Le Méridien Bangkok
My primary doubt as I was checking into Le Méridien Bangkok two weeks ago was whether the stay would be worth writing about.
It was a 24-hour staycation in a city hotel 8km from my home.
Not that I am the kind of person who enjoys red light entertainment, but with businesses in nearby Patpong just beginning to pick up, there seemed almost nothing else stimulating to look for.
I was wrong.
The 13-year-old hotel, which has been renovated, indeed had quite a few things on offer.
During my overnight stay, I witnessed a harmony between well-thought-of practicality, French joviality and Thai warmth.
Even though some new dining establishments have been added and are still settling in -- the attentiveness and amiability of the staff nicely made up for some vulnerability.
Situated in the beating heart of Bangkok, the hotel is a few steps away from Patpong and Silom, some of the city's most commercially active quarters. That means guests are spoiled for choice when it comes to dining, shopping and nightlife. There are lots of restaurants, cafes and bars, especially Japanese-style, along Soi Thaniya, just across the street. The sleepless neighbourhood is also dotted with countless shops and stalls selling anything from clothing and apparel to golf equipment.
A highly efficient mass transit system makes it convenient for guests to access many of the city's attractions.
Using the MRT subway at Sam Yan, which is eight minutes' walk from the hotel, culture enthusiasts can arrive go to Chinatown within 15 minutes and The Grand Palace within half-an-hour.
Those seeking retail pleasure can take the BTS Skytrain at Sala Daeng station, which is a six-minute walk away, to Siam Paragon, CentralWorld, MBK and JJ weekend market.
Chauffeured vehicles can also be hired through the hotel with advance booking.
Design & Facilities
As a design-focused hotel brand founded by Air France in 1972, Le Méridien Bangkok blends up-to-the-minute local artistic sensation with a fun-loving French perspective.
A giant white dog sculpture, known as I-Jud, created by Thai ceramic artist Wasinburee Supanichvoraparch, playfully welcomes guests at the hotel's new-look porte-cochère.
All 282 rooms and suites have also been freshly revamped, with an ergonomic design and modern amenities.
There's a Lifestyle floor featuring a 24/7 Technogym-equipped fitness centre, an outdoor lap pool, a plunge bar and a very beautiful and cosy European-style spa.
For functions, there are five event rooms, including the lofty Grand Atelier ballroom with a 9m-high ceiling, equipped with up-to-date meeting facilities and systems. Complimentary high-speed internet access is available in all public areas.
There are basically two types of accommodations: a 37m² Deluxe Room and 78m² Suite.
Room 1824, where my husband and I stayed, is a corner suite with an immense bedroom, a large bathroom and a roomy living area.
Hence we were provided with a striking 90-degree view of Bangkok through two sides of expansive floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
The comfortable space, lots of natural lighting and softwood flooring give the suite a luxurious homey vibe, that I could stay put for hours without a slight feeling of being confined in a hotel room.
Helping enrich the stay were comfy sofas, an extra-long working desk, two smart TVs, two sets of Bluetooth speakers and an Illy coffee-making machine. The suite also features plenty of cleverly-designed storage spaces.
A spacious marble bathroom, which fully opens to the bedroom via a sliding door, has an extra-deep tub and a large shower room with two sets of rain showers ideal for couples. The separate toilet is equipped with a Japanese-style washlet to make the stay even more indulging.
Latest Recipe is the hotel's main dining outlet. In the morning it serves as an international culinary marketplace for buffet breakfast.
From 11am onwards, it transforms into La Cantine, the restaurant's brasserie-style alter ego, where comforting European cuisine from giant spinach ravioli and lobster tortelli to merlot seafood soup, braised beef shin and roasted sea bass is served.
On a mezzanine foyer there's a brand-new bar, Tempo. This super photogenic space is where mixologists embrace a Japanese attitude and use local plants and herbs to craft high-end cocktails.
BBQ and meat lovers can find joy in Rolling Ribs Brew Bar & BBQ, the semi-open Memphis-inspired restaurant set in a front corner space of the hotel.
A la carte dishes, snacks, pastries and an impressive selection of coffees, whipped up by an award-winning barista, are available throughout the day at Latitude 13.
With coffee being an inseparable part of the brand Le Méridien, guests are always promised utmost caffeine satisfaction. In fact, the impression starts from the very moment we arrived at the check-in counter. We got to choose between orange juice and a cold-brew coffee for a welcome drink. We chose the latter, of course, and were very delighted.
Exclusive benefits such as access to the hotel's executive lounge where afternoon refreshments and light bites are served from 2-4pm and cocktails from 5-7pm; complimentary laundry service and late check-out are on offer with a special club package.
A recently launched "Au Soleil by Le Méridien" also offers special promotions including a 60-minute spa treatment with afternoon tea for two people at 2,990 baht net.