Arrhh Bangkok! The noise, excitement and promise of Asia on our doorstep. Without a good base to call home what should be a luxury adventure can leave you looking like Marge Simpson with the crazed personality of a Desperate Housewife.
It’s the perfect girls weekender especially if you are catching up with friends from around the world. We check out The Shangri-la, to see why it always tops the hotel charts.
The airport is madness. Arriving at 2am is brutal but our driver, Darwin from Transfer BKK is holding a ‘Daily Addict’ sign at Gate two. Like a start to a great blind date we feel like we need to hug it out. Such a great service. Having your personal chauffeur is a dreamy way to start as we zoom down almost traffic free highways. Towels, water and calming music is a good introduction.
Shangri-la Hotel ArrivalThe lobby is everything it should be and more; marble floors, oversize orchid flower displays and mmm this places smells so good we just want to rub our selves around on the gorgeous surfaces.
The V-Room, Executive Suite It’s luxe. The one bedroom ‘Executive Suite’ 1135 is at the end of a long deliciously soft carpeted hallway. We love a good ‘open’ sesame moment. The entrance hallway leads to a lounge with a large sofa along one wall, bucket chairs, walnut side tables, work desk and two floor to ceiling windows on which to look out on the river. We have a welcome note and fruit basket that could be a mighty fine headdress if we decided the Rio Carnival as our next hop. Chandeliers and curtains are controlled by the push of a button – as swathes of luxurious fabrics swish open. Its a PlayStation for grownups. Huge king size bed and a bathroom with luscious toiletries even a TV over the bath!
The Other Room Is next door, its 1134 ‘Deluxe River View’ which we book via Hotels.com. A few days later, we found a better deal on another site and were pretty impressed when Hotels.com matched the price difference by crediting value towards our next booking. After we collect 10 nights we are rewarded with one free! Meeting a fellow DA girlfriend, we want our own privacy (who wants to share a bed right?) and Shangri-la does a great job of putting us next to each other so outfit choosing, girls chats and the odd Netflix indulgence is assured.
You are in the Club – The Horizon Club Lounge This is a big hotel. Did we mention 802 rooms, nine restaurants and two wings? Can you imagine how good the breakfast buffet is? It’s enormous – but it can be akin to a wildebeest migration. The lounge is your the key to luxe. The elevator reaches Floor 23 opens up a ‘whole new world’ that even Disney’s Aladdin, didn’t know existed! The warm and generous staff seem to glide not walk. The wrap around lounge occupies all angles of the Chao Phraya River, so it’s a quandary to sleep in or get up early to bag the best tables with views from panoramic bay windows. Breakfast is a la carte but you can help yourself to an array of breads, cheeses, and hot items from an ever changing curated buffet as you sip English breakfast tea and feel tewwibbly posh!
The lounge, is addictive (at DA like to bring you addictive stuff). From 2pm it’s afternoon tea with perfect finger sandwiches, scones and hot items, then at 5.30pm transforms for cocktail hour which has a cracking buzz as cocktails are being shaken, stirred and all manner of canapes are rotated through the evening. Wine in Thailand is highly taxed and expensive. Whilst other flagship Shangri-la lounges have French Champagne, sadly there isn’t any here. It offers a good selection of wine, beers however embrace your own Sex and the City moment, order a Cosmopolitan, Manhattan or any of the 12 on offer. Top marks for sustainable approach, proudly joining the #noplasticstraw movement along with its use of solar power thanks to its own panels situated in the gardens below.
Location It’s a triple threat. Its by the river, it’s five minutes via their air conditioned walkways to the BTS rail system AND it’s situated next to the main ferry station. We kind of feel sorry for any other hotel, you can get ANYWHERE from here, you don’t need to battle with Bangkok traffic. It has Star Trek capabilities; “Scottie beam us outta here” and whoosh! you are in the place of your choosing. A number of boats are even complimentary which will sail you to ICON shopping centre or Asia Antiques night markets.
The Views Oh boy, our rooms are ridiculous, the views from our chaise lounge (in 1134) take us away. The river morphs from a nightclub of illuminated boats, to a watery motorway, trading route and tourist bus. Every minute, hour brings new and life changes. We could sit here and watch life for hours in the best mediation program around.
Health & Well being, CHI, The Spa There are lots of options to keep you healthy from the tree lined outdoor pool by the river to a fantastic gym with views onto the river. However Chi, The Spa is well worth a trip whether you are staying at the hotel on not. Situated in the Krungthep Wing, the spa has a golden glow. Sip on welcome herbal tea, choose your aroma oils and sashay down the hallway. Our room is so big it could be a concert hall. It has a double bed, deep spa bath and sensual candles and sumptuous changing areas. We change into a robe so soft it reminds us of a comforting childhood blankie. Simply ring the brass hand bell and sit down to a salt scrub foot massage and enter into an hour of blissful strokes and harmony. In fact we like it so much we go back the next day for a, “Intensely Hydrating Facial” designed to get rid of pollutants.
Dining – Salathip Bangkok provides thousands of dining possibilities from rooftop to food stall, but eating riverside means Salathip has us at ‘hello’. It’s Thai style teak pavilions with peaked roofs, are surrounded by coconut palms that rustle in the warm night air. The hotels on the other side of the river, act as architectural candles. It’s a thai menu and the crispy Red Tilapia is a revelation – a whole fish deboned, chunks of white flesh are deep fried and rearranged like scales with kale leaves and thai condiments. Simply wrap and dunk. Damn! Its so fine. An aromatic Tom Kha soup is served in a coconut with a red ribbon of chili oi. Next we tuck into an egg net pad thai as we go local with Thai wines. The ‘Spring 2018’ is unwooded Chenin Blanc and is a surprisingly good drop. Mango and sticky rice arrive just as the Thai dancers arrive.
The Low Down This is not the easiest city to live in, it’s got raw edges however, The Shangri-la gives you access to every part of the city so easily. It wraps its luxury arms around you from its delicious afternoon tea scones its rooms which become a sanctuary within a sanctuary. All delivered with class and grace. Its one where in true Arnie fashion ‘we will be back’.
Address: 89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Thailand