The Exquisite Capella Bangkok Brings The Riviera To The Chao Phraya

When Italian-Argentine Chef Mauro Colagreco of the acclaimed Mirazur in the South of France made a flying visit to Bangkok, it was the first time he’d step foot into the one-Michelin star Côte, his first outpost in Asia at the Capella Bangkok. Under Colagreco’s remote guidance, Côte’s Chef Davide Garavaglia brought the glamorous tastes of the French Riveria to the Thai capital’s River of Kings, the Chao Phraya. The conditions for this to happen were impossibly dramatic, given that the hotel opened at the height of the pandemic in October 2020.

But Garavaglia and his team along with the rest of the hotel carved out new lucrative markets and nurtured a high-spending local clientele during a time that was challenging, to say the least. So Chef Colagreco’s visit at the end of March 2022 was a triumphant cap to the hotel’s journey thus far, one peppered with countless dramatic headline-making twists, turns, lockdowns; and finally, the return of international travellers.

Chef Mauro Colagreco

Chef Colagreco likens the dishes at his Bangkok restaurant to “symbols of refined simplicity, colour and generosity,” adding that “Côte has links with the Mediterranean, which influenced my cuisine and my philosophy for 16 years in Menton”. Indeed, the Capella Bangkok has in its unique way replicated decidedly continental environs to the Chao Phraya riverfront.


With its 101-rooms, this boutique hotel is low-rise in architecture and ritzy in personality. Think billionaire understatement rather than millionaire flash. A highlight and a first for Bangkok are the river-facing villas. Interiors are all about smooth surfaces; gleaming marble and polished wood, decked in cool cream tones and calming beiges. These minimalist accommodations have ample space in which to rest, yoga, or party. Heck, there’s even an outdoor jacuzzi for your private dipping pleasure that is, if you’re not exploring the City of Angel on activities organised by your Capella Culturist. The only limits are your interests as these guys have the keys to the city’s lesser known (legal) delights. These range from muay thai classes with an expert to a meditation experience with a real life monk.

The young clued-in staff work quietly and stealthily behind the scenes to ensure guests get what they want when they want. They have a knack of anticipating needs — thanks to Google and Instagram handles. Breakfast served in your villa at 6am before yoga class? Of course. Or a hot cocoa nightcap with cookies? No problem. This precise style of service extends throughout the hotel.

For those checking in for some rest and relaxation, the hotel’s spa, Auriga Wellness, has among its secret weapons, tried and tested Thai therapies. These include tok sen from the ancient Lanna Kingdom, a treatment that dislodges energetic blockages by tapping a wooden mallet on the body’s energy channels. There’s also luk pra kob, the healing art of herbal poultice massage with a herbal compress that heat-transfers medicinal Thai herbs to the body. While the ancient Thai massage secrets of the nearby Wat Pho Temple are explored in the nuad bo rarn treatment —a venerated physical healing modality based on yogic manipulation and acupressure techniques.

If retail therapy is more your scene, Icon Siam, across the river, is the city’s latest divine temple of A-list brands. The shopping mall has brought a new type of luxury guest to the riverside — well-heeled tourists who’d previously only stayed at hotels in the city due to their proximity to luxury stores. Now, with an ultra-luxurious retail centre and the elegant Riviera-inspired Capella Bangkok, the Chao Phraya River is where the action’s at.

Capella Bangkok

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