Maybe the King Power Mahanakhon isn’t a tower with hotels, retail and residences inside at all. Maybe it’s a gigantic lightning conductor, absorbing Bangkok’s cultural energy. And if so, The Standard, Bangkok is its colorful control room.
Đọc bài viết bằng Tiếng Việt
Or maybe The Standard, Bangkok, which opened in July 2022, is a quirky film set dreamed up by Wes Anderson for an oceanic drama. Something like The Life Aquatic. Only this one’s on a cruise ship. You certainly wouldn’t be surprised to bump into Bill Murray turning the corner of one of the two-tone, plush-carpeted room floors. And the Standard brand did start out in Hollywood after all.
Right at the end of the ‘90s, The Standard, Hollywood, with its attention-grabbingly unconventional upside-down logo, out-of-work actors running the front of house, and swimming pool full of inflatables, invented boutique hotels and enchanted Hollywood.
The Hip Global Brand: The Standard Hotels
Hotelier André Balazs opened the first The Standard along with celebrity friends like Cameron Diaz and Leonardo Di Caprio. It quickly became an “ultra-trendy, ultra-modern hot spot.” And if it felt like a film set, that was because set designer Shawn Hausman did the interiors. They even shot scenes for Sex and the City, Ocean’s Twelve, and Entourage there.
The original The Standard Hotel closed in 2022 to a chorus of nostalgic sighs. But, by then, The Standard Hotels had already morphed into a hip global brand, Standard International, with The Standard hotels in New York, Miami Beach, The Maldives, London, Ibiza and now, two in Thailand – a beachfront The Standard in Hua Hin, and this one in Bangkok. And so the sighs continue, but now they’re awe-stuck exhalations as guests take in the dizzying design of The Standard Hotels.
Upside Down And In and Out
The Standard, Bangkok’s interiors, for example, were dreamed up by Spanish artist and designer Jaime Hayon and his Valencia-based Hayon Studio alongside The Standard’s in-house design team. While most high-end hotels opt for a sophisticated, minimalist, muted color palette, The Standard, Bangkok is a dazzling hotel where each space is a fruit-burst of color, a bit like Bangkok outside with its pink taxis and neon signage.
There’s the bottle green lift lobby with elaborate, oversized rattan chandeliers that buzz above the high-ceilinged space like fireflies. And the yellow reception room with porticos with Greek statues covered in lipstick and shelves with books of erotic stories and design anthologies and quirky figurines and lamps and clocks.
A Little Bit Of Hollywood
There are still echoes of Hollywood at The Standard, Bangkok too. Diplo DJ-ed at the grand opening. And Dita Von Teese burlesque-d her way out of an oversized Martini glass during the same event.
And even now that the opening buzz has settled, behind the reception desk (which is on the fourth floor), is a video artwork by Marco Brambilla, called ‘Heaven’s Gate.’ Across its three glorious panels Leonardo Ci Caprio, as Jordan Belfort, raises his Martini glass, Tom Cruise pumps his chest as Captain Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell and a thousand other movie moments dance across the screens – making for a hypnotic diversion as the team, in their fun Fah Chak WO+MAN uniforms, check your room is ready.
Expect The Unexpected
Across from that is Marc Quinn’s ‘Flood Plain of the Tributaries of the Orinocco,’ part of the artist’s flower paintings series. On the surface, it’s a sensual, decorative work full of carefully composed, colorful orchids. But by painting and putting together flowers that would never bloom in the same season, Quinn was hinting at our need to try to control nature.
Fittingly, the 78-floor King Power Mahanakhon is one of the biggest examples of man’s megalomania in the Thai capital (it was Thailand’s tallest building when it was completed in 2016). There’s even a ‘skywalk’ on the rooftop, where you stand on a glass-floored promontory and try not to look down at the city below you as you flip a middle finger to the forces of gravity.
Mott32’s Peking Duck And Modern Mexican And More…
And inside The Standard, Bangkok, there’s lots of juxtapositions as unlikely as Marc Quinn’s orchids. Places like the Sky Beach, where you also find that skywalk.
There, an attention-seeking DJ pumps a fist in the corner in vain as everyone’s too busy taking in the 360 degree views of the city, or watching the brave souls posing for photos on the skywalk as they sip on Sky Beach’s signature cocktails like their Dark & Stormy – which feels like tempting fate for a rooftop bar – or a Bird’s Eye View with tequila and mango, and some bite from a bird’s eye chili which at least will keep you warm if the wind whips up.
Two floors below is The Standard, Bangkok’s Mexican restaurant, Ojo. There award-winning Chef Paco Ruano, who put his native Guadalajara on the foodie map with his restaurant, Alcalde, (which missed out a place in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2022, ranking at #51) serves creative Mexican cuisine in what feels like a spaceship taking off in a ‘50s sci-fi movie which might be because of the ‘space-age, retro glam decor’ or because street level is so far down.
And 75-floors below that, bookending the building, is the Bangkok branch of Mott32, where you can order the same BBQ-honey glazed Iberico pork as you can at the other of Mott32’s global branches – a restaurant chain that serves dim sum on the Vegas strip, and one of the best Peking ducks in Hong Kong.
In between, there’s The Standard Grill, a recreation of The Standard’s beloved New York brasserie, Double Standard, for craft and draught beer and comfort food, the central social space, Parlour, with its green, box-like DJ booth and colorful rugs and corners, and the tearoom, Tease, that serves classic blends alongside spiked brews, and that sums up Jamie Hayon’s design style in one concise space – bold painted patterns, shelves of odd ornaments, and warm yellow lighting.
Outside, at the swimming pool, lush green foliage sways to Manu Dibango’s cinematic ‘Ceddo End Title’ wiping the dust off the shoulder of the burgundy-colored sofas shoulders as a large jacuzzi bubbles nearby.
Penthouse Music All Night Long
Or you can always ignore all that, and disappear behind the door to your room with its gilded numerals.
Maybe the standard king with its curved orange banquette in the corner and oversized bathtub, or one of two penthouses, and stare in awe across the Bangkok skyline, like Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman do, only they’re in Paris, in ‘Hotel Chevalier.’ Another movie by Wes Anderson.