I can’t grab my luggage fast enough and nearly fall over my own feet trying to get out of the arrivals hall. There, waiting with a hastily written paper sign with my name on it, is my wonderful husband, grinning at me. We do a movie embrace and I have to admit there are a few little tears on my behalf. I still can’t believe how lucky we are.
We’ve decided to stay at the Sukhothai in Bangkok – a recently renovated hotel right in the city that I’ve heard great things about. As our car turns into the long tree-lined driveway, dusk is settling over the city. Enormous lanterns and fairy lights float in the trees, lighting our way. Our luggage is whisked away and we’re escorted to the newly developed Club Wing for a swift and painless check in.
Our room is magnificent – and possibly larger than our apartment in Sydney. There’s a palatial wood-panelled dining room and sitting room with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame a view of the pool and beyond that, Bangkok’s glittering skyline. The gargantuan bed is swathed in the kind of crisp yet soft sheets you dream about. There’s an enormous spa bath and fancy Japanese Toto toilets (they have heated seats and wash your bottom). There are also Nespresso machines and a lovely welcome letter with some chocolates that I’m told are hand made by the restaurant chef daily – also apparently sugar free and dairy free. Hard to believe, given they’re so delicious.
As luck would have it, it’s happy hour and complimentary snacks and drinks are being served in the club-lounge. Installed with negronis and some tasty sushi, we ease into our trip and catch up on the last few weeks. Dinner is a pad Thai and crispy soft shell crab at a nearby restaurant the concierge has recommended and then it’s off to Pat Pong Road, where we have a drink at an Irish pub and watch a hilarious Beatles cover band. I buy a straw bag and some crazy sunglasses before we board a psychedelic tuk-tuk (complete with disco lights and Bollywood music) to take us to rooftop bar Aire Bar for a drink.
The next day we both agree we have no desire to leave the hotel – it’s just too nice here. After a delicious sleep-in, we head to the gym which is an impressive two-story affair complete with the latest LifeFitness equipment and enormous LED screens showcasing enviable bodies working out. This turns out to be all the inspiration I need. An hour later, covered in a sweaty film we hobble back to the room to shower for breakfast. I go for the Thai soup – I love a bit of spice first thing in the morning – while Damo sticks to his standard issue omelette, which he reports is delicious.
The pool is rather fabulous – an enormous rectangle decked out in tiny jade tiles that gleam like fish scales. There are rows of sunbeds edged with fragrant gardenia bushes and frangipani trees and chic grey linen cabanas complete with fans to keep you cool. Periodically pool staff bring glasses of ice and bottles of water.
Upping the indulgence factor two-fold, we head next door to Spa Botanica for a couple’s massage. The sleek white building is tucked behind the pool, amid lush tropical gardens. There’s a water feature and all-white cabana and loads of white orchids blooming wherever you look. We take off our shoes, sip ginger tea and head upstairs to our treatment room: a lovely all-white affair with views over the garden. As our therapists finish in unison, we groggily agree it was an excellent massage and stumble back out to the pool to doze off in a haze of bliss.
It’s our last night before an early morning flight to Koh Kood, so we decide to check out the much-celebrated Celadon restaurant at the hotel – it was voted Best Thai Restaurant in Bangkok by Travel + Leisure Magazine. Chef Rossarin is known for her classical but flavourful take on Thai cuisine – and it doesn’t disappoint. The Southern Yellow Curry with Toddy Palm and Snow Fish is next-level and is served with a side of traditional Thai dancing. It’s the ultimate finish to an exemplary stay and the perfect entrée to our Thailand trip.
For more information visit Sukhothai.
Story by Sigourney Cantelo. Images by Damien Cantelo and courtesy of The Sukhothai.