Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok - Your Wish, A Command


Without any further ado, let us tell you straight away, how delighted we are with our experience at Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok!

By: Karishma Suri & Akshay Suri.

Posted on: August 7, 2013

Without any further ado, let us tell you straight away, how delighted we are with our experience at Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok!

Positioned as a tropical retreat by the river of the kings, the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok is nothing less than a royal palace. Enchanting and reminiscent of Thai palaces, but with a modern palatial twist, the property is homely and luxurious. An ever-so familiar Shangri- La smell – a subtle floral musky whiff - something that I have found in all the Shangri-La properties I have visited over the world, will greet you at the grand lobby. This property has two wings - the Shangri-La wing and the Krungthep wing. Unless you are looking for a quiet and deserted place with all the works (a private butler too), the Shangri-La wing is where you will be put up. Shangri-La Apartments, which combine the hotel's world-famous service with all the comforts and privacy of a home, are situated within the peace and tranquillity of this very wing.

Nestled after a small and narrow lane with quaint shops and massage parlours, it is quite normal if you think you are lost, till the name reveals itself in the midst of greenery. Until you spot that sign (it took me a few minutes to locate it), charming boutiques, open-air markets, temples with magnificent architecture and tuk-tuks zooming all around will fill your vision in a welcome way. It signals a joyful welcome into the magnanimous city of Bangkok, so worry not.

I could feel the convivial vibes surround me as I entered the Horizon Club Lounge to complete the smooth check in formalities. Just so we are clear, this lounge comes laced with a lot of benefits that, I for one, was happy to avail of. Horizon Club guests have the privilege of enjoying a private check-in/out in the room, with the option of a late check-out until 4pm on the day of departure. A dedicated Club Concierge to take care of all your needs, including special travel arrangements and basic translation services, your visit to the maddening Bangkok is absolutely hassle free. Once led to my room, I knew I could make it home for the next few days.

Your own quarters
A quick trump card to impress you, the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok comprises 802 luxurious guestrooms in the two adjacent wings. With all rooms having river or city views, the classic Thai touches, including silk and teak finishings, give an aura of warmth, though not compromising on the luxe factor. I'd personally recommend taking a tour of the property for two reasons. One, you will be able to explore the grandness of the property and appreciate its structure and accessibility. Two, the rooms in the exclusive Krungthep Wing will amaze you with their garden balconies overlooking a private pool and the Chao Phraya River.

The property's thumb rule - true luxury means quality time well spent. Whether travelling for business or pleasure, the guests are promised an attentive and personalised level of service. And boy, do I love it when promises are kept! Appreciating Shangri-La’s unique spirit of hospitality, offering a homely feel, I now know why the property is many a travellers’ favourite. A must do while at this property? Take a limousine ride organised by their concierge! But keep in mind that you can bargain to get a good deal depending on where you would like to go.

My home for two nights, you can only imagine my dismay at having to finally leave. Horizon Club Rooms come in an inviting, Thai-inspired décor. With exclusive privileges, these rooms are ideal for the traveller who requires added personalized attention and services. Rich wood flooring at the entrance leading to a carpeted sleeping area with comfortable beds, the marble-floored bathroom makes anyone want to spend most of their time there. I always judge a hotel room by their bathroom and this one passes with an A grade all the way. Plush bathrobes, slippers, premium Shangri-La toiletries and a separate, glass-enclosed shower, the only missing element was a jet spray. The layout of the rooms is a smooth walk and you will have everything that you need at just the right place.

In case you are working, which would be such a shame at this beautiful property that is just waiting to be explored, your Horizon Club room comes fully furnished with a full-size executive writing desk, international Direct Dial telephone, Voice mail, Computer-to-TV connectivity and bedside lighting and curtain controls.

Keeping all this aside, the award for the best room in this property goes to the Shangri-La wing Executive River View Suite, and of course the Presidential Suite, due to sheer grandness and layout with no compromise on luxury at all! 

Revitalize - urban way
A retreat where every moment is special, you will find yourself appreciating the modern and luxurious grandeur of Shangri-La. I found the property to be beautiful and well-planned, with endless rejuvenation options. A riverside swimming pool, tennis courts and a well-equipped fitness center with a range of classes are available. But my attention was grabbed by the award-winning Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La, which has some of the largest private spa suites in Bangkok. Spacious being an understatement, the dim ambiance appealed to all my senses and I was quite tempted to spend a full day at this haven to quiet the mind, balance the energy and invigourate the senses, which is quite tough to attain in a city like Bangkok.

The spa offers a diverse menu of treatments drawn from the ancient healing traditions of Asia and the staff is more than happy to guide you through them. But keep in mind, a retreat like this is always quite occupied, so you may need to plan a little in advance.

After all this rejuvenation, it is improbable that you would head to their Fitness Centre, one of the largest in Bangkok (10,000 sqm luxury sports and fitness complex) but I would recommend a visit just to appreciate its design and layout. Honestly, I was quite inspired, but the smell of chocolate in the air and fancy cocoa ads all over the property were pushing me to the calories corner at the property.

A special experience
The property offers alluring dining experiences with their expertise extending to gastronomical delights to suit every mood or craving or even an occasion. The icing on the cake is the Horizon Club Lounge where guests, as did I, enjoy the convenient use of a private lounge so you can have your daily breakfast, evening cocktails, canapés and beverages that are served all day. Besides feasting your eyes and palate, the lounge is a perfect place to unwind or catch up on a conversation and also offers Wi-Fi and broadband Internet access, and wide selections of newspapers and magazines. Being a Hilton Diamond card member myself, I would compare this to the executive lounge services offered by the group, but the Horizon Club earned its brownie points in terms of service that cannot be matched by any other property in the world.

Let me explain how. Being a special birthday that I chose to celebrate with the Shangri-La property, I was touched and overwhelmed to see how personal and caring the team made that occasion. From a personalized birthday card to confectionery to even a cake, my room was a welcome treat enough to make me smile like a 16 year old. The team even ensured that a card from my companion reached me before I reached my room (organised and handwritten by them). From being wished a wholesome Good morning to personally ensuring that I was well fed and taken care of, the chefs are the most professional and friendliest I have ever seen. Indian food was delectably whipped up to ensure I wasn't hungry on a religious day as was my orange juice served to me without even asking.

Welcome, to an appetite
Coming back to the restaurants at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, I found it to offer an international range of culinary choices. I was confused whether to pick between traditional Thai food, Asian and cosmopolitan dishes, or to be tempted by an international buffet on board the Horizon Cruise (the private river cruise ship). No, they haven't missed out on Italian food! You can also dine at Angelini for authentic Italian dishes (which has been voted the best Italian restaurant in Bangkok by readers of Bangkok Dining & Entertainment magazine for 11 years in a row) or sample the elegance of Cantonese cuisine bought forward with Chang Palace which was unfortunately under renovation during our visit. The restaurant is particularly noted for its delicious steamed seafood, noodles, dim sum and tasty barbecued meats!

My permanent spot during my stay was the Chocolate Boutique, whether to sin or simply feast, because before my eyes lay a fabulous range of chocolates, from the lusciousness of dark, bittersweet chocolate to the creamiest of milks! Disappointment got the better of me as I could not manage to parcel the chocolate lipsticks and chocolate handbags (handcrafted by hand with chocolate!) back home because they were so intricately crafted! A selection of creative beverages and signature chocolate cakes, pralines and pastries are also available for dining in or takeaway. I have two words - delightfully decadent! Of course, I wasn't going to leave Thailand without the quintessential Thai dining experience by the River of Kings at their world famous Salathip! It was a delectable and fragrant meal where I savoured authentic cuisine in Thai-style teak pavilions while enjoying classical Thai dance performances in a perfectly romantic setting. 

NEXT2 Café, known for its popular breakfast buffet, is a perfect kickstart to the day in a riverside setting with a market-style spread of various regional, Continental and Asian menus. The spread included a variety so large that it is possible that you may want to skip your lunch! You could practically take a world tour as the chefs are at your disposal and happy to whip up anything that your heart may desire.

Romantics will definitely put the Horizon Cruise on their Bangkok check list as it offers intriguing riverboat dining aboard their personal cruise. Of course, this too needs to be booked in advance to give the team an opportunity to wow you as you enjoy an international buffet while cruising along the Chao Phraya River for an unforgettable dining experience. The property also offers three bars and lounges (Lobby Lounge, Riverside Lounge and Long Bar). Make sure your stay incorporates all these venues. And don’t be surprised if you weigh extra at the end of your stay!

A jewel in the city’s luxury offerings, the Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok gives you more than you expect. Combining the global elegance inherent to the brand with delightful local influences and gestures, Shangri-La presents the best of both the worlds with a blinding smile!

Coordinates: 89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road, Bangrak, Bangkok, 10500, Thailand
Ph: (66 2) 236 7777

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