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Swimmers with a strong stomach have more and more options these days when wanting to take a dip. From the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore (55 stories up in the air) to the Joule in Dallas, we previously looked at 10 Death Defying Rooftop Pools and received many more suggestions from you.
Today we’re adding another one to our list, this time in Thailand at the Okura Prestige Bangkok. If something looks off in the picture above, believe us when we tell you it’s no Photoshop: set on the 25th floor, the pool juts out of the curvature of the Park Ventures Ecoplex building, of which the hotel is part. The curved shape, widest at its middle and tapering at both ends (reflecting the Thai symbol of “wai” – thanks and welcome), literally gives you a sense of floating over the edge. Open from 6am to 9pm, an early or late swim as the city wakes up or evening falls will have to be added to our to do’s during a next trip to Bangkok.
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Listen, we dodged that whole Doomsday thang (though we are Girl and Boy Scouts of preparedness, nonetheless), so let’s try and celebrate some good times, shall we?) We’ve clued you in on some Choice New Year’s Eve parties being held at hotels across the world. So, we hope you've decided (for once) to relax, relate, and release and get your party on!
But do you know which hotels to book if you want front-and-center views of fireworks and the action come midnight, whether you feel like going out, or prefer to stay in?
We've asked our HotelChatter editors and contributors to pick their favorite spots to trip the lights fantastic! Here are their around-the-world faves:
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Park Hyatt Bangkok
With the Grand Hyatt Erawan already open, the group’s selection of brands in the city is nearly complete. So Mister Hyatt, will an Andaz be next? While we wait for that announcement (we just heard about a Tokyo addition), read on for details on the two new hotels.
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It's beginning to feel a lot like...a tropical Christmas?
Hotel delays exasperate us. Booking last-minute hotels sometimes stresses us out. So excuse us while we take a minute and just focus on the one thing that's guaranteed to bring us some joy: big, bright, colorful, and unnecessarily elaborate hotel Christmas displays.
Go on, click through our photo gallery and let the holiday magic unfold!
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With big things happening for Tune Hotels in the UK and Australia, it kind of makes sense that the expansion waves would also carry over to Asia, where the chain is actually based.
This September, Tune will open its third Thailand hotel, a 130-room outpost on Bangkok's Sukhumvit Soi 14, a few blocks away from Lumphini Park, and encircled by pricier hotel choices like Westin Grand Sukhumvit, Grand Millennium Sukhumvit and Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit.
But while basic rooms at those places generally go for around $150-$220 USD, Tune will be swinging into town with rates of just $15 USD/night.
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These days, amenities can make the difference between booking one hotel and kicking another to the curb. So, properties are upping their A-game. The latest trend? Wooing potential guests with two sure-fire hits: booze and technology. These hotels have got it right with these tasty and techy treats.
The Opus Vancouver goes a step beyond just offering in-room iPads. Guests are actually allowed to take those iPads anywhere off property, since the devices are equipped with GPS. Plus, customers will save money by avoiding international data charges if they forward their calls to the iPad and check emails there instead of on their smartphones. Genius!
What would you say if we told you that a hotel just opened today that has rooms with private courtyards, with private pools and rooftop terraces, and yet it's in a giant metropolis and not on some deserted island? Well, you'd probably ask where and how much. The answers: Bangkok, Thailand and starting at $516 per night for no pool and $1000 per night with the pool.
It's called The Siam and in a town where luxury rooms can usually be had for as little as $100 per night, it's a hotel with a certain demographic in mind, specifically high-spenders looking for maximum privacy with minimum big city feel.
We at Hotel Chatter like to indulge our desires on a regular basis (cake from the Mandarin Oriental Paris, anyone?) and few come any more passionate than chocolate.
The Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok with its splendid setting on the banks of the Chaopraya River is home to a confectionery cornucopia called, simply, The Chocolate Boutique.
The classy signature outlet is located on the lobby level and a heaven for chocoholics. After being greeted at the imposing entrance to the hotel by pith helmeted and putteed doormen, a homage to colonial style, head inside the chandeliered lobby, go forward and turn right and there you see it. The duck egg blue and rich mahogany exteriors and subdued lighting are enticing and suggest the dark pleasures that await.
There are hotel reception areas and then there are Le Meridien Hotel reception areas. Frequent hotel lobby admirer, Christopher Scott Dixon, reports....
We visited the Le Meridien Bangkok the other week which is regarded as the flagship property for Asia. At first sight, it has to be said that the exterior to the hotel does not prepare you for the internal treats to follow. It appeared dark, dull and less than inviting, however, once the smiling doorman greeted us and opened the entrance, we stepped into a different world.
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What do you think of when you think Peninsula Hotels? Chances are it's some combination of luxury, business travel, personalized service, Hong Kong, and helipads. For us, we've never thought of Peninsulas as being highly romantic or ideal honeymoon destinations...until we stepped out onto the deck of the Terrace Suite at The Peninsula Bangkok.
In a word: mindblowing.
Up this far in the high-rise hotel, near enough to wave up at any helicopters arriving to The Peninsula helipad (don't worry, air traffic is very rare), the views are unbelievable. But believe itbelieve not only do the Terrace Suites have at least 180-degrees of Bangkok metropolis at your feet, but they've also got hot tubs, chaise loungers and a table out there. You could sleep outside if you really wanted tobut why neglect to enjoy a Peninsula bed?
Our bed at the Novotel BKK
A couple days ago, Portfolio.com published an article that delves into the up-and-coming trend of the 24-hour hotel room. In it, the Starwood "Your24" concept takes center stagethis is when a Starwood elite member choose their own check in time, and gets the room for 24 hours from there. Alas, this isn't a totally new idea, but Starwood is the largest chain to experiment with it worldwide.
The article continues: "And, tellingly, none of Starwood's much larger competitors have matched the Your24 initiative...Not Accor of France, with 4,100 properties worldwide." Here's where we must step in to point out that Accor actually does offer 24-rooms, though we've only experienced it at the Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.
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Now that we've already shown you how to get there in style, it's time to actually go inside The Peninsula Hotel Bangkok. Rooms at this high-rise luxury hotel in the center of Bangkokright on the bustling Chao Phraya Riverrun from $185 for a Superior King to $500 for a Grand Deluxe Suite King. Of course there are higher, more expensive categories but for those it's a "call for rates" situation.
First things firstthe internet situation at the Peninsula Bangkok is the best we've ever encountered, and they're even making it better. WiFi throughout the hotel is free, super fast andwe could hardly believe iteach room has its own network. The proof of that is right here, a screenshot taken directly on our iPhone.