When It Just Feels Natural

As our luggage was gently placed on the porter’s trolley and we made our way into the huge, open-plan lobby of Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok, I was reminded of my childhood family holidays. Back then, our annual two-week summer holiday was always to the same beachside hotel and every year there was something new to do. As our parents went about filling out forms, three inquisitive kids would be running out to the pool, checking out the cool slides and seeing if any of our friends from previous years were around.


Arriving at Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok gave me that same child-like feeling as there seems to be so much happening in this active space. In a nutshell, it’s a kaleidoscope of elements that catch the eye from the trendy café CRAFT and the thought-provoking art installations to the stunning Claude Monet type gardens and the inviting al fresco decking with plush comfortable chairs. I was snapped out of my youthful musings by the sharply dressed receptionist who informed me everything was in order and she would be happy to escort us to our room.


The stunning gardens, al fresco decking and comfortable seating.


As we walked through the main lobby area, the entire place was awash with lively conversation, pedigree dogs were being groomed by their loving owners, young couples were taking each other’s photos – no doubt to upload to some social media site – and savvy-looking young business people passed around tablet devices with what looked like financial projections. It was as if Covid-19 had never happened and life at Kimpton was proceeding as normal.


As we rode the lift up to our designated floor, Sympathy For The Devil by The Rolling Stones suddenly popped into my head and through the small talk of ‘how busy the hotel was’ and ‘wasn’t the weather hot’, all I could hear was Mick Jagger singing Woo, Who. Bizarre. After a brief chat about the room and ‘did we need any further help’, the lovely lady disappeared and we plonked ourselves down; the wife taking the chaise lounge next to the floor to ceiling windows and me in the comfy chair next to the smart television.


Our view of central Bangkok was definitely breath-taking. The only sore point being the equally tall building housing The Residences at Sindhorn Kempinski Hotel Bangkok obscuring our view of Lumpini Park and the city beyond. But the elegant glass and concrete Kempinski structure is a beautiful piece of architecture and worthy of its positioning. Our Deluxe Room was tastefully decorated with a simple set of lamps lighting up two unconventional snaps of Lumpini Park. One of the photos reminded me of the scene from Inception where the landscape starts folding in on itself; it’s a little surreal.


Simple elegance with a touch of nature…..tweet, tweet.


Next to our king size bed layered with silken linen sheets and feathery pillows was a fantastic little box of tricks that took me all of 45 seconds to get connected to via Bluetooth. The marvellous Vifa Helsinki Sound System really packs a punch well above its weight and is a great piece of hi-tech kit that beats having the television on any day of the week. Above the music box and cordless telephone were two hanging wooden lights, which represent bird’s nests found in Lumpini Park. It’s a neat little space that blends modern technology with a homey feel of a book shelf and bedside drawer.


Whilst only 48-sqm (Premium rooms are 77-sqm and Grand Premium Rooms are 87-sqm), there is more than enough room to swing the proverbial cat. Sure, the grand bed with a custom-made Simmons mattress and luxurious 400 thread count linen takes up the majority of the space, but there’s ample spare for someone to work at the small dining table while the inviting reclining chair by the window is definitely the top spot for the other half of a couple. Décor-wise, a lot of conceptual thinking has gone into the selection of hand-crafted items that abound and effortlessly complement the fabric wall panelling and plush carpeting.


The mirror-lined, marble-clad bathroom was exquisite with separate toilet cubicle, double rain shower and power shower, and a standalone bathtub. A small open closet was perfect to hang a few items of clothing and store our belongings, while the safety box provides peace of mind for watches, wallets and the like. The most outstanding items in the bathroom however were the two bathrobes. Outlandishly colourful – certainly not your traditional white bathrobes – the kimono-style bathrobes were designed by the hotel’s muse in conjunction with Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok and Christian Develter for Tube Gallery.


The not-so-standard bathrobes at Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok.


Our personal mini-bar and drinks area was stocked primarily with local drinks such as Chalong Bay rum and Somsa Siamese tonic water, plus a fine bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey and other alcoholic beverages. Nuts, crackers and other confectionary were again mainly locally sourced with a few international brands thrown in. For good measure, a Nespresso Coffee Machine and a selection of coffee capsules plus a choice of fine teas were also on hand.


In the morning, we made our way down for breakfast at Stock Room and what a real treat you have in store. An extensive menu offers Asian, Western, Veggie and Vegan breakfast options plus there’s a whole smorgasbord of delicious foods to select from various counters. If this is the choice Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok is offering during the pandemic, I can only wonder what breakfast will be like under normal conditions. Make sure not to miss the freshly baked croissants, especially the chocolate versions. What a way to start your day!


For more information, call Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok at +66 (0) 2056-9999 or email: kimptonmaalaibangkok@ihg.com.



Source: Punch Media Digital.

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