Unique, unmistakable and sensory – that’s what the W represents.
Globally, individual W Hotels are inspired by local influences and art, to create a space that’s suitable to work and play. Or both. The W Bangkok is similarly colourful, fun and splattered with art installations by local artists. The main influence – the ancient combat sport of Muay Thai.
The signature oversized-letter/logo W greets each visitor and cleverly doubles as a screen to reveal a magnificent Swarovski-encrusted mural that displays proudly along the lobby wall. From a distance, the epic battle of a tiger and phoenix – symbols of strength and power – made up of 80,000 crystals. The piece was created Maysa Yanovan, an emerging artist who caught the attention of AvroKO (the design firm behind the interior) because of his work involving the mythical creatures found in Thai folklore.
The tiger and phoenix are also the most common tattoos that Muay Thai fighters opt for.
The battle continues into the WooBar, where eye-catching ropes symbolise not just the fighting arena, but the meeting spaces and VIP rooms of the signature bar. Adorned in a luxurious metallic gold material, the ropes offer a glittering backdrop to the open and colourful space that transforms at night into a wind-down area for socialising.
Move away from the bar and lobby and you’ll pass an intricate installation of a ‘monkol’; a sacred headpiece worn by Muay Thai boxers before their battles begin. Once in the ring, a ceremonial wai kru ram muay is performed before the headpiece is removed and placed in their respective corners for good luck.
The W Bangkok is a visual treat. Colourful works of art and delicate creations are showcased throughout to property to represent traditions and cultural references of the Thai way-of-life.
In Southeast Asia, drinking out of a plastic bag is not uncommon – everything from a hot coffee to a cold soda is served in small, translucent plastic bags, instead of from bottles or cups, and a straw. A fast-fading tradition, its memories are kept alive in an incredible light installation at the W Bangkok. Dripping down the middle of a spiral staircase, acrylic drinking bags go somewhat unnoticed, until you take a closer look at its details. Once the sun goes down, the stairwell is lit, and these bags, and their memories come alive in a hue of purple.
Locally and internationally renowned artist known for the playful irony and sarcasm displayed in his work, Sutee Kunavichayanont does his take on one of the most popular crocodiles in Thai culture from the Thai Folk Tale, “Krai Thong.” If you ever visit The Kitchen Table, see if you can spot the secret in this piece of art.
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If you ever do find yourself in Bangkok, whether you stay at the W or not, do drop in for dinner and drinks at The House on Sathorn, a colonial mansion and Thai national heritage home on Sathorn Road in the heart of Bangkok. Sathorn (both the house and it’s surrounding area) gets its name from Lord Sathorn, the original owner.
Experience The Dining Room (listed in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017), The Courtyard (an Al fresco garden restaurant) and The Bar – a timeless destination bar.
All images taken with the Leica Q. For enquiries and purchase, please contact Leica Store Singapore.