After a 16.5-hour flight on Thai Airways in Economy Class and a pre-dawn landing at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport I slowly unkinked and made my way off the plane. The whole process of going through immigration, getting my bags, finding the Pullman Bangkok King Power hotel van and arriving at the hotel took less than 60 minutes. Efficiency like this could spoil a guy.
I am in town for the Thai Travel Mart + 2008, to be held June 5-8 at Bangkok’s IMPACT Exhibition Centre. In past years, the mart concentrated on promoting the countries of the Mekong River Delta region—Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar. The “+” in this year’s name refers to the addition of Malaysia and Indonesia to the countries being highlighted during the event.
I had a free afternoon before the opening and took advantage by visiting The Metropolitan Bangkok. The hotel has been open four years and follows the hip and edgy Metropolitan style familiar to guests of the brand’s London property. Kitiphong Nilpraphaporn, sales manager for the hotel, says the property attracts a hip, under 40 crowd. In fact, some of these younger travelers gravitate to the Metropolitan Bangkok after finding some of the capital’s venerable five-star properties a little too stuffy for their tastes. Most of the guests hail from the UK and Hong Kong, although they’re trying to beef up their figures from the U.S.
Antoriums in the lounge
The Metropolitan Bangkok’s lobby sets the tone right away. It’s spacious, with clean lines, dark brown wood and bronze furnishings, white walls and a splash of fiery color from a single rug. Stark floral displays of yellow-green Antoriums finish off the cool, Zen-like design—flowers that Thais refer to as “Cow-Face Flowers.” In the background, chill lounge music plays. There’s nothing that hints of Bangkok—but that’s the point—this is world style played to the hilt.
The hotel has 171 rooms in seven categories. The most popular room category is the Metropolitan Rooms (the hotel has 122 of these). The hotel has 11 floors and no matter which room you book you’ll be treated to Bangkok city views, which get more dramatic the higher you go. The hotel has four Penthouse Suites which are truly impressive because of their three levels—the suite seems to go on forever. A selling point is the Armani-designed bathrooms. The Presidential Suite has all the features of the Penthouse Suites with the addition of a second bedroom.
The spa is a COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, so you can expect Balinese influences in the treatments. The spa has 10 treatment rooms, one of these is for couples. The spa restaurant is huge, having 57 seats. Advance spa appointments can be made by contacting Preyanan Chutisereeporn, spa manager, COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, The Metropolitan at 66 02 625 3355, [email protected].
A Metropolitan Room
The hotel has some nice perks, including free yoga classes given three times a day, complimentary breakfast, a free DVD lending library and 15 minutes of free Internet daily in the lobby.
The Sales Manager, Kitiphong Nilpraphaporn, is also the contact for travel agents (66 02 625 3499, [email protected]).