HotelsTravel Weekly Asia scoops out IHG's first Kimpton outpost in Southeast Asia.

Checking In: Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok

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Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok is surrounded by verdant greenery.

InterContinental Hotels Group's (IHG) luxury lifestyle brand Kimpton is relatively new in Asia, so the launch of its Bangkok outpost last October marked its first in Southeast Asia. Sitting next to Sindhorn Kempinski (both properties share the same owner and a verdant garden), Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok’s swanky Lang Suan neighhourhood doesn’t have the messiness and dense surroundings that characterised downtown properties in the capital, while the lush Lumpini Park is just but a brief walk away.

Kimpton_Maa-Lai_Bangkok_06 Lobby
Entering the eye catching lobby of Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok.

First impressions
A visual feast plays out in the buzzy lobby, where the meld of eye-catching art installations and well-dressed locals command equal attention. A giant wooden block reception, set against a white embroidered wall, doubles as an art piece as staff flow in and out of the check-in space.

Meanwhile, the only reminders that we’re currently living in a pandemic are the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration certificate and Ecolab sanitisers subtly placed around the hotel.

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The spacious 167sqm family suite.

Space is in abundance at this 362-key hotel (including 131 serviced apartments), with entry level rooms starting from 48 square metres—definitely one of the most generous among hotels in the city and bigger than what many vacation rental condos in Bangkok are offering right now. Workmanship is refined and finishing top-notch, living up to Kimpton's luxury brand positioning.

The ample space in the 167-square-metre family suite was impressive, which came with a pair of oversized toilets, luxurious walk-in closets and sleek amenities—think Dyson hairdryer, Vifa speaker and Nepresso machine. Whimsical details like the bird-themed wall illustrations by the Bangkok-born artist Phannapast blend with the muted design aesthetics that renowned Thai design firm p49 is well known for.

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Rooftop favourite Bar.Yard has raked up a strong following for its tropical food and drinks.

The dining outlets, which opened two months ahead of the hotel rooms, are already top revenue generators for Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok during the pandemic, general manager Patrick Both tells Travel Weekly Asia.

This also means that its popular F&B outlets, especially Craft, can get especially busy with Bangkok’s savvy crowd and their four-legged friends (the hotel is pet-friendly). Prior reservations are needed or patrons risk a long queue to get seats.

On the rooftop, Bar.Yard has also raked up a strong following for its tropical food and drinks. With two young kids in two, we decided to time our visit to the rooftop bar in the early hours of the evening before the Saturday post-dinner crowd descended on the buzzy spot in droves.

The following afternoon, we had lunch at Ms Jigger, where the gregarious Italian chef Danilo Aiassa was more than happy to make his recommendations for the day’s freshest produce and heartiest dishes. The wood-clad restaurant, tucked behind vanilla-coloured curtains, also boasts a sophisticated cocktail bar that stirs up narrative-driven cocktails.

The infinity saltwater pool on the third floor, an oasis by itself.
The infinity saltwater pool on the third floor, an oasis by itself.

Amenities and Services
The infinity saltwater pool on the third floor is an oasis by itself, and located on the same level is the well-stocked gym brimming with daylight and exercise equipment. The Amarath spa by Harnn tempts with a selection of therapies and treatments.

Perhaps the most notable feature of Kimpton is its pet-friendly policy, which welcomes furry creatures with no extra charge.

Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok has no lack of social media worthy spots, including Bar.Yard.
Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok has no lack of social media worthy spots, including Bar.Yard.

What We Liked
The hotel is remarkably casual despite its elegant and edgy chic setting. Everyone seems to fit in, from cosmopolitan couples and friends hanging out to families like mine with young kids in tow. I was initially concerned if my two energetic kids would prove too rambunctious for the property, but it turned out that the professional and friendly staff received them with smiles, warm hospitality and easy banter everywhere we went.

A wonderful introduction to IHG’s newest Kimpton brand and one of the best new entrants into Bangkok’s competitive hotel scene in 2020.

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