I sweep down the driveway, metres away from the bustling downtown Bangkok. the spiffy-looking doorman smiles and greets me with a ‘Sawasdee khrap’ which translates to a warm hello. A lady garbed in cheerful silk plays a khim, a Thai dulcimer, in the elegant bronze-and-gold-hued lobby.
A good first impression? I would say so. The coffee shop, Romsai—attached to a quaint jungle-scape complete with waterfalls—instantly grabs my attention and beckons me to stop by for breakfast, even before heading up to our two-bedroom apartment. I am absolutely refreshed after those delicious rambutans, congee and some local goodies! Bangkok...now we’re talking!
The four days at the Banyan Tree Bangkok meld into a blur of long, tranquil hours. A spacious living and dining area with a couch and desk leads me into my palatial bedroom and an attached bathroom with two elegant black granite sinks (no sharing needed with grandma!). Each night there is a little present at turndown and a signature essential oil diffuser with scents changing daily replete with a menu that explains the aroma and its health benefits.
With my seaweed-print slippers on, I am an unquestionable convert to this zen-like experience. I speedily adjust to the simple pleasures of my new, luxurious lifestyle—sitting at the dining table in our traditional-style, two-bedroom suite with my family, or having champagne at the lounge bar where I take in breathtaking views with every sip.
One of the many benefits you get as a revered suite guest is admission to the superlative Club Lounge, which includes complimentary tea and small bites through the day, and happy hours in the evening.
The highlight of my stay here, even topping the ambience and the luxury suite, is definitely the food. With 10 different restaurants and bars dotted across the hotel and two outside, I am spoilt for choice. Somehow, we just linger over the same amount of food; waiters seem in no haste to whisk us out. Nothing can be more important than enjoying one’s meal, and at the Banyan ree Bangkok, they understand that.
Edifices and monuments sparkle, and a renewed energy seems to be noticeable in the people on the street. I experience this, first on the 61st-floor Vertigo & Moon Bar, which comes alive at sunset for an outstanding view of the thai capital, and then at Saffron, the hotel’s brand-new cruiser.
Booking is essential, as both these spots are wildly popular with locals and tourists alike. As I prepare to board, i see that the 38-metre-long cruiser is styled like a yacht, all up-to-date and lustrous.
The al fresco Moon Deck, where we are welcomed with a cocktail, echoes the hotel’s iconic Moon Bar at Vertigo, its signature spherical bar ignited in blue, captivating the stage.
Most guests go down to the lower-deck dining area, which is air-conditioned and softly lit, with a see-through glass both above and to the side offering a panoramic view of the river. We opt to have our dinner near the Moon Deck; the wind is nice and so are the sights. Sailing to the golden Rama VIII Bridge and back, Bangkok’s most celebrated sights drift through the night, from the temple of Dawn to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. An on-board kitchen helmed by chefs from the hotel’s Thai restaurant, who cook a la minute, make the cruise special.
For some real indulging, the in-house spa is a must. Candlelight, peaceful sounds and soothing aromas fill the air. With a surfeit of options, it can be rather tough to decide on what kind of spa experience to opt for, so I settle for the classic Swedish massage. The soft and gentle strokes put me into a peaceful slumber (strongly recommended for those trying to get some shut-eye after an exciting day). Of course, I end up dreaming about the Banyan Tree Bangkok.
The property has 327 luxurious rooms and suites with stylish design, natural wood, and elegant silk fabrics.