Friday, February 02, 2018

A THAI-RIFIC PARADISE THAT'S SHANGRI-LA BANGKOK


My clearest memory of Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok was the exquisite Thai dinner at the Salathip restaurant by the Chao Phraya River. It was possibly one of the best meals I had in Bangkok, partaken in ornate and elegant surrounds juxtaposed against expansive river views. The evening was memorably topped off by mesmerising classical Thai dance performances and an unexpected fireworks show.

A decade later, we found ourselves revisiting the posh hotel and immediately felt at home thanks to the effusively warm welcome accorded by Shangri-La’s friendly guest relations team. The floral centrepiece facing the main entrance – an impressive, toweirng cluster of birds of paradise – was a sight to behold as were the profusion of white and purple Phalaenopsis orchids found throughout the lobby.
After a speedy check-in process, we were whisked up to our beautifully appointed room. Due to Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok’s prime location along the River of Kings, the 802 guestrooms and suites proffer dramatic river views or sweeping vista of the city. We were stoked to discover our room flaunted a breath-taking view of the Chao Phraya River and the constant stream of activities along the waterway.
We naturally gravitated towards the tastefully designed bay window seat with plate glass window throughout our stay; a vantage point to lose ourselves and soak in the spectacular river view unfurled below us. I daresay this feature alone won the day and sealed the Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok as our fave haven of choice in the City of Angels.
When it comes in-room amenities and facilities, we were bowled over by the ‘pull out the stops’ approach of the Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok. Liveried in a distinct palette of earthy and mossy shades, the room’s modernity is accentuated by noticeably Thai decorative and soft furnishing touches like the eye-catching artpiece above the bed and the intricately carved cabinetry of the window seat.
Complimentary in-room WiFi and broadband internet access, 24-hour satellite TV, coffee/tea making facilities, a fully stocked mini bar and a marble bathroom with long bath and separate shower were par for the course. Happily, we found everything in tip-top working order and became so accustomed to all the creature comforts that we were reluctant to leave such a relaxing haven.
Special mention must be made of the extra pillows and blanket provided inside the wardrobe. We slept like babies thanks to the climate control air-condition and firm yet ultra-comfy bed. Even the pillows’ height and firmness met my expectations as I sometimes had trouble catching forty winks due to overly squishy pillows. Being the bookworm that I am, I was also delighted to find a bookmark alongside an orchid at turndown. It was a memento I cherish and is being put to good use now.


 

Since I had to catch up on some work during my stay, the spacious executive desk and ergonomic chair were a real boon and scored top marks from me. The reading chair was a dreamy spot to devour the pageturner I brought.
Exploring the hotel at our own pace, we discovered The Health Club is superbly well-equipped. Fitness buffs need not forgo their daily exercises as the essential workout machines and equipment in addition to tennis and squash courts are provided onsite. We love strolling around the two swimming pools too. Encircled by lush greenery and flourishing shrubs, the pools were obvious magnets for sun worshippers and water babies. Tired muscles and stressed out souls will find therapeutic solutions at CHI, The Spa.

Opened in March 1986, the Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok has remained an oasis of luxe tranquillity among the world’s discerning business and leisure travellers. Following the success of the initial 673 rooms in the Shangri-La Wing, the more exclusive 129-room Krungthep Wing opened in August 1991.

A harmonious blend of contemporary Western designs and graceful Thai motifs is noticeable throughout the hotel. We came across quite a number of hidden nooks and pragmatic corners bearing mythical carvings, abstract installations and opulent furnishings.
   
River tours from the hotel’s pier are possible. There is a regular schedule of the boats, to ferry guests to Bangkok’s historic sights such as the Grand Palace, the Temple of Dawn and the Royal Barge Museum. Romantic dinner cruises are available too - do check with the helpful concierge for updated information during your stay.
For reservations and information, please contact Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok, tel: 66 2 236 7777 or email: slbk@shangri-la.com

COMING SOON: Reviews on Breakfast at Next2 Café and Afternoon Tea at The Lobby Lounge

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