Bangkok glitters and sparkles as the clock ticks. Its energetic and legendary people keep the mythical city alive as it waxes and wanes with the moon. It is, after all, known as the mysterious land of silver, rubies, sapphires and smiles. Bangkok is known as the city of angels. The sprawling metropolis was formed in 1782 and is home to 10 million smiling souls that never sleep. The city is a juxtaposition of eddying rivers, meandering streets, golden temples and cloud-piercing skyscrapers that jostle for position as they provoke and prod your every sense.
When you stumble across the Siam Hotel, you’ll find a breathtaking resort that magically takes you back to the most revered time in Bangkok’s rich history, that of Rama V. The inimitable boutique hotel is vintage-inspired and proudly occupies three impressive acres of land on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. It oozes Bill Bensley’s charm and slightly madcap appeal, with each suite or pool villa boasting its own distinctive style.
The Dusit neighbourhood is the cultural centre of Bangkok; the riverside location offers peace and tranquillity in the bustling city of myths and legends. Silent marble corridors surround the verdant central courtyard. Star of the silver screen and owner, Krissada Sukosol Clapp, has sourced the various art collections, decorative statement pieces and antiques displayed throughout the Art Deco hotel. Clapp is a self-confessed storyteller and dreamer; he strives to create another world and dream for his guests at The Siam. The hotel boasts a sense of eccentricity, exclusivity and independent style that lends itself to intimate and picture-perfect weddings.
Clapp and Bensley embarked on an extraordinary journey and filled the family hotel with over 25,000 collectables and antiques. You could mistake the hotel for an art gallery with its decades-old collection of black and white photographs, original artworks, oddities and furniture. Each piece is so perfectly placed that you’d be forgiven if you thought it’d been in situ for over a century. The duo purchased three Thai teakwood houses from formidable Office of Strategic Services agent Connie Mangksau. They proceeded to give them a new home and lovingly restore them to their former glory when they entertained Henry Ford, Jackie Kennedy and Roger Moore.
The Siam offers plenty of experiences, including yoga, meditation, and Muay Thai boxing sessions. There’s also a well-equipped gym, library, a movie theatre, and the grand Opium Spa. Explore the neighbourhood with one of the Siam’s team, enjoy a sunset cruise on a traditional rice barge, or receive the sacred Thai sak yant tattoo steeped in Buddhist and Hindu traditions.
Thailand is renowned for its food with a fierce chilli kick and delicate flavours; it’s a well-honed balance of contrast and harmony. The culinary team at The Siam use the freshest ingredients, local produce and creativity to bring the finest dishes to your table. The Story House restaurant features a succession of rooms with diverse, modern personalities and exciting and fun world-class menus. Bensley and Clapp have ensured a story behind every curio.
Your happily ever after begins at The Siam; the sheer elegance of the historic hotel is flamboyant and offers a touch of fun in a beautiful setting. Every wedding at The Siam is personalised to the very last detail, from calligraphy place settings and silk-like linens to sweet-smelling floral decorations, entertainment and exquisite menu choices. You can expect intuitive service and a tailor-made experience to make your wedding day uniquely special that will be remembered by you and your guests forever.
Traditional Buddhist weddings typically express the bride and groom’s devotion to harmony, compassion and wisdom in their partnership. By including various elements of Thailand’s rich heritage into your wedding ceremony, you’ll magic a joyful occasion. At the beginning of the proceedings, it’s a long-established tradition to invite orange-clad monks who will chant for and bless the bride and groom for a future of prosperity and good fortune. The formalities are finalised with holy water to signify joy and happiness.
The groom and his party form the Khan Maak procession and proceed to the bride’s ‘house’. The time-worn tradition symbolises sharing the news with the bride’s village. The groom presents a dowry, jewellery, property deeds, sugar cane, banana trees, cooked chicken or auspicious sweets to the bride’s family. He will ask her family for her hand in marriage; it’s common for her family to put the groom and his party through a series of playful obstacles before they say ‘yes’!
After exchanging the ring or wedding vows, the bride and groom offer their thanks to the elders in the customary Wai tea ceremony. The oldest or most important person at the wedding conducts the water pouring ceremony and places a sacred thread headpiece on the bride and groom. Each guest is invited to pour blessed water on the couple’s outstretched hands and offer them their good wishes.
Spend your blissful wedding night in one of the exclusive centuries-old Thai teak house villas refurbished with modern conveniences. The carefully curated design is a nod to Thai-inspired Art Deco seamlessly combined with the expected modern amenities such as plush king-size beds and a freestanding bathtub.
The Siam Hotel, http://www.thesiamhotel.com/
Katie Hollamby is a well-travelled public relations specialist turned writer for various international publications, tourism boards and ethical brands. Originally from the UK, she’s worked around the world, lived in and explored North America, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Maldives and now Thailand. She’s passionate about the welfare of animals and sustainability. For more adventures, you can follow her on Instagram @thekatybooks.