A bed for the night in
By Jeremy Atiyah
05 September 2004
Where is it?On the
It's a spa hotel with open-air swimming pools and dining areas of the kind you would never expect to find in the middle of the urban hell that downtown
The comfort factor
Apart from the glass-fronted eating area overlooking an (artificial) craggy rock-face with waterfalls and a banyan tree, the lobby areas are pleasingly low-key. It's discreet and businesslike, with a predominance of dark colours. When I arrived a flautist was playing in the bar. The rooms are all suites, comprising living rooms, albeit smallish ones, and bedrooms with king-size beds. All rooms have incense and aromatherapy burners. Many also have excellent views. The hotel has 61 floors, reached by lift at an astonishing speed.
There is a shower and a separate bath of the short, deep, Asian variety (you can sit in it, but not lounge). Distinguished black stone pots hold the soaps and shampoos. Snazzy, his-and-hers, black-and-white cosmetics bags contain executive mouthwash, loofah mitts, cotton buds, cotton wool, toothbrushes, Colgate, sewing kits, shavers, bath hats, bath salts, nail files etc. In fact, those bags are large enough to stash all the cosmetics you've lifted from other hotels on the same trip.
The food and drink
The rich and glamorous will not need to leave the hotel. The Vertigo Grill is the centrepiece of this selection, which includes some of
At the Vertigo bar they look like and probably are internet millionaires: the cream of Asian youth, casually dressed, talking in numerous languages (but if the customers look good, they rarely match the waiting staff who are as stunning as they are charming).
As at all Banyan Tree hotels, life revolves round the spa. You can sit eating raw vegetables and drinking apple and ginger tea, and getting your knots worked on, then go for an outdoor swim in a pool that is so high above the streets that you'll feel as though you are in the countryside. The spa, spread over two floors, has a sauna, steam room, wet and dry treatments, body wrapping, facials, as well as aerobics, yoga and dancing classes.
Wheelchair access, except the top-floor restaurant. Children are welcome.
A deluxe suite is cheapest, at $160 (£90) per room.
Banyan Tree Bangkok,