When Inn Bangkok

  • Travel
  • Saturday, 19 Mar 2011

You can’t go wrong choosing to stay at Holiday Inn on Silom Road in Bangkok.

Bangkok is a familiar city for me and almost like a home away from home.

What’s not to like?

The shopping and food are amazing and the people are delightful. It’s also probably one of the safest places to walk the streets in the wee hours of the morning and still feel secure.

Silom Road (Thanon Silom in Thai) is one of the focal points of this vast metropolis and much loved by tourists. It’s the site of the infamous Patpong night market which have stalls selling a variety of goods and ware.

Patpong also has other “merchandise” on offer — go-go bars and night clubs that are a smaller version of Soi Nana and Soi Cowboy in another part of Bangkok.

Most people don’t venture beyond this sector of Silom but the long road eventually leads to th e Chao Praya River. At the upper end is Bangkok’s Little India, where you’ll find an Indian temp le and many Indian restaurants and businesses. It is also the jewellery enclave of Bangkok, so you can go gem-crazy here.

Whenever I have passed this part of Silom, I notice the nice-looking Holiday Inn fronting the main road. This time around I actually got to stay there.

From the time I arrived till I checked out , the service was impeccable. The warm greetings of “Sawadee Krub” or “Sawadee Ka” were always accompanied with genuine smiles. T o me, service is not about being perfect — everyone makes mistak es and sometimes unwanted things happen — it’s more about how they react to these situations. When I took my shower after checking in and the bathroom started clogging up, it was not a pleasant experience but I wasn’t put out. I made a phone call and the problem was rectified swiftly.

So yes, the service was impecc able. My room was a “premier” which was pretty sizeable and even had a separate dressing room area. It was set up for corporate types — there was a working area with broadband connections and WiFi.

Unfortunately the WiFi signal was weak in the room, and throughout much of the public areas in the hotel. I needed to check some work mails, so this was a bummer.

But again the hotel staff sorted it out. I talked to the pleasant and hardworking assistant marketing communications manager, Pawena Suwanpangkul, and was then allow ed to use the hotel’s Business Centre.

I also loved the fact that the TV had numerous channels to surf, something this insomniac made use of comprehensively. My room came with a safe and, more importantly, an iron and an ironing board.

This Holiday Inn has two towers and 684 rooms ranging from superior, executive suite and premier, to premier suite, executive club and presidential suite. It has even set aside a room for physically challenged guests.

There is an executive club floor which comes complete with an Internet area, lounge, meeting room, snack bar and a balcony but this place is reserved for those staying in the executive club floors.

The pool and the fitness area are typical of what you would find in a hotel of this size.

I had my dinner at the Tand oor Restaurant.

It’s apparently a highly touted restaurant but I was wondering why they decided on an Indian outlet. Was it because the hotel was in Little India or did they get many guests from the subcontinent? Neither apparently.

The owner was of Indian heritage and he wanted an F&B outlet that served Indian food, and so the Tandoor is the signature restaurant in all his hotels in Thailand. I was served a sumptuous meal accompanied by the soothing sounds of a three-member Indian classical group. While the dishes were tasty, I was not blown away.

Why? Because the food is watered-down and more suited to Western tastebuds.

Breakfast at The Brasserie was more impressive. While it had a pretty good Western spread — some Thai dishes and some Chinese options — it was The Brasserie’s Indian selection that blew me away. I had upamma, a semolina dish that is rare in restaurants as it is a home-cooked dish. My mum used to make it, but as very fluffy balls.

The hotel’s version was quite mashed up. Still I polished it off.

(Sprinkle some sugar over it and it tastes heavenly).

I appreciated also the masala tea.

Unfortunately, when I returned the next day, they didn’t have the upamma on the menu but they did have poori (a fluffy dough bread) and vadae (you’re not Malaysian if I have to tell you what it is), though, so it was not bad.

I must say the Thai crepes with minced chicken and the pomelo salad with shrimp (Yam Sam O Goong) that I had was delicious, as was the unusual northeastern-styled pork sausage.

The hotel also has a lounge that is open 24/7 at the lobby and serves high tea. It was quite tempting to go the English tea set route with scones and the works but I opted for Thai. Hey, this was Bangkok, after all, and I wanted my fix of Mango Sticky Rice. The hotel’s version didn’t disappoint.

Hari’s Bar is also a wonderful place to wind down, grab a few drinks and listen to the resident band. When I was there, it was a threepiece Filipino group that was performing.

All in all, I had a wonderful stay at this superb hotel which is perfectly situated for exploring the rest of the city (Surasak, the BTS Skytrain station, which is the best option for getting around jam-packed Bangkok, and it’s only seven minutes’ walk away).

> Special rates are offered to members of Orient Rewards, which is a lifestyle membership that allows members access to 10,000 worldwide hotels and resorts with 60% discount on rack rates and up to 50% discount on culinary delights. Visit www.orientrewards.net or call (03) 2380 9808 for more information.

Holiday Inn Bangkok Silom 981, Silom Road Bangkrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: 66-2238 4300 Fax: 66–2238 5289 E-mail: reservations@holidayinnsilom.com www.holidayinn.com/silom

981, Silom Road

Bangkrak, Bangkok 10500

Tel: 66-2238 4300

Fax: 66–2238 5289

E-mail: reservations@holidayinnsilom.com


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