Runaway Retreat

The Siam, Bangkok, Thailand

Sometimes there are places you go that you never want to leave. Or rather, we find ourselves in certain scenes and feel as if we belong amongst the objects there. For me, these are often places where everything seems perfectly considered, objects hung deliberately to create a still-life that moves with you, a real-life tableau.

I would want my life movie to be perfect and plotless, with lots of shock, like Adam Stockhausen does French New Wave. The same way I now want to live in a life designed with my favorite aesthetics, as a child I was captivated by the late 1960s book by E.L. Konigsburg, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, about a brother and sister who run away from home and live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The main character, Claudia, wants to run away but doesn’t like roughing it. Instead, she wants to run away to somewhere beautiful and comfortable. I fully identify. To wake up every morning in a place where beauty comes to rest, the Met, would be an amazing thing. Being in a place where beauty comes to vacation is also an amazing thing. The Siam in Bangkok is such a place. It was at The Siam that seesearch was dreamed. There is something about being surrounded by beauty and peace that inspires my mind, allows my thoughts to bubble.


I arrived at The Siam after a long trek through the outskirts of Bangkok through the winding streets of the old city. Passing sheet metal open-air shops serving street food, watching families clustered on plastic stools eating bowls of delicious spicy hot things amongst haphazard repair shops, you wind down the street, up and around, and feel lost. All the sudden you enter a driveway and you realize what they actually mean when they say a hidden urban retreat: The Siam is a black-and-white, Deco-meets-Thai, 39-room luxury hotel along Bangkok’s River of Kings.

The Siam was conceived by creative director and celebrity Krissada Sukosol Clapp, together with architect and interior/landscape designer Bill Bensley. The three-acre compound houses an amazing restaurant in a transplanted traditional Thai house, a private dock and boat, a library, and is filled with ancient antiques and deco collectables, leafy ferns and fans, beautiful service, a sense of tranquility, and villas you want to move into. Or, in my case, runaway from home to. So, if you find me lurking in the checkerboard walkways of The Siam, know that I’m actually just part of the scenery.