IN FO­CUS Tra­di­tion In Tran­si­tion

ZbBZ (Singapore) - - IN THE FIRST PLACE -

My friend re­cently bought an apart­ment in Bangkok’s Sathorn dis­trict as a sort of a sec­ond home. It is a short walk to many of the new of­fice tow­ers, ho­tels and shop­ping malls in the Thai cap­i­tal’s em­bassy dis­trict. With a plethora of wa­ter­ing holes nearby, he heads out for a nightcap ev­ery night. You have to come visit me some time, he keeps telling me.

So I fi­nally took up his of­fer and found that Sathorn has in­deed ex­pe­ri­enced quite a meta­mor­pho­sis. Not so long ago, there used to be just The Westin and Metropoli­tan, but now the W Bangkok has also popped up and it is only a three-minute walk from Chong Nonsi BTS sta­tion.

The wildly popular club Ku De Ta is also in Sathorn and Health Land Spa & Mas­sage is just a few steps away. You also do not have to travel far to get to Siam Paragon or to the river­side. Sathorn used to be con­sid­ered in­con­ve­nient, but now, it counts as one of Bangkok hippest neigh­bour­hoods. W Bangkok opened two years ago and, what can I say, it truly is one chic ho­tel.

One is first greeted by the hip, pump­ing mu­sic which plays at the lobby pretty much all day long. If you like your ho­tels a bit more placid, you prob­a­bly should not be stay­ing here.

All 403 gue­strooms and 34 suites boast a view of the city and come equipped with state-of-the-art en­ter­tain­ment fa­cil­i­ties, in-room en­ter­tain­ment, W sig­na­ture beds and even a Munchie Box filled with snacks. You are wel­come to take your pet along. Pet-friendly rooms cost a very af­ford­able 750 baht (S$31) more a day than a regular room, on top of a 3,000 baht clean­ing fee.

Some of Thai­land’s most cut­ting-edge art is also fea­tured here. Look out for works by fresh young artists such as Maysa Yanovan, AvroKO, Su­tee Ku­navichayanont and Alongkot In-art. I was en­chanted by a wall at the lift lobby which com­prised hun­dreds of blink­ing lights typ­i­cally found on tuk-tuks. The ho­tel gift shop W The Store also has a col­lec­tion of Thai sou­venirs not seen else­where. I es­pe­cially like the Muay Thai boxing gloves cov­ered with se­quins, which can also be found in the gue­strooms. It’s tra­di­tional, yet mod­ern — just what the W is about.

W’s sig­na­ture concierge ser­vice is called What­ever/When­ever. If you are not al­ready too familiar with Bangkok, the chirpy concierges will help you de­sign your travel plan for the day. Whether you want to visit a tem­ple, go shop­ping, take a boat tour or go on a he­li­copter ride around Bangkok, they can make it hap­pen. On their rec­om­men­da­tion, I tried the roast suck­ling pig at the new­est lo­cal Chi­nese restau­rant Chef Man and was very sat­is­fied. I also got to try out some of the prop­erty’s well­ness fa­cil­i­ties on the day I was feel­ing too lazy to step out. I booked my­self a treat­ment at the Away Spa, then swam at the Wet Deck and went to the well-equipped Fit Gym. I then lunched at the Kitchen Ta­ble, where a smor­gas­bord of dif­fer­ent flavours are served all day. And to round off a re­lax­ing day, I en­joyed a few drinks at the Woo Bar.

Be­fore I left, I learnt that a 19th cen­tury build­ing which used to house the Rus­sian Em­bassy has been in­cor­po­rated into the ho­tel and will be re­opened to house two lux­u­ri­ous suites.

Here at W Bangkok, you can never get bored.

Tuk Tuk Cou­ture by AvroKO

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