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Review: The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon

A dynamic urban retreat artfully dressed in vibrant hues and playful patterns for adventurous guests craving something different in the Thai capital.
Hot List 2023


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Why book?

To finally check into a Bangkok five-star that isn’t marble-clad, straight-lined, and beige.

Set the scene

There were barely any surprises left when I checked in just days after the hotel’s official opening at the end of July, because every one of Bangkok’s high-heeled fashionistas, creative directors, and what-are-they-famous-for socialites had already TikTok-ed every art-studded nook, DJ set, and Drag Queen Bingo party. And that’s unlikely to change anytime soon because this high-voltage clout magnet in the city’s tallest skyscraper draws the Thai and international in-crowd like bees to a honeypot. It’s a five-star with a vibe Bangkok’s hotel scene was still missing, swapping out the predictably serene, Thai-inspired interiors and chi-chi fine dining restaurants of most of its competitors for a riot of colors, clubby restaurants, and the country’s highest rooftop bar. That’s not to say it’s all-out debauchery, though: The swirling pool, with the CBD’s skyline as its backdrop, is a lovely spot to spend a lazy afternoon, and the adjoining gym sports Peloton bikes and a rotating roster of group classes. 

The backstory

The Standard’s Asian flagship was a long time coming. Thai real estate developer Sansiri acquired a major stake in the party-hard hotel group in 2017 and launched the brand’s Thai debut, 2022 Hot-Listed The Standard Hua Hin, in Thailand’s Hamptons-esque resort town at the end of 2021. The setting for the Bangkok outpost, the Ole Scheeren-designed Mahanakhon tower, is somewhat surprising: the hotel floors were initially designed as the Bangkok EDITION, then changed into the world’s first Orient Express hotel by Accor. Neither ever opened, but The Standard Bangkok proves that the third time’s a charm. 

The rooms

All different, all lovely. Like the rest of the interiors, they’re the product of a collaboration between The Standard’s in-house design team and Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayon, whose quirky, polychromatic style is a welcome departure from Bangkok’s typically beige and hushed hotel designs. Think orb lamps and wavy sofas upholstered in mustard-hued velours, curved corners everywhere, and furniture and lights that wouldn’t look out of place in a HAY catalog. Layouts vary from snug studios to penthouse-sized party pads—some open to small balconies, others have walk-in showers and blocky whirlpool tubs roomy enough for a party of four. Rates from $170 per night.

Food and drink

With four restaurants, a whimsical tea room, and Bangkok’s highest rooftop bar, the hotel is as much a place to eat as it is to sleep. Ojo, a rose-gold jewel box by Guadalajara-born chef Francisco Paco Ruano on the 78th floor, opened ahead of the rooms and has already drawn in Bangkok’s beau monde with a contemporary Mexican menu of ikura-topped guacamole and ceviche from young coconut. On the lower floors, Thailand’s first outpost of Hong Kong-born Mott 32 offers dim sum lunches with their legendary applewood-roasted Peking duck, and The Standard Grill gives the namesake New York institution a local spin with rotisserie chicken from northeast Thailand and char-grilled river prawns (alongside top-notch steaks, of course). Come sunset, head up to the rooftop Skybeach for a pre-drink and views from Bangkok’s very best vantage point, but then follow the in-crowd to The Parlor, where the vibes are much better.

The neighborhood

The Mahanakhon tower is pitched smack in the middle of Bangkok’s CBD along a busy intersection of Sathorn Road. At first sight, this forest of glass and steel isn’t the most inspiring, but you’ll find cafe-packed Sathorn Soi 10 and leafy Soi Suan Phlu around the corner. Many of the city’s top tables, including neo-German Sühring, fine Thai Saawaan, and David Thompson’s Aksorn, sit just a short taxi hop away, while the Chong Nonsi BTS station right outside the hotel connects you to all corners of town for a couple of baht.

The service

Service standards in Bangkok’s top hotels are among the highest in the region, and here is no exception. Most (emphasis there) of the staff, a mix of Thais and peppy young expats, were a chatty, smiling bunch—though, particularly in the restaurants, not always the speediest.

For families

The staff was lovely to my four-year-old (they prepared some very thoughtful gifts for him), and extra beds could be arranged—but the hotel is better suited for those traveling without kids in tow. 

Eco effort

Beyond the basics—the glass water bottles, the paper straws—nothing much. Plus, guests have to pencil down their breakfast order on checklist menus printed on card-stock paper—I would’ve loved to see a greener alternative.


Yes, there are two wheelchair-friendly Deluxe King rooms and all restaurants are accessible without stairs.

Anything left to mention?

Guests receive complimentary tickets to the glass-bottomed SkyWalk on top of the King Power Mahanakhon Tower (314 meters above ground level!). It’s a popular spot for tourists, so queues for the elevator tend to get long. Save yourself the wait by combining it with sunset drinks and dinner at Ojo—which will give you fast-track access to the SkyWalk one floor up.

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