If you like a hotel that is unique, that showcases the talents of local architects and designers but at the same time manages to create an environment where you can feel both comfortable, at home and right in the centre of the busy Bangkok social scene all at the same time, then Sofitel So Bangkok is the place for you.
Plus, the exceptional personalised service means that being a vegan there is a breeze.
Located right next to Lumpini Park, the location of So Sofitel Bangkok seemed to offer the best of both worlds; connection to the vibrant city life that Bangkok is famous for but also the chance to be around the peace of the park with trees, water and shaded calm at your fingertips. BTS and Metro stations are a short walk away and complementary bicycles, mean you can enjoy Lumpini Park, joining in with the health and fitness regime of locals as you cycle around the designated track observing groups of people using outdoor gym equipment, doing Tai Chi or jogging.
The hotel itself reflects the energetic and vibrant nature of the city outside; this is a modern, fresh ‘design hotel’ where some of the countries top design firms worked together with an award-winning architect, creating a hotel that is themed around the Five Elements of Water, Earth, Wood, Metal and Fire; each floor displays art installations, some more noticeable than others but all carrying the themes of the five elements design to every corner of the hotel.
Our So Lofty Suite, like all rooms, had Apple TV, connected to huge LED screens, offering both internet access and a range of entertainment options. There is also free wifi (a must in this day and age), a complementary mini bar stocked with soft drinks and a few snacks (sadly not vegan) and a top quality, easy to use coffee machine (there are tea making facilities too). Having a suite gave us accommodation that had two rooms, a walk in dressing room (with safety deposit box) and a spacious bathroom with double sink, rain shower and huge a circular bath.
The service throughout the hotel was energetic, proactive and consistent. This made a particular impact on us as vegan guests as it meant that people were keen to help, thought about areas where we might need particular assistance (at breakfast for example) and then made sure to remember things we had liked or requests we had made so we didn’t have to repeat them each time we sat down. Added to the encouragement of the staff to show individuality and flair, it made for great service and an atmosphere that was full of confidence and charm.
The Vegan Food:
We took breakfast in Red Oven where the service from the staff more than compensated for the choice from the buffet and live cooking stations being limited for us as vegans. They sourced dairy-free soya milk and a vegan butter for us, routinely bringing them to our table each day along with a special creation from the kitchen. We ate red and green curries, delicious ‘Tom Kha Tofu’ soup laced with galangal, lime leaves and coconut milk alongside vegetable fried rice, noodle soups or salads made from the fresh salad bar.
Every morning there was more than enough food to give us a great (vegan) start to the day.
The selection of fruit showcased some of South East Asia’s best produce with succulent perfumed mangos, ripe melon, sweet papaya and fresh, crunchy rose apples being amongst the range of fruits prepared for us to choose from each morning. We loved eating all the fresh and colourful fruits that made for a healthy and enjoyable treat but there was also a fresh juice bar where we could get all these ingredients juiced into glasses of deliciousness.
In the evening we headed to Club Signature for complimentary cocktails and light refreshments, part of the privileges of our So Lofty Suite. Hearing that we were vegan, that staff arranged special food that would be suitable for us, providing platters of sushi or fresh spring rolls to accompany our drinks as we watched the sun set over the city and sipped on exciting cocktails or lemongrass tea.
The Vegan Essentials:
The in room amenities were provided by Ytsara, housed in planet friendly refillable ceramic containers. These products are natural, free from parabens and synthetic preservatives, also full of natural fragrances from essential oils. But the best thing? They are not tested on animals and contain no animal products making them vegan.
There were feather free pillows and a synthetic duvet available upon request meaning that it was easy to arrange a change for vegan bedding.
The spa at Sofitel So Bangkok offers a bespoke spa experience where you can choose your treatment, the music you listen too and the tea you are served afterwards. The therapists are professional and offer a range of massages and treatments (using the vegan friendly Ytsara products) where rejuvenation and relaxation seem to rule. These are more than superficial beauty treatments; expect to leave feeling like you have been in the hands of someone who can intuitively get to the areas of stress and tension that perhaps even you are unaware of.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:
Check-in to Sofitel So Bangkok for an art and design filled city break where every vegan need will be catered for by enthusiastic and efficient staff.
Book yourself a treatment (or two) in the spa, where vegan products and experienced therapists will give you a real taste of just how good a Thai massage or enjoy a cool and refreshing drink next to the infinity pool with far reaching views of Lumpini Park.
We were guests of Sofitel So Bangkok but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Sofitel So Bangkok
2 North Sathorn Road,
Cost From: £150 / $225 January 2016