Hidden behind a lively street front bar in the heart of Bangkok’s Chinatown, is a luxurious oasis: a step back in time to 1930s Shanghai. Beyond the glamorous jazz bar and fine dining, a peaceful atrium, the centrepiece of which is a pond, surrounded by deck chairs, day beds and antique furniture and overhead, colourful paper lanterns.
Shanghai Mansion began life in 1892 as a trading house, and in 1908, it was transformed into Bangkok’s first Chinese opera house. Renowned for its spectacular interiors, clientele included Thailand’s aristocracy, even members of the Royal Family. After several incarnations, including life as a department store, by 1998 the building had fallen into disrepair until, in 2005, it was purchased by Burasari Group. Burasari refurbished the building, creating Shanghai Mansion, inspired by the property’s theatrical roots and original Art Deco flair.
Beyond the teak double doors, a spacious lobby, and a living room to my left, furnished with a plush velvet sofa and arm chair. Thick velvet drapes hide the windows and a chandelier lights the room from above. A carved lattice mahogany screen separates the bedroom, and beyond, the bathroom, the centrepiece of which is a large free-standing bath.
On the walls, framed portraits of 1930s Chinese movie stars, serious looking Chinese noble women in traditional garb and old sepia photographs of urban scenes with rickshaws and medicine dispensaries.
There are a few different room types of varying sizes, all beautifully fitted out in 1930s art deco style furnishings. The mini bar items are all free, and include a selection of chocolate, crisps, beer and soft drinks.
Lunch, dinner and the hotel’s famous dim sum high tea is offered in Red Rose Restaurant, traditional Chinese dishes served with contemporary flair, paired with Chinese whiskeys and plum wine, while breakfast is served upstairs in ‘Cotton’, a large airy restaurant on the third floor that has an air of ‘colonial country club’ about it.
Spa services are available on every level of the hotel with signature treatments such as the Singing Bowls ritual that promise to “awaken the body and spirit, preparing it for a soothing, therapeutic ritual ahead”.
In the nearby streets and alley ways you’ll find a great selection of street food, but be sure to leave early to secure yourself a street-side seat. Chinatown is heaving every night of the week and long queues form very quickly at the more popular hawker stalls. The hotel provides a free tuk tuk shuttle service and a guided walk through Chinatown each morning.
Where to find it
- 479-481 Yaowaraj Road, Samphantawong, Bangkok 10100
- Tel : + 66 (0) 2221 2121
- E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org