Bangkok is one of those Asian metropolises that cast a spell on you. The “City of Angels” charms visitors with its authenticity, excites you with its nightlife and keeps on surprising you every time you visit. The international airport is accessible from most world cities and sits about an hour drive away from downtown. Due to heavy traffic in Bangkok, you may consider the Airport Link train taking you in and out in just 30 minutes.
Originating from Hong Kong, The Peninsula Hotels have established themselves as the ultimate luxury city hotels. A collection of 10 locations mixing opulent Asian, Art Déco, and glamour elements, The Peninsula Hotels are unique properties and experiences for discerning travelers. Although I appreciate the bustling Silom and Siam Square districts of Bangkok, I always prefer hotels situated on the Chao Phraya River. They offer larger outdoor space, riverside dining, and the most exotic views. The Peninsula Bangkok is an elegant sand and emerald tone high-rise set in tropical gardens by the river.
Grand deluxe room & breakfast
Arriving at The Peninsula Bangkok, I noticed how well-staffed the entrance was in response to the many late morning check-outs. Plenty of friendly faces, dressed in traditional Peninsula uniforms, ready to assist with doors, luggage, and cars. Check-in and check-out are processed at the front desk, where we were gifted a Phuang malai – exquisite flower garlands – as a sign of welcome, respect, and as a souvenir.
The Grand Deluxe Room offers 47sqm of luxury living. Upon entering the room, you will find the luggage rack, closet, and dressing area on your right, ample enough in size to welcome a couple’s belongings and to try outfits in front of the multiple mirrors.
Next discovery: the bathroom. In typical Peninsula fashion, the bathtub occupies a central place in the bathroom, flanked on both sides by individual sinks, a standing shower, and a toilet room. Technology is present everywhere: butler button in the bathtub, TV, etc. Toiletries are exclusively by Oscar de la Renta: probably one of the richer hotel soaps I have used in a long time.
Pass the alcove with the minibar and the coffee maker and you will step into the main living space of the room. A sitting area, a proper desk space, and the king bed. Thai inspiration is definitely present in this room where earthy tones and heavy woods are carefully chosen to convey authenticity and luxury. Also noteworthy: like with every Peninsula hotel, you will find a good dose of electronics: from the curtains to music and TV systems, without forgetting your private fax/printer, concealed inside the desk. Located about 30 levels above the river, our Grand Deluxe Room commanded majestic views of the skyline through the floor-to-ceiling angled windows.
I enjoyed the room layout very much, the space and the amount of natural light coming from the three windows. Only 2 drawbacks: first, no in-room iron. You have to call for it and it is delivered promptly to your door, together with water and starch. Second, when everything is quiet at night or in the early morning, you can hear the trickle of water running in a neighboring bathroom or down pipes in the wall.
Included in the room rate is breakfast for 2. There was a line for tables inside but we chose to sit outside, where the air at 8am was still fresh – as fresh as it gets in Thailand. The buffet is very complete, including 2 live-cooking stations to satisfy nearly every craving. The staff pays close attention to never let your coffee cup empty and is very efficient in picking up dishes. I particularly appreciated the way each condiment or seasoning was presented together with the item it was supposed to enrich.
Dinner at Thiptara
Dining at Thiptara Thai restaurant is a privilege. Surrounded by majestic banyan trees and lush tropical gardens, Thiptara is an outdoor restaurant by the riverside. Elegant marble-top tables, ornamented ceramics, and prestigious silverware: every detail will make you feel special and will open your mind to the sensations of the meal.
We opted for the 2 set menus composed of 4 courses. a flavorful treat for this last night in Thailand. Both menus started on a fresh note: traditional pomelo salad with prawns and satay for one, spicy minced pork and mint leaves for the other.
The traditional spicy soup offers just the right amount of heat, while the citrus coconut soup with chicken was silky and smooth. Hard to tell which we preferred.
Reading the menu, the main course might seem overwhelming as it is composed of 5 different items. However, servings are perfectly portioned and all items are served on a large format ceramics. Roasted duck, scallops with herbs, wok-fried kale, snow-fish, grilled chicken, yellow curry: you will feast like a king. The ingredients are fresh, the combinations work beautifully and although it might look like a lot, your curiosity keeps you wanting more.
To finish,we received Thai mango sticky rice with coconut cream – delicious – and the original ruby water chestnut in coconut milk and syrup. The tasting menus are definitely a good option for your dinner: they offer complementing tastes of Thai cuisine at a fair price for such an institution.
From the waiter initially inquiring about the level of spice for the whole meal to the gracious goodnight bow, the service was impeccable all throughout the meal.
The Peninsula Bangkok boasts amazing facilities, rarely found in downtown properties. The pool deck, built on 3 separate levels, offers unobstructed vistas of the river and provide ample sitting for guests. Loungers and traditional daybeds are available, as well as a casual restaurant for a quick mid-day snack.
Located in a detached colonial building, the Spa is a haven of peace comprised of 14 treatment rooms and 4 suites with river views. Should you decide to pamper yourself – more than by just staying at The Peninsula – you can book a treatment in one of the suites and enjoy its privacy during the whole day.
Right in front of the hotel tower and on the other bank of the Chao Phraya River are 2 private piers, reserved for Peninsula guests. Hop on a boat and beat traffic by crossing directly to the other side, or embark on a journey along the khlongs and towards the Palace.
The Peninsula Pier and taxi boats
The Peninsula Bangkok is the ideal downtown resort for your stay in the Thai Capital. You will especially appreciate the amazing outdoors: restaurant and bar decks, the large pool area and the most amazing displays of orchids I have seen out of the Botanical Gardens. For a complete experience, reserve a table at the traditional Afternoon Tea or experience Mei Jiang, voted Best Chinese Restaurant in Bangkok for 8 years in a row by Tatler Magazine.
Where: The Peninsula Bangkok
333 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan,
Bangkok 10600, Thailand
Phone: +66 2 020 2888
Note– The critic was invited by the Peninsula Bangkok. But all the opinions expressed herewith are his own.
Founder of UNITIATE, Geoffrey is a Marketing Expert, Luxury Specialist and Hospitality Enthusiast. Wherever he goes, his early career and personal interests have always helped him nurture and cultivate a passion for the Travel and Leisure industries. French born, Geoffrey has accumulated an extensive experience abroad, thanks to regular visits to foreign countries but also thanks to years of expatriation. Currently based in Chicago, Geoffrey has already lived and worked in New York, Shanghai, Singapore and Monaco. You can meet Geoffrey on Twitter and Linkedin.