Feeding your wanderlust with Pinterest boards is something... But how about living the dream and offering yourself a stay in one of these unreal places you've been fantasizing about? I've taken the plunge and offered myself a slice of Thai paradise: a tranquil oasis nestled in a sprawling metropolis, The Banyan Tree Bangkok.
Traveling takes you to places you wouldn't even imagine could exist, makes you meet incredible people, discover flavors you've never tasted before and wake up with the most incredible views. That's why we travel. Sleeping in a luxurious hotel or in a barn doesn't really matter, as long as we experience something new and exciting.
In the old days, the Banyan tree provided shelter to weary travelers. The line of hotels chose to adopt the name as a symbol of the relief and comfort provided by nature... Which suits The Banyan Tree Bangkok perfectly.
Checking in The Banyan Tree Bangkok
After a short flight from Hong Kong, I'm welcomed with a fresh smelling Thai flower bracelet around my wrist and a refreshing drink. The atmosphere is relaxed, with a contemporary thai decor -and fresh flowers everywhere.
After a quick check-in, I get in my room... Awaiting me, a beautiful basket of fresh fruits -best passion fruits ever-, some tea & cookies, a gorgeous traditional kimono and more fresh flowers. The room is furnished in a layout with a living and resting area, a bedroom and a large ensuite bathroom with shower, great tub and twin vanity stand. After a bubbly bath and a glass of wine, I lose myself in the pages of the Banyan Tree Hotels catalogue, dreaming about these hotels all over the world, to finally fall asleep in my huge bed -which is pretty much the size of my bedroom in HK.
An exotic feast in the midst of the city
I wake up in my immense bed, and realize it's not a dream. A few floors below, a morning feast awaits me. I promised myself I wouldn't eat too much, but I can't resist with this buffet in front of me. Waffles, sushis, tomatoes mozzarella salad, fresh fruits, muesli, all kind of eggs... It would be rude to resist anyway!
Whereupon, I continue my exploration of the hotel and discover The Banyan Tree Spa. Hundreds of tiny lights light up the massage room -it's like being on the beach on a starry night. The fragrances of essential oils, the relaxing music, the bamboos and fresh flowers create all together a magical atmosphere. I'm obviously still dreaming -and I'm pretty sure a unicorn will appear soon.
After a relaxing swim in the pool, I head up to the 53th floor, for a taste of upscale Japanese food overlooking the city. Taihei is one of the ten restaurants held in The Banyan Tree Bangkok. The menu is absolutely fabulous -making a choice among this list of signature dishes is to hard for me, so I let my Thai friends chose. Then a parade of exquisitely presented dishes starts : crispy tempura, amazing sushis, remarkable teppanyaki, homemade ice cream... All that with a frozen green tea in my hand, the most friendly staff and the best setting.
After a well-deserved nap around the pool, I head down to Lumpini Park, a haven of tranquility in the heart of the bustling city, a few minutes walk from the Banyan Tree. It's known as the 'green lung' of Bangkok, where people come to practice tai chi or muay thai, run, play cards, take a nap in the shade of a tree, party around a picnic...
Chillin' with a view at The Moon Bar
It's 5 pm. The Moon Bar has just opened. The contrast between the hustle and bustle of the city and the abundance of tranquility in this rooftop is incredible. I'm sipping the coolest cocktail -a bubbly-smoky Moon Romance, featuring Vodka Melon, Green Mint, Peach and Lime juice, served on bed of dry ice- while the sun goes down, offering the best view of Bangkok you could possibly imagine. It's absolutely stunning. I'm perched on top of this stunning hotel, overlooking the whole city -it could be the perfect end to this amazing stay in the Banyan Tree Bangkok. But it's not over yet.
Bangkok is known for its fine dining on top of high-rise buildings. So tonight, I've decided to discover the cuisine of the renowned restaurant Saffron. It offers a great panorama over the city, and probably the best Thai food I've ever tasted. I highly recommend the Tom Yum Soup, that was close to perfection. The chef is a real artist. Every dish is a surprise for the senses. That's how my stay in Banyan Tree Bangkok ends. With one of the best dinners I've ever had -sorry mum!-, in this soothing and relaxed decor with knockout views.
I couldn't imagine a better experience for a first time in Bangkok. I've discovered the art of hosting so unique to Thailand, the Thai music with live concerts in the lounge, the culture of beauty everywhere, the Thai cuisine obviously, and I've seen Bangkok from a different angle -from above. It was exceptional. The perfect alternative to not get sick of the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.
The one thing to remember? I'd say the Tom Yum Soup in Saffron...
Have you been in The Banyan Tree Bangkok? To the Moon Bar? What's your dream hotels in the world?