Hua Chang Heritage Hotel is the proverbial needle in a haystack of crazy. A clever blend of old colonial and bright modern décor, this hotel is like no other in the city. In fact we thought it wouldn’t seem out of place in the swank chic of LA.
Amidst the buzz and madness of Bangkok’s streets is a hotel quite out of the ordinary. Hua Chang Heritage Hotel is like something from another time. Tranquil, bright and beautifully furnished, staying here is like being transported out of Bangkok to another place entirely.
From the lobby to the rooms and the pool/water garden, this hotel is packed with well-designed charm and a penchant for romance. Owing much of its designs to the nostalgia of the King Rama V era of Thailand’s history, there’s a forgotten elegance to the modernity of the hotel.
Hua Chang Heritage Hotel
We’re welcomed through the big glass doors to the bright, beautifully furnished lobby. Armchairs of all different shapes are dotted about and look most inviting.
Great red and gold velvet thrones, strange metallic chesterfields that look more like they’re for Daleks than us, a huge central wedding cake style cylindrical sofa… it’s all quite an eyeful to take in, and definitely not what you expect to find right off the street in central Bangkok – but then you never know what to expect here!
On the other side of the lobby is another huge glass door to the pool, bar and restaurant. As we step outside, we expect to hear the traffic from the busy Hua Chang Bridge on the other side of the hotel wall. Instead, we hear the laughter of fountains and waterfalls.
The majority of the central courtyard has been turned into a water garden. There are islands of trees, fountains bubbling through the surface and at the far end a sunken bar under a huge thatched shell of a roof. It’s quite a scene.
The water garden is also the hotel pool, and there are loungers positioned in the shallow parts for bathers to recline in. it’s all very luxe castaway!
The restaurant – Miss Siam
Past the water garden and bar, and through to the hotel restaurant, we find elegant curved booths and tables set in white with dining chairs in black and silver. It all has a feeling of sophisticated modern colonialism – if that’s a thing.
For dinner we enjoy the set menus available. Soon the food starts coming out. And it keeps on coming! Soon our table is strewn with all kinds of dishes and delicacies.
It’s a culinary journey from the delicate to the intense, from the simple to the profound.
There are two set menus – the Champa and the Chaba. They’re THB600 and THB700 respectively, which is about A$25 (US$20 UKP15).
The Champa comes with 3 appetisers:
– steamed dumpling
– crispy crab spring roll
– crispy rice cracker with minced pork in coconut dip.
Then soup: chicken in coconut soup
Then salad: a prawn and fresh lemongrass salad – and then the main dishes.
– crab meat mousse with coconut and crispy fish
– chicken green curry, crispy fried fish
– squid and salted egg
– fried pork
– stir-fried morning glory with oyster sauce
– and a cone of steamed rice in a banana leaf.
Yes, that’s for one person!
The Chaba is even better. The appetisers are:
– crispy Thai noodles
– chicken egg net
– lotus seed moneybag dumpling.
The soup is a spicy prawn, lemongrass, chilli and lime juice.
The mains are:
– papaya salad
– grilled chicken
– rice noodles with garlic oil
– stir-fried mushrooms with oyster sauce and sesame oil
– tender beef massamun curry
– stir-fried glass noodles with crab meat
– deep fried fish cake
– and a banana leaf cone of rice too.
Both meals come with fresh fruit for dessert, and the Chaba also has a golden banana in a syrup topping and coconut milk.
Needless to say we were so full after dinner, we could hardly move. Of course, there is an a la carte menu too, but with set meals like these, why would you bother?
Miss Siam is also the breakfast venue for the hotel too. And breakfast is even more impressive, with a wide range of buffet options, and an egg and omelette station outside.
It isn’t until we finish eating we discover a whole other room by the glass wall to the kitchen filled with pastries, cakes and sweets. Which is probably just as well considering the dinner from the night before!
We walk back to our room via the Ivory Lounge, which is usually used as a library or reading room, but is also a dining area too for afternoon tea.
Walking into our room at the Hua Chang Heritage Hotel takes us right back to our time in the Mondrian in West Hollywood.
There’s nothing conventional about the rooms here, from the furniture, which is quirky and design-driven to the bathroom, which seems to be open plan to the rest of the room until we discover the rolling walls. Two ceiling-high sliding partitions have been engineers to roll at right angles to meet perfectly at the corner and so enclose the bathroom.
It’s at this point we’re transported once again to somewhere else; this time Japan. Not only is there a multifunctional toilet seat here that PhD physics students would enjoy, there’s a music dial with which you can use to ‘hide’ your ‘sound effects’.
The technology of the room is also apparent outside the bathroom too. You can control lights, air con, TV and music all via the tablet in the bedside cabinet. Hotel services are all one the tablet too.
This truly is a beautiful hotel and one we’d love to come back to. Its serenity, location, design and heritage (the name Hua Chang means ‘Elephant’s Head’ coming from the historic bridge it’s next door to) all make this little oasis in the city very welcoming.
However, this is a boutique hotel, so room prices are a little higher than other hotels. Still, by most standards, it’s still cheap to stay here for what you get. Rooms are between THB3000 – THB7000.
There are also fewer rooms, so booking out is a possibility here. And there are only 3 levels of room: delux, premier delux and suites. There is also no spa or gym.
I’m also not sure how kid-friendly this hotel would be as the pool is not fenced and the way to and from breakfast is on a walkway over the pool. But if it’s romance you’re after, this place will bring it!
400 Phayathai Road
Do you go for boutique hotels? Have you been to Bangkok? Where did you stay? Tell us in the comments!