Classic beauty doesn’t need to follow passing trends. There is a reassuring feeling of ease emanating from the Thai woods, silks and art displayed throughout the premises. You know you are in Thailand when you stay at the Shangri La Bangkok. It couldn’t be anywhere else.
Often times the traveller wakes up in a hotel room that could be anywhere in the world be it Sydney, London or Beijing, But the Shangri-La is designed to reflect the richness of Thai culture and is central enough you won’t be wondering what to do in Bangkok.
Tucked away by the Chao Praya, the River of Kings, this Grand Dame of the river is cocooned by lush gardens with traditional teak pavilions.
The Shangri-La Bangkok-true to its evocative name- combines the sleekness of a city hotel with the serenity of a tropical retreat.
This 5-star luxury hotel in the central Silom district of Bangkok has undergone major renovations recently earning it a place in the Conde Nast Traveler 2014 Gold List for Best Hotels in Asia and Australia. But the renovations didn’t change its original character.
Like a savvy woman, it didn’t go to the plastic surgeon to get the look of the latest trendy face but to regain her own youthful look. Refreshed but true to herself.
To extend that renewal ritual to its guests, the Shangri-La is home to Chi, The Spa.
Chinese philosophy has, ch’i or “Qi” as the universal life force governing well being.
When ch’i is blocked, ‘dis-ease’ and illness occurs. A treatment at the Spa leaves the weary traveller restored.
I love the silk furnishings, the traditional great painting on wooden boards that extends my bedstead to the ceiling and the L’Occitane toiletries that come packaged in a useful take away a cosmetic bag that includes surprisingly useful little beauty treats.
Ah, also, there is a magnifying mirror in the bathroom. For those who wear glasses (and there are many of us), this is an indispensable necessity. However, you’d be surprised to learn how many top class hotels overlook this detail.
There are power points everywhere and all fitted with international multi-plug faces. This means you don’t have to have an adaptor to charge each of the many gadgets we carry nowadays.
Of course, connectivity is a dream with fast WIFI and all expected necessities such as tea and coffee making facilities, flat screen TV, hairdryer and the like are of excellent quality.
While I test all these details to include in my review I cannot take my eyes from the panoramic window. I am some 20 floors above the river.
Below, tiny toy-like boats looking like floating little pagodas with their upturned canopies and twinkling lights, ferry visitors across to the other shore or to other points of public embarkation.
Most properties on the river have their own free water shuttles connecting points of interest and the Shangri-La also offers this welcome ride on the river where there is no clogged up traffic, fumes or delays.
At night I remain mesmerised by the view. I turn the lights off to watch the boats twinkling like fireflies. In the background, just as if placed there on purpose, is the bull’s eye of Asiatique’s ferries wheel, in the distance.
I drift off to sleep knowing I’m in Bangkok, the City of Angels.