Just the mention of the name 'Peninsula' conjures up images of indulging and sumptuous five-star luxury, marble finishes, sweeping staircases, high ceilings and an attentive concierge. Whether you're talking about the Peninsula Hotel in New York or Hong Kong, Chicago or Beijing, Beverley Hills or, in this case, Bangkok. Even its prime location on the west bank of the scenic Chao Phraya River is a luxury statement in itself.
For every little detail, from architectural and interior finishes to landscaping, amenities and service, goes far beyond mere necessities.
No stone has been left unturned in giving guests a whole new perspective of the word 'luxury' - from the moment you walk into the elegant and imposing lobby to check in, and reaffirmed when you are soaking your travel-weary bones in the foam bath of the marble bathroom, watching cable television and with a hands-free phone next to you.
The average size of a room in the 39-storey building is 46 square metres, which counts among the most spacious in Bangkok. High ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows with unobstructed views add to the luxury of space. There are only ten guest rooms and two one-bedroom suites per floor, all of which face the river. In fact, the building's unique and signature W-shape was conceived with this in mind. Views. Sweeping.
To say that guest rooms are tastefully decorated and well equipped would be an under-statement. The decor is sumptuous, with a touch of the Orient. Special features include a valet box for shoe cleaning and early-morning newspaper delivery, mood lighting, and an oversized executive desk with a built-in silent fax machine (and personal fax number).
High-speed Internet, a CD player, camcorder video playback facilities, electronic curtain buttons and a very sophisticated (but user-friendly) bedside control panel bring you all the electronic gadgetry your heart desires. All of which are standard features of the bottom-end Superior Room. And superior it is.
The impressive room features are matched by the choice of restaurants and bars, facilities and amenities. Seven different venues offer from traditional Thai food to Cantonese, Pacific Rim and a la carte to an international buffet (highly recommended), cake or ice cream at The Peninsula Boutique, and poolside snacks.
Banquet and conference facilities, business services and transportation options have the same classy Peninsula touch - the finest detail is attended to. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle boat services to The Peninsula Pier Lounge on the opposite bank, Saphan Taksin skytrain station and the River City complex.
An impressive 60-meter, three-tiered swimming pool with Thai 'salas' (little teak houses with a rooftop only) and sundeck areas provide the perfect setting for a lazy, sun-soaked time. A fully-equipped fitness centre, beauty salon, massage service and two floodlit tennis courts complete the picture.
To cross the river in one of the hotel's charming shuttle boats is part of the riverside experience, and takes less than ten minutes. And once you're on the other side, Bangkok offers some major attractions and all major shopping, nightlife and business areas just a short taxi ride away.
The luxurious Peninsula Spa - its 18 treatment rooms and suites making it the biggest hotel spa in Bangkok - offers a deeply personalised spa experience, featuring some of Bangkok's best-skilled therapists. Located in a new three-storey Thai colonial-style building adjacent to the hotel's Fitness Centre, the 1,774 square metre spa is part of the 'Peninsula Wellness' programme, and draws upon Eastern and Western wellness and relaxation philosophies that emphasize a back-to-basics approach.
A stay at The Peninsula will undoubtedly enhance your experience of the Thai capital, and make it a memorable one. You'll be comfortable, spoiled and pampered. And that would explain also why the hotel has so many regular (and famous) guests who come back for more.