The Sukosol family’s connection to The Siam, began in 1973 when Kamol Sukosol, the father of the current owner, purchased an unused plot of land on the Chao Phraya river. Kamol was a trailblazing entrepreneur, who partnered with a variety of different international businesses in Thailand, including General Electric and Mazda. He liked to sail in his spare time, enjoying the simple serenity of life on the water. Thus, he purchased the plot of land, where The Siam now stands and used it as a private pier.
Kamol sadly passed away in 1980, leading the Sukosol’s to lease the land to a local seafood restaurant. Many families would be crippled by the loss of a man like Kamol, however, the Sukosols weren’t, thanks to the ingenuity and vision of his daughter, Kamala. She foresaw the coming Thai travel boom and spent the next 30 years building an incredible hotel empire. Kamala is also one of Thailand’s most famous jazz singers and is renowned for her social activism and philanthropy.
When the seafood restaurant’s lease expired in 2005, the Sukosol family was left to consider the future of a prime piece of riverfront land in the heart of Bangkok’s royal Dusit district. Kamala turned to her youngest son, Krissada, for ideas, who wanted to take advantage of its stunning natural beauty and rich history. He decided that he would do something that would honour both of his parents, by following in his mother’s footsteps as a hotelier, while allowing other intrepid travellers to experience the peace and tranquillity that his late father had loved. Krissada achieved remarkable success before he opened The Siam: a famous rock singer and actor, he won MTV Asia’s award for Favourite Thai Artist in 2001 and also won Thailand’s equivalent of the Best Actor Oscar for his starring role in Thriller 13. He’s also an anthropology major and a lifelong collector of rare antiques. This fascinating blend of interests and experience all informed the design of The Siam, which had always been a personal dream.
Krissada hired the legendary architect, Bill Bensley, to bring his dream to life, who was named as one of the world's 100 leading architects by a reputable industry source. They agreed that they wanted to blend the hotel into the beautiful surrounding landscape, creating a larger work of art. This is encapsulated by the simple colour scheme of black, white, cream and grey, which is combined with natural materials like leather and stone, alongside expansive oriental gardens that highlight the gorgeous local flora. This unassuming overall design fits in with the rest of the neighbourhood, a magnificent Thai locale dotted with historic Teak Houses that are over a century old.
A subtle blend between history and modernity is a common theme at The Siam: contemporary comforts contrast with traditional Thai design to create an authentic and luxurious version of boutique oriental living. This is exemplified by the extensive art and antique collection, which decorates the property, which all come from the Sukosol’s own collection, another illustration of Krissada’s desire to share the things that he loves with his guests.
Many of the other features of The Siam are also monuments to the Sukosol’s connection to the property, such as the private river pier that offers speed boat shuttles to the city, allowing guests to see the tranquil river that inspired Kamol to buy it or the glorious art deco bar that plays wonderful Thai jazz. The Siam also boasts a delicious 1930s French bistro, alongside a fabulous Thai restaurant that oozes authenticity.
In many ways, The Siam's story reflects Thailand as a whole: a contemporary masterpiece, with a rich history and a desire to share all the magic it has to offer with the world. A place of incredible sentimental value to the Sukosols, that they would rather share it with like minded souls than keep it hidden.
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