Wednesday, 27 January 2010


Tenface. A weird name, I think. Whatever. But it all makes sense when I find out that this self-proclaimed 'urban sanctuary' is inspired by Tosakan, the ten-faced giant from the folklore epic Ramakien. Suddenly all the over-sized and slightly crazed visages that decorate the walls and the Monty Python-esque website make sense.

Tosakan, you see, was renowned for his fusion of passion, wit and wisdom. And the hotel is trying to emulate that. Why even the hotel's concierge and entertainment guru is called Pipek, who was the estranged brother of Tosakan.

So how is this manifested? Tenface is very black-on-black. Super funky. Gold wire figurines from the Ramakien dangle in the hallway of the massive standard rooms which include a living area, bedroom and bathroom. Stylish Thai script protrudes from the walls. Wisdom and wit (if you can read Thai, that is). But where Tenface really comes into its own is the forethought of what guests might need: a leather 'Tosakan's Heart Box' on arrival contains a Thai sim card, a day-ticket for use on the Skytrain. Plus several 'take the road less travelled' cards with suggestions of what to check out in Bangkok -- not the usual Grand Palace, etc, but trendy options that their guests would possibly have an interest in like specific cool haunts in the happening Thong Lor precinct. All with Thai translation for the taxi driver. That's fantastic user-friendly thinking!

To top it off, all these spots are presented on iPod podcasts. The hotel does a great line in technology: apart from in-room Nespresso coffee machines, they lend you an iPod into which you can download movies for in-room viewing on one of the two large sets (their standard suites are as pictured above). What you don't see here is the four-poster style bed, and the good sized bathroom with tub.

Oh, then there's the pillows: guests have a choice of four types of pillows for a better night's sleep (or whatever other creative uses you might require from a pillow). There's firm ball fibre, contour massage, buckwheat hulls -- which sounds like a blues singer to me: 'ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage Buckwheat Hulls!' -- and contour pillow, all of which work in different ways to make you a better you in the morning. And, let's face it, that's the name of the game.

The view is across to the main downtown of the city, but the location is the only area where I wouldn't score them 10/10. Still there's a tuk-tuk and a super-cool 44-year-old big black Mercedes waiting downstairs to transport you to Ploen Chit BTS a few minutes away.

Quirky touches include room numbers which have a ten added to them, ie, I was on the 7th floor but my room number was 17-07. A tad confusing when you've enjoyed a couple of drinks downstairs in their chic Sita bar and you find the elevator only goes up to eight!

Tenface is the brave new face of funky hotels in Bangkok. Ironic that it's drawn its fabulous inspiration from the age-old classics.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Stu,

    I enjoyed reading your review.. sounds like a funky hotel indeed.. the choice of four pillows seals the deal. Thanks for sharing


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