What would one of the world’s most legendary spa hotels look like if it landed in the middle of Bangkok? In the case of the Banyan Tree Bangkok, it’s a rare triple threat: a vertical oasis of a hotel with luxuriously appointed suites, a world-beating spa and a restaurant that many visitors look back on as the scene of one of their most incredible meals.
That restaurant - the Vertigo Grill & Moon Bar - takes its name from a Hitchcock film, and the first glimpse of the panorama unfurling from the hotel rooftop is gasp-inducing. From the 61st floor, the city’s temples, office buildings and malls glitter and wink in an appetite-intensifying way. Which is convenient, because the food is as glorious as the view. Caviar-topped salmon fillets, buttery squash soups and surprise amuse bouches are presented with theatrical flourishes that heighten the specialness of the experience.
The rooms to which diners retreat have mattresses you’ll want to nest in and TVs in every room (including the bathroom). You’ll spend less time here than you might in a more remote locale, and when you’re ready to leave, the staff are encouraging, enthusiastic and well-informed.
Now, as for that spa... A book-like menu presents an impressive array of massages and treatments, but every path leads to relaxation. Stumbling out into the sunshine on the pool deck feels like a rebirth - one you’ll want to toast with a Moon Bar martini come sunset. Glorious.
- Feeling muscles fall in line during the extra round of stretching at the end of a massage
- Mentally recording every moment of the four-course tasting menu with wine pairings at Vertigo – a once-in-a-lifetime affair
- Taking the metro to (almost) the end of the line and scouring Chatuchak weekend market for bargains
- Relaxing with a 10-minute neck and shoulder massage (complimentary when you're staying in a Banyan Tree Club Room or higher category)
- Sampling the range of pan-Asian breakfast specialities at Romsai, then going back for seconds of the naan and daal
- In-room internet carries a charge in the Deluxe Room (although it's free in other categories) – it’s a rare sticking point, considering the hotel’s wish-fulfilment mission
Need to Know: Banyan Tree Bangkok
Number of rooms: 327
Check-in/check-out times: 2pm and 12noon
Room service: Yes
Swimming pool: Yes
Spa: This is the reason so many guests seek out Banyan Tree Bangkok. From Thai Classic massages to scrumptious-sounding body conditioners, you could happily fill an entire week indulging in options from the extensive spa menu. Even if you don’t stay here, it’s worth visiting the spa floors for your own transformational experience.
Dogs welcome: No
Eating and drinking: You could eat your way around the region without ever leaving the hotel, thanks to the 12 different bars and restaurants waiting to tempt guests with a remarkable breadth of cuisines and styles. Vertigo is pretty unmissable for anyone after a luxury dining experience, but if you’re in the mood for Thai, try Saffron for haute takes on national favourites. Then there’s Bai Yun for nouveau Chinese, Pier 59 for Mediterranean, Taihea (teppanyaki and sushi) and Romsai, for breakfast and all-day dining below the lobby level.
Near to? Conveniently situated in the centre of Bangkok, the hotel’s nearest neighbours are embassies and other hotels. Lumpini Park (a verdant expanse where pensioners practise Tai Chi every morning) and Lumpini Metro station are within a 10-minute walk from the hotel, and a queue of taxis can ferry you to the nearest Chao Praya ferry terminal and more dispersed attractions.
Getting there: Request a transfer or pick up a metre taxi from the airport. Drive times vary wildly depending on traffic – it takes about 30 minutes.
SPECIAL OFFERS AT BANYAN TREE BANGKOK:
From July to the end of November, Banyan Tree Bangkok are offering ELLE escapes users a three nights for the price of two deal. In order to book this, simply choose your dates and book the 'Exceptional Summer Night' package.