You’re inside the Kimpton Maa-Lai lobby and immediately the interiors feel as textural as a pad thai — crunchy bar chairs, caramelized walls, and fluffy sofas and soft furnishings. It’s not even a lobby, really.
Đọc bài viết bằng Tiếng Việt
The ground floor mostly feels like an extension of Craft, the Kimpton Maa-Lai’s coffee-brewing community base, which, it seems, was created solely to cure your latest hangover with its soothing seating, smiling staff, and recovery-minded menu.
At Craft, There’s Coffee, Of Course
There’s coffee, of course. The Kimpton Maa-Lai’s Craft sources single origin beans and blends from across Thailand, and serves them with the care and attention the roasters would approve of – the Mae Tang cold brew is tough enough to resist its scoop full of ice to retain its full-bodied flavor, the Voyage Noir blend espresso combines beans from the north and south which give it a long, round finish, and there’s Kad Kakao Thailand Single Origin drip coffee, and even a Turkish coffee to shake you awake.
And Hangover Cures, Mighty, Mighty Power Smoothie Bowls And Khlong Phai Eggs
Outside there’s a verdant green garden, with outdoor patio seating to gulp in some fresh air. Or you can just stop pretending, and dip into the ‘Hangover Cure’ section because the menu is not pretending either, with drinks it promises will “set the body and mind straight after an evening (or morning) of bending the liver.” There are concoctions called Red Eye, their take on a Michelada, a Hair Of The Dog, with scotch, honey and cream, and a Corpse Reviver #2, a heady concoction of dry gin, curacao, aperitif wine, lemon and Pernod.
Ordering from the staff feels like rooting in your fridge, bleary eyed, for something, anything, to alleviate the headache. And to help soak up some of the excess, there’s Mighty, Mighty Power Smoothie Bowls, and Khlong Phai Farm free range eggs, and later (after 11am) crunchy sandwiches and cassava chips, and taquito flutes of lobster and garlic.
Warm Wooly Artworks Are Everywhere
There’s lots of artwork integrated into the space – warm, wooly works that feel as welcoming as your dog’s tail-wagging embrace when you get home. Come to think of it, there are a lot of dogs around. A Pomeranian just trotted over-confidently through the entrance, a Frenchie narrowly escaped the closing doors of the elevator, and a couple of golden retrievers are listening to their owners gossiping over Dirty Martinis.
Most of the art was inspired by Thai hand garlands that also gave the hotel its name, malai. They’re so tuned into the Kimpton Maa-Lai’s laid-back vibe you barely notice them. Next to the elevators, there’s an eye-catching visual representation of the Chao Phraya River. Using layers upon layers of cloth, the installation mimics the fluid movements and twisting whirlpools in the water, all the while paying homage to the centuries-old tradition of fabric merchants who once operated along the river’s banks.
And that goes for the deconstructed reception too; two inconspicuous islands – one of which appears to be made from a large tree trunk – around which the front-of-house staff congregate, tapping at computers, and then gliding effortlessly between the endless influx of guests, somehow feeling attentive to everyone.
Windows Look Out To The Kempinski, The Sidhorn Gardens And The Velaa Mall
Up in the room, the floor-to-ceiling windows look across to the Kempinski, with which the Kimton Maa-Lai shares a driveway (and an owner) and down to the manicured Sindhorn Gardens, and the squiggle of the Velaa Mall Langsuan’s roof. As evening falls, the curved silver promontory of the Kempinski pool looks like a waxing crescent moon and the leaves in the Sindhorn Gardens’ trees like stars in the sky.
From a distance, the paintings on the walls look like heavy-handed, green, Philip Guston daubs, but closer up they reveal themselves as images of the gardens down below, botanical photos flipped into geometric patterns. On the shelf is a copy of Yori Moriarty’s ‘Japanese Tattoos’, Geraldine Coates’ ‘Gin’ and, intriguingly, ‘The Golden Age Of Botanical Art.’
Cacao-pod shaped hanging lamps, and more organic-inspired conical lamps scan the room from a stand in the corner. Opposite, the TV promises that if the amaranth spa feels too far away (it’s not), they’ll do the treatments in the room for you anyway.
Breakfast At The Stock.Room
The Stock.Room’s breakfast is a curation of confections – a pop art cereal station, refrigerated shelves of grab-your-own Voyage Noir cold brew and cold-pressed juices – a turmeric-yellow Indian Summer and the apple and celery-glow of a Green No.3, a walk-in wardrobe of salad and fresh fruit. It’s all as pan-global as the Kimpton Maa-Lai’s guests, with a soft breakfast taco on the order-at-the-table menu, a Middle-Eastern section with hummus and labneh, and closer-to-home red curry.
A considerate ‘Breakfast Busy-O-Meter’ sign at the entrance even tips guests off to the most packed periods, with ‘code red’ around 9am to 10:30am.
Accrue Some Capital At The GYM
But, if you really can’t shake the night-before-induced dizziness, there’s two options. Option one: hit the GYM – a space so enlivening they spell gym in all-caps. There’s a slightly intimidating mannequin guarding the entrance.
But once inside it’s bright colors — purple, blue and neon green exercise balls and weight machines with flashy scarlet arms — and exposed brickwork, with enough spaces and equipment to satisfy bodybuilders, yoga and pilates practitioners, aerobics, martial arts, and Thai boxing enthusiasts. But there’s maps for running and cycling through Lumpini Park next door in case the colors are too garish or that mannequin is making you feel edgy. There’s the pool beside it too, a lush emerald rectangle, half covered by the hotel. On the edge of it is more art – a golden semi-abstract sculpture of a languorous female who’s simultaneously twisting into a yoga pose and lapping up the sun.
Or Wait For Kimpton Maa-Lai’s Bar.Yard Or Ms. Jigger To Open
Then there’s option two: wait for Bar.Yard or Ms. Jigger to open. Fortunately, Bar.Yard, on the 40th floor, throws open its tropical flora and fauna adorned doors at 4pm with vertiginous views of Lumpini Park and the sprawl of Bangkok beyond. Up here, it’s part tiki bar, part backyard BBQ with rum-based cocktails and fresh-off-the-grill slow-cooked beef briskets, smoked ribs and skewers, and grilled fresh-caught prawns.
You might have missed Ms. Jigger on the way to the elevator. The ‘Mediterranean muse’ has modestly covered herself in a long curve of curtain. Besides preserving Ms. Jigger’s modesty, the curtain holds in the aromas of the Italian kitchen, of cicchetti – small Venetian-style snacks and small dishes – and just-baked gourmet pizzas like their pizza con crema al tartufo with burrata cheese and aged parma ham.
Besides that, there’s a story-based cocktail menu of crafty yet sophisticated cocktails. Right now, it recounts Ms. Jiggers imaginary journey through Thailand with drinks dedicated to different locations – everything from a Khao Yai-inspired cocktail built on Michter’s straight bourbon and San Luis Mezcal, to a tribute to coconut island of Koh Samui, with Ketel One and lots of coconut.
You order a silky, soothing Siamese Milk Punch – because drinking again is universally tried and tested remedy for last night’s excesses – and prepare for another evening in Bangkok. It’s a fitting cure because the Kimpton Maa-Lai is both dog-friendly and homely, with a satisfyingly diverse number of ways to cure a hangover. And so you enter another evening, safe in the knowledge that the Kimpton Maa-Lai has got you, when you wake up here bleary-eyed once again.