I must admit, at first glance, I was not aware of the Okura brand, but along the course of my travels and familiarity with the industry, I got to know them more and more, and in very much a good way. During one of my Bangkok trips in 2018, I thought I would give it a go, especially considering I have stayed in properties nearby, and I always find myself gravitating towards the Wireless Road/Witthayu area of Bangkok.
The first thing that will strike you about the Okura Prestige Bangkok is not the excellent location but the building it is housed in. Located in the upper half of the Park Ventures building, connected to Ploen Chit BTS Station, look up towards he building and you will see a sculpted building rising up from the towers that canyon Sukhumvit Road. From the braces to the oval-esque design, from the clean lines to the cantilever pool jutting out of the northern faced of the building, it is designed to make you go ‘oooooh.’
Inside, in true Japanese hospitality fashion, there is a rotating display of floral arrangements, suited and timed to the seasons. The public areas are well appointed in a minimalist fashion, with clean lines, brass highlights and elegant dark tones that accentuate a certain zen-ness, balancing the sculpture of a building outside.
I usually try and book a hotel with a pool. This pool delivers, from an acceptable length of 25m (which is generous given the small-ish sized pools in Bangkok) to the stunning realization that you are swimming suspended in the air on a cantilever structure, this pool is a good spot to relax or do cool-down laps after a good session in the gym. That the pool is an infinity pool with stunning views of Sukhumvit Road eastwards and westwards is a given.
The gym is well appointed and has a good array of machines, from up-to-date cardio machines, to a full complement of free weights and weight machines. While the gym is open to non-guests on a membership scheme, it does not get too crowded in the mornings during the morning gym rush hour before work.
Lounge and Dine
The two restaurants and bar are located at the lobby level and are pretty good. The Up and Above bar has a nice perch, with an indoor and outdoor lounge area, and serves pretty good cocktails and seasonal promotions. Rule of thumb: if there is a change of floral arrangement, expect a change in cocktail promotions.
The all-day dining is pretty decent, and is known for its Weekend Brunches. Breakfast is well appointed, with a generous buffet spread that can go on for a while. If a light breakfast is more your thing, then breakfast at the Michelin Guide-listed Japanese restaurant, Yamazato, on the left of the lobby provides good Japanese breakfast bento sets.
If you do get lounge access, then the Executive Lounge pairs a stunning view down Wireless Road/Witthayu towards Silom with pretty good lounge items. From light eats with Japanese options for breakfast, to generous evening canapes and cocktail hour for sundowners, sometimes a little privacy balances out the mass spread downstairs.
This is a business hotel, with a focus on corporate guests, so naturally all the big offices and banks are located not too far away, or within easy reach from Ploen Chit BTS station. For the more leisurely minded, the Michelin Guide listed restaurant Sanguan Sri is a short 5 minute walk away, perfect for breakfast, with Lumphini Park a good extra 1km away, perfect for a warm-up before the full-on laps around the lake.
Central Embassy is just across the road, with the great foodcourt downstairs and designer shopping upstairs, and through the skywalk and link bridges (and a stint through the paid area of Chidlom BTS Station), you get walking access to Central World and Siam Paragon within 15 minutes.
And the Rooms?
Minimalist luxe. Walnut-coloured panelling, lush amenities, and a great bed make for a comfortable room. The yukata adds a nice Japanese touch instead of the usual bathrobes. The beds are well appointed (and super comfortable), with an in-room Bluetooth home sound system if you are bored of the usual stuff on TV.
The minibar is tucked away nicely behind a lacquer cabinet tucked away in one corner of the room, with a Japanese tea set (naturally) ready just in case you feel like donning the yukata and making a small tea ceremony in the room.
Evening turndown is very well done, with the usual chocolates and the very welcomed addition of a paper crane on the bed. With your yukata neatly folded and a courtesy pack of origami paper with instructions if you want to make your own paper crane, its little touches like this that give a minimalist room a super luxe feel.
If you want to pamper yourself with Japanese hospitality, enjoy a unique swimming pool that juts out towards the busy city below, and savour what minimalist luxury can be like, then the Okura Prestige is a good option. Highly recommended if only for the location itself, and when compared to the Park Hyatt across the street, or Athenee Hotel next door, it has a certain appeal if the large Marriott or Hyatt brands feel a bit generic after a while. Just be aware of ‘peak hours’ by the pool. Who doesn’t want a picture in an infinity pool in this age of FOMO?
Booking?: I booked online on the Okura website. Look out for deals!
Address?: 57 Park Ventures, Witthayu Road, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand
Nearest Station: Ploen Chit BTS Station
Peak Season?: Hard to say for a major destination like Bangkok, but the rainy season around June to August would see a slight dip in prices.
Jason is a world traveller and avid seeker of high perches, on a mission to capture the unique experiences that makes destinations iconic.