Exploring Bangkok

Thailand is known as the land of a thousand smiles, and nowhere is that more evident than Bangkok. From the vendors at the floating market to the expert Thai therapists at the luxurious spas and the waiters at the five-star restaurants, the famous Thai hospitality can be found throughout this energetic city. A Deluxe Suite at the Sukhothai Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand

The Sukhothai Hotel (800-223-6800), a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, is in the heart of Bangkok. The property's Thai details, from the fabric used on the pillows and bed coverings to the rich silks that cover the walls and the teak-wood finishings found throughout the hotel, will immediately make visitors feel a sense of place.

A signature design element is the extra large bathroom—complete with Jacuzzi bathtub, separate shower, double sinks and changing area.

Recommend the Deluxe Suites for families; the corner suites offer the best views and are the most spacious. For high-end travelers, look no further than the Sukhothai Suite, which has hosted movie stars and diplomats and features a baby grand piano, full kitchen, study, bedroom with spacious dressing room and grand bathroom. This suite occupies the top floor of the main building and commands sweeping views of the gardens and the city skyline. More Bangkok Tips

Amenities of the hotel include a 25-meter infinity-edge pool, a full-size health club, tennis courts and spa facilities including Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.

A must for food connoisseurs is the wonderful Thai restaurant, Celadon. The variety of curries, coconut-milk dishes and Thai stir-fry specialties are all served in the most tranquil setting—amid a beautiful pond filled with lilies and lotus flowers. The hotel's bar overlooks the beautiful courtyard garden.

What makes the hotel so unique is its landscape and setting. Its six acres are an oasis of calm amid the hustle and bustle that is Bangkok. The tree-lined property shunned the high-rise trend when it opened in 1991; instead, simple pitched roofs cap an enclave of four- to nine-story buildings surrounded by flower gardens and lily ponds. In brass lamp holders, terra-cotta frames, wall hangings and the lobby's reflection-pond mirrors, the interiors repeat scenes from some of the nation's past historic settings.

A treatment room at the Peninsula Bangkok's ESPA

The resort pays 10 percent commission. The agent liaison is Wichai C. Mac ([email protected]), the assistant director of sales and marketing.

For amazing views of the Chao PhrayaRiver, recommend the Peninsula Bangkok (866-382 8388). Every room in the hotel has a panoramic river view, as well as views of the city skyline. For families and VIPs, the duplex suite is the room to book. The ceiling of its entrance hall is a magnificent two stories high and the view of Bangkok is breathtaking from either of the its two terraces.

Located on the top floors of the hotel and decorated with traditional and contemporary Asian artwork, the suite features a personal outdoor Jacuzzi surrounded by teak furniture and a terrace, two bedrooms, a formal living room and dining room, plus a private study.

The hotel offers six different dining options, including the Mei Jiang, a serene and elegant Cantonese restaurant with a resident Chinese chef who has prepared banquets for royalty and heads of state. The Thiptara restaurant is on the banks of the Chao PhrayaRiver under a beautiful large banyan tree. This authentic Thai restaurant offers great views of the gardens.

Spa goers will love the new three-story 19,000-foot Thai colonial-style Peninsula Spa by ESPA, which opened in December 2006. Featuring 14 treatment rooms and four suites, there is also a tea lounge and various relaxation rooms. Therapies layer European, Asian and ayurvedic philosophies for an all-encompassing holistic experience.

Book the Purva Karma Four Hand Synchronized Massage, a combination of multiple stretching and rolling movements with long deep strokes that begins with a tri-doshic herbal tea infusion and foot cleansing ritual. Polarity balancing and rock movements ground and destress and the mind switches off as two therapists work in synchronized harmony. Request Thai therapists Ti and Dom for any of the treatments. The spa director is Richard Williams ([email protected]).

The resort pays 10 percent commission. Agents can contact General Manager Charles L. Morris ([email protected]) for VIP bookings.