Ideally located near the beautiful and historical Chaophraya River, the gorgeous Marriott Resort and Spa is the perfect place to while away those tired arms and legs during a vacation. It provides the ultimate in luxury starting from the highest quality of food provided right the way through to the smile from any one of the staff members that greet you upon your arrival. They know very well that you may have come from half way around the world and what it means to you to have a nice hot relaxing shower or a good night sleep after a long haul flight. After all, it only takes one chance to make a lasting impression on the customer service and the hotel’s quality in the customer’s eyes’.
By all means it is perhaps not easy to locate however when you arrive at the resort it provides a feeling of sheer joy and relaxation. Effectively it can be described as an oasis within the city. The Marriott Spa and resort with 319 rooms and 94 suites is considered to be the only true resort located within the vicinity of Bangkok’s CBD area. The nearest metro (Sky train) is Silom (about 12 KM away), and is easily accessible by the free boat shuttle service that runs every 20 minutes from the resort to the sky train pier (takes around 5 minutes to get there).
The resort is located on the rather busy (though not so much for tourists), Charoennakorn road. If one was to take a walk on this road, they would not imagine or believe that such a luxury resort and Spa hotel as the Marriott is located here. Though it is hard to believe, but nevertheless, once you are firmly inside the hotel you’ll be greeted with an atmosphere of sheer tranquillity and an aromatic ambiance. I found myself thinking how hard it is to believe that only around 100 meters away from the hotel’s foyer is the loud hustle and bustle of everyday Bangkok. The hotel does not posses such a high rise as some of the newer hotels in the city. Though it has to be said quite rightly it should be a low rise building because it is, after all, a resort and not a full on glass house in the middle of the CBD. While the beautiful swimming pool is active during the daytime with avid swimmers and sun bathers, during the evening it turns into a place where you can just relax and while away your free time. It’s good to be lazy once in a while- and why not? After all you are on holiday!
Like the vast majority of the hotels’ in Bangkok (and indeed in Thailand as well), you’ll not need to go far to find a painting, statue or even a wallpaper dedicated to the Thai Elephant. Indeed, a beautiful painting of the Thai Elephant was the first thing that greeted me when I entered my room. Because this hotel is a resort and meant to resemble something like a colonial outpost in the middle of Bangkok, the floors have no carpets but are laid with strong posh mahogany. The furniture is also all wooden rather than being of a contemporary design. Each room comes with a balcony from where you can get fabulous views of the rest of the resort and the river in the background. In room tea is provided by the Sri Lankan company Dilmah. Visitors can choose the city view (perhaps’ you like to look at lovely buildings in Bangkok), Chaopraya river view (highly recommended!) or the resort view.
The splendid Suan Luang suite is located on the 7th floor in a lovely position that allows the guests to enjoy a full 2 sided balcony from where stunning views of the river can be captured to the heart’s content. There are some fabulous touches to the suite that include original costumes from the film “The King and I”, and also a partial sculpture from a Cambodian temple. You have to see it to believe it.
Nothing beats the feeling of just sitting down by the poolside in the late evening or at night-time and chatting to your friends or family while sipping a lovely drink. It would be so pleasant that even the full moon in the sky would shy away behind the passing clouds- that enchanting cool breeze from the river’s swishing currents’ is a welcoming refreshment after a long hot day in Bangkok. The only sound that will perhaps interrupt your talk is that of a cricket in the background or a boat passing by in the river behind you.
The resort has to be proud in many of its feats that include the period furniture in the rooms, the spacious foyer with the signature club lounge on the first floor and of course the amazing swimming pool area. However the main highlight of the hotel has to be the huge dining room known as the “market”, which usually comes alive in the morning when breakfast is served. With over 5 live kitchens and an area that projects nothing but sheer culinary delight in every possible way.
The staff all speak good levels of English. While having your breakfast you can get a decent idea of the type of people that stay at this fascinating resort. The vast majority of the guests are from Europe, North America and Australia, and would ideally fall into either the “Honeymooners” or “Luxury globe trotters” bracket. The “market” also transforms into a multi-ethnic buffet and provides a widely popular a la carte menu with scrumptious dishes from award winning chefs.
The Spa itself (known as the Mandara Spa), is around a 2 minute walk from the foyer of the hotel, and is a hidden gem. Even before you set foot inside the Spa itself, the garden path that leads you to the Spa’s entrance is surrounded by lush greenery and a tranquil atmosphere that gives the impression of a remote rural area and not that one of a city. Yet that’s the beauty of this wonderful resort- despite being in a loud and brash city, the resort is very much quite and peaceful. Bangkok is by all means not a tranquil city. If anything in actual fact it is metropolis that never sleeps- even if you do. With over 44 different types of treatments available you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice. Highly recommended is the “Honey and Milk bath” (950 Baht for 30 minutes) and the “Mandara Signature Massage” (4,400 Baht for 60 minutes).
There is something for everybody when it comes to the subject of food. Authentic Italian (Brio restaurant) and Japanese (Benihana restaurant) cuisine is provided. Both of these restaurants usually come alive during lunchtime and dinnertime- though both are even more lively and (romantic as well) in the evening. The joy of having a signature “Bangkok Sling” drink comes into practice when one is dining at the lovely “Loy Nam Bar” which is a poolside bar and restaurant that, as with all other restaurants and bars’, comes alive in the evening. If you want to round off a perfect stay at the Marriott Spa and Resort than highly recommended that you go on a Manohra Cruise with your loved ones’ on a truly magical dining experience that you will never forget.
Doubles start from: 4,500 Baht with the City View Room or from 5,300 Baht for the Chaopraya River View.
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