Hotel Spotlight: The Siam April 24, 2017
If you’ve been to Bangkok then you know how chaotically intriguing of a place it can be. Whether you’re roaming the night markets or traveling there for a convention (as I was), one thing’s for sure, it can get tiring, which is why it’s important to be able to rest your head soundly, anticipating doing it all over again the next day.
A little backstory. I’ve been to Thailand twice, with the first time being the island of Phuket. I ran a 5k in 98 degree heat and 80% humidity and lifted in the gym with a friendly crab that hung out the whole time. I love the natural aspect of rural Thailand, but whether it’s one of the islands or the main city of Bangkok, nothing beats the blatant kindness and hospitality of the local people who call this city home.
The Siam was indeed peaceful haven amidst the chaos that sometimes Bangkok can be known for. It was amazing how quiet my room was in the evenings, and though I was awoken by tropical birds in the early morning, I relished it. I had the opportunity of staying in The Pool Villa Courtyard. The pool was a nice refresher mid-day. I loved the bed, it was incredibly plush and comfortable; and the shower and 7ft x 4ft stone bathtub were both very easy to get used to. Being situated along the river made for calming sunsets with a glass of rosé. In all honesty, it made it hard to leave my room to go to the convention!
The overall rating that I gave The Siam was a 7/10.
What I loved: The hospitality was fantastic; staff was always willing to prepare my odd protein packed breakfasts at my IMF hour of 11am and by the second day they already had my egg white and smoked salmon dish down (with a side of chilies!). The spa was very serene and smelled relaxing, which is a nice touch (when they add aromatherapy to the air), and the massage was the only one in my life that actually put me to sleep. No complaints about the room or room service; timely, delicious, comfortable, private and quiet. Wifi worked pretty well considering it is Bangkok and can be a little sporadic. The gym was a highlight for me… I mean, a full boxing ring complete with gloves and even a punching bag?! Yes. Not to mention treadmills, weights, and the works. Air conditioning worked great.
What Set It Back: While it was nice to have the pool, it seemed to be just for looks and not one to swim laps in, which I found to be a bummer since I do like to get my swims in. This was minor. While the food was delicious, there was an immensely limited selection. I found myself having great difficulties trying to manage a healthier meal option, and while I’m sure they would have prepared something, it’s nice to have those options available. There was a language barrier among the restaurant staff and English speaking guests, which is to be expected since, you are in their native country. I didn’t have any issues, but found that tweaking my meal orders proved to be a challenge. What really gets me though, was their sustainability efforts, which, there were none. At least no information that I could find discussing their responsible tourism efforts. This doesn’t in any way lessen the overall quality of the hotel, but sustainable tourism is very important to me.
Overall: Recommended for a luxury getaway in Bangkok. Though due to lack of sustainability efforts, I would choose to go the sustainable luxury resort next time, many of them reside a bit farther away but are worth it for the same luxury experience except there’s more of a “do good, feel good” vibe knowing that you’re contributing towards regenerating the environment.
What makes a sustainable or regenerative hotel? A reverse osmosis water system, farm to table produce, supporting local dairy and meat farmers, engaging with local non-profit or community organization endeavors to address an issue within the country or community, energy efficient lighting, low pressure water systems, recycling, employing locals and offering fair and equal pay, replanting what was lost during the construction, use of biofuel (for boats), engaging guests in local cultural experiences and making them aware of environmental and cultural needs, LEED Certification, educating staff on importance of sustainability (turning off lights, observing for wasteful practices, etc.), reducing bathroom amenities waste (using bamboo toothbrushes instead, locally made/organic soap, shampoo and conditioner that help the environment), the list goes on.
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