10500 Travel Guide - Page 2
Guess what, Apple lovers? There's finally a hotel to sate your every technological whim—you just have to fly halfway around the world to enjoy it! While we've seen certain hotels pick up on the free iPad trend, or even develop their own apps, Sofitel So Bangkok is now debuting a "new generation of urban hotels."
According to an announcement made on Saturday, each of its 238 rooms will come with a Mac mini that guests can use to build their own in-room integrated multimedia center: digital TV and radio, movies, music, DVD player, and the ability to play whatever's on your own iPod, iPhone, or iPad. Oh, an they'll throw in an iPad if you book one of their suites.
Need to actually get some work done? Worry not. The tech-savy property has taken you into consideration as well:
"For work purposes, the Mac mini enables guests to load files via a USB port, work on them in the normal way, and save them to a memory stick safe in the knowledge that every time the Mac mini is shut down DirectStreams software will clean away any new information on the computer and restore it to its original state at check-in/check-out."
But this kind of total connectivity isn't just Sofitel offering a "new generation" of room service. Sure, there's features like browsing the hotel directory and room service menu, and we're guessing there will be some live chat feature to communicate in real time with staff members, a la St. Regis New York's E-Butler program. But beyond that, the hotel has made it very possible for guests to never have to leave their rooms or seek entertainment at all! It's all built in right there!
The Le Meridien Bangkok just opened in December and is the first hotel to show off this new design concept which Starwood will formally introduce in March, according to an article in the Bangkok Post.
Le Meridien will be going for the "European Chic" look, which will build on the LM100 promotion that Le Meridien presently is running in their hotels and on their website.
Apparently the Oriental Hotel Bangkok in Thailand's bustling capital is good for moe than Ayurvedic spas and cooking classes: they're pretty hot on the WiFi angle as well, judging by the latest developments there.
A recent Bangkok Post article claimed that the Oriental is the first place in the region to offer WiFi access to its guests wherever they are in the hotel complex. And even better, they say, it's all using a 802.11n network which, if you're not quite geeky enough to know, means that the range and bandwidth is a whole lot better than previous technologies. And as manager Paul Jones said:
Today's business travelers demand more than simple connectivity--they value voice, video and data options which are efficient, convenient, highly secure and most importantly can be accessed anytime, anywhere in the hotel.
Hear, hear! And dare we point out, it's not even just business travelers who are demanding good connectivity. Thumbs up to the Oriental Bangkok for getting a decent WiFi network in place and we hope that many more follow.
Bangkok's Oriental Hotel has just got even more cool stuff. Really. It was already home to the Oriental Spa that many guests raved about and now there's more. The penthouse apartment above the spa--it used to house the General Manager, but he gave it up "for the greater good"--now houses Bangkok's first Ayurvedic Centre.
If you're not sure what on earth an Ayurvedic Centre is, trust us that it's a good thing. This particuar one has four suites, where you can get a full-on holistic treatment Indian-style including a steam cabinet for a post-oil massage, have a soak in the copper bathtub (it's bacteria resistant!), and have consultations with an Ayurvedic doctor and a yoga trainer.
But if that doesn't convince you, then here's another angle: a recent Forbes write-up reckons the Oriental is great for honeymooners--especially for those who want to learn the secrets of Thai cooking by taking part in a morning class (perhaps improving cooking skills makes a good start to a marriage?). So you either heal yourself or you learn to cook; or you are still allowed to just relax, if that's what you want.
· Hot Spots for Honeymooners [Forbes]
· Four Hip Hotels in Bangkok [HotelChatter]
If you stay at Bangkok's Lebua at State Tower soon, you can get free drinks thrown in at their Sky Bar. They've been hitting the promotion trail with this package pretty heavily, so we thought we should investigate the Sky Bar a little more closely.
But as always, it's really a matter of opinion or who you should believe. One recent guest decided "The Sky Bar is awesome (and the drinks wonderful)" while another thought "The Sky Bar is pricey and guests have very little space to stand and none to sit" (although even this guest admitted that the view over Bangkok from the Sky Bar was great). But try this for a more balanced view:
The Sky Bar on the top floor is great with cocktails around $8 which again is cheaper than most major cities but expensive for Bangkok.
The Sky Bar also has quite a strict dress code that you might not quite be prepared for if you've come in from a day hanging around the pool. As usual, the code is especially strict for men--women can get away with sandals and sleeveless shirts, but men can't. Plus as the hotel politely puts it, "no shorts for gentlemen".
If you are traveling to Bangkok on the US dollar, you may as well stay somewhere fabulous.
Check out LUXX. This is the place for the style conscious traveler, who enjoys design and hates spending more than $200 for it.
The 13 different room prices correspond with room size, starting at $70 for the Compact Room (20 sq. meters). For the 52 square-metered suite, expect to pay around $120. (These are also introductory rates.)
The MESS Bar is set to open soon (we have no idea what's going on with the all caps) and there the hotel will hold Drinking Gigs on Wednesday and Friday nights.
The hotel is also holding its GRAND OPENING LAUNCH PARTY on March 29, which will feature a fashion show, musical performances, dancing and "upscale party attitude" for 60 elite guests.
We just wanna know what does upscale party attitude involve and how can we buy it.
· Bangkok's Smallest Hotel Offers New Taste of Luxury [Hospitality Net]
Bai Ling, actress/model/the girl who got cut from Sith for posing nude in Playboy, allegedly, sits down with Travel & Leisure and lets us know her feelings on hotels:
I live out of hotel rooms--I'm on my way to D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, and then back to L.A. for another movie. I also spend a lot of time in Asia. When I'm in Bangkok, I stay at the Oriental. In the mornings, I'll take a long breakfast and gaze along the banks of the Chao Phraya. I visit China often, because my family is still there. I feel as if I was meant to live a gypsy's life.
Concerning the Oriental Bangkok, another recent visitor adds this:
Limo had cold towels and fresh water then we were given ice cold apple juice at check in. Most impressed by the lift operators who knew which floor we were on and hit the button for our floor without being seen.
Bai Ling staring out windows, limo service with cold towels, elevator attendants with a photographic memory--sounds like we have our go-to Bangkok hotel.