Planning a one-way trip to SE Asia to explore parts of the world I’ve never experienced and teach English, I could not have been more excited.
Starting to plan out the first few weeks of my trip, I reserved flights and hostels around Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. As a generous gift for what should have been my first night in SE Asia, a good friend offered to gift me a night at the Banyan Tree in Bangkok.
The week before my trip, however, I needed to switch a few flights around and ended up starting my trip in Singapore instead of Bangkok.
Bangkok became my third stop and something I looked forward to while in Singapore and Kuala Lumpar, knowing I’d have one night in luxe digs.
It’s unusual for me to stay at hotels, let alone luxury ones. Admittedly, it doesn’t take much to impress someone when they’re used to staying in Airbnb studio flats or private bedrooms ;).
That said, the Banyan Tree blew me away. Home to some of Bangkok’s largest accommodations with all the amenities you’d expect of a 5-star hotel, staying there for one night was a serious treat.
During my stay, I was booked in a Horizon room with a king bed and city view. Walking into my room, I was stunned- a huge living room with a plush sofa, well stocked mini bar, spacious bathroom with a shower and deep tub, and one of the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in.
After surveying my room when I checked in mid-afternoon, I immediately decided I wouldn’t be leaving the hotel property for the rest of the day. To be fair, it’d been a crazy day already at the Grand Palace, so I was in desperate need of tranquility.
After settling into my room, I made my way to the sky high pool on floor 21. With great views of the city, the pool is surrounded by lush greenery and falling water fixtures. The perfect way to unwind on a hot day after being out in bustling city below.
Post dinner, I relaxed in my room for a bit. With sunset looming, I took the lift to floor 59 to Vertigo, one of the best rooftop bars in Bangkok.
With the sun already starting to sink below the horizon, I snapped a few pics and then grabbed a seat at the bar. I don’t drink much anymore, but decided to treat myself to a cocktail, going for a refreshing sour with bourbon, watermelon and a few other additions.
Loved the experience of watching day turn to night from atop the city. Yes, the cocktails are expensive (think $16-20 USD each), but if you have one as a treat and stay for a while to really savour it, it’s worth it in my book.
Craving Thai for dinner, I headed to Saffron, a Banyan Tree restaurant, offering up classic Thai dishes.
The dinner experience at Saffron was one of the most elegant meals I’ve ever had the privilege of enjoying. The care that went into prepping every part of the experience was astounding.
Upon being showing to a window seat overlooking the city below, a host brought me an orchid to wear in my hair- a beautiful touch.
For dinner, I chose crab spring rolls to start, pad thai as my main and mango sticky rice with coconut ice cream for dessert. Without question, one of the best meals I’ve ever had- the flavours were next level.
And, as added nice touches, I was offered a few other bites ‘on the house’ – two traditional Thai appetisers.
Rounding out the meal, I headed out to Saffron’s Garden Bar, a seriously lush, twinkling space high above the glittering city. There, I enjoyed a Thai iced tea and read for a bit before heading back to my room.
By the time I got back to my room, it was pretty late- ~9 pm, and I was excited to try out the plush bed, and burn the daily incense that’d been left in my room. The bed was so comfortable, I ended up moving my early am flight to Chiang Rai to an early afternoon one solely so I could sleep in and enjoy the room a bit more in the morning.
My only regret from my stay is that I didn’t have time to try out the sauna in the fitness centre or take any of the free yoga or pilates classes offered by the hotel. I slept in later than intended the next morning, in part, because I’d barely slept the night before travelling to Thailand from Malaysia and desperately needed rest.
I only left the hotel once during my stay, and when I did- I took taxis across town. The only complaint I’d have about Banyan Tree is it’s a bit far from metro stops- especially in the heat. The hotel runs an hourly shuttle to major transit hubs, but I noticed most guests were taking taxis.
Would I stay at the Banyan Tree again? Absolutely.
I’m not wild about the price per night, but if you can score a good deal, it’s worth it. I’m convinced the best way to do Bangkok is exploring early morning – early afternoon, and then relaxing at your hotel pool (if you’re lucky enough to have one) or in air conditioning before heading back out into the city for the evening.
Other Posts About Thailand You May Enjoy
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Have you ever been to Bangkok? Where’d you stay? And, do you enjoy splurging on hotels when you travel?