I am about to tell you about the most memorable trip of all of my life. Or really, it is more about the most memorable Hotel that I have EVER stayed in. We took a wonderful, long cruise in March of 2000 that began in Sydney, Australia and ended in Bangkok, Thailand. We were staying an extra 3 days after the cruise ended to explore the city of Bangkok. We trusted our travel agent to find us the best accommodations He did not let us down! After a wild taxi ride from the port, (why are all taxi rides wild?), we arrived at The Shangri-La Bangkok. While standing at the check-in desk, along with our travel companions, and seeing luxury everywhere I looked, I was beginning to wonder: "Are we at the right hotel?" We are truly more of your Motel 6 type of people. Not that we don't like luxury. We just cannot afford it. After the completion of the check-in procedure, we were taken to our room by a nice young Thai gentleman. He unlocked the door to our suite and I am sure that my 'little-old Kansas mouth was hanging open' as we entered into an entry way that was all marble. An entry-way into a suite. Whoever heard of such a thing. There was even a tiny bathroom off to the left. I guess that was just in case you didn't feel you could make it all the way into the other bathroom.
We passed through the entry into the sitting room. WOW! Luxurious Thai teak and silk everywhere. I kid you not. The bellhop explained the remote that turned on the TV, the music, opened the drapes to the first of two small balconies that looked over the Chao Phraya River below. I think I floated, in a trance, as we drifted through the tiny, luxurious dining area to the bedroom beyond. A huge bed layered with silk pillows filled this room. Once again, another remote that operated everything in the room. You would not have had to leave the bed for anything. However, you would have missed the BEST part of the entire room if you had chosen to stay in that bed.
Another small balcony over the river was in this room. But I am getting ready to describe to you a bathroom that I could move into and live out the rest of my life. It was the most amazing, luxurious room I have ever stepped into. I swear! Floor to ceiling marble. A whirlpool tub the size of a small swimming pool. A stand alone shower with about a million jets coming from all sides. A tiny little 'water closet' which housed the toilet and a separate bidet. I told you! Close my mouth right now. I had never used a bidet before . I was ready to head right home and install one into my little Kansas bathroom. The marbled vanity held thick white terry-cloth towels and baskets full of expensive looking toiletries. The bellhop showed us where to find our very own terry cloth bath robes and our cute little terry cloth slippers. I honestly felt I had died and ended up in Thai Heaven. Bring me a drink, close the door, I am jumping in that tub now!
As soon as our bellhop left the room, we called our friends, who were oohing and ahhing over their own room upstairs. No plans were made as we decided that we were staying in for the rest of this day to luxuriate in this room. To take it in. To try to memorize every detail. (We then did a quick Bhat to US currency conversion to discover that we were paying only $325.00 for the entire 3 day stay at this hotel) That evening we ordered room service and danced in the sitting room, with the drapes open, and watched the twinkling lights on the River. There was even a fireworks display at the end of the evening. We later found out the fireworks were for a large convention that was going on at one of the other hotels, but what the heck. We enjoyed every moment on our balcony. Although the weather in Bangkok is steaming hot.
We did manage to venture out of this room the next days and discovered the grounds of the hotel and explored the city a bit. One of the swimming pools had a Plumeria tree nearby that dropped the petals of the Plumeria into the pool. What a majestic touch. On the trip into the city we visited The Grand Palace, smelled the wonderful odors of the street vendors cooking their foods in little pots on little stoves on the corners. We visited the open-markets and the amazing boutiques. My friend was even measured for a silk suit that was cut and stitched and delivered to her suite the morning of our departure. This trip will forever live in the recesses of my memory. But THIS hotel will always be the best place that I have ever stayed. And someday I hope to return to The Shanrgi-La In Bangkok.
|plumeria (Photo credit: craterdweller)|