WHAT’S IT LIKE? Taking its name from Thailand’s first capital, The Sukhothai Bangkok is a luxurious and tranquil escape from the traffic and seemingly never-ending noise and motion found in today’s capital. An ambience of elegance is ever-present and the hotel feels much more like a resort than one located in such a bustling city as Bangkok. The large grounds help create this deceptive charm, as the main hotel buildings are well set back from the busy roads outside. At the same time, you are never far from the heart of the action, whether you are looking for business, diplomatic or nightlife centres.
WHERE IS IT? In the Sathorn area of Bangkok, close to embassies, shopping and nightlife. Don’t make the mistake of just saying “Sukhothai” to your taxi driver. Stories are legion of hapless tourists being driven six hours to the city of Sukhothai over 400km to the north. Even the concierge at another Bangkok hotel asked me to confirm whether I meant the hotel or the city when I booked a taxi transfer.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 104 Superior Rooms, 24 Deluxe Studio, 81 Suites and the spectacular Sukhothai Suite (top right).
ROOM FACILITIES: Teak finishing and Thai fabrics give a great sense of culture and luxury. The huge comfortable bed makes it very tempting to stay there most of the day. This is especially so as the rooms have swivel TVs, allowing you to watch a vast array of international channels in the sitting area or lying in bed surrounded by pillows. Broadband internet is available.
RESTAURANTS: Celadon (above left) serves delicious Thai cuisine. Its set menus provide a great overview of the country’s cuisine and save a lot of time and anguish in choosing from one of the set menus. Service was delightful – each dish arriving at just the right time from the ever attentive staff. Other outlets are the Colonnade, an all-day dining restaurant, and the Italian restaurant La Scala, adjacent to the pool.
BARS: The Lobby Salons and The Bar offer refreshments and cocktails daily. The Pool Terrace Café & Bar is an informal venue to enjoy light meals and snacks.
BUSINESS FACILITIES: A business centre provides full secretarial, translation and other services. There are also three boardrooms attached. The hotel’s other meeting facilities are modest in size but this is more than made up for by the fact that they all feature natural light.
LEISURE FACILITIES: Swimmers will love the size of the 25-metre outdoor surface-tension, infinity-edge pool. The Health Club offers guests a fully equipped gym; there are Jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath and whirlpool facilities for the water and steam lovers. And for those fixated by racquet and ball games, there are an air-conditioned squash court and a flood-lit tennis court. The Spa Botanica provides a full range of massage and beauty treatments. For joggers and those who prefer the outdoors to the treadmill, The Sukhothai recommends a run around the nearby Lumpini Park.
PRICE: Rates for a Superior Room start at US$392 per night.
VERDICT: It’s almost impossible to find fault with this hotel. Given the great value of five-star properties in Bangkok and the Thais’ natural service abilities, business and leisure travellers already have superb choices all around the city. However, The Sukhothai genuinely delivers that added touch of personalised service and indulgent luxury that lifts it into another level of excellence.
CONTACT: The Sukhothai, 13/3 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120, Thailand, tel 66 2 344 8888, www.sukhothaihotel.com