When Sarah and I are not on a long trip, we like to take what we call a mini-adventure. Just a few days for a change of pace, a few nights in the big city, or an opportunity to pickup some things we can’t get at our home base. We had recently been talking with the upscale Onyx Hospitality Group about how we could work together and they suggested that we be their guests at the Oriental Residence in Bangkok for a few days. I think it is clearly on of the best hotels in Bangkok.
Since Sarah and I have been training to run in the 2016 London Marathon we wanted a place that would be convenient for running, near to shopping and, since the James Bond movie “Spectre” had just opened, we wanted to be near Siam Paragon so we could watch it in IMAX 3D. (Okay, well I really wanted to see it, but I think Sarah liked it more than me.) Also, since I need to once again have more pages added to my passport, we wanted a place that was close to the U.S. Embassy.
The Oriental Residence covered all of those bases. The hotel is located in the heart of the Embassy District, practically next to the United States Embassy. It is just down Wireless Road (Witthayu) from the famous Lumpini Park with its tons of jogging trails and only 600 meters from the Ploenchit BTS Skytrain Station.
Our “Grand Deluxe” room was the perfect oasis away from the frenzy that can sometimes be Bangkok. Because the rooms are designed as residences we had a fully equipped kitchen, a nice sitting area and a great bathroom with huge shower and a separate tub. Being an Onyx Hospitality property, of course it had a custom mattress, the best of linens, toiletries and other amenities including hardwood and marble flooring, a personal safe, a fully stocked minibar and LED television with many international channels.
The room felt light and airy with little extras including and fold down work area with all the plugs and things that you need to get things done, recessed overhead lighting, floor lamps and integrated PC connection points. One of the best aspects that you couldn’t miss was the view of the nearby parks and the city skyline in the near distance.
Walking into the lobby/reception area of the Oriental Residence felt almost as if walking into a private club. Polished marble floors, soaring ceilings, huge windows that let in lots of light and gave a very of the lush grounds, area rugs, fresh cut flowers and, something I really liked, photographs of Old Bangkok.
On the fifth floor was a huge open-air pool with chaise lounges for sunning, private cabanas for getting out of the sun and reading and even a small bar area where you could order something refreshing to drink. To top it all off were amazing views of the city easily seen through the walls of glass.
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Their gym equipped with the latest in exercise equipment including elliptical, free weights, yoga ball, rowing machines and treadmills by windows that overlooked the city. There was even a playroom with a Foosball Table!
There is a delicious full breakfast buffet available at the Café Claire with everything you can imagine, but to me the best was the croissants. The best I have had anywhere in Asia.
The staff was obviously well trained and interested in providing the best experience possible. From cool towels and refreshing flavored waters at an extremely efficient reception, to bellmen that were available to help with bags, but subtle enough in moving them that you didn’t feel like they were being wrenched from you, to doormen who open doors and greeted you like family on arrival. They were also very efficient at getting us cabs when we need one. You always knew that staff was paying attention and available if you needed them, but they weren’t hovering or obtrusive.
I guess because it is designed this way, staying at the Oriental Residence felt almost like staying at home, only nicer. Everything felt fresh and clean, the furnishings were elegant, but not so fussy that you were afraid to use them. I guess “casual elegance” is the best way to explain how it made me feel. Very welcoming, but not smothering. Yes, I could live there.