Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

Extravagant Extras

Amenities almost sounds too proletarian a description for the dazzling array of facilities five-star accommodation experts provide, where exemplary customer service here is not just a concept, but a way of life. The notion of nothing is too much trouble for the guests is again not just a catchy slogan, but a reality.

The actual definition of what is a luxury hotel has changed over the past few years. There is a trend toward more hitech, upgraded lobbies, substantial emphasis on wellness and a wider range of food and beverage options. In addition, there is a myriad of extras from daily ice cream boy visits to soap concierges, 24 hour personal concierges, and pet buddies. All are planned and designed to match the ever changing diversity of promotional packages, often seasonal, or themed, as for example, Valentine’s Day, or Christmas.

Some are unique Thai offerings as it is a country which recognizes the high cultural value of providing excellent customer service, others reflect the evolving global trends and yet more are additional flourishes which each hotel applies to enhance the stay experience of their ever demanding guests. These might be tourists, locals treating themselves to a few days of escape from their normal world or business people from here and abroad.

Here are a sample of extravagant amenities and services offered at Bangkok’s top hotels:

Photograph: Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental

Guests at the world-renowned Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, established in 1876, have the chance to participate in authentic Thai cooking classes in the hotel’s own culinary school and in a range of Thai cultural programs.

Aside from its globally ranked spa and breadth of superb dining venues, the personal touch is high on the agenda with a private butler service and individually tailored yoga lessons to name but a few.

The Sukhothai Bangkok

Photograph: Courtesy of The Sukhothai

Back in the city and located just off Sathorn Road is an oasis better known as The Sukhothai Bangkok. Walk in and around the six acres of exquisite lotus ponds and gardens and there is an instant feeling of tranquility. The ambience is more like a temple grounds than a commercial living space.

Photograph: Courtesy of The Sukhothai Bangkok

The rooms are a tangible recalling of the ancient capital of Sukhothai with traditional Thai décor, teak floored bathrooms and interiors and even a pillow “menu” ensuring you the perfect night’s sleep. There is also a fleet of Mercedes limousines for pick-ups and drop offs at the airport and around the city.

Le Méridien Bangkok

Photograph: Courtesy of Le Méridien Bangkok

In the heart of Silom’s business district you will find Le Méridien Bangkok, 24 stories high and defiantly different in concept and design. Features include plush interiors, etched mirrors, Thai sculptures and floor to ceiling windows in the modern style rooms and suites.

Le Méridien Bangkok

Photograph: Courtesy of Le Méridien Bangkok

Art is integral to the hotel both in terms of the décor and through its “Unlock Art” scheme where guests can use their room keys to gain privileged access to see prestigious exhibitions and a range of innovative works by Thai artists. Le Meridien also  as its own “Experience” Specialist who helps guests in discovering not only the hotel, but Bangkok too, through its  food and culture.

Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok

Photograph: Courtesy of Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok

Ideally situated in the central Rachaprasong retail district is the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, the hotel has direct links to two BTS stations Chidlom and Siam via a sky bridge walkway. It deserves the title “Grand” as it offers an extensive range of facilities including a 25-meter swimming pool, tennis and squash courts, and fitness center. The landscaped garden and spa cottages provide a welcome sanctuary from the bustling streets outside.

Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok

Photograph: Courtesy of Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok

The choice of only a handful of these luxury hotels is of course highly subjective as there are many more in Bangkok, each with their own particular charm, specific facilities and appeal. It could be argued that with so much visible and self- indulgent extravagance available, if Bangkok were a less exciting city, you might be tempted just to stay in the hotels!

Born in England, Christopher Scott Dixon is an experienced writer and ex-BBC radio reporter/presenter. He has contributed many features to a variety of publications in Thailand and in the UK. He has also written 18 books across different genres and is a qualified teacher.