By Little Wandering Wren
You live and work in Bangkok, and you’re paying for a condo down the road… so why spend good money to stay in town? But think about it. Holidays are all about escapism. Haven’t you always said ‘I just wish I could be somewhere else right now?’
• The holiday starts now! No travel time. Why spend hours of your precious weekend or holiday in the car? You can’t help feeling rather chuffed with yourself when you are relaxing by the pool less than 30 minutes after leaving home.
• Choose a fabulous city resort. Many of Bangkok’s top hotels are as Lux as you can get. You’ll hardly feel like you are in the city. I can recommend our wonderful staycations at the Siam Kempinski, and The Sukhothai Bangkok.
• Get a new perspective of your city. I live off Sukhumvit and loved our stays down by the Chao Phraya River. I can recommend the Shangri-La Hotel, Praya Palazzo and Riva Arun. If you live by the river, come uptown!
• Grab a bargain. Never in the history of Bangkok’s hotels have rates been this affordable. We loved The Athenee dine-cation package.
• Go somewhere different! My husband and I like to mix things up a little. Haven’t you always wanted to know what it is like to stay at Chakrabongse Villas? I know I did! Or how about choosing Prince Heritage Theatre, an old porn theatre and dined on Michelin star street food.
• Support domestic tourism. Your country needs your help. Thailand tourism is suffering big time. Show it some love!
Top tips for getting the best from your Bangkok staycation
• Get on everyone’s mailing lists. The best deals seem to come up via the hotel's Facebook or Line accounts.
• Deal directly with the hotels to establish a rapport beforehand. Make it personal and find a name to contact. Trip Advisor is great for finding out who replies to guest experiences! Write a personal letter of introduction saying why you have chosen to support their hotel.
• If you are member of the hotel’s loyalty program, use this when booking. If not join for additional benefits.
• Don’t forget to let the hotel know if you are celebrating anything, even if it is belated! Hotels love a celebration!
• Check out Trip Advisor for top room tips and ask for these rooms. Just note that not all hotels are open at this time and even when they are, not all rooms or restaurants are open. I can’t wait for The Peninsula and The Siam to reopen.
• Many of the hotels are offering early/late checkout times. We never leave a hotel before 4pm on a Sunday. Some clever hotels offer even later until 8pm in the hope that they catch your dinner reservation.
• The hotels are desperate to re-engage the corporate sector for meetings and conferences. Ask within your workplace if they know of any incentive prices. We got a great massage deal at the Centara Central World and have just found a good deal at the Grand Hyatt Erawan in this way
• Purchase any reopening specials buy now, stay later vouchers (some until the end of 2020, others into next year).
Expat couples who stayed in town and loved the experience
I asked around a few of our friends for their recommendations regarding their recent Bangkok staycations since emerging post pandemic:
“This iconic hotel has always been on our Bangkok Bucket list. We decided to splurge and book their staycation deal... it exceeded our expectations.
From the doorman onwards, the service was exemplary. Our room was beautiful ...we had a stunning view of the Chao Phraya River. The food was exquisite and the magnificent hotel grounds felt like a little oasis...a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of busy Bangkok. Our stay was faultless.”
“ From the moment we arrived by the hotel barge to the moment of our return, we felt immediately privileged. This was a truly wonderful staycation in a boutique hotel where the 1920s architecture was influenced in the by Italian artists.
Of course, being with amazing friends and having the whole hotel to ourselves, set the scene but it was the outstanding, professional and courteous staff, who could not do enough for us, which made it so much more than 'just' a weekend away.
We had breakfast and lunch sitting outside by the swimming pool overlooking the Chao Phraya River. Dinner at the awardwinning restaurant, Praya Dining, was a culinary delight. A fabulous 5-course Thai tasting menu, expertly executed by the Chef Na and her staff.
We were the first guests back after lockdown and they certainly ensured our safety by placing very solid, health and safety measures into their and our daily routines.”
Andrea & Michael: Anantara Siam - our oasis in the middle of Bangkok
“The Anantara Siam was a place we had always wanted to stay but living just 2km away it just never seemed like the thing to do until we have been locked in our apartment for 10 weeks.
The rooms were pure luxury and the service impeccable. From the second we stepped into the grand lobby to the moment we left we felt we escaped Bangkok. Especially, at the beginning, it was super important to feel safe and the Anantara delivered on all accounts.
We especially loved afternoon the tea in the grand lobby and the beautifully prepared pastries. When we were not lounging by the pool, we were pampered at the spa (Look at massage + afternoon tea package). We played squash in the well-appointed gym followed by a refreshing cocktail in the courtyard at Aqua Bar! There were multiple choices for dinner Thai, Steak, Japanese and the most amazing Italian. You must try the truffle mascarpone flatbread.”
“The hotel spoiled me with a special surprise cake and many, many Happy Birthday greetings. The staff and their anticipation of our needs made our stay so special.”
Libby and David: Riva Arun
“Let the photos do the talking! Of all our many Bangkok staycations this year, this was our favourite. Go for the jacuzzi suite! It was the ultimate room and bath with a view.”
Kate and Dan: The Athenee Hotel
“We chose this hotel not only for its location, but for its old world beauty and elegance. Many places have lost this or moved on to the more modern, chic style but not The Athenee! As returning guests, we love that the staff remembers our names. The rooms are spacious and elegant. The executive lounge and the talented and creative bartender at the beautiful Glaz lounge bar never disappoint.
With the demands of my husband’s job and everyday life, we find this to be a great escape from the craziness of everyday life.”
“If Covid has taught us one thing, it is to enjoy the best things in life whilst we can! Our dinner, bed and breakfast staycation package didn’t disappoint. The staff were amazing nothing was too much trouble. The pool area is stunning and we walked in Lumpini Park on both days.
Our three-course dinner at La Scala Restaurant is found in the Michelin guide as one of Bangkok’s finest Italian restaurants. Indeed the hotel is featured in Travel and Leisure Top 100 World’s Best Awards. I mean why not? You only live once!”
Little Wandering Wren is a Bangkok Blogger who has completed over 40 staycations in Thailand since February 2020. You can find all her staycations at www.littlewanderingwren.com and on Instagram and Twitter @ littlewanderingwren