Getting there and around:
The Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok is approximately a 30-minute drive from the new Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The Krungthep Wing is a quick walk to the Saphan Taskin Skytrain station (with easy access to the rest of Bangkok) and Sathon pier where guests can catch a ferry up the Chao Phraya to local sites, such as the Grand Palace and Wat Arun.
A guestroom at the Shangri-La Bangkok
// © 2009 Jessica Baguley
From the welcome jasmine bracelet to the exclusive pool and amenities, the Krungthep Wing of the Shangri-La Bangkok is a luxurious haven among Bangkok’s bustle. The hotel boasts 799 deluxe guestrooms, including 52 suites, all with river and city views, and is located in Silom, an area that is less touristy than most, which offers visitors a chance to explore local Thai markets and restaurants with ease. With top-notch customer service and serene comfort, the Krungthep Wing far exceeds expectations and caters to leisure and business travelers alike. All staff members are attentive and available to ensure your clients enjoy not only the hotel, but Bangkok and surrounding areas as well.
The Krungthep Wing (with its 129 rooms, including 10 suites) is separate from the main Shangri-La Wing and is complete with a secluded entrance, a swimming pool and whirlpool. Krungthep Wing guests are also able to use the larger Shangri-La Wing pool, as well. Guests enjoy complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks by the Krungthep pool all day. I encourage everyone to sample the daily afternoon tea served at 2:30 and then enjoy complimentary cocktails and canapés in the lobby or in the privacy of his or her room from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30.
The breakfast buffet is served in the lobby, offering beautiful views of the Chao Phraya and a chance for guests to watch the city “wake up” while feasting on plentiful Western and Eastern cuisine. Most room packages include a butler who will make sure that your clients’ trip is unforgettable by assuring them that no request or need is trivial. Upon learning that I am a vegetarian, our butler apologized for bringing meat canapes and quickly replaced them with vegetarian-friendly substitutes. We also had a last-minute request to have two dresses pressed one evening; although it was outside of normal business hours, both dresses were returned to us within 30 minutes free of charge.
It’s easy to get swept away by the Krungthep Wing, but the Shangri-La Wing contains the hotel’s 24-hour health club, which overlooks the river and offers a variety of activities throughout the week, such as yoga and Thai boxing (most include a surcharge, yet some are complimentary), as well as common gym equipment. I decided to try my hand at a Pilates class, which appears to be a local favorite, as there were a dozen or so other Thai women enjoying the class with me.
Chi, The Spa offers treatments designed to ease the stresses of traveling as well as unique therapies, such as a Himalayan healing stone massage and Chi balance experience. The best place to watch the stunning Bangkok sunsets is from the Horizon Club in the Shangri-La Wing with refreshing cocktails and snacks. The Shangri-La Wing also features the hotel’s notable restaurants, including Angelini (Italian), Shang Palace (Cantonese), and Salathip (Thai).
The most disappointing part of the whole experience is checking out, and I’m sure your clients will be just as sad as I was to leave this oasis.