The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Classic, reliable luxury in the heart of Bangkok.
The must-dos (if any): Dine at the Club InterContinental, use the Oasis Pool, check out the Infinity Fitness Gym.
Intro: In July 2018, I checked out the InterContinental Bangkok, situated minutes away from the Chit Lom Skytrain station as well as the popular CentralWorld shopping complex and other surrounding shopping malls. The hotel’s convenient location, beautiful city views from the high-rise rooms as well as the ever-reliable Club InterContinental experience makes InterContinental Bangkok a good choice for your Bangkok luxury hotel stay.
My initial booking was for two nights at the 45sqm King Bed Club InterContinental Room (about 10,100THB/night), with one of the nights free courtesy of the complimentary weekend night certificate I received upon signing up for the InterContinental Ambassador programme. However, by some miraculous act of heavenly blessing, beyond my guaranteed room upgrade, I was further upgraded to the sprawling 100sqm King Bed Ambassador Suite (about 38,000THB/night), which is the second highest room category just below the Presidential Suite. I guess they must appreciate my unassailed loyalty to the IHG brand.
Situated on one of the highest floors of the property, the King Bed Ambassador Suite is blessed with a marvellous view of the city by virtue of its floor-to-ceiling windows for most of its space (save for the bedroom area, which is a bit of a shame). The work desk is located within the living room area, which is connected to the bedroom via a pantry corridor where the refrigerator and Nespresso coffeemaker are located.
One of the highlights of the Ambassador Suite is the massive bathroom, which comes with rain-shower facilities and is also impressively equipped with a jacuzzi-jet bathtub for your foamy soaking pleasure. The long corridor that is the bathroom is a glorious beneficiary of the room’s natural lighting, being terrifically open and exposed if you are particularly generous with broadcasting your bathroom activities, although (un?)fortunately the bathtub area is curiously shielded from pervy birds’ prying gazes due to strategically-placed window shutters. Amenities are from Agraria, and are fairly vapid in their citric agenda.
The InterContinental Ambassador gift for this property is a robed mascot bear, and I appreciate that the property continues to maintain individuality and quality in the choice of souvenir.
THE POOL AND AMENITIES
InterContinental Bangkok’s Oasis Pool is situated on the highest floor of the property, 37 stories above the city, and the pool plays it all (desert) resort island enclave in its trees-y, earthern pot stylings. Elsewhere, the hotel’s enormous Infinity Fitness gym is quite possibly the most impressive hotel gym I have ever seen, with rooms for group exercise classes, full-on locker rooms, grooming stations, jacuzzi and sauna facilities as well as on-site personal trainers at your disposal. Crikey.
Spa InterContinental offers an extensive range of treatments, including massages, skin therapies, baths as well as signature treatments. The spa uses HARNN products, which I have very fond memories of from my experience at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort.
DINING AND BARS
Breakfast is served at Espresso, the hotel’s all-day buffet dining concept situated on the 2nd floor. Guests are given numbered slips which they have to use when they order dishes a la minute from the various stations, and the dishes are served to their tables. The international breakfast spread was decidedly standard and unremarkable, save for a notable selection of Middle Eastern options such as tahini, pita bread and various manakish dishes available to cater to the hotel’s specific clientele.
The sheer volume of hungry (and, based on my observation, often disgruntled and grumpy) diners during breakfast hours, as well as the relatively dim lighting of the premises, is unlikely to encourage dining guests to stay for long. Guests are better off enjoying a much less frantic morning at Club InterContinental.
The basement Fireplace Grill and Bar offers grilled meats and seafood, while Summer Palace serves Cantonese cuisine and dim sum, with an All-You-Can-Eat Dim Sum menu every day for the bamboo basket-obsessed. Theo Mio is a casual, Italian sharing-plates concept helmed by award-winning chef Theo Randall. On the lounge side of things, Balcony Lounge is where long tressed and flower dressed ladies can head to for afternoon tea and coffee service, while moustached and beret-wearing men with walking canes can enjoy a macho cigar and a fine glass of whiskey neat at Humidor Cigar Bar.
THE CLUB INTERCONTINENTAL
Located on the 37th floor next to the Oasis Pool, the Club InterContinental offers buffet breakfast, all-day snacks and juices, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails and canapés. The Club InterContinental thoughtfully seats families with children as well as bigger groups in the spacious main dining area, away from the blazered businessmen and holidaying couples who can thus enjoy their manly business conversations and sexy whispers respectively at the sofa seats along the windows facing the city.
The food selection is commendable. For breakfast at Club InterContinental, aside from a small buffet spread, dishes from the menu are served a la minute, with the menu comprising Thai options such as Pad Thai as well as traditional morning favourites such as pancakes and waffles. Afternoon tea is a tier affair, with a selection of sweets and savouries for your languorous mid-day indulgence. For evening cocktails and canapes, guests can help themselves to the buffet spread of cold cuts, cheeses and other canapes as well as the individual platters of hot canapes. In addition, a standalone hot food station serves the club’s hearty hot dish of the day – think beef wellington and steak. You are likely not to require dinner.
Whilst InterContinental Bangkok may not be the bright and shiny new kid on the block – that would be Waldorf Astoria Bangkok and Park Hyatt Bangkok – the hotel’s brand of classic, sincere hospitality makes it a reliable option for your Bangkok luxury experience.
973 Phloen Chit Road
Lumpini, Pathum Wan