Due to open its doors to the public next week, the brand-new “The Standard” Bangkok hotel was having a practice run beforehand with invited family, friends, and media.
Having experienced the hotel and an overnight stay, I now feel I understand the brand and the concept. I get it. The upside logo shouts out that they are not The Standard. Quite the opposite. It is a fantastic brand.
They have got so many things right. Up close it becomes clear that they are taking hospitality in a new direction. And I like what I am seeing.
Its modern, quirky colorful with exceptional design features and outstanding offerings. Its food concepts, for instance, are excellent.
I recommend you take a closer look to get under their skin and fully understand (and experience) the ethos of this fantastic hotel company founded in 1999.
My recent stay and experience at The Standard gave me a deep insight into the mindset of the company and the unswerving vision of how a modern upscale hotel should look and feel. It is in the detail and permeates everything, whether the software and its people or each touch point – hard or soft.
Having worked in the industry at a senior level, this was by far one of my most exciting and interesting reviews of any hotel I have undertaken in recent times.
This is what the corporate blurb says about the hotel:
“Bangkok is a buzzy, bold city planned not from the top down but created from the bottom up.”
“That spirit of innovation and unconventionality has made the Thai capital the perfect locale for our Asia flagship, with The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon.”
The hotel is located in one of the most iconic buildings in the city. The 155-room hotel is truly a landmark. Rooms range from 40 sqm to 144 sqm.
The Standard Bangkok Mahanakhon hotel
Facilities include a terrace pool, fitness center, meeting rooms, and an exceptional variety of food, drink, and nightlife venues. The Parlor is the hotel’s hub for socializing, cocktails, work, lounging, live music, lectures, and the tearoom, Tease. American steakhouse classics at The Standard Grill, superb Chinese cuisine by Mott 32, and two remarkable sky-high dining experience from Ojo, a Mexican-inspired restaurant and the Sky Beach, the highest alfresco rooftop bar in Bangkok.
My first contact with The Standard Bangkok at the magnificent Mahanakhon building, which is set to become the standards headquarters in Asia, started with a chance meeting during the SEAHIS hotel investment conference, which took place recently in Bangkok. I was introduced to Mr Maxime Debels, Director of Business Development Asia & ME for the brand, which led to being invited to review the pre-opening preparations for the end of July opening.
All credit also to Vice President
Ludovic Gallerne, who took the opportunity to re-introduce himself during my first few hours visiting the property, he was also assisting in the pre-opening test run of the hotel, and I was grateful that he took the opportunity to come over and say a few words and to constantly ensure that my visit was satisfactory.
There are so many good points about this hotel. However, it is the single-minded energy of the design concept that has caught my attention.
The enthusiastic use of color in design and interiors is very evident and, I have to say, very pleasing. It works.
We arrived at the hotel and had already pre-booked lunch in Mott 32, the Chinese restaurant. This turned out to be a real eye-opener. I am a great fan of Chinese cuisine, particularly dim sum.
I can safely say that Mott 32 has to be already one of my favorites and I will be visiting and re-visiting. The kitchen, service and ambience are so right. It was an extraordinarily good culinary experience, and without hesitation, I can wholeheartedly recommend it.
The guest rooms are modern, high-tech, comfortable, and well thought out; from the Japanese electronic toilets to the wet room concept of the shower and bathroom to the electric curtains and drop-down blinds and the super comfortable beds, to the generous use of full-length mirrors, the choice of deluxe toiletries, the Bang & Olufsen (B&O) Bluetooth mini speaker with its room-filling sound system, all are first class.
The room worked.
I gave very high marks to the design team that came up with the layout and concept.
To have your address as the Mahanakhon Building is already a tremendous marketing advantage with a great location and possibly one of the most interesting iconic landmarks in Asia. As you look skywards from the pool, this hits you. What an impressive building this is. Visible across the whole metropolis. The 77-story structure soars, with its unique cutout design unlike any other building in Bangkok.
The pool area continues the clever use of color, design, and modernism.
Thick mattress sunbeds with waterproof cushions and bolsters with super large fluffy beach towels and bright, colorful pool umbrellas. It has the vibe of a beach club in the heart of Bangkok.
If fitness and health clubs are your “thing,” then the fitness center is possibly one of the best-equipped gymnasiums in Bangkok. It’s evident that a great deal of thought has gone into this area, and the choice of equipment is outstanding. The staff in this area are also highly professional and engaging.
I get it that The Standard is not just about a brand. It is about detail, and this detail goes down to the uniforms of all of the staff. OUT with preconceived ideas of what constricting clothes should be worn by hospitality staff and IN with comfortable, loose, well-engineered uniforms and soft flat shoes with rubber soles to ensure the team have little foot fatigue during their service hours.
If you choose to stay in this hotel, please include breakfast. The breakfast experience in the Grill Restaurant is extraordinary, and I can genuinely say, possibly the best breakfast I’ve ever had in any hotel in Thailand in the past 30 years. A great choice, and the quality of the ingredients used to present breakfast, is simply outstanding. Freshly baked bakery items, perfectly cooked hot dishes and beautiful cold dishes, the service was a dream – I couldn’t fault a thing.
The Standard Grill in the evening for dinner was another highlight. Our server was so professional and elegantly looked after our table. She was an absolute delight and engaging.
We enjoyed oysters and halibut, but the real highlight for me was the side order of creamed spinach with a hint of nutmeg.
I look forward to returning on a future occasion to do a full review of the restaurant once it has had time to settle in.
I was first introduced to The Standard name some months back following the property launch in Hua Hin. I couldn’t understand why the logo was upside down in a striking red and white design. At first, I thought this was a mistake, but now I get it.
I get it that it is not standard. The hotel concept and the thought processes, and the management of this brand are not standard. It’s anything but standard, which is why the logo is upside down because they want to stand out and be different. My goodness, they have done that, and I wish them much success in the launch of their world-class product in Bangkok.