This Might Be Bangkok’s Wildest Hotel Suite
A new suite in a beloved boutique hotel lets you feel the call of the wild in the middle of Bangkok.
A jaguar lounges on a branch meets you at the door. His expression is indifferent, but his presence startling nonetheless. Some people have house cats. Eugene Yeh has big cats: that black jaguar in the vestibule, a black leopard’s head on a wall, a clouded leopard nuzzled in a bedroom chair, a tiger spread eagle on the living room floor. There’s also, among the old microscopes, porcelain statues and deep copper tub that is the most comfortable you’ll ever soak in, a zebra skin and a moose head.
Wait, before you go calling PETA—these are antiques, caught, tanned and taxidermied generations ago and then salvaged by Yeh and his father from collectors around the world. And, these are the denizens of what for years has been Yeh’s private apartment, a 135-square-meter set of rooms not originally meant for public consumption. Now, though, the Taiwanese interior designer has opened up his Cabinet of Curiosities as the top suite in what is already one of Bangkok’s superlative all-round stays, The Cabochon Hotel.
Considering the outsize place it holds in the hearts of Bangkok dwellers—thanks in part to its intimate Isaan restaurant Thai Lao Yeh—it’s hard to believe the hotel only has eight guest rooms. The white, four-story boutique debuted in 2012 but with its louver windows opening onto tiled and colonnaded balconies, you’d think it was a century older. Yeh contrived it as a French-colonial relic of 1920s Shanghai, and it’s littered with ye olde authenticities, such as stickered Vuitton trunks and model biplanes. Even the greenery-bedecked rooftop pool looks vintage. Hidden in plain sight in the busy central Sukhumvit corridor, the hotel is all throwback romance: dark corners holding old maps, discreet staff in Tang suits. The newest guest room, the ninth, is a broader, multi-continent circumambulation that is all quirk and character, and, no, not for the squeamish.
Often the most recognizable designers exist on a blurred plane between their personal and professional styles. Staying in the owner’s suite at The Cabochon reminds me of visiting Bill Bensley, the über-prolific more-is-more hotel designer also inspired by specific places and moments in time. His house is like the ur-Bensley hotel: you instantly know where you are. And likewise walking into the bric-a-brac-stocked Cabinet of Curiosities grounds you immediately in Yeh’s taste center. It makes the rest of his—lovely, welcoming, home-like— hotel feel restrained by comparison. I spoke with Yeh about why he’s now sharing more than a few of his favorite things with the world.
-by Jeninne Lee-St. John
EXCLUSIVE THAILAND STAYCATION PROMOTION FOR THAI RESIDENTS
Thai nationals and Thailand-based expats now have a chance to experience the best of The Cabochon Hotel with our exclusive rates.
Simply book your stay by contacting us directly via email, phone, or in-person to receive the following benefits:
- Studio Twin/ Queen room: THB 2,900 net rate (1 night; Standard rate thereafter)
- 1-Bedroom/ Suite room: THB 3,900 net rate (1 night; Standard rate thereafter)
- Promotional rate includes: complimentary cold-item continental breakfast buffet for 2
- Complimentary-one (1) pre-selected dinner set for 2.