The Hotel Plaza Athenee, Bangkok Thailand
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The Hotel Plaza Athenee

 The Hotel Plaza Athenee

The Hôtel Plaza Athénée is the new kid on the block among Bangkok's five star hotels. Situated on historic and tree-lined Wireless Road, this sister of a famous hotel in New York City is a short distance from several embassies, the entertainment action of Sukhumvit Road and the shopping of the Siam Square area.

The Ploenchit Skytrain station is only two blocks away and the expressway leading to the airport can be reached with relatively little difficulty. The exterior of the hotel is sheathed in shimmering glass that reflects the panorama around the hotel. The upper floors have rounded corners, giving the building a futuristic feel that observers either seem to love or hate. The massive lobby is one of the most spectacular in Bangkok with a cream colored marble floor and dramatic, parallel sets of stairs that lead to mezzanine level public areas. The décor is modern and eclectic with a color scheme that emphasizes amber, gold and maroon.

The 354 guest rooms and 28 suites at the hotel are particularly impressive and have a cozy warmth that is sometimes missing in the public areas. All of the rooms have standard five-star amenities and have large windows providing panoramic views of Bangkok. The Club Athéné Floors are designed for those in town on business. Guests on these floors have their own lounge where they can enjoy a buffet breakfast, complimentary afternoon tea and complimentary cocktails in the evening. They also enjoy a variety of special services, that include, among other things, roundtrip airport limousine service and complimentary use of the health club, steam room, sauna and outdoor pool.

The hotel's suites are particularly spectacular. There are business suites, suites connected to the spa, and luxurious Thai theme suites. The latter are paneled with rich brown wood, furnished with Thai-style furniture and decorated with silk and beautiful works of art that take one back in time while retaining the comforts of modern life. The Ratanakosin Theme Suite with a published price of US$2200++ has to be seen to be believed. It redefines concepts of comfort and self-indulgence.

Speaking of self-indulgence, the Aspara Spa at the Plaza Athénée may provide it in generous doses. If you are seeking a massage, seaweed body wrap, exfoliating body scrub or moisturizing facial, this is the place to come. For those into hi-tech comfort, there is a computerized hydro-massage bath that directs more than a hundred water and air jets onto your body. The numerous packages available at the spa include those designed for loving couples who want to enjoy their spa experiences together. The spa also contains a fully equipped exercise room, jogging track, sauna, steam room and outdoor pool with a Thai sala for those who want an outdoor massage.

The Plaza Athénée's proximity to 20 embassies makes it popular with those on embassy business. The business center is well-equipped and provides numerous services, including secretarial services and the printing of business cards and stationery. Equipment rentals include office computers, laptops, projectors and mobile phones.

For those interested in having a conference of any size, the Hôtel Plaza Athénée might be the best and most reasonably priced venue in Bangkok. There are 15 rooms of various sizes available, that can accommodate between 10 and 1,200 people, and the use of these facilities for special parties, has really caught on. The size of the lobby and the spectacular stairs leading up to the function rooms on the mezzanine have an appeal that many can't resist for things like large weddings and other grand celebrations.

Bangkok's hotels are noted for their numerous restaurants and the Plaza Athénée is no exception. The Rain Tree Café is a 24-hour dining spot that features international buffet breakfasts, lunches and dinners in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. There are also Chinese, Thai and Japanese restaurants that are open for both lunch and dinner. The Silk Road Chinese Restaurant is already well-known for its dim sum lunches and is a regular midday stop for nearby embassy and business people. On weekends families arrive for the popular all-you-can-eat dim sum lunch promotion that the restaurant has been featuring recently.
The Utage, a small Japanese Restaurant, has fast set menus at lunch that appeal to busy executives. Thai food in the Smooth Curry is noted for its authenticity, making it popular with both hotel guests and Thais seeking their national cuisine in spectacularly modern surroundings.

Reflexions is the hotel's most talked about dining and entertainment spot. The ceiling is designed to represent a nighttime sky, there is a spectacular mural on one wall and the nightly live jazz music is some of the best in Bangkok. The menu is eclectic and features a variety of fusion dishes that are fresh, healthy and spectacularly presented. Popular with many of Bangkok's movers and shakers, Reflexions is a great place for those who wanted to break away from the traditional and experience thing new and different. Fittingly, Reflexions is open until 01:00 on week nights and 02:00 on Friday and Saturday.

If you simply want to stop by the hotel for a drink, try the Glaz Bar. Situated adjacent to the lobby it can also be reached from the sidewalk outside. Although modern, it has an intimate atmosphere and always seems to have someone playing the piano. It's a fitting spot to clinch a business deal or quench your thirst after a busy day of sightseeing and shopping.
Although the published rates of the hotel, begin at US$220 a night, the Plaza Athénée has numerous promotions and special rates that provide significant discounts. During this summer, for example, when staying a minimum of two nights, superior rooms are only US$120++ a night and include a buffet breakfast, daily newspaper, welcome fruit basket, complementary use of the health club and pool, late 18:00 checkout and one way airport limousine service. This, and several of the other promotions available, make the Hôtel Plaza Athénée one of the city's most notable hotel bargains and a place anyone seeking five-star comfort should seriously consider.

The Hôtel Plaza Athénée
Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330
Tel. (662) 650-8800; Fax: (662) 650-8500


- July Issue, 2002

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