If you want to feel like a rockstar, you have to get treated like one and Asians take hospitality to a whole other level. In a city where you can rent a modest studio apartment for as little as $200 USD, if you’re vacationing, it’s worth paying a pretty penny to get treated like royalty. So kickback, relax and have someone else take care of your every need.
Mandarin Oriental – Voted the best hotel in all of Asia by everyone under the sun, with a gorgeous expansive lobby, billowing fresh flower display changed nightly at 2 a.m. and riverfront dining, it’s not the water taxis, marble floors or decor that makes this place the best hotel I’ve ever had the pleasure of staying at. Suites can only look so nice until all the lofted ceilings and Jacuzzi tubs start to mesh together. It’s not even the company you’re amongst that makes this well above a four-star experience (the first night, the lobby was secured for the princess’s arrival and the second, paparazzi swarmed for a Thai pop star). No, the difference is in the details.
There’s good service, and then there’s the Mandarin, preemptively anticipating your every need. With a personal butler for every floor and every staff member knowing your name and whereabouts, every possible creature comfort to make your stay more enjoyable is meticulously considered. The first night? The hair was cleaned out of my hairbrush and wrapped in a fresh flower. The second? My book was sitting on the table, page earmarked, and the butler thoughtfully added a bookmark so as not to ruin the paper with a fold. Our friend had a headache and mentioned to the bellhop she thought she was getting sick. Before she was even down the hall, there was a handwritten note on her bed wishing her well. I asked the concierge for directions to the local pharmacy and another staff member directing traffic on the street made sure to address me by name and confirm I knew where I was going. There aren’t many surprises left in today’s modern connected life, yet every return trip to our room was a new cause for excitement. Each time we entered we were greeted with new treats — chocolates, journals, the gifts were endless.
Other notable luxury accommodations in Bangkok:
The Four Seasons – With traditional Thai architecture, hand-painted silk ceilings, intricate artwork, an impressively scaled lobby and glorious gardens, the Four Seasons offers exquisite accommodations and gracious hospitality strategically located in the corporate and shopping heart of Bangkok’s bustling core.
Shangri-La – With lush gardens, river views and a signature spa, Shangri-La, Bangkok offers guests the warmth of the Thai capital amid the luxurious serenity of a tropical retreat. Located conveniently in the Silom shopping district with views of the Chao Phraya River, they also boast butler services, but only for certain higher classes of rooms.
The Peninsula – Located directly across the river from the Mandarin, the Peninsula is another classic luxury property. With a W shaped design, every room has an expansive view of the river. With only 10 rooms and two suites per floor, peace, tranquility and privacy are a promise.
RatiLanna Chiang Mai – Formerly a Sofitel, this 74-room boutique property has spacious, zen-like accommodations to spread out. With everything so clustered and chaotic in Bangkok, Chiang Mai offers the exact opposite, a lush mountain retreat. The dark wood detailing and large poster bed make it easy to relax. There are Asian influences throughout the decor, including the lovely open air balcony and lofted loveseats with views of the infinity pool and river. The highlight? The remote controllable waterfall in the bathroom. Nothing like a bubble bath to the soothing sounds of running water.
Other notable luxury accommodations in Chiang Mai:
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi – Spread over 60 acres of natural landscapes; the Mandarin up north is a self contained world of beauty, incorporating serene paddy fields and exotic plantations. Created as a tribute to the Lanna tribe architecture, the hotel is home to a rare collection of Northern Thai antiquities so guests can enjoy an enriching experience in luxury fit for kings. Escape from the city in both heart and mind.
Four Seasons – Spacious Lanna-style pavilions overlook terraced rice fields and the mountains in the beautiful Mae Rim Valley, minutes from the artistic and cultural heritage of Thailand’s northern capital. From the signature Thai cooking school to the acclaimed spa and flawless service, expect nothing less than an outstanding Four Seasons experience.
Shangri-La – Located on Chang Klan Road in easy walking distance of the city’s famous Night Bazaar and boutiques, the Shangri-La is situated in a lush garden setting, making it a true urban oasis.