A year old this Christmas, Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit is a classy addition to the mid-town Nana district, one of Bangkok’s oldest multicultural melting pots and a popular haunt for its nightlife and foodie scene. Bangkok’s two airports, the international Suvarnabhumi and the mostly regional Don Muang, are an easy 40- minute drive away from the ultra-chic property.
The blue-tinted glass façade, inspired by the traditional pleats used in ancient Thai costumes, rises on one of the city’s busiest commercial streets. This is the Hyatt Regency brand’s debut in the Thai capital, and the muted contemporary aesthetics in the 252 rooms, 21 suites and public areas acknowledge the golden periods of Thai history.
We had a Regency Executive corner suite with wrap-around windows on three sides and great views of Bangkok’s dramatic high-rise skyline. In the living room there was a spacious table beside plenty of power points and a comfortable couch. The bathroom, with ceiling-to-floor windows, had a stand-alone bathtub, a large shower stall and dual sinks.
There was ample hanging and shelving in the walk-in closet, and all the drinks and snacks in the minibar were at the same very reasonable price. We learned from General Manager Sammy Carolus that the Presidential Suite on the 28th floor measures 2,240 square feet and has a dining table for ten, its own workout room, a panoramic terrace and personalized butler service.
In our room we found a mobile phone for in-house and city use with complimentary Internet and calls to 16 countries. There was also a complimentary BTS Skytrain card which turned out to be a godsend as it allowed us to beat Bangkok’s gridlock traffic.
From the Nana station, which is linked to the hotel via a covered sky bridge, we rode the Skytrain to all the city’s main tourist attractions. Bangkok’s taxis are cheap and its tuk-tuks even cheaper, but the spotlessly clean air-conditioned BTS is cheaper still and, apart from rush hour when it gets very crowded, is the most comfortable and efficient way to get around Bangkok.
The hotel’s Lobby Lounge has a Grab-and-Go menu and the all-day Market Café does wonderful breakfasts and Thai food. We discovered that what comes out of Executive Chef Frederik Farina’s high-powered show kitchen is genuinely Thai, with no concessions to tourist tailoring. The restaurant staff are very helpful and guide guests through the long menu, making sure they get just the right levels of spiciness. This is very important if you really want to enjoy Thai food, as generally the rule of thumb is hot, hotter and hottest!
Chef Frederik’s Premium Snack menu in the 29th-floor Spectrum Lounge & Bar features gourmet selections. The dual-level rooftop has an intimate open deck with tables and daybeds, and when the live DJ took over we could see why this has become one of Bangkok’s grooviest sky bars. We made sure to take time to relax on the sunbeds around the 6th-floor infinity pool, which turned out to be a great way to chill out after sightseeing tours and shopping sprees.
Wanting to customize our stay with some local cultural experiences, Guest Experience Manager Mrs. Watcharaporn Prapha arranged a half-day guided tour of the residential suburb of Thonburi, which was once the capital of Thailand. Our guide from TakeMeTour took us on a long-tail boat along quiet canals to visit impressive Buddhist temples built by former kings, and we stopped in a canal-side village to visit the local food market and buy ingredients to make Pad Thai.
This pan-fried noodles and prawn dish is one of the most popular Thai specialties, not just in Thailand but all over the world. We were welcomed into the home of two smiling ladies who taught us how to cook the Pad Thai step by step – it’s really quite easy if you have all the right ingredients - and we then sat down in their living room to enjoy our self-cooked lunch.
The Sukhumvit Road and surrounding Nana district has good shopping in the Emquartier and Terminal 21 malls, and the family-run restaurants in nearby Little India, Soi Arab and Little Korea serve great food at reasonable prices. Shopaholics will enjoy the Soi Nana night market with stalls selling clothing, jewellery and souvenirs, and night owls should check out the little soi side streets off Sukhumvit where bars and pubs, catering to locals and visitors, stay open until the small hours.
About the Author:
Pamela McCourt Francescone was born in Dublin. After Trinity College Dublin she joined RTE Irish Television and then moved to Rome – where she still lives - to work with the Rome Daily American and International Courier, the Eternal City’s daily newspapers, specializing in air transportation and tourism before joining Italy’s leading travel trade paper, TTG Italia, for which she still writes.
As a professional travel journalist and passionate traveller she has visited 104 countries. In English and Italian she writes features, news stories and blogs, specializing in luxury travel, hospitality, destinations and air transportation for leading Italian and international publications. She is a regular contributor to Luxury Travel Advisor, TTG Italia, Resorts, Emotions Magazine, DestinAsian, Sinequanon, MICE & Tourism Around the World and Travel Daily News Asia among others.
This year she published a book “Silent Yangon” which is a portrait of Myanmar’s most vibrant city, with photographs taken by deaf children. Through her charity organization Link for Aid, which helps disadvantaged, deaf and orphaned children in Myanmar and Cambodia, she organizes the annual Music for Myanmar charity concerts in Yangon with international hotel groups Shangri-La and Chatrium. Her strong ties with Myanmar have brought her there over 40 times.