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W Bangkok —Get your ‘cool’ on!
Bangkok seduces with its rich repertoire of ritzy hotels, some steeped in the local Siamese heritage, while others flirting with modern opulence. With New Years just around the corner, ‘partying’ seems to be the go to word. Nothing spells ‘fun and hip’ quite as much as W hotels. The design-led W Bangkok hotel effortlessly combines the new and the old, occupying a 31-floor modern glass tower juxtaposed with a century-old European- inspired heritage building. Located in North Sathorn road, this stylish Asian chic hotel is surely for those who like to work hard, and well, party harder!
‘Design, Music and Fashion’ underlies the concept and style of each hotel, which picks up local influences that best describe the city and integrates it into its décor, albeit with a ‘cool twist’. “At W Bangkok, expect old battle folklore, Muay Thai motifs and of course a reference to the infamous Bangkok ‘tuk tuks’ strewn across the hotel,” our super friendly hospitality executive tells us. A large bejewelled mural greets us when we enter the lobby—Mythical Creatures of the Himmaphan Forest—an artwork using tattoo art by Maysa Yanovan displaying a phoenix and tiger engaged in an epic battle. Adding a dash of bling, the mural is fixed with around 80,000 crystals—a feat by A.C.D. Thailand, a group of über talented Thai crystal artisans.
Low-lighting, purple haze and vibrant, plush sofas and loungers, accentuate the décor; as does a massive staircase, spiralling its way through. I stood, seemingly lost, taking in the pulsating, yet serene vibe. It was quite short-lived, as their efficient staff swiftly cruised us through our check in.
As we waited for the lift to take us to our home for the next few days, an enormous light installation made up of 800 different ‘tuk tuk’ lights caught my eye—in fact, its difficult not to be captivated by the flashing lights. Created by interior designer, AvroKO, the installation pays homage to Bangkok’s legendary traffic congestion, and expertly infuses it with the supersonic streetlights, creating quite an engaging LED light show.
Our next stop—our room. Wonderful. Spectacular. Marvellous. Fantastic. These are the names of the room on offer.. The menu has 244 Wonderful rooms, 106 Spectacular, 19 Cool Corner rooms, 20 Studio Suites, 2 Fantastic suites, and 10 Marvellous Suites. Those looking for a ultra-glam holiday should check out their Wow Suite or Extreme Wow Suite (W style Presidential Suite).
For us, it was their Spectacular Room—stylish, urbane and extremely trendy. An ‘open’ bathing and dressing area, replete with a bathtub, a separate shower area lead you into the bedroom. A translucent, but coloured glass plank creates just the right privacy. The sprawling signature W bed, is undoubtedly the cushiest, cosiest and comfy-est bed we I have ever slept in. It is soft enough for you to sink in, and firm enough to bolster you up. It’s difficult not to plonk yourself in the bed, and gaze into the cityscape through the massive ceiling-to-floor windows.
Chrome furniture, neutral plaster walls, and the geeky gizmos—from high speed internet, flat screen LED telly, jack pack stations with a sound bar system, and a tablet to guide you through the room services—just about complete the décor. Muay Thai inspired bedspread and two boxing gloves placed tastefully on the bed, echo the recurring design theme. Needless to say, we took our time to relax, unwind and enjoy our new abode.
Eat, Spa, Swim and Party! While we loved lazing around in the room, our hunger pangs soon dragged us to the Kitchen Table, a modern bistro, with dark wood, black and red leather furnishings, well complimented by a popular Thai folk-lore inspired crocodile pattern on the walls. The restaurant also has an outdoor terrace overlooking the heritage building.
The hotel’s all-day dining menu offers an eclectic mix of International and Asian fare, starting with a scrumptious breakfast buffet (which we dug into the following morning!) For lunch, we tried an array of dishes, all varied and diverse. A delicious Pumpkin and Vanilla soup with Black Squid Ink and Chilli Croutons topped with Parsley Dust proved to be quite a hearty start to our lunch. Next we designed our own gourmet burger, right from the bun, to the cheese and toppings. The delectable burger arrived on a black slate, personalised with my name. A true custom-made dish. We even sampled some Thai favourites— Our unwinding session continued at the WET ® Deck— the outdoor pool on the 6th floor of W Bangkok. The eye-ball shaped pool features twinkling underwater fiber optic lights resembling the night sky. While the dip rejuvenated us from the scorching hot sun, we also enjoyed lounging on the cabana by the pool. Sipping on some heady cocktails, slowly grooving to the music, we watched as the sunlight wane and the city lights take over.
An indulgent soiree at the AWAY ® Spa awaited me. Keeping with the chic vibe of the hotel, the spa flaunts relaxing yet upbeat music, modish décor and cool lighting. The spa is divided in four zones—first the reception and consultation lounge, or Welcome & Decompress Zone, where, after a brief consultation, I decided to try their ‘Away Massage Metamorphosis treatment for 60 minutes, followed by Away Facial for another 60.
Before heading for my treatment, my therapist advices me to try out some of their wet facilities offered in the Detox Zone—separate male and female sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi, as well as a unisex Hammam and a relaxation area.
Next up is the main act—indulgent treatments in the Delight Zone. The spa has four single treatment suites, a VIP single suite with a bathroom, or double treatment suites, which offer a bathroom, plunge bath and private access to the Hammam. I was ushered into their VIP double treatment suite. All the rooms flourish neutral colour tones. The beds, however, glow with four different colour lights, to suit your mood: Green reflects a calm and peaceful demeanor, Red enhances body energy, Purple radiates happiness while Pink signals romance and sensuality. I choose the Purple haze of happiness, and settle down for some pampering.
Starting with their Signature Metamorphosis massage, I sunk in the bed, while my therapist kneaded the tight areas of my back and shoulders, releasing the tensions and rubbing the stress away. With a splash of essential oils, she applied rhythmic and dynamic flows, strokes, stretches and techniques to help me rejuvenate and re-boot. An equally relaxing facial followed—cleanse, tone, exfoliate and pumping my skin with the much needed hydration, left my skin feeling fresh and light. The therapist also used firming and lifting techniques to combat the signs of stress and aging—an added bonus! Lastly, I was asked to retire to the Refuel Zone, a post-treatment space to relax, before stepping out for a slice of the city. Refreshed after the massage, I made my way to the WOOBAR, for a lazy evening of drinks and nibbles. The music lounge, spells fashionable to the hilt—the luminous lights, ritzy upholstery, a stellar line up of DJs churning groovy tunes, and of course a potent cocktail menu to match. A few Woohitos (W’s signature Mojitos) later, we retired to our room, looking forward to the next few days at W Bangkok.
Destination Weddings? While getting a tour of the hotel, we chanced upon a wedding set up, at one of their lavish event hall. With Bangkok being among the popular destinations for weddings, W Bangkok serves up all the requirements, with a dash of oomph and glamour. From personalised consultations, to exclusive WHATEVER/WHENEVER® services, which can cater to your every whim and fancy, they seem to have it all.
Needless to say, our next few days were spent indulging and pampering ourselves with the city’s and W Bangkok’s finest! With Bangkok being just a three hour flight away, I am sure to go back for a few more helpings of W Bangkok’s hip and decadent fare.