From outside, it's easy to mistake S15 Sukhumvit Hotel for an upmarket interior store. Its name and the exterior signage are as subtle as it is inconspicuous, while large window panes offer glimpses of a suave-looking lobby that could easily be perceived as a showroom of the latest decor trends. Step inside, and you're welcomed to an intimate and 'good taste' hospitality experience.
The hotel's name is derived from its location on the corner of Sukhumvit Road's Soi 15. If you didn't know, this puts you in the heart of it all. Steps away are where the Skytrain and underground meet (BTS Asok and MRT Sukhumvit stations, respectively), and among established neighbours count several top city hotels. Nightlife, shopping malls, department stores, entertainment, and a multiple restaurant choices are all on its doorstep too - giving S15 a location that's not just convenient, but downright desirable.
To describe the decor throughout - from public areas to rooms and suites - is to make an inspired definition of all things considered hip and cool in designer circles. Chocolate and hazelnut browns contrasted against muted earth tones of light-coloured granite and marble, glass, mirror and reflective sheet metal. Natural materials like leather and a host of warm fabrics interplay with Italian light fittings, abundantly used to create dramatic visual imagery to savour. Like the sculptures that feature so prominently (one even in every room), which the owner also sourced from foreign soil.
The massive outsized black-and-white photographic images of moments and places uniquely Thai are his own work though, offset in heavy dark wooden frames. If this 'definition' doesn't say it, think stylish, chic and simply sensational - the kind of interiors people take photographs of to recreate. I guess it helps to also own one of Thailand's leading interior chains. What is evident is that S15 is a work of passion; the culmination of extraordinary taste, design vision and years of experience in the industry.
At the risk of sounding biased (and too bowled over by the fabulous interior), this is probably a good time to mention that S15 doesn't have a pool. Nope. But that's more or less the only negative. As expected, hi-tech trimmings echoes the contemporary design credo. Free Wi-Fi Internet throughout the hotel. Massive plasma television screens in every room. DVD machines and iPod docking stations (the latter in S15 Suites only). A well-equipped Business Centre.
A spa sanctuary and fitness facilities up on the seventh floor. Mezzanine Caf- on the second level serves a variety of local and international cuisine, doubling up as a coffee shop between meal times. A beverage service is offered in the Lobby Lounge. Except for making a splash, every need or whim is pretty much catered for. Friendly and attentive service perfectly complements the tangible offerings.
Thankfully, the days of hotel rooms being merely functional square boxes are long gone. In recognising this, the rooms and suites at S15 have been designed with a totally out-of-the-box philosophy, offering interesting shapes, sizes and configurations that have resulted in living spaces with conveniences and little treats that are a pleasure to spend time in - echoing the hotel's design style, features and fittings.
There are 72 rooms in the seven-storey building (40 S15 Deluxe Rooms, 23 S15 Junior Suites, and nine S15 Suites) that range in size from 30 square metres to a roomy 50 square metres. Bathrooms are luxurious marble-cladded enclaves with bathtubs and separate rain showers, beds covered with sumptuous linen, feather down duvets and a choice of pillows.
All the other expected little extras are there too: electronic safes, tea- and coffee-making facilities, ample wardrobe space, well-stocked minibar, IDD phone with voicemail and the like.
The real pleasure lies in the knowledge that the hustle and bustle of Sukhumvit Road is right outside the thick drapes and dark-stained shutters - yet, inside, this stylish sanctuary of good taste is a serene and quiet space to linger and relax. The S15 Deluxe Rooms are available in twin bed or king-size options, while Junior Suites impress with the innovative use of space.
The real star of the repertoire though is the S15 Suites, featuring a contemporary take on the four-poster bed, with its dark wood forming a stark contrast against crisp white linen, as well as a comfortable lounge and study area with a desk that runs the entire length of one wall.