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High Style at The House on Sathorn, Bangkok


An opulent old manor in the middle of new Bangkok is reawakening the Gilded Age. The House on Sathorn sashays back into the spotlight as the city's most coveted address for dining, drinking and generally being fabulous—just the way its founder would have wanted.

Published on Dec 7, 2016

 

Story by: Jeninne Lee-St. John
Photographer: Ausadavut Sarum
Photographer's assistants: Kaona Nilavajara, Narubas Bangpasert | Stylist: Saranya Ariyakul
Makeup artist: Kamolwish Warapornpiyakamol
Hair stylist: Paweethida Wattanachaiphithak
Model: Yulia R/Apple Model

 

The House on Sathorn
Printed maxi dress by Vatanika; heels by Jimmy Choo.

It is 1889. Bangkok is still oriented on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, and what would later become the central metropolis is now mostly verdant jungle draped by lamphu trees. You are a wealthy Chinese businessman building a massive canal off the river, using the land excavated by the dig to construct a roadway on either side. For your work, you are bequeathed the title Luang Sathorn Rajayutka by King Chulalongkorn, and you know you need a home worthy of your status. Having adorned your collonaded colonial villa with lucky images of pigs, your lunar zodiac sign, and Chinese rice flowers to please your mistress, you fling open your louvred shutters and survey the new major thoroughfare that bears your name. Your neighbors are Thai aristocrats, tossing up their own grand estates with overflowing orchid gardens, and foreign embassies whose proliferation later helps jack up land prices and push the locals to sell their pieces of Eden.

The House on Sathorn
Sauntering up to The House’s grand entrance, in printed maxi dress by DVF; heels by Jimmy Choo; rose brooch and hat by Soda.

A century and a quarter on, the marigold manor—having itself functioned as the Soviet Union's embassy after a stint as a hotel—is once again welcoming the glitterati. Sathorn Road has seen a sparkling and swift rejuvenation in the past few years and the last manse standing, now reborn as The House on Sathorn, has been restored by W Bangkok as a gorgeous old-world gem amid the seemingly unrelenting modernity. In the sumptuous red dining room, you'll find chef Fatih Tutak chatting up the city's doyennes about his pan-Asian-inspired menu; his is a rare blend of artistry and cookery in dishes (see the duck breast splashed by pomegranate blood dubbed "Hunting") that are both literal representations of their names yet also lip-smackingly delicious. Bangkok's bright young things crowd the Art Deco bar for mixologist Michele Montauti's alcoholic artistry, (get the burnt-cinnamon-stick-infused "Flying Pig"), though the leather-filled upstairs lounge and living areas are sexy draws for private events.

The House on Sathorn
Hanging at the bar, in dress by Chai Gold Label; earrings by 77th.

If old Luang Sathorn, an ancestor of Queen Sirikit, were here to enjoy his bounty, he'd find out his front windows a SkyTrain zipping past where mango and mahogany trees once stood. Perhaps he'd join his consort in the courtyard for afternoon tea—or for a nightcap, when they could gaze up above their maroon turrets past the shiny skyscapers to the still-starlit sky above, a heavenly view of the City of Angels' old and new.

The House on Sathorn
Overlooking Sathorn Road from the Secret Room, in dress by Chai Gold Label; heels by Jimmy Choo.

 

 

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In the dining room, in dress by Chai Gold Label; earrings by Sretsis.
  • Ascending, in pleated dress by Chai Gold Label; heels and clutch by Jimmy Choo.
  • Getting comfortable in the hospitality suite, in dress by Chloé; gladiator shoes by Jimmy Choo.
  • Afternoon tea in the courtyard, in dress and clogs by Sretsis; headwear by Soda.
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