Newly opened Hua Chang Heritage Hotel on Phayathai Road offers luxury service that bridges past, present, and future.
Day in and day out many business and leisure travelers flock into different locations around the world, booking rooms at monogamous brand-name hotels, trying to get the most luxury for the least money. Among those on top of these locations is Bangkok, where besides the already existing 7,000 hotel rooms many new hotels are still popping up not only to fulfill guests luxury aspirations and search for great value, but also to provide more enriching experiences inspired by the heritage and tradition they carry.
The Hua Chang Heritage Hotel is one such hotel. Yes, it is new – it just opened in January 2013; but it manages to have all the luxury expected from a top city hotel while at the same time reflecting an aspect of the rich Thai tradition and history, thereby promising to enhance further the overall holiday experience in the city.
Hua Chang, a direct translation of “elephant head” in Thai, is the name of the nearby bridge built by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who ushered Thailand into the modern times. The 7-storey Hua Chang Heritage Hotel, the newest development by the Baiyoke family – owners of the tallest building in Thailand, Baiyoke Sky – was named after this historic bridge, a relic of an era when travel was largely equated with the romance of opulence, luxury, and exclusivity.
While the concept of blending (and preserving) heritage and tradition in contemporary hotels is not really unique anymore, it still is a delightful one, and one of the surest way to bring clients in.
This concept is evident in every component of the Hua Chang Heritage Hotel — built to the tune of Bt600 million — from its “New Thai Colonial” architecture to the minutest elements in the appealing guestrooms. Smack down in the heart of Bangkok (just beside the Bangkok Art and Culture Center), and within walking distance from all the major shopping, business and entertainment centers, the hotel offers visitors more options in discerning places to stay in the area.
Obviously, the Baiyoke group has brought in its considerable expertise in the industry this luxury hotel project. They built a hotel with a keen sense of history, an understanding of contemporary desires, and a clear vision of the future.
Walking into the lobby is like stepping into a scene from “Alice in Wonderland,” but toned down by chic, fashionista design elements that are compellingly attractive. Hints of Thai colonial tradition influence are everywhere, and even the service staff is dressed in elegant chongkraben enhancing the sense of arrival.
The staff’s gracious smile and genuinely warm hospitality – expected as they are from Thais — is a breath of fresh air especially to those so used to the typical “we’re a huge brand name, you’re just another customer to us” treatment in other places.
The wow element continues in the rooms, of which are three distinct categories. Again, here Thai cultural traditions are married with modern flair. Details like color schemes based on the pink and purple hues of Thai orchids in addition to subtle interiors featuring like ceiling beams reminiscent of traditional teak homes yet in gleaming white – all contribute to a resolutely modern interpretation of the Thai lifestyle. In fact, the overall room design is rather minimalist, as opposed to the Baroque-opulence, with a clean and tasteful finish.
Naturally every guestroom is fully equipped with expected mod-cons, with a bedside touch-screen panel for controlling room features, 40-inch Internet-enabled TV with Blue-ray DVD player, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a custom designed bathroom featuring electronic toilet conveniences. Cool, as young visitors might say.
Not enough? Each guest is assigned his or her own personal butler, giving an added touch of luxury to the overall experience. Just send the butler an e-mail and he will be happy to oblige. And the small nice touches are not forgotten: After a long day of hardcore shopping, you will find a box of treats and goodies waiting for you along with a note wishing you a good night’s sleep.
And amazingly, despite its location – the hotel is situated right in one of the noisiest areas of Bangkok, gridlock and all – there’s a total resort feeling inside; relaxing, with peace and quiet as if you’re in some oasis away from the maddening urban jungle. Just don’t go out in the terrace, of course.
Certainly, being opened for just two months, the hotel still needs more time to fine-tune its way to truly impeccable service. But there’s much promise in Miss Siam, it’s all-day dining venue specializing on Royal Thai Cuisine. There’s quiet allure in the other facilities, from the free-form swimming pool to the elegant function rooms that are yet to be operational.
It’s probably still too early to call this establishment the new “ultimate” Bangkok urban retreat. And anyway, sometimes label can be misleading. But, based on the service and hospitality we have experienced so far, that’s an indulgence we are willing to give Hua Chang Heritage Hotel. It can be truly something special. And with its special introductory price promotion of just Bt4,000 for a room, we say try it!
Hua Chang Heritage Hotel
400 Phayathai Rd, Pathumwan, Bangkok