Shangri-La Hotels have never failed to furnish us with exemplary accommodation experiences, and as such the brand is always one of the first we look for when visiting a new location. On this travel adventure we found ourselves in Thailand, and spent our first three nights at the wonderful Shangri-La Bangkok, situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
Stretched along the riverfront, only 35 minutes from the international airport, and with across-the-road access to the BTS skytrain and river taxi, the property makes a convenient and luxurious haven from which to partake in all Bangkok has to offer for both the business and leisure traveler.
|More Riverside Beauty|
Fun, Relaxation and Fitness
The grand lobby entrance, with its shimmering chandeliers and giant pillars, leads the eye to glass walls revealing a rare oasis of green in the city centre. A free form pool forges a connection from the building to the river and chic food and beverage outlets take plots around its edge. The property arches around this verdant sanctuary and holds numerous amenities that make a stay in the warm embrace of the Shangri-La extremely comfortable.
|Lots of Green Space|
|Free Form Pool|
A well equipped fitness centre with daily group exercise classes (I had one of the best workouts ever with Thai boxing instructor Wakful), and tennis courts keep both hubby and I content with options to stay trim despite the huge amounts of delicious food we can’t seem to stop indulging in at the sumptuous breakfast buffet. And, CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La, an award-winning brand, offers some of the most spacious spa suites in Bangkok, and a chance for some pampering after some serious pavement stomping in the city’s markets and shopping districts. We tried a De-stress Massage at CHI and our only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough – seriously a heavenly experience.
|CHI, The Spa|
Two adjacent towers hold 802 guest rooms ranging from a moderate 36sqm Deluxe room in the Shangri-La Wing, up to an opulent 215sqm Presidential Suite in the Krungthep Wing. Accommodations in the exclusive latter tower boast garden balconies overlooking a private pool and beyond to the river.
All rooms feature modern amenities styled with traditional Thai touches such as silk fabric and teak wood furnishings. And, as you’d expect from an internationally renowned 5-star property, each is fit with modern day comforts, including complimentary Wi-Fi, flatscreen TV with cable and movie channels, DVD player, safe, tea and coffee making facilities and so on. Computer-to-TV connectivity, bedside lighting and curtain controls, a pillow menu, high quality bathrobes and separate bath and rainshower, take the conveniences to the upper echelons of the standard.
|River View Room|
|River View Room|
|View from River View Room|
Our Deluxe River View King Room delights with sweeping views of the Chao Phraya River. A fabulous way to rise in the morning is by drawing back the curtains and gazing out onto the buzzing river happenings as we slowly come to full consciousness. Bay windows and a giant carved and painted Thai style wooden bedhead impart local character and a change from standard large-scale hotel design.
Upgrading to a Horizon Club room entitles guests to a personal welcome with in-room check-in and check-out service. They are also granted access to a private lounge where daily breakfast, evening cocktails and canapés, and all day beverages are supplied. Suit pressing, shoeshine service and up to two hours complimentary use of meeting room facilities make it especially enticing for those visiting the city on business.
Food and Beverage
It’s not only our room that drinks in the magnificent views, but many food and beverage outlets too are set up to take full advantage of the picturesque locale.
A spectacular introduction to Bangkok is two hours aboard the Shangri-La’s vessel, Horizon, partaking in a dinner river cruise. Gently gliding over the soft ripples of the Chao Phraya River, guests dine on a smorgasbord of international cuisine, while taking in the wondrous sites of Bangkok at night. Follow this link to find photos and a more detailed recount of the experience.
Another close encounter with the city’s life stream is a buffet breakfast at NEXT2 Café. Not to be taken lightly, the outlet was named as Bangkok’s Best Buffet Restaurant two years running, which is no easy feat with the plethora of options available in the metropolis. Situated riverside, early mornings and evenings are ideal times to capture an al fresco bite.
|Next 2 Cafe|
Breakfast at NEXT 2 Café is worth a morning run to work up an appetite for. Numerous cooking stations see chefs preparing eggs, roti, pancakes and other delights to order. The bakery section has us overwhelmed with choice. There’s so much to pick from, we take a good few minutes just browsing the different breads, rolls, pastries and muffins. The Indian section is another must visit. I delight in the Palak Paneer and decide it a better accompaniment to my poached eggs and grilled tomatoes than my regular spinach side. Hubby drools over the carving station where a leg of ham is sliced up and donned glistening on plates, and barbecued chunks of pineapple make sweet mates. Of course there are countless healthy items that guarantee a nutritious start to the day, and the local tropical fruit really must be devoured as it is some of the sweetest we’ve ever come across.
World-class wines and Italian cuisine are found in another award-winner, Angelini. Voted Best Italian restaurant in Bangkok, 12 years running now, the stylishly decked out outlet is worth further investigation. For a taste of local cuisine in beautiful teak pavilions, Salathip is the place to book. Cantonese cuisine is the specialty of Shang Palace, and chocolate lovers must not miss a dreamy browse through Shangri-La Bangkok’s Chocolate Boutique. The home made chocolate fudge is something sweet dreams are made of.
|The Chocolate Boutique|
|Heavenly Fudge from the Chocolate Boutique – this made me very happy!|
While there’s no chance to get hungry at the Shangri-La Bangkok, it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever be thirsty either for too long with the Lobby Lounge, Riverside Lounge and Long Bar all awaiting a beverage order. The mixologist behind the Long Bar is quite a whiz with his shaking, throwing and general showmanship when whipping up beverages. We try two signatures, Cloud 89 (vodka, Curacao, lychee liqueur, lime juice and Grenadine), and the Dolce Vita (rum, crème de cassis, passionfruit, pineapple and bitters). Both are well balanced and very easy drinking. The giant windows backing the bar allow us a stunning view of the river making sunset a flawless time for a visit.
|The Long Bar|
Also not to be missed in this section is the Lobby Lounge’s Golden Birdcage Afternoon Tea. Gorgeous presentation is equally matched with delicious detailed bite-sized savouries, sweets and scones. Follow this link for full details.
|Golden Birdcage Afternoon Tea|
While we personally don’t often give it a thought, the hotel management realizes that travel with children can be quite expensive, so provides some child-friendly options that are easy on the pocket for parents traveling with young ones. Up to two children under the age of six of registered guests are entitled to complimentary buffet meals in All Day Dining and Pool Cafes when accompanied by a paying adult.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Thoughtfulness and care is not only reserved for paying guests, but is spread further afield to the local community too. Corporate Social Responsibility is a firm priority for Shangri-La properties and, besides numerous other Good Samaritan activities, the Bangkok team have chosen Lersdin Hospital as the beneficiary of their domestic efforts. Serving patients with cases of thalassaemia, blood transfusion machines get a heavy workload at the hospital and this tertiary care facility was identified as in need of support. Through the relationship, the team at Shangri-La have made renovations of the blood transfusion rooms a top priority, with two rooms completed and more underway.
A sound CSR policy, excellent location, comprehensive facilities, a range of rooms, gracious service and some delicious food and beverage options, Shangri-La Bangkok continues to uphold our favourable opinion of this 5-star brand.
Reasons to visit: 5 star facilities and service; excellent location on the riverside; convenient access to the BTS skytrain and river taxi; don’t miss some cocktails at the Long Bar and Golden Birdcage Afternoon Tea in the Lobby Lounge; CHI, The Spa.
Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok
89 Soi Wat Suan Plu
New Road, Bangrak
+(66 2) 236 7777