About 15 or so years ago when I first went to Bangkok I stayed at the Y right next store to the Sukhothai. The Y was fine, it was more like a hotel then a Y and was very cheap and had a pool. Walking past the Sukhothai ever day with its long driveway and beautifully manicured gardens it was hard not to fantasize about one day staying there. The Y has now been converted into the 5 star Metropolitan hotel which houses one of the best Thai restaurants in the world: Nahm. Neil and I ate there on this trip and it is a reminder of why it is we love Bangkok so much. The food is amazing, diverse and way less money that it is here. Not so much with fancy hotel meals, even thought they are often less expensive. Wine tends to be more expensive because it is highly tax. The other reason is because staying at aspirational hotels like the Sukhothai doesn’t have to be a fantasy, hotel prices, especially off-season, are a bargain, even for a 5 star property.
Over the years I have stayed at the Sukhothai about 5 times., it has become the gold standard by which Neil and I judge all other hotels. Our friends are sick of hearing us talk about it. There are two reasons that to my mind-set this property apart: it is low raise set on expansive gardens so the noise and madness that can be Bangkok are left behind you, by the time you enter the lobby they are nothing more than a memory.
And unlike all the high-rise, chain hotels that make gestures towards Thai “accents” this hotel actually feels Thai, you never wonder if maybe you are in NYC or London or Vancouver in this hotel, everything about it is uniquely Thailand. The hotel is a group of low-rise building designed by Ed Tuttle Kerry Hill, and Pichitra Boonyarataphan that either focus on a view of the water-lily gardens or the pool. After 23 years instead of starting to look dated or tried it just keeps reaffirming itself as the classic, iconic hotel that it is.
The other noteworthy thing about this hotel is the breakfast, which if you want to quickly scroll through the below tour of the hotel is at the end of this post. Oh, and I almost forgot, the good news about the Sukhothai is that you can afford to stay here, with rates sometimes as low as $150. Just make sure when you book you book a room with breakfast included! At the end of the entrance drive on the right is the highly regarded Thai restaurant: The Celadon .The Lobby is beautiful and redolent of the smell of Tuberose, which they use in the floral centerpiece at the very center of the entrance.A statue of Jayavarman 7th waits with you at the elevator.We stayed on the second floor, just by the pink Bougainvillea the last two windows on the right.The massive entrance to our suite, which we were upgraded to from the deluxe room we booked. My only historic grievance with this hotel is their website which I find to not be particularly used friendly, which is why I think we were upgraded because I have snarky middle-aged man back and forth with them before booking on Hotels.comThe truffles were replenished daily, one day dark chocolate the other ginger.The pamphlet folds out to reveal pictures of every fruit you might get with a description.The bathroom is HUGE and there is anther guest bathroom in the entrance hall.
And now we come to breakfast, it is after all food blog. In addition to the vast array of the western breakfast usual suspects like: morning breakfast pastries, breads, cereals, yogurt, muesli, made to order eggs, pancakes, waffleswaffles, meats (lots of meats) including what I thought was a rather idiosyncratic addition of a big baked honey hamcold cuts (my favorite was the smoked Duck breast) and smoked Salmon a salad bar, a cheese course with honey comb and finally a selection of juices and flavored water. Coffee and Tea are made to order and brought to your table, which looks out onto a reflection pond that has reproduction Sukhothai era Stupas in it. We aren’t finished, now for the Asian selections. Steamed Chinese buns and made to order Dim sum. Miso with fixings and sushi Asian soup with pork and vermicelli and I believe fish balls was also made to order along with I believe Chinese Congee.Steamed rice and a few other Asian treats were also available Here’s the bottom line: if I have already proven that this is indeed an insanely beautiful hotel with an over the top breakfast, I have one more thing to convince you to stay here when you are next in Bangkok. With taxes out room with breakfast for 2 cost less than $200 – the base rate was $163 plus 20% tax and service – which came to about $193. We stayed for 6 nights and if you did nothing in Bangkok at all, but enjoyed the luxuries the Sukhothai serves up: Gym, Spa, Dinning (Champagne Brunch on Sunday, Chocolate Buffet on the weekends, La Scala Italian restaurant, the Celadon Thai restaurant) the pool, you would not leave feeling like you missed anything. Not that I wold suggest this, as there are so many wonderful things to see and do in Bangkok, but as a place to retreat and regroup in a city it doesn’t really get any better than the Sukhothai.