Back in June 2013, we headed to Bangkok to attend a travel bloggers conference called Digital Innovation Asia. During this time, Andrew and I spent four glorious nights at the Amari Watergate Hotel in Bangkok.
This is not our usual standard of accommodation in Bangkok or indeed anywhere else. While we would love to become accustomed to the Amari it is, for us, going to be reserved for special occasions, romantic weekends away and any other time when we want a little spoiling.
We arrived at the hotel after a long journey from Perth via Singapore and walked through the many stalls of the famous wholesale Pratunam Markets in Bangkok. The check-in was seamless. The front desk asked our names and then we were whisked upstairs to the 32nd floor to the executive lounge for our official check-in.
Thirty-Second Floor! The staff took our passports and provided us with large glasses of orange juice and traditional Thai flower wreaths. So lovely. We noticed that there was a buffet going on. Ooh, we had arrived just in time for the 5pm - 7pm canapé selection. This would be the first of many delicious meals we would have here.
After our feed, which was a lot more than the above photo, we headed to our room. Our room was also on the 32nd floor. Ooh lah lah!
Our room, an executive room, was about 40m2 in size. This was a huge room by our standards. In the hallway is a large wardrobe complete with ironing board, iron, coat hangers, robes, and a personal safe. On the other side of the walk way there was a lovely bathroom.
The bathroom consisted of a shower with two shower heads that gave you an option of having a rain or regular shower. And of course there was a toilet and a sink. There was plenty of bench space to store all of our toiletries and they provided plenty of bathroom goodies. Combs, toothbrushes, cotton buds, shower gel, moisturiser and a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner mix. Personally, the 2-in-1 shampoo let them down a little. For a fancy hotel I would have liked to see separate shampoo and conditioner bottles for guests to use.
The bathroom also had a massive bath that took forever to fill. We only had one bath as we were generally too busy running around Bangkok. A really nice touch was the ability to open the wooden partition between the bathroom and the bedroom. This meant we could watch television or look at the view while in the bath.
The bedroom contained what felt like a bigger than king size bed, a big screen TV, a one seater couch and an office section. Ooh yeah, a proper desk set up. Hotel rooms with decent desks are like chicken's teeth. That means extremely rare if you're not familiar with the phrase.
Not only was there wifi throughout the whole hotel but there was also the option have a LAN port connection. The cable was provided as was this awesome wall panel containing all manner of plugs. How I loved this office set up. Totally perfect for business travellers (and travel bloggers).
Beyond the curtain was a fantastic view of Bangkok. Andrew and I enjoyed standing at the window watching the always busy Bangkok streets. The traffic never seemed to stop. The Pratunam Markets is one of the busiest areas of Bangkok. People come from all over the world to shop in this area.
This hotel is perfect for the shoppers of the world!
More about food! We received awesome little plates of various bits and pieces in our room including smoked salmon, different flavours of macaroons and delicious fresh fruits. We were also provided with probably the best breakfast buffet we've ever had!
The breakfast buffet consisted of fresh juices and smoothies, fresh sashimi, many different types of bread, a deli and cheese section (oh my gosh!), different hot foods from around the world, cereals, dried and fresh fruits... the list goes on!
All this delicious breakfast food! Honestly, if Andrew and I didn't have to be somewhere else, we would have sat and ate right up until they wrestled the food away. I miss you smoked salmon, goats cheese, blue cheese and salami. Nom!
All this food. You know what we needed to help our digestion? A one hour fancy massage. Andrew and I headed to Breeze Spa, completed our very thorough patient cards and got ready to be pampered.
Breeze Day Spa is beautifully decorated. It even smelt good! We were massaged in a couples room that had its own bath, shower and toilet for our convenience.
Andrew chose a Thai massage so he was given a little outfit to put on. Thai massages do not use oil so you typically get some pyjamas to wear. I chose an oil massage so I had to make do with a pair of paper knickers.
Fancy spa massages can be a bit hit and miss. Often they're staffed by pretty young ladies who don't have the strength to really dig in. While the staff at Breeze Spa were both young and pretty they really knew what they were doing. It was unbelievable that someone so small could be so strong. We both agreed that we had enough pain to go with our pleasure. Massages should hurt, at least a little.
One last mention about food. For dinner one night after a long day we decided against heading out onto the streets to find food. Instead at at the hotel's Thai restaurant, Thai on 4. The head chef of the establishment once worked for the royal family of Thailand.
Andrew and I chose one of their set menu option instead of the ala carte menu. We like to eat lots of little things instead of just one main meal.
Our first course was a special one provided by the head chef. Thai fish cakes served with a sweet chilli sauce. We both devoured that in one mouth full and got excited about the rest of the food to come.
Next was a plate of four food items. From left to right in the photo below - Gaeng Liang Goong - a spicy vegetable soup served with fresh prawns; Prom Khao Niew - sticky rice; som tam - traditional green papaya salad with herbs, a lot of chilli and dried shrimp; Gai Yang Takrai - marinated chicken skewer.
Delicious! Although the somtam was a little too spicy for our "fresh from Australia" tummies. If this was served to us a week later we would have eaten it all up!
After the massive entree, we received our next plate of food. Four dishes consisted of Gaeng Phed Ped Yang - roast duck curry (top left); Nua San Phad Sauce Prik Thai-On - stir-fried beef tenderloins with chilli and herbs (top right); Phad Phak Tang Chanid - stir fried vegetables with oyster sauce (bottom left); and various different types of steamed rice.
All the dishes were fantastic! The duck curry had just enough spice in it to keep up wanting more and we both loved the four different rice stack.
Because I am allergic to mangoes (SIGH!) we chose two other desserts to try instead of the mango and sticky rice that should have come with the set menu.
We ate delicious coconut ice-cream and Bua Loy Khai Wan - tri-coloured dumplings with quail egg in coconut milk. Both desserts were delicious!
The only thing we would recommend to others who are to dine at Thai on 4 is to consider getting one set menu to share and to add on one other ala carte menu item. The meals were huge and really, unless you are happy to sit and eat from 6pm till closing, there is just too much food. Especially if you want to hungry when breakfast time rolls around again...
The Amari Watergate Hotel in Bangkok has a lot of other things to offer both the tourist and the business traveller. It has the largest hotel gym that we have seen, a fantastic pool, a rooftop garden area that overlooks the Bangkok skyline, and a great concierge service who are happy to haggle with taxis on your behalf.
Would we stay here again? Yes, we would... but sadly I don't think we will be staying in an executive suite again. The standard rooms would suit us fine. I'm sure you've already figured out that this is not a budget hotel. The prices are quite reasonable for a five star hotel and you can get great specials via booking sites on the web. We'll definitely be making sure to see what is available next time we're in Bangkok and its someone's birthday, an anniversary or whatever other excuse we can come up with to justify staying here.