27 November Get away from it all in Bangkok (Four Seasons Hotel)
Getting to or from any holiday destination in Thailand take can at least three hours both ways; that’s wasting six hours of your precious weekend time. So why not put that time to better use by pampering yourself and partner and renting a suite at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok? And you don’t even have to leave the hotel once you’ve checked in, it has everything you need including its own shopping courtyard.
Upon checking in, why not kick back and soak in the tub for a while, and read your favourite publication. Then relax on the comfy triple bed while watching the news, or some of your favourite programs or movies on the 42-inch plasma screen TV.
For lunch the next day, check out Biscotti. Designed by New York-based architect and designer Tony Chi, this is a contemporary Italian restaurant with an open-air kitchen. The pastas and pizzas that Chef Danio Aisassa creates are so good that you’ll be expecting those who serve you to be speaking Italian by meal’s end.
For those fond of Japanese cuisine try Shintaro, which means new vision; it’s the hotel’s fun, contemporary and innovative sushi bar where chef Satoshi Sawada serves up sumptuous sushi, sashimi, noodle and tempura dishes with, of course, a unique variety of sake and Japanese beer.
For dinner, try Madison, a Manhattan style steakhouse where Chef Anchalee Pongrungsit serves up excellent charcoal-grilled Kobe, Australian and Argentinean beef. You can also savour some fine Andaman seafood including lobster, jumbo king prawns, sea bass and Scottish salmon. And there’s grilled “milk fed” veal chops, lamb chops and chicken, “grass fed” prime beef as well as barbequed pork ribs, all served with a wide selection of delicious sauces. A number of tasty desserts finish off the meal, all complemented by an extensive wine list, Cognac or Armagnac.
And not to be outdone is The Spice Market, run by chef Supanut Khanarak. This eatery has won long been recognized as one of the best Thai restaurants in the country. It features dishes from the four regions of Thailand, but focuses on fare from the central region serving an array of chicken, fish, pork and beef dishes as well as a variety of Thai fruits, desserts and Thai wine.
Aqua, the hotel’s stylish garden bar is an exquisite open-air dining and cocktail venue specializing in appetizer-sized snacks from around the world and innovative ice-cream presentations. It’s the only bar in Bangkok to serve the renowned Munich beer, Paulaner Weizen, served ice cold in special glasses. The city’s best martinis, ice-cold lemonade and freshly squeezed juices complete the extensive a-la-carte menu.
For breakfast, if you are staying for two nights I suggest eating at the Executive Club one morning and the next day, stay in bed and order from an exquisite room service menu. Read the morning paper and if you have a suite facing the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, watch the horse races, or even the Skytrain quietly whiz by your window in Blade Runneresque fashion.
Every Sunday from noon to 3:00pm, Madison, the Spice Market and Aqua Bar, all situated close to one another in the hotel’s Parichart Court, play host to a fabulous brunch. Feasting stations include New Zealand jumbo oyster, fish roe, shabu shabu, French foie gras, freshwater crayfish and assorted varieties of imported cheese.
Make sure you take some time to lounge by the pool. The Terrace offers all the usual by- the-pool treats like pizza, burgers, club sandwiches and spaghetti as well as an assortment of juices, shakes and coffees. Even though you are surrounded by high-rises the foliage and cabanas surrounding the pool will have you feeling you are sunbathing in a beach resort in southern Thailand. Imagine that.
Then to burn off some of those calories try the hotel’s Health Club & Spa and its state-of-the-art equipment ranging from Life Fitness Treadmills to Life Steps, Life Cycles, Cybex Bikes, Spin Bikes, Life Rowers, Cybex Strength Machines, Cardio-TV with individual headsets and even iPods to work out to. There’s also a steam room and Jacuzzi in each changing room.
The health club itself offers Thai Traditional Massage, Aromatic Massage, Oriental Massage and Wild Mint Foot Massage from specially trained masseuses. But if you really want to treat yourself, or loved one, try The Spa.
The Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (www.fourseasons.com/Bangkok/) is a Canadian chain, founded by Isadore Sharp, who opened his first hotel in 1961 on Jarvis Street across from the old CBC headquarters. Sharp, who lost his youngest son, Christopher, to cancer, has played a huge role in spreading the success of the Terry Fox Run, and for years the Four Season’s in Bangkok staged its own Terry Fox Run. Among the many honours Sharp has won over the years is the Financial Post Magazine’s “CEO of the Year” in 1992, an honour that was bestowed upon him by Canada’s Governor General.
When the hotel was known as the Regent, Canadian Bill Black was it’s General Manager for 13 years and he was one of the most well-respected and well-loved hoteliers in Bangkok history. During his tenure, Black sponsored many initiatives including helping found the Thai Business Coalition Against Aids (TBCA), a group set up to help those suffering from the disease, spread awareness and fight job discrimination.
The Spa (www.mspa-international.com)
The Spa is a tropical hideaway where tranquil sounds of rippling water complement the soothing aromas of natural herbs and spices. It’s the perfect place to relax, unwind, and escape from the outside world.
Conscientious attention to detail is paid to every element to produce a completely rejuvenating experience. From the welcoming herbal tea to the fresh orchids you gaze at through your massage bed headrest, nothing is overlooked. Soothing sounds, intoxicating aromas, tranquil ambience, gracious caring staff and Spa Manager Supanee Tientongtip all combine to give you a feeling of serenity and pampered indulgence.
Thai herbal steam baths; coffee, green tea & spicy ginger scrubs; warm ginger baths; floral foot baths; Ayurvedic, sport & aromatherapy massages; rejuvenating facials; detox ocean baths; seaweed contour body wraps; lymphatic drainage massage; manicures & pedicures, the list just goes on and on, including a Javanese Lulur scrub and Bali Floral Oil Massage. If you don’t leave The Spa feeling relaxed, you definitely have anxiety problems.
And the massages can also be done in your room, but The Spa itself is worth a visit. The tunnel down to the spa rooms is Arabian Nightesque.
• Exclusive room registration in the Executive Club
• Express check-out at the Executive Club
• Full buffet breakfast with cooked to order items from 6-10:30am
• Evening canapés from 5:50-8pm
• Snacks & beverages available around the clock
• Private meeting rooms (first hour free; additional Bt600++/hour)
• Unlimited garment pressing
• Complimentary local calls & no surcharge for credit card access calls
• Extensive library with latest magazines, newspapers, books & novels
• 24-hour business centre facilities with staff available to assist
• 24-hour in-room complimentary Internet service