Nouveau French meets Thai at SO Sofitel Bangkok, which takes its design cues from the Chinese elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Metal, and Wood. The result is like being transported into a fashion shoot or the pages of a decor magazine. Each room and common space is themed, and depending on which element you end up in (the website has a quiz to help you choose the element for your room), there may be fantasy-inspired wallpaper, walls of glass or warm wood, or highly polished floors. Tall windows allow for views of urban Bangkok and green Lumphini Park at every turn. And then there’s the technology: 40-inch flat-screen TVs with integrated Apple media and seamless Wi-Fi in all rooms, plus iPads in the suites. Even the staff, with their beautifully coordinated, mixed-patterned uniforms, look like they just stepped out of Fashion Week. All this incredible style is matched by a service and vibe that is both energetic and wonderfully warm.
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Sofitel So is directly on the corner of Bangkok's Lumphini Park. Filled with ponds and walking tracks, this is one of the best jogging areas in the city. For those who’d rather explore the green belt on two wheels, the hotel offers free bikes. Paddleboat rental is available at the park’s largest lake, and there’s also a playground for children. High-rises hover on the horizon, so it’s impossible to forget you're in the middle of a metropolis; for guests wanting to dive into the action, there’s a light rail MRT station right across from the hotel.
Need to Know
Rooms: 238 rooms; from $180. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Red Oven has a global market theme, and its different food stations are each designed according to the cuisine, with an open kitchen so you can watch the food being prepared. It’s stylish, fun, and there’s something for everyone—from mac and cheese to Thai to a fresh seafood bar. Chocolab is dedicated to all things chocolate, with unique treats made to order. Spa and gym details: The spa includes a Turkish hammam. A personal trainer, fitness classes, and even a beauty salon are available in the gym.
Who's it for: Lovers of style and design; the young and hip. Our favorite rooms: With five styles to choose from—Fire, Water, Earth, Metal, and Wood—the idea is to pair each person with what will work best for them. Guests can take a quiz on the hotel’s Facebook page or website to help find their element. All rooms are huge and extremely stylish. Shaken not disturbed: The minibar comes with cocktail mixing recipes. By ordering fresh fruit juices via room service, guests can whip up their own delicious drinks to enjoy in private.