Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Having it all, and more, in Bangkok. At The Siam Hotel.

The Royal Orchid Spa of Thai Airways in Bangkok tonight.
I got a foot massage here after while waiting for my flight to Colombo.

Good evening from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport.

I’m typing this out while having a foot massage at the Royal Orchid Spa of Thai Airways for its business class and first class passengers, and while waiting for my flight to Colombo.

It's basically an airport lounge,
but it looks like a luxury spa.


All business and first class passengers are entitled to a 30-minute massage, first come-first served, and you can choose between a back massage or a foot massage.

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AN EPIC TRAVELIFE OF A TRIP

Not a few Travelife readers and friends have joined us for this epic trip to three of Sri Lanka’s top UNESCO World Heritage sites, and I’m really psyched.

I decided to have a holiday before my Sri Lanka holiday, though, and that's how I ended up in Bangkok ahead of everyone else.

It’s been a very nice three-day pre-holiday in Bangkok, however, staying at the luxurious and very exclusive The Siam hotel right by the banks of the Chao Praya.

THE BIGGEST ROOMS IN TOWN



The Siam, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels group, has the biggest hotel rooms in Bangkok, on average, and my pool courtyard villa was really a house rather than a hotel room.

It had a nostalgic and yet contemporary air, and it reminded me of a Singapore shophouse.



To get into the room, I had to use giant carved wooden doors that opened onto a courtyard with a pool.

The room itself was simple and yet simply lovely, with a raised bed and large windows looking out to the pool and courtyard on one side, and to the indoor garden on the other.



The moment I saw it, I canceled all my plans to leave the hotel save for a foray into the market for my private Thai cooking lesson with the hotel's executive chef, and a five-hour spa day at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok.



A BOAT INSTEAD OF A CAR

Perhaps the height of luxury was having a private boat to go back and forth between The Siam and the rest of tourist Bangkok, which is located around Sathorn Pier.

It’s really nice to take the boat instead of a car, and on the four times that we took this boat to the downtown tourist hub, we had the boat all to ourselves.

The Siam's private boat took us along the river.
As a result, we never saw anything of the famous Bangkok traffic.


NO TRAFFIC IN BANGKOK

As a result, I saw not even a sliver of Bangkok's famous traffic during my stay.

It was a smooth in and out in the car to and from the airport, and the rest of the time I traveled by boat up and down the river -- when I did travel out of The Siam at all.



MY OWN MAN FRIDAY

The other great thing about The Siam is that you get your own butler if you book a villa.

So I had a butler for the day and one for the night.

I didn’t really need a butler at night, but my day butler, Jill, certainly arranged my life and our social schedule in Bangkok – down to arranging boats and spa schedules, restaurant reservations, and even small but important things like making sure I had my computer when I needed it.

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TALK ABOUT EXPERT PACKING

My butler even packed my bags for me – and, boy, he did an amazing job.

Ordinarily I pack my own stuff.

But today, I was at The Mandarin Oriental the entire day for a set of spa treatments since the travel companion had some wheeling and dealing to do with some Bangkok bankers anyway.

So we each did our own thing for a couple of hours, and then we met up after my spa for afternoon tea.



It was pretty enjoyable to have afternoon tea at the Oriental lobby. And then the butler at The Siam had arranged for the boat of The Siam to pick us up from the private pier of The Oriental at 520 PM afterwards.

The Mandarin has a really cool new Italian restaurant with a chef's table facility right by the river. If only I didn't have a flight to Colombo to catch tonight, we would've eaten there.

Anyway, thanks to The Siam's boat, we evaded all rush-hour traffic between The Oriental and The Siam.

A WORK OF ART. OR OF AN EXPERT.



When I got back to The Siam, my luggage was so perfectly packed that I was at a loss for words.

Suddenly there was a lot of space for shopping in Colombo.

I just had to take a photo of how streamlined he did my luggage.

HAVING IT ALL. AND MORE.

Thanks to my butler, I was able to have afternoon tea at the Oriental, get back to The Siam for a sunset drink by the pier, and still make it to Bangkok airport in time to have a foot massage, type out a blog entry, and make it to my flight to Colombo at 10 PM.

Talk about a sweet and never-endingly eventful Travelife.




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