David Trauts heads into the centre of Bangkok to try the newest hotel in town and while he’s at it, shop away to his heart’s content.
The action of the central business and commercial district of Bangkok has a life of its own. Me, I love it. I love the buzz of all the people rushing along the streets, the street stalls everywhere, the slick operation of the BTS Sky Train, and the great line of branded shopping opportunities that never appears to end.
Right in the middle of this melting pot of commercial humanity, standing tall over proceedings, is the new St. Regis Bangkok, which opened its doors to guests on the first of April, just a month before our visit. It’s a brand new, five-star hotel and residence, right next to Four Seasons Bangkok, and sited directly in front of the Ramadrami BTS station and the Royal Bangkok Sports Club golf course and racing track. If you talk about accessibility and location, it can’t be beat. It also can’t be beaten on style, luxury and the distinctive St. Regis service and attention to detail. A famous St. Regis Butler is appointed to every room in the property to attend to all needs and is the first stop for guests who require any assistance while in the hotel. The Butler is always one push of the button away on your room’s phone and he or she will come running any time day or night. Having a personal assistant like that can be a rewarding experience for the busy businessperson; shining shoes, pressing clothes or even organising a table at a nearby restaurant. He also comes in handy for the humble holiday-maker too.
St. Regis is famed the world over for their distinctive service and, after doing it now for over 100 years, they have service down to a fine art. Starting in New York City way back when, there appears to be a touch of old world, American charm in all of the staff. I’m not sure how they do it, but everyone knows your name and they give heartfelt greetings at every lobby or hallway encounter. Even the elegant uniforms that speak of a yesteryear style and grace have a modern cut that brings the staff into the twenty first century with ease.
In between shopping and dining bouts I managed to find my way to the Elemis Spa on the fifteenth floor, adjacent to the swimming pool and gymnasium. All that walking around Siam Paragon (the principal branded shopping mall in the area) had a wearying effect on my aching bones and I thought a massage would be the ideal recompense to a drained body. Elemis is an English brand of spa and wellness salon with branches in London, Paris, Hong Kong and now in Bangkok. The treatment room I was in was a beautiful facility. It was a large twin room complete with jacuzzis and double hanging chairs and views all the way down the main thoroughfare of Ramadadramis Road. I laid down for the 1½ hour Well Being Massage treatment and, to be honest, wasn’t enjoying it to begin with, but as I started to drift between sleep and consciousness from the wave-like massage technique, I began to feel the tension ease up through my body moving towards my head. This is what always happens to me with a good massage and when it came time to receiving the facial, which is the final part of the Well Being treatment, it seemed the tension was finally being released out through my face. Quite an interesting experience and needless to say, I was full of renewed energy after my session.
“I’m not sure how they do it, but everyone knows your name and they give heartfelt greetings at every lobby or hallway encounter.”
Dining at St Regis Bangkok will be evolving quickly over the next few months as their Italian and Japanese restaurants open downstairs on the ground floor, but for now and for our visit, the only restaurant was the Viu restaurant on the lobby 12th floor. This open-kitchen restaurant is the venue for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has fantastic views over the golf course opposite the hotel. The open-kitchen idea is taken to the next level in this restaurant. It is less a kitchen with a window to observe what the chefs are up to and appears more like a buffet since it is so open it almost invites you to walk in amongst it. It’s an interesting past time watching the chefs go about their toil – and you would hope that chefs at Viu have an even temperament or the whole place could become involved in a kitchen fracas. They serve a delightful menu of international and Thai dishes focussing mainly on the grill.
The two, new fine-dining restaurants on the ground floor will be an interesting addition to the St. Regis Bangkok and will surely bring a lot of life to the hotel. The foot bridge connection on the second floor to the BTS station out the front, which is slated to be completed soon, will also make it an inviting destination for diners from all over town in the near future. The Italian restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The rooms are finished perfectly and with all the amenities one would expect, except for the typical self-serve tea or coffee dispenser of most hotels, which wasn’t to be seen. One could imagine that the making of coffees was within the Butler’s realm, but there wasn’t any sign as such. The beautiful carpets, large mirrors, big flat screen TV and Remede amenities in the luxurious bathroom more than make up for that. The size of the rooms isn’t overly large and there isn’t a lot of room between the stylish pieces of furniture, but the room is big enough. This is a city hotel after all and at the end of the day one only requires a comfortable bed, a stylish and functioning bathroom and place to do your books or writing. The deluxe rooms have plenty of all of that and if more space is required there are Caroline and Metropolitan suites to choose from.
There are plenty of things to do in Bangkok. Boat trips on the river, visit Buddhist temples, wine and dine in many fancy restaurants, but if you are in Bangkok for business or a shopping spree extravaganza and want to do it in style, St. Regis Bangkok is the address to stay.
The St. Regis Bangkok
159 Rajadamri Road
Tel: +66 2207 7777