Having just left Phuket, I didn’t know what to expect of Bangkok. On one hand, I had some friends telling me I only needed one day to see Bangkok and I had others saying that I needed a week. So I gave myself five days to explore the city.
On the plane’s approach, I was amazed by how large the city actually was! We must have been flying over it for a solid 15 minutes before we landed. Immediately, I knew I made the right choice by giving myself more time. I chose to stay at two different properties while in Bangkok, and the first hotel was Banyan Tree. This was my first exposure to the hotel chain and I must say I was sad to check out.
As soon as my taxi pulled up, I was warmly greeted by the bellman who immediately took our luggage and walked us to the private check-in area on the 19th floor, which also held the tea and breakfast lounge. There, the desk agent escorted us over to a very plush couch and greeted us with cold towels and butterfly pea tea, which is a beautiful blue color and when lemon is added it turns purple.
We booked a Serenity Club Room that came with many different benefits. These rooms are on the top floors of the hotel which make for gorgeous views. They also give you access to the Club Lounge on the 19th floor which is key because between their extensive breakfast spread and tea time, you can pretty much cover breakfast and lunch. I was so impressed by how varied their breakfast spread was! They had everything I could possibly want and things I didn’t even know I wanted until I saw them. I often found my self so full from breakfast that I had to go lie down and take a quick nap before I started my day. They also serve free Thai beer after the tea time is finished which seemed to be very popular with the guests. Other amenities include free Wi-Fi and three hours to use the boardroom each day of your stay.
As soon as we got to our room, we put our things down and went exploring because my friend Sam had only one day in Bangkok so we made the most of it. The concierge was extremely helpful in providing information and the front desk was quick to grab us a car when needed. When I got back to the room, I asked for a hotel tour to see the different room types as well as the hotel restaurants, pool and spa. Here’s a small breakdown of the hotel:
-Serenity Club Room (my room): 48 square meters with city or river view, top floors 5oth and up, has access to 19th floor club lounge where they serve breakfast, tea, snacks, and beer daily
-Oasis Room: newly remodeled six months ago, 44 sq. meters, great price point for the amenities it comes with, access to 19th floor club lounge
-One-bedroom suite: contemporary Thai decor, kind sized bed, kitchenette and access to lounge
-Two-bedroom suite: 16 units, very spacious with 119 sq. feet, beautifully decorated
-Spa Sanctuary Suite: has a spa treatment room within the suite
-Presidential Suite: this is a split level duplex with a beautiful spiral staircase, jet pool and many more. This is the most luxurious accommodation in the hotel
The restaurants in the hotel were also spectacular! They have an international buffet called Romsai that has the most serene seating area by an outdoor garden and waterfall. The restaurant Saffron, their signature restaurant located in every Banyan Tree property, is Thai cuisine. Right off that restaurant is the Latitude Bar, outside overlooking the city scape which is absolutely breathtaking. Next there is Taihei, their Japanese restaurant on property which I learned they actually had Buddhist monks come paint the blessings on the wall. This restaurant has one of the most stunning views from their private dining room not to mention the decor is very authentic. Their Cantonese restaurant is Bai Yun, a fine dining establishment that hosts many wedding receptions on the 59th floor. There is a dress code so this is a place I would reserve for a special evening.
I learned most Thai people tend to eat dinner around 6:30 – 7pm but will hang around and enjoy the atmosphere until about 10pm after which they usually go to a bar or another establishment. That was one of the things I had to get used to while in Thailand. How late the nights started. Most nightlife doesn’t even get good until midnight and you are usually up until 4-5 in the morning. While on property we got to catch a sunset at the Moon Bar which is on the roof and would recommend as a must whether you are staying at the hotel or not. The sunset view there is spectacular!! After the sunset, we moved to the opposite side of the rooftop to the Vertigo restaurant where we had a fixed course menu to remember. There is a photographer that goes around the tables and takes photos of the diners and gives you a little memento to remember your dining experience by. I thought that was very sweet and now Sam and I will have a lovely memory to take away from there. I was also impressed with the food we had at Vertigo. The fixed menu plates complimented each other very well with the soups being my favorite! I had this corn soup that tasted better than corn on the cob and that’s saying a lot since I love corn on the cob. The presentation and the way they were served was beautiful. We left there stuffed and happy for the experience.
I also went to the spa while at the Banyan Resort and had he most wonderfully relaxing massage. I was greeted again with a cold towel and tea, a custom in Thailand, then promptly taken to the beautifully decorated spa downstairs. The décor is so serene and earthy, with the rock and bamboo aesthetics that it forcibly has a calming effect on you. My massage was in a private room with a locker for my belongings, a jet tub and an area where I was given a green tea and honey foot scrub before my massage. You know it’s a great massage when they remove the eye pillow from your face and you’re thinking “noooooo.”
All in all, I left the resort very impressed by the staff’s professionalism and kindness. I felt as if every guest was of top importance to them and they were so helpful with all of my tourist needs. One thing I forgot to mention that I absolutely loved, was my two-item laundry allowance which really came in handy. They brought everything back the same day, which was shocking!
I would definitely recommend the Banyan Tree Resort if you are looking for an upscale and traditionally Thai place to stay. The resort’s amenities are so abundant that it’s hard to make yourself leave the property. Although the resort is on the pricier side by Thai standards, I think it’s well worth the splurge! How often can you say you stayed at a Banyan Tree property for less than $150 per night? I will definitely be trying out their other properties around the world and as always, reporting back to you all.
If you’ve ever stayed at one of the Banyan Tree properties, please comment below and tell me about your experience. I would love to check out some of their other properties.