When in Bangkok: Go Grand at the Grand Hyatt Erawan
The Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok is the best hotel in the capital of Thailand. Within a short walk, you’ll find spots such as the Louis Vuitton shop on the corner of Phloen Chit Road, the MBK Centre, Siam Square, Pratunam Market and the Siam Paragon Mall. Its location is a huge asset in a very dynamic and often disorienting city. The Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok remains an oasis of calm, splendour, sophistication and comfort.
The hotel boasts all the modern luxury and services you need to feel at home including iPod station, digital newspaper access, WiFi, minibar, bathrobes, slippers and many more. The gorgeous, stylish and central hotel comprises a full-service spa, restaurants, stunning views over the city and an absolutely amazing outdoor swimming pool. The service is impeccable and the stay very pleasant. This makes the difference with all the other hotels in the city.
American interior designer Tony Chi is no stranger to the Hyatt group, and his credentials include Park Hyatt Shanghai, Moscow and Washington DC. Tony Chi has brought his elegant style to Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok.
“Erawan” is the name of the Thai mythical three-headed elephant. An interesting reference today, is the two six-foot-high three-headed bronze elephants which guard the majestic entrance of the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok. The elephant is also a symbol used as the logo for the hotel. It’s smart and consistent.
Sylvia Smith, Director for Sales and Marketing for Grand Hyatt talks to Art is Alive about the key features of the hotel, the many services offered by this fantastic property, as well as her favourite spots and cultural events in Bangkok.
The Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, with 380 contemporary guestrooms and suites is the smartest hotel of Bangkok.
What’s the story of the hotel?
Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok is located on the site of the legendary Erawan Hotel which enjoyed worldwide fame for 30 years. When The Erawan Hotel was built in the mid-1950’s construction workers met many problems and superstitious workers refused to continue working. Astrologers proposed a shrine to honour the four-faced god Brahma, known to Thais as Than Tao Mahaprom, as the most auspicious solution.
Than Tao Mahaprom is believed to be a Brahma god full of kindness, mercy, sympathy and impartiality. As the shrine was originally constructed to grace the old Erawan Hotel, the location became known as the Erawan Shrine.
The Fine Arts Department cast a magnificent image of Brahma and it was installed on November 9, 1956 in what is today known as the Erawan Shrine. Construction carried on with no further problems and the Erawan Hotel opened to great acclaim. In 1991, the ageing Erawan Hotel was rebuilt as Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok.
Coming to the hotel is very easy: BTS sky train is a solution – the hotel is a few steps away from two BTS stations Chit Lom and Ratchadamri. Taxi is also convenient and from Suvarnabhumi Bangkok International Airport it is just about 35 kms, 45 minutes.
What’s the inspiration behind the design and architecture?
The hotel was supervised and designed by the renowned American interior designer. Chi was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and moved to New York at the age of six. He is the founder of New York-based design firm Tonychi studio.
All guestrooms complement the hotel’s positioning as warm and welcoming. While the design is very modern, it also features classical touches with a distinct Thai flavour. The design conveys subtle sophistication and a blend of East and West which gives guests an instant feeling of homely comfort.
The intent is to extend the cozy residential aesthetic that was developed for the Spa Cottages at i.sawan Residential Spa & Club to the hotel guestrooms. The rooms are both luxurious and practical, as well as tailored to the guests’ needs.
Alongside the design, the rooms feature rich residential furnishings emphasised by a collection of Thai accessories. An intimate and diverse seating area next to a comfortable bed include an upholstered daybed-style settee, a pull-up armchair and a leather upholstered bench used as a private living area for working, dining or socialising. Guests enjoy staying in our rooms and continue their daily routine as though they were at home.
The Residence – Bangkok’s first residential-style space located in the Grand Hyatt Erawan property, features a collection of five residential event rooms surrounding a communal coffee bar with a 7-metre high open Loft Kitchen, unique furniture and fittings, wooden floors, stylish wall hangings and designer lighting available to host events in an executive residence. Apartment 305 is a multi-functional event facility designed as “a residence within the residence”. Gallery, Apartment, Living Room & Show Kitchen— all in one space.
The Campus – An innovative bespoke event concept and venue like no other; best described as a ‘learning and social centre’. With room names such as Lecture Hall, the Library, Union Hall and the Cafeteria; the rooms are decorated with university flags; institutional-style, portrait sculptures of many academic greats; and even a university rowing boat.
Grand Ballroom – A stunning facility with an 8-metre high ceiling, with a capacity for up to 1,500 guests for receptions.
How would you describe the “soul” of the hotel?
Our team and dedication to service – Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok exists to celebrate every moment with the warmth of Thai hospitality. Our hotel is for many the heart and soul of Bangkok!
What’s the best asset: the comfort, the design, the gastronomy, the strategic location?
A combination of all. We are fortunate to be located in the heart of the premium shopping district, adjacent to the Erawan Shrine and to the Sukhumvit and Silom BTS lines. Our hotel design conveys the subtle sophistication and blend of East and West. We are also known for our restaurants, especially Tables Grill and Erawan Tea Room – recommended by Michelin Plate.
Tell us more about your biggest challenges as Director?
I have only recently moved to Thailand from London and I am honoured to work for such an iconic hotel. Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok is a landmark hotel and for many the heart and soul of Bangkok. The Hyatt team has been incredible and made this transition very easy. Now for me, it is all about understanding Thai culture, adapting to it, motivating the team and performing in a very dynamic and competitive hotel market. And of course, learn a bit of Thai and explore this amazing country.
Did any celebrities stay at the hotel before and has it served any fashion shoots?
Yes – we welcome celebrities, models, State Delegations, Royal families, Head of States and many VIPs and across the years, the hotel has been the preferred location for their stay in Thailand.
Your 5 top-things to do while in Bangkok?
- Visit the Erawan Shrine – situated just next to our hotel, the Erawan Shrine, is a must-do in Bangkok. It is a Brahman shrine famous for granting wishes. Just remember that if your wish is granted you need to come back.
- I love Chinatown. You can explore many of the collaborative art spaces such at Cho Why and Project 189, have a drink in Teens of Thailand and Tep Bar or at Walflower Upstairs. There are many options for food, one of my favourites is 80/20.
- Take a trip around Chatuchak Market – after shopping and exploring the stalls relax at Viv8 for some house music, paella and a good laugh. A wonderful place for people watch.
- Eat street food – Thai people love street food. Every busy road will have street food vendors selling their products – just check those that are crowded and go for it.
- Have a Thai Massage – Experience a traditional Thai massage and you will feel new!
Are you an art collector?
I love photography and everywhere I live I buy something that reminds me of the place. I recently bought some works from Gabriele Harhoff on Bangkok – Chinatown, my favourite part of town.
What were your favorite recent art exhibitions you have visited?
Galleries Night 2018 was very cool. Most recently, I went to a few exhibitions at Project 189: Reggie Black, Gabriele Harhoff, Tiane Doan na Champassak and just last weekend, I went to see David Longstreath RITUALS in Cho Why.