Hotel check: Centara Grand at CentralWorld

WHAT’S IT LIKE? Situated adjacent to CentralWorld, one of Bangkok’s new-generation megamalls, the Centara Grand’s location is one of its major selling points – as is its related conference facility, the Bangkok Convention Centre.

WHERE IS IT? On Rama 1 Road in the Patumwan district, a paradise for foodies and shopaholics alike. Access to the Centara Grand is extremely easy by taxi, coach and Bangkok Transit System (BTS). From Suvarnabhumi International Airport, it can take as little as 30 minutes by car via the expressway. The SkyWalk covered walkway network takes you to either Chidlom BTS Station 10 minutes away, or Siam BTS Station about 15 minutes away.

HOW MANY ROOMS? 469 rooms and 36 suites, including nine World Executive Club floors.

ROOM FACILITIES The exclusive World Executive Club covers the entire 51st floor and provides a stylish lounge serving breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening canapés and cocktails. Internet services and private meeting rooms are available with butler service.

All guestrooms have individually controlled air-conditioning, smoke detector and sprinkler, separate bathrooms, control panel, high-speed internet access, satellite TV programme, pay-per-view movies, games, radio and in-house music. Guests also enjoy a minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, refrigerator, safe box and IDD telephone. For the geek in all of us, the multimedia connector for video, camera, MP3, laptop, games and iPod is a real entertainment boon.

F&B The centrepiece of the hotel’s dining outlets is Fifty Five, taking its name from the floor it is located on, and now piling up awards. This seats 122 guests and treats them to the best in gourmet dining, with a strong emphasis on the grill. If your vertigo can be controlled, you can also wine and dine at Red Sky, also on the 55th floor, which can seat 149 people outdoors, weather permitting. A stunning skyline awaits.

Asian fusion outlet Ginger is on the 24th floor, with a mix of Japanese, Thai and Chinese cuisines. On the same floor is The World, a 24-hour restaurant featuring global cooking styles. On the 23rd floor, the lobby lounge offers drinks, snacks and high teas, and for the funkier experience there is Globe, offering a semi-nightclub experience with drinks and DJs. Sing, on the ground floor, is a bakery and café while the Juice Bar on the 26th floor, as its name suggests, specialises in healthy fruit and vegetable drinks. Finally, there is a Poolside Bar serving light meals and drinks also on the 26th floor.

BUSINESS FACILITIES There is a fully equipped business centre in the hotel but its real claim to fame is its extensive meetings product, the Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld.

This now acknowledged as one of Bangkok’s major venues for international and regional conventions and exhibitions. The convention hall can seat 6,000 delegates; the ballroom can hold 800 participants for a banquet; and 16 other meeting spaces can cater for gatherings of all sizes.

LEISURE FACILITIES If you want it, you will find it. Aside from the onsite facilities such as SPA Cenvaree, the fitness centre with swimming pool and tennis courts, CentralWorld offers SF World Cinema City, with 15 different movie theatres, 500 retail outlets and 50 restaurants.

PRICE The online nightly rate in mid-November for a Deluxe World Room starts from US$135.

VERDICT Practically a city within a city, CentralWorld provides just about everything under one roof. The Grand Centara’s excellent location and facilities provide business travellers with a one-stop shop.

CONTACT 999/99 Rama 1 Road, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand, tel 66 2 100 1234, www.centarahotelsresorts.com

Kenny Coyle


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