Blending the old with the modern in a way that befits its location across from a Thai princess’ heritage palace and next to the Skytrain line, Hua Chang Heritage Hotel is an excellent upscale choice. You can expect impeccable service at reception and a resort-esque atmosphere amid the classy six-floor building housing 80 guestrooms.
Named after the Hua Chang (“Elephant Head”) bridge that spans the adjacent San Saeb canal, the handsome white building was constructed in modern times to capture the feel of turn-of-the-20th century architecture in Bangkok. It pulls this off by way of elegant white shutters adorning tall windows and traditional Thai art motifs. High ceilings and tinted-window walls keep the lobby cool and bright, a feature that extends to the restaurant and rooms.
Rooms range from 32 to 80 square metres, all with wall-size windows and Jacuzzi tubs behind sliding doors in sleek white bathrooms. The violet or crimson velvet cushion panels lining walls behind the headboards are a bit much — certainly for early 20th century diplomats, at least. All rooms also come with shaggy light-grey carpets on marble floors, cushioned chairs or sofas, desks, widescreen LCD TVs and all other expected mod-cons. Lights and electronics can be controlled by a single tablet from anywhere in the rooms.
The pricier editions are located on the upper floors and have private attached balconies, with the high-end suites bagging you separate living rooms. Some rooms look directly at the concrete Skytrain track, while others have far more pleasant views over the canal or a central garden courtyard. A few scuff marks and small tears are visible on some of the furniture, but overall the rooms are very well kept.
While the lowest rack rate comes in at a hefty 5,500 baht a night, you can usually score substantial discounts if booking through the hotel’s website or the large booking sites. Further deals are offered, for example, if booking well in advance or staying three nights or more. Rates routinely fluctuate and the hotel is often fully booked, especially in high season.
At first glance, we mistook the swimming pool for a sprawling fountain embraced by fragrant frangipani trees. Though not conducive to swimming laps, it’s great for a relaxing splash or cocktails delivered straight to your lounger from the extensive pool bar. Lying back in these soothing surrounds as trucks and trains cruise by just over the treetops makes for a pleasantly odd sensation.
We’ve heard good things about the included breakfast buffets and the regular menu at on-site Miss Siam Restaurant. You can also pick up a book or newspaper in a comfortable library, arrange a limo for a tour of Bangkok, or hire a personal butler suited in colonial-era garb. Staff are exceptionally polite and helpful, making this a fine option for a honeymoon or end-of-trip splurge.
The location is tough to beat: around the corner from National Stadium BTS station and with the shopping of both Siam Square and Pratunam accessed by a quick taxi ride or 20-minute walk. You can reach the historic district the old-fashioned way, by catching a khlong boat at Hua Chang pier, which is right next to the hotel.
Other worthy upscale hotels in this immediate area include Siam@Siam and the LiT Bangkok. If you like the upscale-modern-heritage thing and don’t need to be next to the skytrain, you also might check out the Riva Surya.
Address: 400 Phaya Thai Rd (corner of Soi Kasem San 1), Bangkok
T: (02) 217 0777; F: (02) 217 0707
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º31'52.17" E, 13º44'54.38" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 4,000B to 8,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Deluxe double room|
Premier deluxe 4,600 baht
|4,000 baht||4,000 baht|
|Suite||6,900 baht||6,900 baht|
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
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