Dec 4, 2020
YOU’D NEVER CONSIDER JUST HOW MUCH HAPPINESS you can clock up in 36 hours until a hotel tells you you can stay for that long spanning just one night and plans everything for you. The staycation offer at the newly opened Capella Bangkok comes crammed full of perks, and gives you—surprisingly and delightfully—plenty of time to utilize them all for a divinely exclusive price of one room night. What this means practically is that you can check-in Saturday morning and leave Sunday before midnight, and have maximized your entire weekend.
Or, push your arrival forward and buy yourself a three-day stay. One recent Friday morning, a brand-new Capella-branded Mercedes S Class picked me up at my condo in Asoke. Waiting in the back were handmade snacks and glass bottles of apple cider, accompanied by biodegradable straws—the first bit of evidence of Capella’s blanket ban on single-use plastics. The ride across town was so smooth and quick that I was almost disappointed my driver had done such an impressive job of avoiding Bangkok traffic.
The space that would normally be called “the lobby” is of a new breed. Capella has made this a Tea Lounge—a graceful, open space filled with comfortable furnishings along floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Chao Phraya River. Uncluttered of any official business, it is perfect for reading in peace, meeting for a coffee, or, indeed, lingering over their decadent daily afternoon tea. Check-in is just ’round the corner in The Living Room—the resort’s nerve center, where you’ll start any cultural journey, and enjoy complimentary daily activities, including private meditation sessions with the head monk of a 250-year-old temple lessons in weaving Thai flower garlands. Greeting you is the Capella Culturist team, the urban resort’s resident culture seekers who are ever-ready to
immerse you into Bangkok’s latest treasures.
Here, you will be handed a glass of their private-label Champagne (brut or pink, up to you!), and offered—if you arrive in the morning and I did—a tray of their house-made yogurts topped with fresh fruits. It wasn’t yet noon and I’d already had a mini larder of hand-curated treats.
All 101 suites and villas in the hotel face the Chao Phraya, a unique layout that means there are no bad seats in this house. My Verandah room had a great couch, and a desk at the window that makes #workfromhome a pleasant proposition—and invited the envious ire of some people in China with whom I had a Zoom call during my stay. The piece de resistance is, of course, the private plunge pool on the balcony, which is so massive that you can order a suite-barbecue party to be grilled and served on it with room to spare for a couple of guests.
And the massive staycation timeframe, meanwhile, means you can indulge in decadence one night, in Côte by Mauro Colagreco or Phra Nakhon, plan your lunches accordingly, and still have time to digest or—let’s be honest—polish off that bottle of Capella Bangkok Champagne—before you turn into a pumpkin on the second midnight. Let’s examine the options, though the packages happily ensure you’ll eat in both excellent restaurants.
Phra Nakhon is the hotel’s signature Thai restaurant, nestled by the river’s edge on a lush garden–ideal for you to while away the hours. It is helmed by chef Wichian ‘Lek’ Trirattanavatin, whose father is from Charoen Krung Road, so he grew up in this area, eating its food, learning its flavors. He spent the year prepping for Capella by traveling across Thailand, sampling local specialties in little towns, and meeting farmers and fishermen to craft a menu of pan-regional delights and upgraded versions of old classics that have the best ingredients and support the local market. Lek is also, ironically, an honorary Maori, and he’s not small of personality, either, nor, importantly, talent.
The restaurant opens from breakfast through dinner, and you’re going to feel positively Continental lingering over your a la carte breakfast, Thai- or Western-fare lunch on the breezy riverfront terrace. I went back with friends a week after my stay and sat al fresco for six organic-wine-fueled hours.
Upstairs, Côte by Mauro Colagreco has possibly the largest selection in Bangkok of grower Champagne—all the better to fete the opening of this restaurant from three-Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco, whose Mirazur in the South of France currently reigns as No. 1 on the World’s 50 Best list. Côte picks up the theme of Riviera dining with a gorgeous seafood-strong menu executed with brilliance by Davide Garavaglia, formerly the chef de cuisine at Mirazur, and his chef de cuisine, Marc Vasseur. As soon as you bite into the cod crème doughnut amuse bouche, you’ll know you’re in for a delicious ride. Much of the menu changes with the market, but constants are the elegant simplicity of taste, the intelligence of the wine pairing by Thanakorn ‘Jay’ Bottorff, and chef Mauro’s grandma’s bread-a-partage recipe.
With these outstanding dining options, it almost feels overly gluttonous to mention the literal cherry on top of the staycation experience, and, indeed, the hotel itself. I’m talking about the six-course dessert-and-cocktail pairing menu in the glam, ladies-who-rule, den of all things divine, Stella. Maybe you’ve already seen the majestic white peacock that presides over this intimate arena—he’s an IG star in his own right. But the glory goes to the pretty parade of desserts (think Japanese koi) in the omakase set made by executive pastry chef Sylvain Constans at the bar. It’s date bait if there ever was. Just a few stools down, award-winning bar manager William Pravda works his magic with a menu of libations themed on heroines through the ages. I’ve also been back here loads, for William’s alcohol intel, and the fun live music.
Even if you have one of the 17 rooms, suites or riverfront villas with their own private jacuzzi plunge pool, I’d recommend fattening up on so much sweet deliciousness as the perfect excuse to swim a few laps in the oh-so-Riviera main pool, where blue-and-white clad staff will show you to your cabana—or help you take a fantastic photo. Then, reinvigorate your senses jumping into the hot and cold plunge pools in the water therapy section of Auriga Wellness before that massage you so dearly deserve the complete the best weekend ever.
Honestly, by the time I checked out, I was tempted to sneak one last drink on the terrace next door, where my neighbors were having cocktails while their kids played in an adorbs teepee Capella had set up in their room, but I was leaving proud of myself for having eaten every meal and enjoyed every activity with time enough to lounge around lazily in both of the bathrobes that came in my suite. Fluffy and hooded, or silky and sleek? You can have it all. Meta-point made.
Get the ultimate staycation experience at the newly opened Capella Bangkok. Receive daily resort credits from Bt8,800 to Bt132,800 per night, based on room type booked, for use during your stay at Auriga Wellness and all restaurants including Côte by Mauro Colagreco, Phra Nakhon, Stella and Tea Lounge. Package also includes daily breakfast for two at Phra Nakhon or in-room dining; a bottle of Capella Bangkok Signature Diamant Champagne; and flexible check-in and checkout (up to 36 hours). Book by December 29, 2020, for stays through March 31, 2021 (blackout dates December 30 and 31, 2020). Visit Capella Bangkok for full details.