Sukhumvit Road is one of the busiest, most central, and most internationally oriented thoroughfares in Bangkok, so it’s a dream to find this colonial boutique oasis right in the heart of it all. The Cabochon's elegant façade is the first hint of 1920s Indochina, with white columns, French doors, and tiled balustrades. This gives way to a perfectly orchestrated interior of framed antique maps and black-and-white photographs, dark wood Chinese bistro tables, comfy couches, and oddities like a taxidermy zebra head and old leather trunks. Common spaces feel like a cross between a museum and the home of an incredibly stylish and well-traveled person. The suites and studios are airy, bright apartments that encourage lounging on the white sofas while light pours in from paned windows onto potted orchid plants. This is an intimate place in which to indulge in dreams of the Orient past, with all the comforts of today.
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Cabochon is located on a quiet lane off one of the busiest streets in Bangkok. A few minutes' walk alongside the gridlocked traffic of the main drag, past nondescript building fronts and high-rises, is WTF, one of the city’s friendliest and most all-around comfortable bars. Despite what you might assume, WTF stands for “Wonderful Thai Friendship,” which makes perfect sense once you take in the art gallery surroundings (with changing exhibits of local and international artists), creative cocktails, classy clientele, and tapas-style bar snacks. Next-door is the elevated Sky Train railway, a great way to get to other parts of the city.
Need to Know
Rooms: Eight rooms; from $125. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 2 p.m. Dining options: Thai Lao Yeh Restaurant has walls constructed from 100-year-old wooden planks salvaged from a village. This antique-chic atmosphere enhances an already delicious dining experience, with an impressive menu offering selections from all corners of Thailand and Laos. The Joy Luck Club has more of a 1920s-Paris-meets-Shanghai theme, and is the place to go for a fine cocktail or a snack while enjoying the well-stocked library. Spa and gym details: While there’s no spa or gym, there is a long, slim rooftop pool that offers views across the city’s rooftops. There are plenty of spa and massage offerings in the neighborhood.
Who's it for: Arty and nostalgic types who want a personal and comfortable experience in the heart of the action. Our favorite rooms: The French doors on the balcony suites bring out the best of the 1920s colonial design as well as letting in the tropical air. Local insight: Hotel owner Eugene is a wonderful conversationalist and a wealth of knowledge on such topics as the hotel’s history, design, and vintage cars.