Bangkok is a vibrant, cultural and exciting city and I think the best area to stay in to experience this to the fullest is in buzzing Chinatown. One of the city’s most interesting sectors as the oldest “Chinatown” in the world and home to many important cultural sites, it’s also ideally located near the river (and its ferries), MRT and Skytrain transit links and of course has some amazing food. Immerse yourself in this unique atmosphere at the seductive Shanghai Mansion, the most romantic boutique hotel in Bangkok.
A Century of Intriguing History
The building of the Shanghai Mansion dates back to 1892 with its first incarnation as a trading house. A few years later in 1908, it was converted into Bangkok’s first Chinese opera house, attracting not only prominent members of the Chinese community, but also Thailand’s Royal Family and Bangkok’s elite. With the evolution of entertainment over the 20th century, the building was repurposed as Thailand’s stock exchange, a textile trading centre then a popular department store. Left in a state of disrepair, it was bought and resurrected by Burasari Group in 2005, an endeavour which led to the creation of this chic boutique hotel evoking the glamour of 1930s Shanghai.
Stylish Design of Seductive Shanghai
From the moment you walk into its impressive entrance, you’ll fall under the spell of the hotel’s alluring ambiance and decor. Crossing over a gurgling stream, you’re met by a large painting of a mysterious lady dressed in sensual red, almost like an elegant hostess welcoming you into her exquisite home. The foyer, with its large clock and comfortable seating areas, further sets the 1920-30s tone.
The guest rooms are divide on the upper floors and give onto the central courtyard, with modern-style Chinese lanterns overhead and a gentle fish pond at its base. These are bordered by airy walkways dotted with a collection of lovely furniture draped in bright fabrics, period antiques and a mishmash of other curiosities.
Spacious & Sensual Rooms
Careful thought was also put in designing the rooms, which truly feel like guest bedrooms of an extravagant Chinese mansion. There are four categories of rooms, each category named after a different flower and ranging from superior doubles to opulent suites. They feature gorgeous furniture, delicate silk fabrics, supremely comfortable king-size beds and complimentary green tea and refreshments. I stayed in a Ying Hua deluxe room, complete with a refined sitting area and the bonus of a freestanding bath tub (in addition to a rain shower), much appreciated after a long day in bustling Bangkok. I also loved the hotel’s perfect silence, rare in a city-centre hotel and a refreshing pause from the busy streets below.
For a real splurge, opt for a Mu Dan suite. These are the largest rooms in the hotel and create a divinely sensual spirit with a vast wooden screen and extra spacious sitting area with a daybed. There are also some family suites if you want to add some magical atmosphere to your trip with the kids.
A Bangkok Nightlife Destination
In addition to being a fabulous hotel, the Shanghai Mansion has a chic restaurant and excellent Terrace Bar, which draws visitors in with its popular and free nightly jazz concerts. The posh Red Rose restaurant, with the same classy decor as the rest of the hotel, serves refined Chinese specialities with a touch of contemporary flare, the ideal place for a romantic dinner in the area. The hotel has a luxurious spa, open to outside guests.
Room rates start from THB 2,678. They also have some excellent packages, including the 1920s Shanghai Romance package, and other complimentary services available for those who book directly on their website. See these and other details about this special hotel here.
I was a guest of the Shanghai Mansion, however, all of the opinions above are entirely my own.