When Panida Oum Tosnaitada’s grandfather, the founder of Bangkok Weekly magazine, handed her the keys to the family’s former home and printing offices, saying “go do something with it”, her first thought was to turn the strip of 60s shophouses into a museum of print.
But soon a more ambitious idea materialised. Even though Oum had no hospitality experience, she called upon her extensive travels, gimlet-eyed attention to detail and respect for history, and embarked upon a personal mission to transform the building into a guesthouse. The result is Bangkok Publishing Residence: a character-packed private residence of only 8 rooms that’s an ode to print publishing, and homage Oum’s grandfather’s legacy.
Step beyond the glass door of the discrete charcoal-walled building on Lan Luang Road near Bangkok’s Democracy Monument and you enter a boutique residence riffing on a bygone era – albeit with mod cons like micro-gel mattresses, Nespresso and WiFi. A warm, fern-dotted lobby welcomes with low-slung black leather sofas and vintage light fixtures; this opens into a lounge, which is the diminutive heart of the property. Floors were removed and large windows added to create a lofty, floodlit space replete with mechanical ironwork lift and a finely tuned edit of antiques, old factory pieces and furniture, plus first-edition prints of books and magazines once published by Oum’s family business. This mix of mid-century furniture, antiques and collectables is extended throughout the house; “I was lucky as my family modernised the firm [at the same time the residence was developed],” says Oum. “I could pick from their ’junk’ and mix and match pieces myself. Every single piece has a story.”
Oum slept on the property for two years during its seven-year renovation and her personal touch is evident everywhere, from the old-school arcade games and vintage posters to the curated soundtrack – the one-time kindergarten teacher and art director is also a DJ by night. No detail has been forgotten, Oum ‘handpicked every single light bulb and checked it had just the perfect glow and spent hours and hours selecting the custom-made scent and the music”.
Each of the eight guest rooms is individually furnished with era-riffing teak, top-notch linens and antiquey accents with the occasional pop of earthy colour. A downside is the street noise below – try if you can to ask for a room away from the road and make use of the complimentary earplugs (or better still pack your own).
Brekkie is served as you wish in the lobby-lounge, and there are a bar/library and Jacuzzi perched on the roof –while BPR doesn’t yet serve lunch or dinner, they’ll happily order from neighbourhood eateries – and, maintaining the private-house vibe, guests are also free to order in their own.
Lovers of a more tropical (and typical) Bangkok resort-style hotels will miss that there’s no pool or spa, but if you’re looking for a personal, intimate stay that has a genuine sense of the city, this is the crib for you.
Bangkok Publishing Residence, 31-33-35-37-37, 1 Lan Luang Rd, Wat Sommanat, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok, +66 2282 0288, +66 81780 6229. bpresidence.com
Five of Oum’s favourite places in Bangkok.
Soi Nana in the Old Town (home to LUXE faves Tep Bar, Teens of Thailand, Ba hao), it’s the city’s most happening area.
Eden’s Cafe. This French-style bakery is close to BPR. Set up by two former magazine stylists, the menu of cakes and toast is small, but fantastic. @lanluang
House of Chao Antiques,Silom. It’s long been my go-to! @houseofchao
The Siam. I spend a lot of time here and it’s the only hotel I look up to. I like to hang out at the spa, it’s always private with not so many people. thesiamhotel.com
Vinyl record stores in Fortune Tower. As a DJ (Oum used to DJ at Roots in ICA) I spend half my spare time here! 5 Ratchadaphisek Rd, Din Daeng.
Liz was hosted by Bangkok Publishing Residence. Read LUXE’s editorial policy here.
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