Booked via the boutique hotel site Mr & Mrs Smith, Hotel Muse was the location of my birthday trip to Bangkok and my friend’s first foray into Thailand. For me, a nice chilled weekend of cocktails, amazing food and shopping – for her, an eye-opening experience of tuk-tuks, night markets, Thai hospitality and opulent attractions.
Arriving late at night, we jumped into a taxi at the international airport for the 45-minute drive into central Bangkok. By the time we got to the Lumpini district we were a little tired and a little disorientated by the Bangkok traffic. This wasn’t helped by our driver aiming to assist us and taking a short cut….which did make us wish we hadn’t watched The Hangover on the flight.
However, upon reaching the driveway of Hotel Muse any apprehension and tiredness passed and we were met with the hospitality and gracious service that you come to expect in Thailand. Hotel Muse is a luxurious, 5-star, 174-room hotel which blends the opulence of the art deco era in Europe with Asian twists. The architecture, the decoration and the speakeasy bar all add to a feeling of being transported back in time to a tranquil sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the 21st century Bangkok streets outside.
Hotel Muse was booked partly because it is a boutique 5-star hotel, partly because if Mr & Mrs Smith recommend it then it can’t be too bad and partly because it offers twin rooms – an absolute essential for travelling with friends these days.
We booked a Dowadueng Corner Deluxe and weren’t disappointed. These are rooms which offer a choice of king-sized or twin beds. Each bathroom features claw-foot roll-top bathtubs with separate shower, hand-painted basins, Venetian mirrors and black marble floors. Although dark when we arrived, a large bathroom window allowed us to glimpse the dramatic vistas across the Bangkok skyline.
Location & Getting Around
The hotel is a short stroll from the leafy Lumpini Park and nestled between a wide variety of bars and restaurants.
For the cultural conscious visitors, taxis to the main sights can be arranged from the hotel. On weekdays, be wary of the traffic towards the Royal Palace, but you’ll be grateful for the air-conditioning. The hotel isn’t far from the Skytrain station and this might be a better bet. We, to the shrieking delight of my friend, grabbed a tuk-tuk back on a couple of occasions, and whilst the fumes of the traffic weren’t ideal, the ability to weave in and out of the traffic was fantastic. And of course, a must-do when in Bangkok, at least once.
Food & Drink
As you’d expect from a 5-star hotel, Muse has it’s own restaurant and bar. We didn’t try the restaurant (and note that since we visited it has upped the ante a little in its offering), but we did try the finger food at the speakeasy bar together with their extensive selection of cocktails. Both come highly recommended. The bar is on the 24 and 25th floors of the hotel – well away from the street noise and from the hoi polloi who might wander in – this is certainly a bar for those in the know. The first experience of the bars is the Long Bar which clings to the side of the hotel. However, ask the staff if there is space upstairs and you’ll come face to face with the Lawn Bar, which boasts glittering city views (and yes, a faux lawn). On weekends, you may also find a DJ up at the Lawn Bar.
Yes, there is a gym. Sadly I can’t review it as it was my birthday weekend which meant that as much exercise as I was planning to do consisted of walking around the sights and from bar to bar…
But the pool. Oh yes, this I can tell you about. Whilst not as large as other hotel pools I’ve experienced, this pool holds its own with a great Wet Bar menu and just enough loungers to make it feel exclusive. After a hot and sticky day of palaces, temples and tourist spots – as well as the tuk-tuk ride home, head to the pool and allow the pace of the city to ebb away from you as you peruse the menu of cocktails and drinks.
The hotel is great for ideas for places for dinner, shopping and sightseeing. We tried Vertigo, a short taxi ride away at the Banyan Tree – which is recommended for sundowners and those special occasions.
Oh, and a special mention – we hadn’t told them it was my birthday…..but nevertheless, we came home on ‘the day’ to discover that the lovely staff had left this
If you’re looking for a hotel which oozes with careful styling and just enough decadence to make you feel special without feeling out of place, then Hotel Muse is one to consider.