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Bangkok - The Peninsula Bangkok

In the years that much of Southeast Asia grappled with armed conflict and the struggles of modernization, Bangkok evolved into a place of optimism, opportunity, and change. Expatriates, soldiers, foreign correspondents and journalists from the West flocked to Bangkok for its rich culture and decidedly sensual flair, an exotic city looking to will its way into the 21st century. Opened in the fall of 1998, the Bangkok Peninsula, a stunning tower on the Bangkok skyline growing out of the West Bank of the Chao Phraya River, is a monument to this ambition. Persevering through the Southeast Asian economic crisis of the late 1990s, the Peninsula Bangkok is now the piece de resistance in the city’s luxury tourist district, a hotel that holds its own shore of the river, and its own place at the very top of any list ranking Asia’s best hotels.

Stepping into the expansive and ornate lobby, one immediately recognizes the fusion of the Western entrepreneurial spirit with the carnal, spiritual traditions of Thai culture. Teak climbs the walls from floor to ceiling, and magnificent glass windows frame the downtown Bangkok skyline. Indeed, every nuance in the hotel’s design is pointed toward its vistas—the ‘W’ shape of the 39-story, 370-room hotel means that each room looks east over the pool and gardens, and across the Chau Phraya river to the city’s downtown Thanon Silom district, and Bangkok’s hotel icons of generations past like the Shangri-La. In the Peninsula, ranked as the best hotel in the world by Travel + Leisure in 2003, Bangkok’s skyline has a new piece de resistance for its distinguished visitors.

Rooms here set a standard one would struggle to find anywhere else. High ceilings, stylish teak accents, and an average room size of 46 square meters allow guests at the Peninsula to gaze out at the Bangkok skyline from a glorious, roomy space. Sleeping and sitting areas are distinct, as is the oversized triangular business space before the floor-to-ceiling windows. With state-of-the-art technology, blinds can be drawn or shut, and lights dimmed or brightened at the touch of a button. The business desk features an oversized working space, broadband Internet access and a private fax machine, perfect for keeping pace with the world outside your window. Twin vanity suites are featured in the spacious marble bathroom, along with separate shower/bath and custom Peninsula bath products. Two cable televisions, including a hands-free unit above the bathtub, and a CD player with surround stereo sound in all rooms provides guests with all the entertainment technology they could want. If not for the incredible and vibrant city outside, one would be hard-pressed to find good reason to ever leave the exquisite comfort of the Peninsula’s suites.

But to do so, one would miss the extraordinary dining experiences available at the Peninsula. An early morning breakfast on the terrace, beating the humidity and watching the sunrise on another Bangkok day, is a moment of solitude in a frenetic place. Watch the first long tail boats of the day break the river’s relative overnight calm is one of the simple pleasures enjoyed at the Peninsula. From either the water’s edge or in the downstairs indoor seating area, The River Cafe & Terrace serves up three international buffets daily, featuring Western and Asian specialties served up in the restaurant’s unique open kitchens. For the best in authentic Thai cuisine, foreigners and locals alike find plenty to appreciate at the atmospheric Thiptara, where diners enjoy Thai feasts under riverside teak pavilions, or salas, in a homestyle Thai family environment. From the Thai-style honey-roasted peanut amuse bouche to start, the cuisine is unforgettable, a delicate fusion of its best flavours and purest ingredients to create an innovative and exotic menu that lingers on the palate long after the last bite. It is simply the most exquisite Thai experience available in a city bursting with great restaurants, and just one of several top-flight dining rooms in the hotel.

Jesters, which features an exotic and eclectic mélange of the personalities of Pacific Rim cuisine, moves beyond the Empire’s borders to find inspiration for its dishes, and for its upbeat, nouveau chic contemporary space. Set just above the Chau Phraya behind broad and unbroken sheets of glass that welcome in the skyline, this is the Peninsula’s canvas for fusing American and Asian culture in style, design, and food, and the results are impressive. For true Cantonese cuisine, Mei Jiang is a must-visit, and afternoon tea in the lobby is a classic Thai tradition that should be enjoyed as the late day sunshine refracts in the windows as they reach skyward. For drinks, other refreshments, and an exotic oasis in the heart of Bangkok, the Peninsula’s unique three-tiered landscape pool is an unlikely paradise so close to the urban bustle of the city. For nightcaps, martinis in the hotel bar are the perfect tonic, as is the live lounge music played nightly. And for the VIP guest, there is a treat altogether unmatched in the world’s great business hotels. On the hotel’s top floor, directly accessed by private elevator or from the rooftop helipad, is Paribatra, the Peninsula’s helicopter lounge. Exquisitely decorated as a monument to the history of flight in Thailand, the rich and famous can relax and unwind after a busy day, sipping cocktails in one of the most unique museums anywhere.

Guests can work up a sweat—and work off the weight of so many extravagant meals!—at the Peninsula’s own exclusive fitness center, a perfect antidote to the stress and flurry of urban Bangkok and modern life. The perfect enclave for anyone seeking to relax, be pampered, or work up a healthy sweat, the Peninsula’s fitness center is ideal. Included is the use of the aerobics studio, private locker rooms with sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzi, two floodlit tennis courts, and even a sports bar with water and fresh fruit, and other post-workout refreshments. In a city like Bangkok, finding your own quiet and personal space is critical for balance and harmony of self, and in every respect, this is what the Peninsula successfully provides. Hotels ought to be sanctuaries, providing comfort in the unfamiliar, and luxury in the exotic. By all accounts, especially the world’s foremost travel magazine, few if any hotels worldwide can offer its guests what the Peninsula can.

Stay at the most amazing hotel in the capital city of one of the world’s amazing kingdoms, and you have a launching point from which to experience all that Bangkok has to offer. Culinary experiences, cultural field trips, lifestyle programs, and great shopping excursions can all be arranged through the hotel’s own Academy Director. See Bangkok the way it was meant to be seen, and get a true sense of how this exotic city is destined to flourish in the decades to come.

Where to Stay

The Peninsula Bangkok  - 333 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
Tel: 66 (0) 2861 2888, Fax: 66 (0) 2861 1112
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