You turn quickly to look up at the two-story glass creation by famed photographer Ralph Gibson, ‘Man with Poodle’ and the misted glass gives a whole new dimension to your first experience of the lobby! See it in the daytime and then at night with the external neon illuminations to enjoy contrasting versions of the same design. The bustling and broiling Bangkok streets in the commercial area known as Silom, a few yards away outside, seem like a vision from another time and place and you understand that yes, this is unique.
Look around and your senses are not so much assaulted as cleverly seduced. Classical music plays softly in the spacious hall of the reception, seating is deliberately arranged for singles/couples and there are larger, carefully positioned sofas for groups to relax in on the right of the lobby, to the left a winding open staircase leads up to elegant dining areas.
The ‘Hub’, is the artistic core of the reception. When we were there, a special New Perspective on photography ‘A Look Through Bangkok’ by international photographers under the guidance of Gibson was on display. This emphasizes the continued cultural, innovative and design commitment which is everywhere you look, from walled video installations, a fascinating selection of artistic literature adorning stylish shelves and even the piped fragrance of sandalwood outside the lifts.
Le Meridien's UnlockArt partner
Interaction is encouraged and curiosity is stimulated by the sights and sounds, far beyond simply arriving, dropping your bags and confirming your reservation at front desk.
Of course, the Le Meridien Bangkok is much more than just a lobby. It boasts 282 rooms on 24 floors each with their own distinctive sophistication and individuality, not forgetting the spa and restaurants too. Room rates start around $120USD a night.
[Photos via Le Meridien/Flickr]