Hotel Nikko Bangkok has opened in competitive Bangkok where travellers are spoilt for choice, but Rachel AJ Lee discovers that the Japanese newcomer can very well hold her own.
My Superior room was bright and spacious, sporting Muji-inspired aesthetics that are rooted in minimalist lines and liberal use of wood accents.
The room let in abundant natural light, and was furnished with a circular work desk, a sofa placed near the window, and a comfortable bed which came with a pillow menu that allowed me to avoid the generally soft ones.
The bathroom followed a Japanese layout, with the toilet â€“ a Toto Washlet, no less â€“ independent from the glass-walled shower and bathtub, which I imagine will make morning routine convenient for colleagues or event delegates sharing a room. Toiletries were from Panpuri, a homegrown luxury lifestyle spa brand.
My one complaint was the noise from the shower from the next room every night.
Hotel Nikko Bangkok features over 1,800m2 of space across 10 function rooms spread throughout the building. The largest room is the Fuji Grand Ballroom which can hold a maximum of 1,250 pax for a standing cocktail party; it can be divided into two 400m2 rooms.
There are four F&B options here; Hishou and Curve 55 on the ground floor, and The Oasis and Pool Bar on the sixth. For breakfast, guests can choose from an international buffet at The Oasis, or head to Hishou for a Japanese spread.
Having a traditional Japanese breakfast in Bangkok was a welcome change, as this is something that other hotels do not offer. Over the next two days, I slurped up warm bowls of udon, drank comforting cups of green tea, and chose from an extensive spread that comprised grilled saba and salmon chunks, fluffy tamagoyaki, and cold salads.
On the sixth floor there is a free-form swimming pool, gym and sauna.
The 22-storey hotel stands a few minutes’ walk from the BTS Skytrain Thonglor station and right in the heart of one of Bangkokâ€™s trendiest neighbourhoods, packed with chic bars, upmarket restaurants like Supanniga Eating Room, designer shops and snazzy malls. Time-starved delegates will appreciate the convenience of being able to enjoy a bit of the city after their daily meetings.
The property was at full occupancy that weekend, but Pleum May, my waitress at breakfast, remembered me when I visited Hishou the second morning. She even made me a soothing salmon ochazuke (a green tea soup with rice) to try when I mentioned how much I appreciated light Japanese breakfasts.
The doormen too, were all extremely helpful when it came to pointing us in the right direction, or when we needed help to translate our destinations in Thai to taxi drivers.
The hotel scores with aesthetically-pleasing confines, a separate toilet with a bidet, traditional Japanese breakfast, and service that is a cut above the rest. Marrying omotenashi, the Japanese approach to hospitality, with Thai hospitality elevates the entire experience even further.
Number of rooms 301
Tel: 66 (2) 080 2111