I recommend, the SHANGRI-LA HOTEL for anyone traveling to Thailand. It has everything that a traveler could want, including a great location. It’s right next to the Sky Train and on the banks of the Chao Phraya River which will save you a great deal of time in traffic. The hotel is only about a 30 minute drive from the airport or you could take a ride on their exclusive helicopter transport service. The rooms, amenities, dining and service are top-notch and I always stay there when I’m in Bangkok. Clearly I’m not alone because the Shangri-La has been consistently voted one of the best hotels in the world.
The rooms are spacious and comfortable, decorated in an exotic yet contemporary tone with beautiful Thai silk fabrics. Each room comes with standard high-tech amenities like: broadband internet, satellite TV, personal voicemail and an electronic safe. But the amenities that I appreciate the most are the luxurious beddings, a nightly turn down service, fully stocked mini bar and 24 hour room service. If you’re staying on the Horizon level, you’re in for a real treat. Those guests have access to 24 butler service, express check-in, a fax in each room, and other premium amenities.
The Shangri-La serves up several options for dinner and you can rest assured knowing that all the food here is clean and safe to eat. If you’re in the mood for award winning Italian food, then stop in to “Angelini.” It’s the perfect place to get that pasta fix or a pizza for the kids.
The “Next 2 Café” has one of the best all-you-can-eat buffets I’ve ever seen, with service that runs from breakfast until dinner. It excels with it’s variety of cook-to-order food stations from American to Indian, and outdoor grills. But we’re in Asia and and the Shangri-La offers Asian cuisine from nearly every country in the region. “The Shang Palace” is the place to experience authentic Cantonese dishes amid Chinese paintings and carvings. “Edogin” serves Japanese food in a relaxing, yet refined atmosphere. But a trip to the “Salathip” restaurant is an absolute must for every visitor. Within an authentic Thai open air house, guests can savor a true Thai experience and I’m not just referring to the food. They have nightly performances of classical Thai dances and music. It’s definitely something every visitor should see.
I loved the food at “Salathip” so much that I returned the next morning to get a lesson in Thai cooking. Each class begins with a trip to the market where every student is taught how to shop for Thai ingredients. I’m not a whiz in the kitchen so I was a little intimidated at first but it turns out I shouldn’t have been. The chef demonstrated how to make each meal and we made a three course dinner which the class got to taste at the end. It was delicious! We also observed a fruit carver at work. He made an elaborate melon carving with my name in it, which I thought was amazing! I just wish I could have taken it home with me!
The hotel’s fitness center has a full range of activities from table tennis and a heated pool to a fully equipped gym. I didn’t visit to the gym this trip but instead headed to the Shangri-La’s spa, “Chi”. This is a totally unique spa facility that blends Chinese medicine with beauty treatments. The facility included nine suites, an herbal bath and an infinity pool. The treatments range from the classic massage and facials to massages that “balance your chi”. I opted for the Himalayan Healing stone treatment. It began with a massage and then they placed heated stones on my back that had mantras carved into them by Himalayan monks. It is believed that these stones bring good energy to the person having the treatment. At the end of the treatment they bring out the “singing bowl” whose soothing chimes and soft ringing help relax your mind and body. By the end of this massage I felt any tension or stress simply disappear.
While staying in Bangkok, I love to go out on the Chao Phraya River and experience the sights and people of Bangkok from the water. The Shangri-La hotel has found a way for you to improve this experience by taking a trip on their river boat, the Horizon. They offer both lunch and dinner cruises that go from Bangkok to the ruins of Ayuthaya, the ancient capitol of Thailand. I recommend the lunch cruise to explore Ayuthaya, and the dinner cruise to see the sights of Bangkok, including the Temple of the Dawn all lit up at night. It’s absolutely magical! You know “Shangri- La” means ‘paradise found’ and after experiencing all that this hotel has to offer, you’ll agree that it truly lives up to its name!