The St. Regis, Bangkok's newest luxury hotel, occupies a rare stretch of urban greenery by the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. One guest books a suite simply to watch Sunday horse races on the track that circles the lush golf links. But idyllic views can be found throughout the hotel, especially through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the 12th-floor restaurant and from the pool on the 15th.
Champagne is served at sunset on the outdoor terrace, with the cork popped by a butler wielding a sword. Such style would be a novelty anywhere, but feels all the more surprising in central Bangkok, only blocks away from the area where rioters shut down the city in 2010. Those protests sparked alarm in a tourism industry that had already taken a hit from the 2006 coup. But, as general manager Andreas Oberoi says, "St. Regis is committed to Bangkok."
And how. Its rooms (227 of them) are spacious, uncluttered and packed with high-end amenities. The top floors comprise palatial apartments that can be rented long term, and both hotel and residences offer 24-hour butler service. "Whenever you have a catastrophe, it makes people think of the risks," Oberoi says, "but all destinations rebound and Bangkok is doing that."