3 historic hotels worth ditching the newbies for

3 historic hotels worth ditching the newbies for

Leave modernity behind -- ok, just some of it -- with a stay at one of these famed Bangkok hotels
Mandarin Oriental
The living room in the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok's top suite, which goes for US$3,000 a night.

With big names like W Hotels and St Regis now under construction in the city, Bangkok’s historic hotels are getting left behind in recognition and accolades. But these three historic hotels prove that old doesn’t have to mean stale.

1. Mandarin Oriental

It doesn’t get more storied than the Mandarin Oriental. Bangkok’s first luxury hotel is a step back to a time when luggage was carried in trunks, dinner dress was de rigeur and tea on the veranda was served with a stiff G&T to ward off mosquitoes.

It has also revived (and inspired) many a weary literary soul sampling the charms of Siam, including Noel Coward, Somerset Maugham, Norman Mailer, Joseph Conrad and Ernest Hemingway.

2. The Eugenia

The Eugenia is a convincing shot-for-shot remake of a Raj-era manor. The owner of this boutique hotel says he was inspired by his 83-year-old sophisticated and chic Vietnamese lady friend.The 12 suites in this 19th-century colonial-style house are small -- some might say “quaint” -- but stylish. A reading room and an elegant emerald pool provide a bit more breathing/breath-holding space, while a private dining room is also available.

3. The Atlanta Hotel

The Atlanta Hotel is the antithesis of a modern, no-frills, budget airline-type hotel. We love that this fully-frilled art deco palace, built in the 1950s, has managed to retain its antiquarian charms. Hey, we didn’t say historic has to mean luxurious.

The Atlanta’s website includes a pretty long list of boasts, including a claim that it brought in Thailand’s very first hotel swimming pool and has the most photographed and filmed hotel foyer.