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One step into the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok on Ratchadamri Road in the centre of the city and I am transported from the buzzing capital back into the glamour of an old-world metropolis. I cannot wait for my stay to start.

Designer Andre Fu, the Hong Kong-based architect and leader of AFSO design studio, has seamlessly woven art deco with modern sensibilities to soothe and delight the traveller’s mind. A pacifying sea green and cream colour palette sweep throughout the establishment with architectural lines that follow complementary curvature and incite reminders of the prestigious brand. Of course, thegrandeur is expected – this is, after all, Waldorf Astoria’s first Southeast Asian property – but the effect is still impressive.

Luxury here is delivered in an approachable and service-driven manner without the barriers of excessive formality. I am whisked through the check-in process with those world-famous Thai smiles navigating my reservation with ease. The conversant staff lead the way to the requested King Deluxe Suite. Here, I am greeted with floor-to-ceiling windows, pleasant mineral blue shades with mustard gold accents and an open floor plan living and dining room. Seventy-five square metres is made more spacious with ultra-high ceilings, neutral fabrics and cream-hued wood furnishings. A peek into the bathroom reveals a rain shower and window feature. From behind these well-tinted windows, even the streets of Bangkok appear calm and cool. Looking down below, the streets steam with clouds of wok-fired lemongrass, crushed garlic and chilli – flavours of the country known the world over for its culinary sophistication.

As my mouth begins to water, I remember my reservation at Front Room, Waldorf Astoria’s Nordic-Thai concept restaurant. Boasting culinary teams who birthed such internationally renowned classics

as the Waldorf Salad, Red Velvet Cake and Eggs Benedict, I know dining here is going to be a highlight of my stay. I’ve been dying to try the cuisine of chef Rungthiwa ‘Fae’ Chummongkhon, a Chiang Rai native who spent the last 12 years harnessing her skill in multiple Michelin-starred establishments across Europe. She is touted by many to be on her way to achieving Michelin-star status at this restaurant as well and is a part of a growing, up and coming lineup of Bangkok chefs. Her food is personal and groundbreaking in its insistence on quality and experimentation despite its roots in small town intuition. For my main, I order The King of Beef, which features succulent Waygu striploin with morels. It’s dishes like this, honouring old and new, that animate the posh interior of the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok with local flavour, bringing the life of Thailand into its opulent halls.

After the meal, I make my way up to The Loft, one of the hotel’s two glamorous skyhigh bars for a nightcap under the sparkle of art nouveau chandeliers. Bar manager Michele Montauti is well known in Bangkok and so I eagerly select The Waldorf, which balances Michter’s Bourbon with Thai basil, Mancino sweet vermouth, chocolate bitters, maple and coriander for a decidedly satisfying and engaging take on bourbon. Located on level 56, the New York-inspired bar provides a nostalgic yet progressive environment to enjoy evening views and hand-crafted cocktails.

Beyond these eateries, the hotel also boasts a French-inspired all day dining restaurant, a steak and seafood grill, traditional lounge and the sky-high Champagne Bar with standards of fare that tempt to keep me dining in-house all weekend.

The next day after spending the morning exploring nearby Lumpini Park, the heat of the Silom district melts away as I slip into the hotel’s teardrop-shaped swimming pool. Set on level 16 with astounding 360-degree views, the pool also offers shaded spots to relax in the tropical heat and stays open well into the night for evening dips amongst the sky-rises. Further fitness and leisure activities can be found in the 24-hour fitness studio which houses a sauna, steam room and more.

Afterwards, it’s time to head to the Waldorf Astoria Spa, which uses naturally inspired local skin products and also offers body treatments, signature spa rituals, facials and men’s treatments. Following a few hours under the skilful hands of a traditionally trained Thai masseuse, leaving me feeling rejuvenated from the daytime excursion, thoroughly pampered...and ready to test out another one of the hotel’s incredible dining venues!

Where else to Wine & Dine at the Waldorf

The Brasserie

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This breakfast paradise – complete with a buffet boasting savoury pastries, coldpressed juices, dim sum and abundant bowls of tropical fruits – is also open through dinner offering traditional brasserie fare.

Bull & Bear

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Get ready for surf ‘n turf with a view. This sophisticated open kitchen steak and seafood grill concept on level 55 provides breathtaking views of the city. Straight lined opulence, alongside accents of leather, marble and bronze details make for the ideal setting to devour expertly selected cuts of Australian beef and a 55- day dry aged Wagyu.

Peacock Alley

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Treat yourself to a scrumptious afternoon tea, light meal or evening drink in this upper lobby lounge with views of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club.

The Champagne Bar

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Pop the bubbles! Unwind in a lavish atmosphere by way of glass chandeliers, sculptures and rocking chairs to the taste of hand-crafted cocktails and an exceptional Champagne collection.

 

Room Price Guideline: Deluxe Rooms from 13,500 THB

For more information browse: waldorfbangkok.waldorfastoria.com

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