Our stay at Plaza Athenee, A Royal Meridien Hotel in Bangkok was a dream come true.
The dream started back in the spring of 2006, when Darren and I went for a wonder around Bangkok. We wondered a little too far, and ended up at Wireless Road. We were stood outside of the most magnificent building either of us had ever seen. We peered through the great glass doors, we were blown away by a double storey lobby with stunning staircase elegantly placed in the middle of the open space, and we stood, in awe, that such a hotel existed
Of course, there are many hotels in the world which are 5 star, some even fancier, but Darren and I had never actually seen one!
Stood in a faded tank top and wearing genuine-fake ‘billabong’ shorts, we looked like the poor travellers we were. We stood out like sore thumbs next to smart business people and trendy holiday makers. We looked scruffy. We looked lost.
(We were a little lost…)
But we looked at that building with a dream. A dream that one day we would return, walk through the doors, and to stay one night. Darren promised there and then, that one day, that dream would come. As we made our way back to our £5 a night room, that night seemed a long, long way away.
In November 2010, we met Tom, my Brother in Hua Hin. He lives in Australia so Thailand was a good meeting point. On our way to Krabi we stopped a day in Bangkok. We spent that day looking for The Meridien Hotel. A local kindly circled its position on a map. We made our way to the hotel. It wasn’t the hotel.
It was a Meridien Hotel. But it wasn’t the Meridien hotel. In the Bangkok heat, we had sweated all the way, excitedly nearing the hotel, and we were in the wrong place. Luckily, a taxi driver knew the correct hotel. It was as beautiful as we remembered.
I will never forget the day when we actually stayed! We had dreamed about it for years, and finally on the 24th November 2010, we jumped into a taxi, and excitedly made our way across Bangkok.
We had booked the best room that we could afford, a corner suite on the club lounge level. The best hotel we had stayed in prior to this night was also in Bangkok, The Dawin, a 4 star, £40 per night hotel. It was a lovely hotel. At over £200 per night, Plaza Athenee was 5 times as much! We managed to find an offer, three nights for the price of two. We had no idea what to expect, but we knew it would be worth the wait.
We joined a short queue at the concierge desk. We were quickly greeted and asked for our reservation details, asked for our passports which we duly handed over. As we gave our names, we felt the receptionist check our passports, look at us, check our passports again, look back at us. I was 23, dressed in a faded cotton dress which I had worn for half of our month long trip to Thailand. I was carrying a backpack, covered in badly sewn on flags. It was a little bit muddy – it had been to Glastonbury after all! Darren looked equally as tatty. But we had both tried our hardest and worn one of our best outfits!. The receptionist apologised to us. We were in the wrong queue. We should be experiencing a personal check in, on the 26 floor!
A personal check in?!
Swiftly, our bags were taken, a lift was called and we were escorted to the Club lounge to complete our check in. Excited didn’t come close. We were offered a drink. We weren’t sure of the etiquette, so we asked for some water. The club lounge host gave us a tour, explained the benefits of the lounge, gave us information on the restaurants, bar, other services available. After the formalities he took us to our room.
It took a while for us to take in the scale of our ‘room’. It was comparable to the size of our 3 bedroom house! It even had more toilets than our home.
Our suite had a Super Kingsize bed. It was lost in the bedroom. We had a separate sitting room, a bathroom with separate bath and shower units, another separate cloakroom. The suite had floor to ceiling windows. The suite had a view!
As the sun set, and the lights of the Bangkok skyline lit, we had one of the most mesmerising sites before us. It never occurred to me that the hotel would have such a magnificent view.
During our travels, we had spent many an evening in Bangkok, enjoying the hustle and bustle of night markets, go-go bars, food courts. For three days, we did not leave the hotel. We stayed in our dressing gowns and watched pointless TV. We went for a swim. We played chess. We didn’t really do a lot.
Our room rate included breakfast. We had the choice of a buffet in the Rain Tree Cafe, or a continental breakfast in the Club Lounge. For two days we had the buffet. I have never seen so much food. I had never even seen a cooking station before. We had eggs cooked to our preference, there were pastries and fresh fruits and cold meats. There was honey, dripping from a slice of bee hive. Not from a jar. From a beehive. One day, we had a light breakfast in the lounge. The service was personal, food just as good, it was relaxed and quiet.
We didn’t dine in any of the restaurants – we didn’t get hungry. Within the club lounge, afternoon tea was served. Delicious sandwiches, delicate scones, fresh cakes. We had a nibble, enjoyed countless cups of tea. In the evening, we sat in the window, overlooking the bright lights of Bangkok. We had canapés and cocktails. It was the first time I had canapés. Our drinks were continually refilled, we go a little bit tipsy.
We could only stay three days. If we had booked the hotel at the beginning of our trip, I don’t think we would have visited anywhere else. We were sad to leave. Not only were we leaving such an amazing hotel, we were heading home after a 5 week holiday. We packed up our backpacks, changed back into tatty clothes, and left our luxurious suite, taking the best ever memories, the biggest smiles (and possibly a bottle of shampoo, or two!)
Why not have a read of some of our other hotel reviews? If you like Thailand, why not have a look at
Koh Kood Resort – an island in the Trat provence of the Gulf of Thailand
Pandora Lifestyle Resort – a hotel on the busy Koh Samui Island
or, if your looking for a posh hotel in Bangkok Why not try have a read about our stays with Starwood
Previously posted as a blog post in September 2014