Hello all! Hope you all had a great start to the New Year! Sorry for the near two month hiatus from blogging but this girl has been busy. First a week in OC for Christmas, followed by a dreamy three weeks in Thailand, then a move, coupled with a week of jet-lag, and not to mention a week of the flu… you catch my drift. But I have tons and tons of great things to share with you and can’t wait to get crackin on it. So first things first, thought I’d share with you, semi-in order, how my trip went down, with amazing tips, pretty pictures and cute elephant stories along the way. So without further ado, I will start with Bangkok. The first stop of our trip:
5 hour stay at The W Bangkok (yes, you read that right!)
Hotel Restaurant Courtesy of The W Hotel
If your anything like me, you probably scour a few sites and read reviews before picking your hotel. And why not? Especially in a big city such a Bangkok, with so many wonderful options at stellar prices, it’s hard to settle on just one without wondering if you made the right choice. Since we got to Thailand a day later than everyone else, my best friend and her husband actually made the decision to stay at The W. All I wanted was a nice hotel, in a good location with a big, comfy plush bed (especially after flying all that ways!) So when she said she booked The W, I was stoked, considering they have a reputation for always having sick hotels.
So heres the reason why we only spent 5 short hours at this fabulous hotel. Our original flight plan had a 4 hour layover in Shanghai and would get us to Bangkok in the evening, allowing for plenty of time to clean up, have a drink or two, and officially kick off our trip. So when we found out that our connecting flight was now delayed for several more hours, we were frustrated because we knew this would cut our time in Bangkok short. Once we boarded our flight at close to midnight, we contemplated whether or not we should go to the W since we would only have a couple hours before our flight to Koh Samui. We figured we would base it off of how long immigrations would take since Shanghai took so long. Luckily, immigrations was a breeze so we quickly contacted our friends and since they were already up at 4 AM due to jet lag, we hopped in a cab, and went straight to The W for a shower and some food.
Upon Arrival at the W in Bangkok
Hotel Elevators Courtesy of The W Hotel
Once we arrived at The W, the security guard examined the cab thoroughly before allowing us on to hotel grounds. The entire property is gated, ensuring a feeling of security and safety for hotel guests.
At the valet, we were greeted by the sweetest employees and I can already see how Thailand is referred to as the Land of Smiles.
Once inside, you feel like you are in a zen-like/Vegas hotel (does that make sense?) Trust me though, it’s gorgeous. It has dark and sexy vibes with a lot Asian influences. The lobby was calming and almost spa-like, which is a nice retreat after a long day of flying.
Stunning Hotel Room Courtesy of The W Hotel
The rooms are a great size, fitting two queen beds and four people comfortably. The beds were extremely comfy, with crisp, clean sheets which is something I obsess over. The spa-like bathroom was big, clean and modern. It had a rainforest-like shower and I was in that thing for a near 30 minutes, I swear! The hotel supplied us tons of free waters to stay hydrated, which was something we all appreciated. Also, the room had huge windows, which made for some incredible city views. Our room was right off the elevator but you wouldn’t know it since we didn’t hear a thing. I give the room a 10 out of 10 for sure!
The Bathrooms Courtesy of The W Hotel
And the Food
The food. Oh my goodness, the food. After eating such terrible plane food provided by China Eastern, I was ready to take down three plates of food. Since The W has 24 hour room service, my husband and I ordered the Pad Thai and Kao Pad (Thai-style fried rice). It came up in what seemed to be minutes, complete with generous portions, sauces, spices, and the works! And let me tell you, both were insanely delicious and hands down the best meals we had in Thailand (and no, that wasn’t because I was deprived of food for nearly 24-hours), it really was that good.
The Kitchen Table Restaurant Courtesy of The W Hotel
Above and Beyond
The service was wonderful. Even though we were only there for a few hours, the staff was courteous, warm and very professional. But what really was incredible, was how the concierge located and retrieved my friends lost luggage!
Our friends had to check their bags but somehow along the way, neither of their bags made it to Bangkok. I could tell they were both a little frustrated, and rightfully so. No one wants to deal with a missing bag, especially with massive jet lag with a language barrier thrown in. Since it appeared there was little to no hope of retrieving their luggage, they were already fearing for the worst. Luckily, The W has a fabulous concierge team who took the matter into their own hands and worked tirelessly to locate their missing luggage. Our friends got play by play of what was happening which helped ease the stress they were feeling. Miraculously, their team located both bags, which were in two different locations. Nonetheless, they were still able to get my best friends bag hand delivered to her at the room and her hubby’s bag flown down to Koh Samui, waiting for him upon arrival. I mean, wow!
Location, Location, Location
Since we had such little time there, we did not explore the surrounding areas, however, from what our friends said, they were close to everything and took cabs or tuk tuks to get around for very little. They said that the location was perfect and wouldn’t have changed where they were for a second.
So all in all, incredible hotel rooms, food, and staff? It was the triple threat of hotels, something we all love! Even at peak season, the rooms were affordable at $200/per night for a 4.5 star hotel. Trust me, after flying for so long, it’s worth it to splurge on some luxury.
Take Away Tips
- If you have enough time between long haul flights, book a hotel room. Retreating to a hotel room to take a nap and clean up will do wonders for your mental state and help kick start your trip on a positive note.
- Ask for immigration cards on flights, especially if your not sure you need to fill them out. It’s best to be prepared and have them filled out beforehand. You don’t want to see the immigrations line fill up while your in the back filling it out. Also, always bring a pen with you on international trips!
- Once you clear customs at BKK, you can get currency right away. If you don’t have any Thai Baht on you, I highly recommend pulling some out because taxis rarely take credit or debit cards (I didn’t see any). Getting Baht is best once you are in the country and 7-11’s have the best rates (trust me on this one). Also, I recommend pulling out the maximum because it will keep ATM fees (180-200 Baht, roughly $5-$6 USD) and international transactions fees low. It may not seem like much at first, but they add up.
- If you fly through China on your way to Thailand, have your round trip flight plan printed out to show that you have plans to leave the country in a timely fashion (China allows for a 72 hour time period to travel through the country and they may now be upping that to 6 days in certain cities). Also, allow for 2 hours going through immigrations each way to be safe. You do not want to miss any connecting flights.