The trend for luxuriously appointed, apartment-style accommodation in the world’s major centres is exemplified in this modern, naturally-lit multi-story complex that is more in line with an urban resort than a mere condominium. In a city where superb accommodation is the norm, Oriental Residence Bangkok manages to turn the dial up a notch with superior, personal service and an enviable location in the prestigious embassy quarter of Lumpini.
Traveller: Roderick Eime
Room: Junior Suite 1406
Address: 110 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Date: July 2019
Best for: Ultra-modern, apartment-style high-rise ideal for business travellers who enjoy that extra touch of style.
The Signature factor
It’s hard to beat the amazing view from the balcony or picture window. To find what is almost a botanical garden in the middle of bustling Bangkok is quite a thing. You’ll want to just sit and admire the vista.
Bangkok is well known for its high-rise residential buildings and split-use condominiums. The 32-storey Oriental Residence Bangkok is a superb example of how this hospitality trend has become an architectural art form, combining privately owned apartments, serviced apartments and business facilities like meeting rooms and function space, as well as recreational assets like pool, gym and in-house restaurants.
The property opened in 2012 and is a real show off for the progressive ONYX Hospitality Group, designed to cater to business and diplomatic high flyers who may also be travelling with their families as it is close to the US, Dutch, Swiss, British and Japanese embassies.
While the impression is not ‘palatial’ it is certainly ‘chic boutique’, and you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing a pressed shirt when you present yourself for check-in to the very attentive staff. The lobby gives you a hint to the upmarket design and decor that permeates the entire property, much of it in a retro-colonial feel with antique-looking features such as faux steamer trunks as furniture.
The location in leafy Lumpini is quite a contrast to many other parts of this steamy Asian metropolis, while still conveniently located to transport and shopping, it’s an enviable arm’s length from the crush and rabble.
My room (Junior Suite 1406) was an entry-level studio-style apartment that would perfectly suit a solo business person or travelling couple. It’s full of natural light and at 45 square metres is a useful and sizable space. The galley-style kitchen is a worthwhile inclusion if you are here for an extended stay, but perhaps redundant for just one or two nights. Nevertheless, it is comprehensively equipped and comes with quality tea and coffee making facilities, lots of cupboards and a full-size fridge.
The big bathroom is also flooded with natural light and comes with a double shower and an enormous bath, gorgeous amenities and vanity. Luggage storage also shares this space, which includes a rack for shoes, suitcase storage and clothes hanging space.
The whopping flatscreen TV is placed for in-bed viewing and there is also a small dining table and sitting area.
You’ll need to book well ahead for the popular top tier suites, the largest one being the enormous 160-square-metre three-bedroom apartment that would be ideal for a travelling group, extended family or rock star with their entourage. As you’d expect, the spaces are filled with premium furnishings and the view is spectacular from its penthouse position.
If you are travelling solo or with another, the 70-square-metre Executive Suite has probably more space per person than three couples in the three-bedroom suite and with comparable appointments.
Both of these suites come with Executive Privileges such as complimentary laundry and private check-in/out.
On my plate
As a serviced apartment complex, the property maintains a modest, but very stylish cafe restaurant, Cafe Claire, on the ground floor. In contemporary, Parisian style, you can enjoy drinks and comfort food in chic surroundings. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the breakfast selection is excellent and full of lots of healthy choices like an abundance of fresh fruit, cereal and Asian favourites. There’s also a traditional afternoon tea, served with patisserie items and exotic tea menu from TWG Tea.
Sharing the premises, but not officially a part of the hotel is Henk Savelberg’s Michelin-starred restaurant.
Highlights from the mini-bar
Fully stocked fridge, but not exceptional.
I wish I could take home…
Call me odd, but I was fascinated with the retro furniture in the suites that resembled old-fashioned steamer trunks that well-to-do travellers would have once used before the airline era.
The property does not have its own spa, but numerous top-flight salons are within a stone’s throw. Ask the concierge for recommendations.
If you’re stuck indoors you can occupy yourself in the well-equipped, 24-hour gym or take a dip in the open-air pool. If you’re not feeling particularly energetic, grab a sun-lounger and relax.
The big in-suite TV has more than enough channels to keep anyone occupied.
While enjoying a degree of seclusion, the Oriental Residence Bangkok is still within easy reach of Bangkok’s premium shopping and entertainment precincts. A short 700-metre walk to Phloen Chit BTS Station will then take you wherever you want to go in Bangkok. Central Embassy, the big luxury mall, is just across the road from the BTS station where you will find all the high-end labels as well as plenty of dining options.
The expansive Lumphini Park is also close by. And as you cannot walk in the private gardens surrounding the property, this popular shady park is a great place for a stroll or jog.
An hourly shuttle from reception to the BTS/Central Embassy is also available, or if you require an airport transfer, the property’s exclusive BMW limousines and a minibus are available at reception.
At the time of writing, the Oriental Residence Bangkok was rated 4.5/5 and #40 of all 1,151 listed hotels in Bangkok by TripAdvisor, along with a Certificate of Excellence and Traveller’s Choice Award. The hotel has featured in numerous ‘Top 10’ lists.
While the hotel is understandably tight-lipped about their celebrity guests, it is well known that due to its proximity to several embassies, high profile diplomats and leaders are frequent visitors and guests. The cocktail bar’s list was compiled with the help of the embassies themselves to include their preferred recipes.
ONYX Hospitality Group runs its own bespoke rewards program. Membership is free of charge and points earned on eligible stays and expenditure can be used toward various benefits including free nights and upgrades depending on your tier status.
Green thumbs up?
As a group, ONYX Hospitality has numerous social and sustainability projects, but the one that is specific to this property is Plan BEE, an Urban Beekeeping project specifically aimed at saving the Asian honeybee (apis cerana) from extinction. Hives installed at the property have the added benefit of supplying superb, pure honey for the hotel’s use.
Room for improvement
Some reviewers have mentioned the kitchenette as superfluous and entry-level Junior Suites as small, while others have made mention of the ‘no sleeveless’ dress code for men. I would say a spa facility is missing, even if it was subcontracted and booked on demand.
From talking to other guests, I hear the street-facing rooms can be noisy, so when booking be sure to request a high floor facing the garden (west).
Be aware that you are booking a five-star serviced apartment as opposed to a full-service hotel, even though the Oriental Residence Bangkok does offer services not often found at regular serviced apartments. If you are aware of these features, your stay should be a very pleasant one indeed, as was mine.