You can’t miss it. The venerable Banyan Tree Bangkok soars above South Sathon Road like an elongated, upended pencil case. Set well back from the traffic, it cocoons you from the high-speed particle collider known as Bangkok. Step into your room, especially if it’s a Club Floor suite, and your discrete retreat from the world at large is achieved.
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Where is Banyan Tree Bangkok?
“Mid-town” — except that this sprawling, ever-expanding town doesn’t actually have one, agreed “mid”.
Over the years South Sathon Road (in Thai, Thanon Sathon Tai) has become a quality row of embassies (including the nearby, moated Australian building) and superior hotels.
Here in the Banyan Tree you’re sanely removed from “the Big Mango’s” intense mosh but are still within 10-minutes’ walk of the Silom Road shopping strip and even closer to Lumphini metro station.
First Impressions of Banyan Tree Bangkok
You are welcomed into an aromatic, spacious reception foyer that features subtle lighting, Thai fabrics and plenty of seating.
Should you be staying in a Club floor room, the staff will whisk you straight up to the 19th floor Club Lounge for check-in.
Well refurbished in recent years, the hotel has shrugged off a touch of previous tiredness, and its corridors and rooms feel fresh again.
The hotel describes itself as “a vertical urban resort” — a statement that rings true, especially if you have time to savour its rooftop pool, gym and top-of-line spa, plus a few of the ten food and beverage outlets.
What are the rooms like at Banyan Tree Bangkok?
There are great views from most of the 327 rooms and suites in numerous configurations. (Depending on the height and the direction of yours, the eagle’s-eye views can be almost as stunning as those from the 61st-floor Vertigo Restaurant and Moon Bar.)
Meanwhile, the roomy, one- and two-bedroom suites, in particular, are well configured for both business and leisure travellers.
A good work desk, great bathroom (although a bit short on the complimentary extras) with a huge tub, lots of natural lighting and, of course, all the expected electronics.
And the Club Lounge at Banyan Tree?
The all-day Club Lounge (also extensively renovated) on the 19th floor is one of Bangkok’s largest executive lounges and provides very generous complimentary offerings including a spectacular afternoon tea, ruinously good snacks, Happy Hour cocktails and canapés, laundry, business centre and express check-out.
The food at Saffron Sky Garden and Restaurant?
Start with a cocktail, a craft beer or one of those designer gin permutations that are all the rage this month and then settle into a daybed or lounger that gives you an alfresco view of the city all the way to the horizon.
Eventually, tear yourself away from the vision splendid to contemplate the menu’s extensive range of Thai, Western, Asian and other offerings.
Signature Thai dishes at the new flagship Saffron Restaurant include seared salmon with crisp pork crackling and spicy citrus dressing, or banana blossom salad with grilled, marinated prawns.
Especially flash are both the spicy soft-shell crab and the grilled sea bass green curry. For dessert, try the all-time Thai favourite, kao niew mamuang — mango sticky rice with ice cream.
Banyan Tree Bangkok – The Lowdown.
The “lowdowns” are mostly high up: visit the 61st floor Moon Bar (with a 360-degree view), the 52nd floor Saffron Sky Garden and the rooftop pool.
Big pluses include the hotel’s convenient, quiet location, a superb executive Club Lounge and staff who personify an old school-new cool “can-do” warmth and efficiency.
Banyan Tree Bangkok is at 21/100 South Sathon Road, Sathon, Bangkok. Tel: +66 2 679 1200. The hotel is 35 km from Suvarnabhumi international airport with travel time being 45 to 60 minutes, depending on traffic. Meter taxi fare is around 400 Thai Baht.