1883 Magazine

Say Shangri-La and the first thing that comes to mind is a harmonious utopia, a gentle paradise and a perfect escape. Whether it’s the fictional place described in James Hilton’s 1933 novel Lost Horizon, or the hotel group, the description matches both perfectly. We were lucky enough to grace the Shangri-La, in the buzzing City of Angels aka Thailand’s capital: Bangkok, with our presence this Spring. 

It’s difficult to know where to start with the Shangri-La Bangkok. We were attentively welcomed by an entourage of doormen dressed impeccably in their unique and exotic uniforms, including exquisite golden pantaloons. After receiving our welcome gift, a traditional Asian flower garland made up freshly of colourful seasonal blooms, we were escorted up to the 22nd floor to a deluxe river view room, boasting panoramic views of the Chao Phraya River. Behind a broad glass window and cradled by a comfortable window seat, the sweeping view of Bangkok at night-time appeared superimposed due to its sheer impressiveness. The huge cloud-like bed was adorned with a magnificent ceiling-high wooden headboard, with a hand painted illustration, which we were told depicted a scene from an ancient Thai tale. We were left settle in and to indulge in a basket of fresh Asian fruits and a generously sized slab of homemade chocolate fudge. 

Next, we headed down to the hotel pier and caught the complimentary shuttle boat up the river, passing twinkling skyscrapers as we went, to upscale market: Asiatique The Riverfront. We browsed the trinket shops and souvenirs stalls, and stopped for some authentic Thai street food before catching the last boat back to our riverside haven. Upon returning, we settled in to a plush sofa situated in the elegantly decorated lobby lounge and let the soothing notes of the evenings singer wash over us, as we washed down a dark chocolate and fresh mint coffee, lavishly rounding off a perfect first evening.

A 6am sunrise swim began our first morning at the Shangri-La. The quiet pool with it’s lush greenery and tropical-feeling surroundings almost disguised the fact that we were in fact, in the centre of Bangkok, which was only given away by the sky scrapers shooting above us against the painted pink sky. After half an hour of gliding through the crystal waters, it was time for breakfast. The selection was immense, unlimited and heavenly. From classic continental offerings such as the time-honoured full English and what appeared to be the entire contents of a French patisserie, to more exotic and adventurous choices such as sushi, curries and rices. As if this wasn’t enough, there was an abundance of cheeses, meats, fruits, ice-creams in all flavours… you name it.

It’s difficult to truly describe the level that this hotel is on. From start to finish, the experience was a whirlwind of luxury, opulence, comfort and ease. The generous and humble staff, the luxuriously chic interior design, and the wonderful riverside location make the Shangri-La a glimmering jewel in the crown of Thailand that is Bangkok.

For more information on visiting the Shangri-La Bangkok visit www.shangri-la.com/bangkok/shangrila

Words by Ama Samra

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