luxurious Leonowens club room where guests can enjoy breakfast, snacks, afternoon cocktails and more.
The hotel also has not one, but two rooftop infinity pools providing yet another opportunity to decompress after a long day navigating the busy streets of Bangkok. It’s not easy for any hotel to create a sense of peace, calm and well being in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world, but that’s exactly what the remarkable 137 Pillars Suites & Residences has managed to accomplish in this elegant retreat.
Location, Service and Special Touches
To be honest, I wasn’t so sure about the hotel’s location in downtown Bangkok, but that’s just because I wasn’t yet familiar with this trendy neighborhood. Located on Sukhumvit Soi 39, the 137 Pillars is well located and the Phrom Phong skytrain station and EmQuartier shopping center are both an easy 10-minute walk from the hotel. If you don’t feel like walking, don’t worry because of course the 137 Pillars has you covered. Shuttle service is offered throughout the day in the hotel’s iconic blue London cab named Louie which features a champagne bar and free WiFi.
But that level of service is the norm at 137 Pillars and while the hotel may be new in Bangkok, the staff clearly have been trained in the best attributes that has made the 137 Pillars House famous around the world for years. Service truly is at the core of the experience, more than the amazing views or handsome artwork adorning the walls. It’s the one quality that cannot be purchased, that cannot be fabricated; no, it simply must exist, which it does in spades at the 137 Pillars Suites & Residences in Bangkok. It’s the quality that will quickly propel this new luxury hotel to the top of the city’s best establishments and it’s also what will keep guests like myself returning again and again, my new home in the always remarkable city of Bangkok.