Bangkok’s evocative Shanghai Mansion, a gem of a hotel perched above Chinatown’s main drag, was just named Southeast Asia’s Best City Boutique Hotel for 2017 at the 7th Annual World Boutique Hotel Awards in London.
The prize is well-deserved. With a great location on the street food hub of Yaowarat Road, owners have bet on the idea that tourists find romantic, vintage Chinese vibes as charming as they do.
The rooms feature thoughtful touches like retro tea sets, vintage artwork, and true antiques. Paying homage to the glamorous jewel tones popular in Old Shanghai, antique Chinoiserie is updated with contemporary touches – like deep soaking tubs and sumptuous modern linens — set off by dark polished woods, rich brocades, and delicate silks.
The hotel also features a small spa and library, modern Chinese dining options, and the Red Rose jazz bar. The total effect of the six-floor hotel is something out of an Asian daydream.
The sexy carved room partitions are perfect for snapping moody pictures, as is the hotel’s centerpiece — a 15-meter pond that runs the length of the building and boasts water grasses and koi fish lit by dozens of hanging lanterns.
The building drips with red lacquer and intrigue, with references to both the Art Deco period and the Shanghai of a century ago in every corner. And it’s not just a new building with a theme, like many seen in Bangkok. The hotel is an over 100-year-old structure that was Bangkok’s first Chinese Opera House, which was frequented by Thai royalty.
The building sat empty and neglected for over a decade before the Burasari Group bought it in 2005 and reimagined it as Chinatown’s first boutique accommodation. They took the name and inspiration for the award-winning hotel from the style of the eponymous city in the 1930s.
Shanghai Mansion is a surprisingly good value too. Rooms can be booked for as little as THB2,341 (about US$72) on a weekday.
Check out this video Coconuts TV shot in the historic ballroom of Shanghai Mansion: