Be very specific with the taxi driver on which Marriott hotel you want in Bangkok; there are the Marriott Executive Apartments in Sathorn and Lumpini, the JW Marriott in Sukhumvit and the Marriott Bangkok Sukhumvit in Thonglo.
Words: R. Rajendra
I was heading for the latter, but predictably, was heading to the wrong property. The taxi driver had seen this muddle before and advised me to double-check the confirmation sheet. “How many Marriotts are there in Bangkok?” I asked sheepishly as he swerved away from Wireless Road into Rama IV Road that reconnected with Sukhumvit Road. About 15 minutes later, he dropped me off at the gleaming glass tower, sparkling in the midday sun in one of Bangkok’s latest entertainment districts: Thonglo.
Located near Thonglo BTS station, the Marriott Bangkok Sukhumvit is a swanky hotel. An airy lobby with lofty ceilings greeted me and immediately, I sensed the blueprint of this hotel was a clever mix of old and new, tradition and the trendy. Oversized ceremonial trays occupied one corner while equally imposing crystal chandeliers hung in the opposite direction. The vibe was young, urban and playful with a respectful nod to Thai traditions.
It being located slightly away from the madding crowd, the Marriott Bangkok Sukhumvit offers exceptionally good views of the city as there aren’t many steel and glass towers jostling for prime position nearby. The 42-floor tower with 295 rooms offers uninterrupted views, which give you not only a sense of how the city has expanded, it also produces a surreal sense of calm once you are ensconced in your room, staring at the silent street scene far below. This was Bangkok like I had never seen before.
The rooms were very much to my liking – spacious, bright and airy. With no frou-frou furnishing, it was almost masculine but still soft and gentle on the eyes with its Revive bedding and plush pillows. With just a pop of colour on the carpet and a large image of an old Thai rural scene that had panels of different sizes embedded for a 3D effect, the modish feel of the room was very appealing. A large sliding door opened to reveal a handsome bathroom with Thann toiletries, but the attraction here was the bathtub: A circular tub in a marble-clad corner with massive glass windows overlooking the city. Although my six-foot frame never did fully stretch out in the tub, the spa-like atmosphere of the bath and the ensuing tranquillity together with the city views offered the most gratifying moments I had experienced in a long time.
Another pleasure point is the Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar located on the 49th level of the tower. With fewer neighbouring buildings, you get uninterrupted views of the city. To my delight, the day I visited the rooftop lounge, the air was amazingly clear and visibility was up to 50kms! This spot affords a truly top-of-the-world feeling and is perfect for a sun downer, while enjoying Asian-style tapas. There are also two additional levels below for intimate get-togethers with food and drinks.
The food scene at this hotel is certainly something to brag about, surpassing the many exciting F&B outlets at nearby Thonglo. The District Grill Room & Bar is a handsome restaurant done up in deep and sexy shades that serves up great food matched by an extensive selection of wines. The 57th Street restaurant on lobby level serves modern and fusion meals in a relaxed ambiance. But more than just a coffeehouse, this diner boasts a menu of lovingly gathered traditional home-style recipes. For me, it was a very simple meal in the form of an omelette that I had for breakfast. Nothing unusual about that you say? Not when the chef prepared the fluffiest egg with shredded kaffir lime leaves, topped with a mild chilli paste that was a novel and delicious way of serving this all-time breakfast favourite. That one experience alone confirmed that the folks at Bangkok Marriott Sukhumvit know how to take the simple and turn it into the sublime.
BANGKOK MARRIOTT SUKHUMVIT
Address: 2 Sukhumvit Soi 57 Klongtan Nua, Wattana Bangkok
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