A Heavenly Staycation
Since its official opening just three short years ago, Park Hyatt Bangkok has received numerous awards and thousands of plaudits from guests, the media and travel industry experts. The stunning building which houses the five-star hotel is also home to Central Embassy and together they occupy a prime spot at a major Bangkok junction that is steeped in history. One could say this is a fitting position for Park Hyatt Bangkok as it begins to write its own page in history.
Once you enter the hotel from the ground floor there is an immediate feel of hush and serenity, a complete contrast to the hustle and bustle Bangkok is famous for. It is also here at the ground floor entrance that guests come to view the first piece of artwork – a gold and titanium staircase – that have become synonymous with the Park Hyatt brand. A private elevator then whisks guests up to the main lobby.
Throughout the hotel, at every turn, the interior unfolds in a series of unique, intimate, calm and stylish spaces. Two large corridors gently slope away from the lobby, one takes guests down to the Living Room and Embassy Room while the other leads to the Pañpuri Organic Spa. Along both artistic passageways guests can view Thai orchids skilfully carved into the marble walls and a collection of antiques that grace the both areas.
We were checking-in to take advantage of Park Hyatt Bangkok’s Premium Staycation package, a competitively priced overnight stay for two in the Park Suite with in-room breakfast and total privacy guaranteed. Since the coronavirus outbreak, hotels have implemented a heightened awareness on hygiene, and while every guest’s health and safety is paramount at Park Hyatt Bangkok, hygiene has always a been a priority. Today, complete cleanliness, hygiene and sanitisation are more apparent with hand sanitiser widely available and regular cleansing of surfaces and guest areas.
During check-in, my documents were taken and copied then sanitised before being handed back to me. Likewise, the pen I signed with had been sanitised beforehand. With the simple check-in process completed, we were escorted to the elevators and to our suite on the 28th floor. Once inside, we marvelled at the full floor to ceiling windows that ran the entire length of the suite from the living area to the bedroom. The view was stunning with Nai Lert gardens laid out in front of us and beyond Bangkok and its sprawling suburbs.
Our Park Suite was beautifully decorated with delicate colour tones, white oak flooring, a full-length sofa, an executive work desk and a large LED television filling the living area, while in the bedroom the same level of detail was continued with a gorgeous standalone mirror, king-sized bed, bedside tables, another large LED television and lovely Thai motifs above and beside the bed. Completing the suite was the large bathroom with separate rain shower and bathtub, twin wash basins and a toilet room. To the delight of my wife, the bathroom amenities were from New York brand Le Labo; my delight was seeing the huge standalone bath.
Since the lockdown in March, Thailand’s tourism industry has ground to a standstill as all international flights have been halted to curb the spread of coronavirus. However, since late June, Bangkok has slowly begun to return to normal with hotels looking at various models to generate income. Some have focused on their restaurants and offered takeaway meals, others have sold branded luxurious bed linen while others have focused on attracting domestic travellers with heavy discounts.
Park Hyatt Bangkok took the decision to offer promotional ‘staycation’ and ‘daycation’ room packages in rooms and suites, which are a true home away from home with spaces to relax and re-energise. With up to 40 million domestic travellers expected to visit Bangkok in 2020, many locals and expats will surely look to take advantage of these wonderful packages and get a taste of the Park Hyatt experience. One of the highlights to watch out for is the ‘Celebration’ package, which includes limousine transfer, dinner, spa treatment and an overnight stay.
Having spent a couple of hours just relaxing in our suite, we decided to experience the Park Hyatt’s Afternoon Tea at the Penthouse Bar + Grill on the 34th floor. We were not disappointed. The presentation of the savoury and sweet snacks was amazing while the salmon cones were served on a bed of dry ice and when a touch of water was added to the mix, plumes of smoke filled our table. The views from the Penthouse Grill are as good as they get in Bangkok and with rain clouds moving in we were treated to a glorious rainbow high in the sky.
Once we’d finished our tea, we decided to take a closer look at some of the amazing works of art that adorn the walls of the hotel and other larger installations that span the huge open spaces. We particularly liked the Pagoda Mirage by artist Hirotoshi Sawada as it stretches from the ground floor to the lower basement. Hundreds of conical copper swirls are suspended from the ceiling and are supposed to rain down blessings on those that encounter its aura. Likewise, the Naga (again by Hirotoshi Sawada), which flows along the ceiling from the Embassy Room through the Living Room and onto the swimming pool and interior waterfall, is said to protect those who sit under it.
An interesting aspect to the layout of Park Hyatt Bangkok is how you can seamlessly move from zone to zone. One moment you can be sitting in a Zen-like environment and the next you’re outdoors in the landscaped gardens with trees and plants and the chirping of birds. Switch again and you’re in the city admiring motorbike paraphernalia and single malt whiskies from around the world.
Having explored the dramatic main open areas and viewed more than a dozen works of art, we headed back to our suite to let ourselves fully appreciate this Park Hyatt moment. To maintain our strength, I opted for a fresh coffee from the espresso machine while my wife selected the Japanese tea set. Then we both sat watching the in-house Park Hyatt promotional video, which features stunning drone shots of the exterior and great scenes from within the hotel.
Since we’d recently reached our 20th year of marriage, we booked a table at the Penthouse Bar + Grill to belatedly celebrate our anniversary. Although the a la carte menu was available, we found the chef’s sample menu more to our taste with two delicious salads – Heirloom Tomato and Fennel – to choose from. As we both enjoy seafood we doubled-down and ordered the Canadian Lobster Bisque and the Blue Swimmer Crab Cake. The bisque was rich and full of powerful flavours yet well balanced while the crab cakes had our saliva glands working overtime as soon as they were placed on the table.
It was a pleasant surprise and an honour when Executive Chef Christian Hinckley stopped at our table to enquire about our experience so far. We explained that this particular gastronomic journey was one of the best we’d ever had and thanked him and his staff for the excellent cuisine. For our main course, it was a case of the classic surf and turf with the 48-hour Beef Shortrib catching my eye and the Miso Black Cod standing out for my wife. While I’m not a huge eater of beef or red meat, I do appreciate premium beef and this shortrib was melt in the mouth good. Served with mashed potato, grilled broccolini and chimichurri, the meal hit all the right buttons for me and the servings were perfect. As for the black cod, my wife found the dish a little rich as the fish was cooked in butter and served with cauliflower cream and crispy Brussels sprouts, so it was down to ‘hubby’ to finish up.
Finally, for our dessert we ordered the Passion Fruit Soufflé, but Chef Christian and Pasty Chef Kevin Lee had different ideas as they had heard it was our wedding anniversary. So instead we were treated to a flaming Baked Alaska with Raspberry and Chocolate Cake and topped with browned meringue plus a Mocha Green Tea Cake and Ice Cream and a surprise chocolate Happy Anniversary card. We were informed the flaming Baked Alaska would soon feature on the upcoming ‘From the Grill’ Afternoon Tea, so we were one of the first people to experience the dessert.
The following morning we ordered breakfast to our room and the waiter arrived on time at 8.30am and served us a stunning breakfast of Asian and Western dishes plus a large fresh fruit platter. Unfortunately we could not take advantage of spending the entire morning wrapped up in our suite as we had a business meeting. However, having tried the Park Hyatt experience once we are sure to be back again…and again.
If you would like to treat that special person in your life to a daycation or staycation package at the Park Hyatt Bangkok you can do so by calling +66 (0) 2011-7466 or click here to send an email.