Monday 21 October 2013

The Singing Sukosols and their Amazing Hotel

Last weekend, the Sun Herald ran my review of the Siam Hotel in Bangkok. You can read that piece here:

Needless to say, I loved this hotel, from its exquisite design and decor to its tranquil location on the riverfront. 

The Siam is the love-child of one of Thailand's most famous celebrities, Kriss Sukosol Clapp. A handsome rock star and actor, Kriss is a member of the famous Sukusol family - an all-singing, all-entertaining hotelier family who could be called Thailand's version of the Von Trapps! 

The Sukusol family (pic from their website)

I had the pleasure to dine with the matriarch of the family, Kamala, and her charming daughter, Marisa, during a recent visit to Sydney. Kamala - donning classic '60s beehive and painted eyebrows - jokingly calls herself a "one hit wonder" due to the success of her most famous song, 'Live and Learn' in 2003. 
During the lunch, she entertained us with stories of performing all over the world, as well as leaving me green with envy discussing her antique collection, including priceless Chinese ceramics. She was also gracious enough to present me with a recent CD called "New York New York" featuring hit songs about ... you guessed it - New York. 

Kamala Sukosol

Daughter Marisa introduced herself to me as "the voice of Snow White" in the Thai version of the Disney cartoon, trilling a bird-like "la la la la" to prove her point. I almost saw animated butterflies and bluebirds circling around her head, honestly! 

Kamala's antique collection sits alongside son Kriss' own personal Aladdin's Cave of art deco delights in the corridors and guest rooms of The Siam. 

The hotel is built on prime riverside land owned by the family since 1973 - it had previously been used as a private pier for boat excursions along the Chao Phraya River. At one point, it was also leased out to a seafood restaurant.

When Kriss inherited the land in 2005, he decided to fulfil his dream of opening a boutique hotel where he could house his extensive antique collection. His vision was brought to fruition thanks to the genius of wonder-designer, Bill Bensley, who shares the family's love of history and quirky antiques.

This is a gem of a hotel - well worth a visit, even just for a poke around!

The interior of The Siam

Just some of Kamala's antiques sitting alongside Kriss' art deco collection


  1. It seems like Siam Hotel really has a very interesting history. And oftentimes, this is what motivates people to come back for another visit. Knowing more about a certain place's history creates a deep connection between the guests and the place itself. Thanks for sharing!

    Marci Deegan @ Twin Pine Casino & Hotel

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