Everyone in this industry gushes over how hotels in Asia, no matter the price point, usually far exceed expectations.

I was excited when I was given the assignment to spend a night at the Capella Bangkok, a small chain of luxury hotels located mostly in Asia. I have stayed at the Holiday Inn and the Crowne Plaza in this part of the world. I thought the brand would be knocked out of the park by a really good brand.

It was pretty amazing to walk up to the Capella. There is a hotel behind a wall in a complex with two other hotels and a private residence. The place is filled with people speaking in hushed tones.


I whispered to myself that we were no longer at the hotel when I walked in.

It would have been better if that felt had lasted. There is a lack of general warmth that a hotel at this price point should project. I might have to stay at a few more Capella resorts to find out if my experience was an outlier.

Booking details

I booked my stay through the Cranky Concierge. A one-night stay in a guest room with a king-size bed came to about $65.

Premium booking platforms such as American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts and Skylark have similar amenities. A $100 resort credit, flexible check-in and checkout times, and a room upgrade were included in the Cranky Concierge reservation. I was bumped up to a premier room, which was the same type of room I had booked, only on a higher floor.

Free breakfast, snacks from the minibar, and free access to the hotel happy hour were included in my booking.

Getting there

There is a taxi ride from the airport to the Four Seasons. The taxi fare from the airport to the city is between 500 and 14 dollars.

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Standout features

  • Capella Bangkok knows how to make a first impression. The hotel’s welcome area is pristine and ornate with polished stone floors, elaborate wooden screens and immaculately dressed staff. It also feels rather exclusive to learn this isn’t the guest lobby. That space, dubbed the Living Room, is tucked behind a sliding door accessible only via a keycard.
  • All rooms have excellent views of the Chao Phraya River, as they are only on the river-facing side of the hotel building.
  • High marks go to the Michelin-starred Cote for its general fabulousness as well as Phra Nakhon, a Thai restaurant that also hosts breakfast and has a wonderfully fun staff that was a delight to chat with.
  • While I didn’t book a treatment, the spa is a beautiful space. Even if you aren’t enjoying a therapy, take time to hang out in the hot tub or steam room.
  • A compartment situated between the guest room’s walk-in closet and the hallway was a nice touch for getting various services like laundry tended to without needing a member of the staff to enter the room in the event a guest is napping or wants their uninterrupted privacy



  • Communication was not the strong suit of the staff here, particularly with Capella Culturists — the title used for the hotel’s private butler service. I got wildly different answers on everything from tour pricing to what parts of the hotel were good for an afternoon cup of tea. When I asked why I didn't receive evening turndown service, the Culturists claimed my “do not disturb” light was on, but when I went and checked, it was off.
  • Capella directs guests to communicate digitally with their Culturists via WhatsApp. While this certainly has its advantages given the international clientele who speak an array of languages, it also makes the private butler aspect of the hotel feel less special. Even more so when an “all of our service representatives are presently engaged” message pops up.
  • For a hotel of this caliber, every little thing stands out — both the good and the bad. The lounger on my outdoor deck was disheveled and a robe in my room was frayed. When turndown service eventually came, empty bottles of water weren’t refilled. These are all minor details — but details a hotel like the Capella should get right.
  • Another failure on the communication front came with a request for late checkout. The team at one point said it was fine before backpedaling and saying they couldn’t commit until the morning of checkout. I was also told at various times that a late checkout — if it were to be granted — would be at noon, 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m. or 3 p.m. The spectrum was frustrating, as I was trying to sync up with a driver to take me to my next hotel. (I ended up leaving at 2:30 p.m.)


The vibe

Travelers who want to dole out cash discreetly will find a welcoming home at the Capella Bangkok. The hotel is part of the same complex as the Four Seasons but leans more into the feel of being in a walled off compound than its next door neighbor. When I mentioned how much fun I had when the Four Seasons team recommended I go to a local Thai place, a staff member laughed.

He wondered why he wouldn't eat at a restaurant of their own.

It was fun to get whisked past the decoy lobby into the real one for guests and then have champagne in the living room. I wish the warmth of some of the restaurant workers would rub off on the rest of the property.


The Four Seasons guests seem to be more removed than the guests at this hotel. This is not a place where you can have a conversation with someone you don't know. I didn't think I'd say this, but I missed the young people at The Standard and the Four Seasons who broadcasted their every move on social media.

The room

The guest room was absolutely amazing. I was upgraded to a riverfront premier room on the fifth floor of the hotel, and it was a luxurious roost for my last night in Bangkok before moving on to a new place to live.

There was a small entryway and walk-in closet in the room that led into the main sleeping and living area in the other direction. The guest room was well-stocked with all sorts of amenities, as was shown to me by my culturist.


There was a walk-in closet with plenty of space for luggage, a safe and a compartment with a door out to the hallway.

The leather bag you could use to take clothes or other items to the pool or gym was located in the closet. My Culturist reminded me that the hotel provides free pressing for up to five items of clothing, which I used to look a little more presentable at the rest of the dinners.


The king-size bed, desk and sitting area were back in the main part of the guest room. The bed was very comfortable, with panels of buttons on each side that controlled light and shade. The room felt bigger because of the blond wood, floor-to-ceiling windows and mirrored headboard.

The small seating area was made up of a couch, chair and coffee table, and there was a gift of baked goods.


A nice chest of dark wood held a television, a coffee machine, and a minibar. There were some nice dishes for coffee and tea in the cabinet, as well as snacks like Singha beer and spiced nuts. There was a jar of cookies that I liked the most.

The Points Guy/Comeron Sperance.

A lounger with a small side table and a glass of wine could sit on the terrace and take in the view of the river. The air conditioning inside the sliding door would stop working if you left it open for more than a minute. The lounger had a lot of stains on it.

The bathroom was my favorite part of the room. It felt more like a sanctuary than a bathroom because of the light-colored tiles and lighting. The blinds could be drawn with the push of a button if the window looked out onto the terrace.


The hotel provided an array of amenities, from an emery board to a shaving kit, hair brush, comb and dental kits, all packed in boxes that, when stacked next to each other, recreated a historic photo of a fishing trip. The design of the room was attentive to the image of the hotel.

There was a walk in shower with Etoile de Siam bath products. The tub had bath salts in an ornate copper canister as well as a sponge for removing dead skin cells.

The Points Guy/Comeron Sperance.

While a lot of time and resources went into planning out the bathroom and its high end finishes, it is here where I noticed another small oversight in upkeep. There were robes in the bathroom that had wear and tear. We all know hotel robes are used, but one would hope a hotel team like the Capella's would work to make sure the robes don't show the fact that they're not new.

I put a small bag of laundry in the closet compartment to see how it would work. Freshly pressed and cleaned, it was returned in a matter of minutes.

Turndown was happening further down the hall when I left for a happy hour. It hadn't been serviced when I returned to my room.

The Culturist told me that they skipped my room because the light was on. This didn't seem to be the case after I checked. I thought it was odd that items would be left in the closet compartment if there was a "do not disturb" sign. Small details were missing when someone came to tend to the room.

The Points Guy/Comeron Sperance.

The bed at the Capella was divine and nobody should lose sleep over it. The hotel is trying to be one of the best in Thailand.

Food and beverage

Several of its restaurants were where it excelled. I started my night with a happy hour at the hotel's lounge, which was reminiscent of a fancy jewelry box, and I stayed there for the rest of the night. White marble and mirrored walls add to the formal feel of the space and there is a stuffed white peacock underneath the chandelier. Two complimentary small bites and a cocktail or glass of wine were included with the event, and I was told that this is standard at the hotel.


The weather was so nice that I wanted to sit outside, so I went to the restaurant that has a patio near the river. One of the more expensive drinks of my trip was a glass of Sancerre. The staff at the hotel were more laid back and personable than the staff at the hotel. The morning breakfast was also served here.


I went to the contemporary French restaurant of Mauro Colagreco later that night. This is a very popular restaurant and I had to book a table in advance. The Cote team took good care of me while I was at this place.


The restaurant is sleek with light, wood-paneled walls and upholstery with accents of dark wood in the tables and cabinets. An impressive central wine rack is located at the restaurant's entry that has a library feel to it. There is a great view of fireworks from the main dining room. The real show is what's served.

Tasting menus include five, seven, and nine courses. I chose the seven-course option for 9,400 Thailand dollars. The meal was still pricey but not bad for an acclaimed dining experience that included multiple rounds of amuse-bouches sent out by the chef.

The Points Guy/Comeron Sperance.

Before my first course of crab, green tomato and burrata arrived, I was treated to Parmesan with an almond jus, seaweed, mussel tempura with barbecue mushrooms, sardine and trout roe and finally a beets macaron with goat cheese and green apple.

Also bread.

We weren't even on the first round yet. The tone for the evening was set by it.

The second course of grilled monkfish was followed by the third course of grilled monkfish with zucchini. The main course of loin of beef, morel mushrooms and beef jus was served before the Octopus withcepes Mushroom. After the amuse-bouche, the beef accelerated to a delicious effect.

The Points Guy/Comeron Sperance.

A final bite of yogurt, pistachios and candied citrus rounded out the tasting menu. There was a selection of desserts that were small.

At the end of the meal, I waved a gastronomy white flag. How does anyone cook a nine-course meal?

It was a great night out, but also enjoyable. Mirazur, Colagreco's restaurant in Menton, France, topped the list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants in 2019. It was a nice distraction and I didn't have to use my phone.

I went down to eat breakfast the next day. The breakfast spread was delicious and I was able to get a table by the river. The Four Seasons next door sent me to a local Thai restaurant rather than one of their own, but one of the workers didn't like it. It was still one of the best dining experiences.

The Points Guy/Comeron Sperance.

There was a buffet of bread, pastries, salads, fruit, and mezze. Eggs cooked to order were on the menu. The onsen egg was served with a mushroom cream and sourdough crouton. I ordered grilled pork skewers with sticky rice. I ate all seven courses from the night before and it was too good to pass up. The breakfast was included with my stay, but the spread costs more.

I chuckled when the breakfast staff asked if I wanted coconut water with my breakfast. She explained that the coconuts have a soft shell that can be pierced with a straw.


We don't do that ourselves. We can't keep hiring out. It's obvious.


A member of the staff moved a fan by my table because he noticed the sweat coming on from the chili dipping sauce. I think the most memorable part of my stay at the hotel was the care and spirit shown by the staff of the various restaurants.

Service and amenities

The Capella didn't do well on the service and amenities front. I mentioned at check in that I would love to arrange for a tour of some of the city's palaces, and the general manager suggested I take a boat tour with a group the hotel has a strong relationship with. He said they would grant me late checkout so I could enjoy the tour after he quoted a reasonable price.

I said that it was great. Go ahead and book it.


He gave me to a member of the culturists. I was told to wait and book the service through the hotel's website, as they try to do most communication through that. I sent a text to the lobby to book the tour when I got to the room. He mentioned the trip would likely be two hours longer than what I was told, so I was given a slightly higher price.

The promise of late checkouts was no longer a guarantee. The Culturist said they wouldn't be able to tell me until tomorrow.

I told him to book even though I wanted to go to the palaces, and asked if I could use the spa once I got back if I was not able to delay my checkout. Things seemed okay after they agreed. I received a message from the hotel saying that they had quoted me the wrong price and that it would be double the price.

I didn't trust the hotel to keep the price the same. After telling them to forget about it, I took a taxi to the Grand Palace.

I was told by my Culturist that I could go back to the Living Room to have a snack or just hang out. I wasn't able to get any service when I did that. I made a coffee in my room after waiting for a while.

There was a baked good on the table in my room that I believe was meant to be an apology for the tour booking confusion.


The gym at the hotel was well-equipped with weights and machines, but it was too small.

The Points Guy/Comeron Sperance.

If you want to go to the gym, you have to walk from the guest rooms. You have to take an elevator to the lobby level and then walk to a second elevator that will take you to the private villas outside.

A small warm up never hurt anyone.

The hotel's pool is beautiful and the staff is very attentive to the needs of the guests. You can order food and drinks from there. It was an excellent way to get some exercise while I was there.

The Points Guy/Comeron Sperance.

Out and about

There are art galleries and malls in the Creative District of Thailand. It takes about seven minutes to get from Warehouse 30 to the River City art mall. The Four Seasons has a free ferry to the Iconsiam shopping mall.

It takes about 25 minutes to get from the hotel to the Grand Palace.


Many parts of the hotel are accessible to wheelchair users. Select rooms should be specifically requested over the phone to guarantee a booking. There isn't a chair lift into the pool itself.

Checking out

I had one last dip in the pool at the Capella before I left, but I wasn't sad to leave the hotel.


The most help the Culturist team provided was when they found out that I was going to be in the city. My stay there was highlighted by the night market recommendations I received. The in-house experience for other guests will hopefully be improved by some of that enthusiasm.