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Nick Downing
The Siam
General Manager

TOMO Hotelier

What do you consider your team’s greatest achievement?
I am often heard to say that it is easy to build a beautiful hotel but it is the people that truly make the difference. I am most proud when guests share feedback that they consider their experience at The Siam amongst the best ever. For a small independent hotel there is no doubt the hotel itself is stunning and unique. However the fact that our team is constantly recognized for their passion and determination to do whatever it takes to impress each and every guest.

What do you most value in a hotel for your own holidays?
A truly memorable experience always comes back to the people. So that is always some that leave an impression ultimately. I also love to be surprised so I prefer hotels which challenge the ‘usual’ cookie-cutter hotel experience and aim to create something truly unique.

What is one place nearby that every one of your guests should discover?
Of course there is the Grand Palace and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) which are both a short ten minute boat road away. However for me, there is nothing better than taking a long tail boat and escaping to explore the back water channels (locally known as khlongs) to see what true Thai life is like away from the more well-known places.

What is your dream journey?
Travelling with friends to somewhere which matches incredible location, unique hotel, amazing food and warm, personal service. If I were to recall one ‘recent’ experience it would be a trip to the northern regions of India staying at remote tent locations and visiting incredible historic and natural sights. Overall it is such experiences you remember forever.

What local dish do you never tire of eating?
I love Thai food and I love spicy cuisine so it’s hard to narrow to one dish. However the basic Gai Yang is a stunning grilled chicken that I can never turn down when I see it. Luckily we have it on the menu at our Chon restaurant at The Siam!

What motivated you to become a hotelier?
As an only child in Australia, I was lucky to travel with my parents to amazing hotels around the world. I suppose it was those experiences exploring the hotel as a child that remained with me and eventually drew me back to the excitement and unpredictability of hotel life. I have always said that you are either born to be hotelier or not. I suppose I was!

What was your greatest extravagance in creating your hotel?
While the hotel was designed in collaboration with international designer, Bill Bensley, it is actually the inclusion of over 5,000 individual pieces of artwork, antique furniture and curios from the owner’s private collection which have been curated by him personally throughout the hotel private rooms and public spaces that truly set The Siam apart.

Where do you feel happiest on your property?
I feel most connected and grounded when down at our pier overlooking the Chao Phraya River. I love heading there first thing in the morning and watching the calm waters and the sky brighten with the sun rise over The Siam behind. Always so calm and peaceful despite being half an hour from downtown Bangkok. However there is also nothing better than relaxing on our private pier enjoying a drink at sunset. Our riverside location in the residential royal district of Bangkok gives our guests a sample of local boat life drifting past and the sun sets in the distance.

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