Bangkok Hotels & Shopping & Eating

Trip Start Oct 15, 2009
Trip End Dec 15, 2013

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Where I stayed
Anantara Bangkok Sathorn

Flag of Thailand  , Bangkok,
Friday, November 25, 2011

I stayed at the beautiful Anantara Bangkok Sathorn Hotel for 2 weeks this trip. This is the longest that I have been in Bangkok consecutively and I really liked the 6 star comforts at the Anantara. When I arrived in late October, the hotel was had a low occupancy rate and was very quiet. Then the flooding hit Bangkok in earnest. This hotel is in a safe area and will be one of the last to flood. I moved Noah, Aor and baby Terran into a gorgeous, spacious and bright 2 bedroom apartment here for the first week because of the threat of flooding, particularly as described in the media. We all enjoyed the beautiful and quiet pool and modern gym! A big plus is the free wireless, internet tv in the rooms and use of the computers in the business center.

Each day, more Thai families affected by flooding moved in, until the hotel was at 110% occupancy! The lobby became more crowded and the driveway and parking was jammed with cars that guests were protecting from the flooding in other areas of Bangkok. I heard stories of waist high water in homes and chest high water in the road and feel very sad for the Bangkok residents who have experienced the flooding. I must say that the Anantara manged the crowd very well. They added staff and were always available, pleasant, friendly, and attentive.

The location works fine once you figure it out. Taxis are always available, the BRT steps are at the driveway, and is10 Baht and 1 stop to the BTS at Chong Nonsi, and the convenient City Viva Mall (small) with the terrific western style Villa Supermarket is just a 3 minute walk away.

I loved staying here and would do so again. But because the occupancy rate is now so high, that the room price has increased. I have my last 3 nights in Bangkok booked there as I prepare for the long journey home, and look forward to returning to this very lovely hotel.

Some good eats:
Best food best selection for all palates: Siam Paragon Food Hall and Gourmet Supermarket:

On a Sunday afternoon, my son took me to Indigo, a fine French restaurant / bistro on a Soi off Convent Rd near Sala Daeng in Bangkok last week. The dinner menu is quite expensive, not by western standards, but in Bangkok. But Indigo has 2 set prix fixe menus at lunchtime. For 350 BT + service and tax (about $15  US.) you can choose and entree and appetizer or dessert. My kids had a steak and I had a beautiful sea bass dish. Everyhting was delicious, and the atmosphere of the old elegance in a wooden Bangkok shop house is lovely. We had a baby and stroller with us, and were welcomed, and he slept through our lovely lunch! Tablecloths and Cloth napkins in Bangkok? Unusual Elegance! (2013-14 update this is still a good recommendation!)

Old Standby: Fuji Restaurant, an upscale Japanese food chain restaurant  can be found in most shopping malls. It has a huge menu and I always find many good choices there. The set menus come with entrees and noodles, soup and salad. The garlic fried rice and sauteed mushrooms are very tasty also. Although I eat picky vegetarian and cooked fish, my kids tell me that they like the steak set, and the sushi too. I go to Fuji often!

Near the Anantara Hotel - City Viva Wine Bar & Crepes
We had several good meals at The Wine Bar (2013 it's CLOSED) at the City Viva on Naradiwat just near the Citty Villa Supermarket and the Anantara. While the service was spotty, good sometimes and not as good others, the pizza and pasta dishes are excellent. I liked the fettecini with wild mushrooms in a light cream sauce, And the pasta with sea bass that was in a very light tomato sauce. The restaurant was out of bread last night, they said because of the nahm dtuam, the flooding. Upstairs on the 3rd floor of the City Viva small mall, is a Creperie with a few meal crepes on the menu and an extensive dessert crepe menu. Fresh made french crepes like in Paris! Best

Window Shopping: Siam Paragon and Gaysorn
Best Selection of Things for Baby: Paragon Department Store
Best Overall Shopping Experience: MBK
Best Shopping for Technology: Pantip
Best Fashion Shopping: Platinum Center in Pratunam near Pantip
Best Hand Wrought Stainless Contemporary Designs: Kun Sri Tong's booth near the BTS and Riverboat dock at "Saphon Taksin" BTS stop.
Best Night Market and Evening Riverside Dining & Shopping Experience - Asiatique

PS: (For Robin D added 7/2012) I re-ordered the photos today to show
you the Best Stainless Gifts: Sri Tong's beautiful bowls  and platters
are identical to those sold at Simon Pearce. Sri Tong has a booth on the
street by the BTS and Riverboat dock at Saphon Takson. You can usually
find her after 11:00 AM. 2013- If you miss Sri Tong, there is a nice
shop at Asiatique with a good selection. BUT Sri Tong's is from her own
factory...and it's my first choice! Please tell her I sent you! Need a
wedding gift? Perfect.

Several weeks after my stay at the Anantara, I returned to Bangkok from Vietnam and Cambodia. You can click on the  trips link to the right and check my Vung Vieng Village OLPC XO Laptop  Project Journal to follow my adventures there.

Upon my return I booked the new Novatel on Silom Rd  (near to the Holiday Inn, Jewelry Trade Center and my son's house and factory,) through Agoda. Those who read my blog entries know that I am rarely critical. I would not stay at the Novatel Silom in this location again. While it is a new hotel and very clean, tThe room design is not even adequate fro 1 person. The bathroom is downright weird as the toilet room door opens to completely block the tiny sink area. The shower will get the sink area floor wet if you are not careful, and it does not dry quickly. I use the pool when it is nice, to cool down on a hot day, but this pool overlooks the busy highway and is noisy with no umbrellas forshade. The staff was not particularly friendly, and while I chose the Novatel for location, its other patrons made me feel I was staying in a brothel. Oh well!

So I moved to the Courtyard Marriott to recover for a few days and became familiar with a neighborhood I did not previously know. The Courtyard Marriott was very comfortable and standard to what we expect from my favorite western brand hotel! Unlike the Novatel, my room was spacious and tthe bathroom was fine. The pool was pleasant and the fitness center was well appointed and stocked with fresh towels and infused water. The staff went above and beyond to greet the guests personally and help with any need. While I did not love the restaurant, this Bangkok hotel, around the corner from The Four Seasons Hotel was a 5 star experience for a 4 star price.

It's located walking distance (or use the hotel tuk tuk) to the Rachadamri BTS station, and also is a short walk to Soi Lang Suan by the Chitlom BTS and The Central Department Store. Soi Lang Suan is lovely with its green trees. You will find a large Starbucks there, other restaurants and  a good Chang Massage shop also. From here, I am traveling to Sukhothai and after that to Khon Kaen. I left a bag at the Courtyard and will retrieve it when I return to Bangkok next week.

And now, I am back in Bangkok from my trip to the Central Heartland of Thailand. I am back at the Anantara Sathorn for my last days here this trip. I booked a fw nights through Agoda. The rates have fallen to well under $100 per night and most of the Thai families affected by the flooding appear to have left. I have really enjoyed staying here!

Be sure to check out the  miscellaneous photos of Bangkok that I have included here!

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