This trip suddenly came up with my having to attend a Rotary Anniversary for my husband (who is working hard to finish his construction project) so I didn’t have much time to go around. Nevertheless I was able to review my hotel stays so here we go!
I checked into the St Regis Bangkok and immediately had their afternoon high tea while waiting for my room to be made ready. It was served in the lovely Drawing Room and I was seated with a view of the scenic Country club. I ordered the St Regis Afternoon Tea for two (menu HERE) and loved the savory selection of sandwiches, especially the presentation of the Vegetarian lady bug (middle of picture). I was however disappointed with the sweets especially the Early Grey Tea sabayon which was a sloppy mess. The scones were the only decent part of the dessert at least. The experience definitely needs updating especially for such a prestigious brand as St Regis it was very disappointing.
My room was the grand deluxe room which had a personal butler that was there to help unpack for you and help you with whatever you need as typical of St Regis.
My bathroom was quite spacious and it had a tub and shower available. I often do not mention prices of rooms but I must say that the prices were quite reasonable even when compared to Manila.
One of the tours that the Rotary Club of Bangkok took us on was The Grand Palace. I was surprised to know that this historical Palace is the 3rd most visited site in the world. We went on a Friday so I tried prepare for the big crowds nevertheless I was barely able to take a shot being without my hubby and the oppressive heat amidst the throng of people bombarding me from all sides. It is a must see when you do visit Bangkok but if I were on my own I would have gone at my classic sunrise time.
I loved all the intricate details on all the columns and statues which would have been amazing in the early light of sunrise. Oh well I will just chalk this up to experience and make it a trial run for next time.
Each temple was built with perfect symmetry with each other providing a stunning back drop for pictures.
Travel tip: They told us to wear closed shoes and pants but in reality all you need to do is cover knees and shoulders. I suggest long dresses so you stay cool and sandals that are easy to take off when you go into the temples.
For lunch they took us to the Navy restaurant near the tourist area. I so enjoyed the seafood Tom Yum Soup. We asked for the cook to make it less spicy but it was still spicy (I guess that is really Thai food for you).
On my last 2 days I stayed in the Mandarin Oriental. While I did pay for my stay, as a disclaimer I was upgraded to the Garden room that had the garden and river views. It had a beautiful colonial inspired design and came with my own private butler as well.
The finishing was much more refined and elegant than the St Regis even considering this is an older hotel.
The king size bed was not available but I couldn’t complain as everything from the bed from the pillows to the blankets were so comfortable. I can’t wait to come back with my hubby next time.
The Authors lounge lies behind the quaint little garden as it peaking behind a door to welcome you in. It is not surprising that this is a popular spot for wedding.
The Grand staircase is simple yet the floral arrangements make it stand out and transports you to another time.
I love lounge chairs and lights colored walls which makes for such a relaxing lazy afternoon. The next time we will wear all white and beige colors for photos with the kids in their Sunday dress.
Of course I had to try their High tea! I ordered the Western Afternoon tea set which had delectable finger sandwiches which were light and good for a snack in between meals (which seems to be how people use afternoon tea for these days). Unfortunately the scones were not as good as the St Regis as they were rather dry and flat which meant they did not spend enough time to rise in the oven.
An ornately designed boat shuttle service is available from the hotel to the island where the Thai restaurant and oriental spa fitness center taking about 3 mins only it starts from 6:00am to the Spa and fitness and Thai restaurant. But if you need to go to the train station it starts from 7:00am but I never took it myself but seems very convenient indeed.
I enjoyed a nice afternoon in the Oriental spa to pamper myself after all the touring and Rotary events. I love the little courtyard that instantly sets the mood and promotes peace and tranquility away from the bustling Bangkok noise outside.
I was in need of a massage to release the tension in my back and neck so I tried the Oriental Signature spa where I had my own treatment room with a private shower and steam facility. I actually preferred the traditional style floor mattress more than the massage table as it was very comfortable for the face (I do not like those holes where you feel suffocated even with that sad little flower which a hundred people before you have been breathing on to).
For dinner I was supposed to go out and try their Thai Restaurant but unfortunately it rained so hard I ended up ordering room service instead (Feels just like home indeed!). I was not disappointed at all since I used the lovely table in the room which was set up so elegantly by two waiters that I felt like a princess in a palace.
For my main I had the Pad Thai, it was composed of Thai style wok-fried rice noodles with prawns, dried shrimp, Chinese chives and bean curd complimented with banana blossom and bean sprouts. If you like it sweet then just add a dab of sugar.
For dessert I had the Mango and Sticky rice which was succulent yet not too sweet.
Before checking out, I had breakfast at the The Verandah overlooking the Chao Phraya river. A good selection of both western and asian is represented in the buffet.
Travel tip: Order the waffles as they are freshly made served with a generous side of condiments (chocolate chips and syrup.. my kids would have loved it!)
I felt sad to leave this lovely hotel and bid farewell to the very attentive staff. One little gesture I will never forget was when I was just clearing my throat, the waiter already offered me warm water with lemon or orange juice. Now that is attention to detail and going out of your way! It is something that cannot be trained but has to be part of the soul of the person to really sincerely care for your guests.
Looking back this was a nice quiet time to myself but next time we will come back for a family vacation now that I know where to stay and what to do. I think the most important take away for me was the excellent service of the Thais which match smile for smile, bow for bow any of my fellow Filipinos great hospitality and warmth. We really need to up our game at home to compete with Thailand and bring the same amount of tourists they have as well! Let’s do it!