Cover The lobby area of The Standard Bangkok, a new hotel opening on 29 July 2022. All Photos: Courtesy of The Standard Bangkok

Featuring playful interiors by Jaime Hayon, The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon, is among the new and notable hotels in the Thai capital

With its pixellating facade, the MahaNakhon skyscraper in Bangkok makes a striking impression in the city’s busy Silom and Sathon central business district. Now, the Ole Scheeren-designed skyscraper houses one of the hottest hotel openings to watch: The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon, which will welcome visitors from 29 July.

True to The Standard’s playful ethos, the Bangkok hotel features a lively array of food, drink, and nightlife venues, with each nook as photo-worthy as the next; these range from the whimsical spaces of Tease, an American steakhouse with Alice in Wonderland-esque influences to Sky Beach, the highest al fresco rooftop bar in the city.

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The majority of the spaces within the 155-room property features an exuberant, colourful interior crafted by acclaimed Spanish designer Jaime Hayon, in collaboration with Verena Haller, chief design officer at Standard hotels, and The Standard’s in-house design team. In contrast to the cheerful, tropical-infused interior of the rest of the property, there is also a special spot that takes the glamour up a notch; at Ojo Bangkok, a Mexican-influenced restaurant, the interior embraces a glamorous look with interiors designed by Thai tastemaker Ou Baholyodhin, who is also the chief creative officer for real estate firm Sansiri.

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We ask Hayon to share more about the overall hotel design, and the spaces he’ll visit for a tipple (or two). 

What was the design brief given?

Jaime Hayon (JH): The brief was quite free. To create comfort and to create something unique for Thailand and for Asia. This is the Asia flagship for The Standard group. This was created during the pandemic—a lot online—but with a lot of careful attention and love. We worked as a team and as a family. 

Could you describe the design concept and inspiration for this property?

JH: The rooms had to be simple, comfortable, and functional with neutral colors that are comfortable to the eye. We wanted to create a cabinet and a beautiful bar area. We wanted to be involved in the local culture and we immersed ourselves in the city, in its design and arts. The idea was to have tailor-made furniture together with a unique design.

How did you incorporate local elements into the project?

JH: Bangkok is such a dynamic and interesting city, with so much going on in music, gastronomy, design and the arts to reference Bangkok throughout the hotel. The idea was to create a hotel that has an interaction with the cultural background of what is going on in the community. We participated in Bangkok Design Week to get involved with the locals.

Starting with the lobby, you can see the use of traditional materials with large rattan lamps for the lobby that were made in Thailand. The retail shops have lanterns that have been handmade by local artists, and the floor of the lobby is like a painting featuring a woman and a man in the middle of the forest.

I always said that the lobby should be a green oasis. In Thailand, you have this feeling of the jungle and nature. We incorporated that symbolism throughout the lobby to make it a green oasis in the heart of urban, Bangkok. 

Local culture, unique and tailormade design from furniture to lighting, from graphic elements to floors have been a key point. And materiality in an exaggerated way—the idea of having a combination of materials is effective to be functional but also gives richness to the project.

When you enter to check-in, immediately you can tell there is a care about the arts [and] the objects. We have been going around the city selecting objects and elements [for the hotel]; and we have been designing things that would be combined with some vintage furniture, creating specific kinds of lights, and selecting beautiful pieces of art to be combined together.

Which was your favorite space to design and why?

JH: It’s difficult to isolate a favorite space as there are many of them that I love. The Vienna-inspired tea room [Tease] is really special as is The Parlour, a lounge, cafe, and terrace on this floor as well. Its vibrant, interesting, comfortable... It’s a place where I see myself with my sketchbooks at hand, enjoying an afternoon drink.

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