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Room Key: Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit

Escape from the usual and mundane with the new 32 storey Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit.

Situated in the heart of bustling Bangkok downtown shopping and entertainment area, between Soi 13 and Soi 15, the spanking new 32 storey Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit offers the business and leisure traveller a welcome change from the usual and the mundane. Driving time via the highway from Suvarnabhumi International Airport is about 45 minutes and is connected to all parts of the city by Skytrain.

The new Accor property boasts of 345 guestrooms with spectacular views of the city skyline. A combination of French savoir faire and Thai hospitality, the 233 Luxury rooms, 75 Luxury Club Millesime rooms, 32 Prestige Suites, 3 Opera Suites and 2 Imperial Suites exude minimalist elegance with marble tiling, wooden floors and large windows allowing plenty of daylight.
We were checked in seamlessly to a Luxury Club Millesime room that had a large King bed and a working area that is equipped with wi-fi internet, LED TV, iPod docking. My room also offered Bose home theater system, Hermes toiletries, an espresso machine and rain showers. Club Millesime on the 31st floor, offers a fully stocked bar and an exclusive breakfast experience, while all day refreshments and evening cocktails are de rigueur.
Club Millesime room 2
If there’s French hospitality can gourmet cuisine be far behind? L’Appart, the bar and restaurant at the 32nd floor rooftop opens for dinner and offers a breathtaking view and an eclectic dining experience. The sommelier was good without being overwhelming. A Chateau Latour started off what was to be a gourmand’s delight. The elegant Parisian style dining space is clearly inspired by Haussman’s 19th century gentile ambience. I started with a pan fried veal liver with sherry vinegare and young cress salad while my wife chose to try the cod fish carpaccio. The first bite and the sensation on our tongues were promising enough to ensure that the evening had just begun. The signature dishes that we savoured, were a slow cooking chicken breast with salardaise potatoes and parmesan foam and a pan fried marble terrine foie gras duo. We were transported to the land of culinary heaven. C’est magnifique, we whispered. The excellent meal was rounded off with a selection of cheese and some aromatic freshly ground coffee.
L'Appart
For those weary of mind and body after a day’s business or shopping in the sultry and bustling Bangkok, Sofitel offers Le Spa with L’Occitaine located on the 10th floor and open between 10 am and 10 pm. The consultants and therapists offer several soothing and rejuvenating treatments with vivacious essences like lemon grass, vanilla, lavender and eucalyptus with L’Occitaine products.

The 9th floor hosts the 24 meter swimming pool and the So Fit gym area. I found the 38 seater bar at the Lobby to be a really homely place to meet guests or to sip a cocktail and watch the world go by. I had a brief business meeting there without feeling intruded upon by the presence of other people. Voila is the 128 seater all day dining restaurant on the 2nd floor that also offers breakfast. It offers varied cuisine and at least 250 labels of wine.
Sofitel-Bangkok-Sukhumvit-resturant
I would go back to this hotel again. And again.

One morning, in a hurry to get a quick breakfast before an early business meeting I was hurrying to a table at Voila and missed the one step down into the restaurant floor and fell heavily. The staff picked me up immediately and enquired after my welfare. Although my right arm and shoulder was obviously injured and paining, I left for the day to keep my appointments. By the late afternoon, I was in severe pain and called the hotel to request them to have a doctor visit me in my room. I made this call while in the taxi on my way back. The doctor was waiting when I arrived and rode up with me to my room accompanied by a clinical assistant and two members of the hotel staff. After ascertaining that no bones were broken and that I probably had a tear in my tendon and severely damaged muscles, I was given necessary medication and the doctor left. The hotel staff sent out some body to bring me a cold pack and did not leave my room till I was visibly more comfortable from the acute pain that I was enduring earlier. I received three calls from different departmental managers enquiring after my wellbeing. Needless to add, I did not see the doctor’s charges or medicine costs when I paid my bill at check out time.

I have always believed that true hallmark of good hospitality does not lie in the hardware installed in a hotel but in the caring comfort provided by its staff. In my book, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit scored full marks !

(The author is a tourism and hospitality consultant and a freelance columnist and reviewer. Email: shekhar.niyogi@gmail.com)

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