Tried & Tested

Hotel Check: Hotel Muse

26 Sep 2012

BACKGROUND Opened just over a year ago, this property is a member of Accor’s MGallery Collection, which is a portfolio of “boutique and character hotels”. 

WHAT’S IT LIKE? From the outside you’d think it was an office building, but once inside you feel like you’ve entered a fantasy world. The lighting in the lobby area is dim, and the décor is Gothic. According to the hotel’s website, the concept is inspired by “the social and artistic milieu of fin de siècle Europe and King Rama V-era Thailand”, a time when the country was embracing Western influences. A silent film was playing on the TV in lobby lounge Le Salon, and the theme of The Addams Family kept playing in my head as I sipped a coffee while waiting for the room to be ready (I arrived early in the morning). The wrought-iron lifts had an antique feel, and etched mirrors throughout public areas such as the lift foyers and corridors completed the surreal atmosphere. 

WHERE IS IT? On the affluent Soi Langsuan, which is a walkable distance from the buzzing Chit Lom BTS Station. Although you are in the centre of the city, Langsuan itself has a peaceful suburb feel.

ROOM FACILITIES I stayed in one of the 88 Jatu Deluxe rooms which, at just 39 sqm, felt surprisingly breezy and airy. The bathroom has a free-standing roll-top bathtub and separate shower. The sultry tune of “Coney Island (feat Charlotte)” by Eckman, from the hotel’s own CD collection, greeted me when I entered the room. It was a bit like a song you’d hear in a smoky underground jazz bar. The colour theme of the décor is, not surprisingly, on the dark side. The wood-panelled floor is black and the daybed beside the window in dark velvet, while the walls are either of dark wood, matte colour or in a dark purple patterned wallpaper. 

It’s admittedly an acquired taste, but I didn’t mind it. What I did mind was the noise caused by the wood flooring. I became annoyed by my own loud footsteps when I returned to the room or was about to go out and had my shoes on. Even more irritating was having to listen to the noise when the room above me was being serviced. Luckily, a few delightful touches in the room balanced it out. The minibar is hidden in the cabinet below the wall-mounted TV and is designed to look like stacked vintage suitcases, and the porcelain basin features an exquisite black floral pattern. 

Although the style is boutique, this is a hotel managed by Accor, so amenities are comprehensive. There are universal sockets, a connectivity panel, iPod dock as well as a Nespresso machine.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS I had the set lunch at the Italian restaurant Medici (THB390/US$13) and although the seafood soup with fish, clam, mussel and squid was delicious, the bacon in my carbonara was chewy. Su Thai Ros is all-day dining, and breakfast is sometimes served as a buffet, sometimes à la carte, depending on the guest profile at the time. Speakeasy, which takes up the 24th and 25th floors, consists of a bar, an outdoor terrace showcasing a great city view, and Blind Pig – a shop for cigars and “brown spirits”. There is also a Wet Bar by the pool. 

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The food and beverage outlets offer a total of five private rooms that can be booked for dinner groups of up to 22 people. One of the more unique venues is The Boardroom at Speakeasy, which can accommodate 10 executives in a meeting or 30 in cocktail-style.

LEISURE FACILITIES There is a small but well-equipped gym with Life Fitness machines, and a 219-metre infinity pool overlooking the city, both on the 19th floor. 

VERDICT Not everyone is going to like this hotel, but if you are up for an alternative experience, you should give it a try. Service is efficient, warm and friendly.

Fact File

  • HOW MANY ROOMS There are 174 rooms and suites in six categories: Jatu Deluxe, Dowadueng Corner Deluxe, Yama Residence, Dusid Duplex, Nimman Suite and the top-of-the-line Paranim Penthouse (216 sqm).
  • ROOM HIGHLIGHTS Quirky period décor combined with all the mod-cons of a five-star hotel. The flatscreen TV offers 65 channels.
  • PRICE The internet rate for a business package, which includes breakfast and free wifi, in a deluxe king room on a weekday in mid-November is US$213, including tax. 
  • CONTACT 55/555 Langsuan Road, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok; tel +66 2 630 4000; www.hotelmusebangkok.com

Reggie Ho

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