A little bit of Bangkok luxury

18 Dec

Bathroom with a view - develish design

On my way out from the Philippines I stayed one night in Manila: impossible traffic & pollution, malls & chains of shops everywhere, continuous nagging by touts & salespersons. So it was like arriving in heaven when I checked into a 4-star airport hotel near Bangkok airport… (even though i once said I’d never go to 4 star hotels again…)

And when I hopped into town (before my flight to Phnom Penh the next day) to bring my computer to hospital the service was unequalled by anything I’d experienced before.

Manila: same same but different

Impossible traffic in Manila (and any other Filipino city)

I knew what I was going to get when going to Manila: the same hectic rollercoaster as usual. And the christmas craze even added to the traffic and crowdedness. Everybody seemed to be on the streets, in their cars, in the malls,… Luckily enough I was staying with my couchsurfer host from before – in an oasis of calm & comfort in a gated community (not Philippines, I’d say).

Somehow city planning in Manila has gone wrong. There were lots of big roads (5 or more lanes) and flyovers (3 above each other at places) but it gave you a feeling of being locked in an urban concrete jungle (especially if on the roads there are real gates and fences to keep people from crossing the street).

  • The only escape is the shopping malls: so you dive from the concrete jungle into the commercial jungle…

Bangkok four star bliss

Flying back from Manila to Bangkok

Maybe I was having the travel blues (after a few weeks having a great time, travelling alone again), maybe it was the late night flight from Manila to Bangkok (arriving at 1am), but when I arrived in the airport hotel (which is still 15min from airport) that I booked for one night before flying on to Phnom Penh, I felt as if 2 warm arms closed themselves around me.

The staff was just so friendly and understanding. They spoke in a soft & civilised way, they even smiled and spoke understandable English. I think they actually had been to hotel-school (what certainly was not the case in most of the Filipino hotels where I stayed – they were damn friendly but not trained that’s for sure). After all the haggling for taxis and prices etc, it was so nice to be able to trust staff to bring your (own) luggage to the (right) room.

All the trimmings

It's all about comfort

So nice to be in a place that actually revolves around the customer – and not the other way around.

  • Free airport pick-up and drop-of. You’re met with your name on a sign, a way greeting and a beautiful smile by a guy in hotel uniform.
  • Upon checkin you get a personalised welcome letter of the hotel manager, explaining the breakfast & wifi, etc.
  • Need to leave your luggage for a few days (all my shopping I did in Iloilo), no problem (so at least I didn’t need to carry all my stuff around Cambodia)
  • Need a taxi into the city, a phone call and 5 minutes later there was one, with taxi meter.
  • Want to refresh or rejuvenate: just pop down to the swimming pool (towels provided), the gym or the spa,…

Hot & hip hotel design

Bathroom with all the trimmings

You could see that the hotel was designed by someone who knew what he was doing (and not just building spaces to rent out).

  • Long hair carpet everywhere, modern chandeliers, lights but still with some Thai designer touch.
  • Spacey room with balcony (view over industrial estate, but hey, it’s near the airport), big double bed, ergonomic office chair, huge flat screen TV with all international channels, leather 2meter bed… Mmm
  • Superb bathroom with all kinds of lotions and potions, and a glass wall between the bathtub (which could fit 3!) and room giving an impression of space,…
  • Bathrobe & slippers, huge mirror on the sliding door, and even the garbage bins were camouflaged.
  • Coffee & tea making facilities, mini-bar, snacks, anything to make your life comfortable, even at 2am when I arrived…
  • Sigh – that’s pampering

Acer Super Service

Fixing the screen - just wait 30min sir

I had sent a few emails before to the girl I got to know at the Bangkok Service Centre (read here). My screen had been broken since my last travel and in Belgium they don’t even want to give me a quote or have a look at it, without me coughing up 20 euro. The Bangkok Acer Service Centre sent me back a detailed offer, via email, within a few hours!

So I shuttled into Furtune Town IT mall between flights (if ever you need anything IT or electronic, that is THE place). They had told me that it would take a few days to replace the screen. So I had prepared myself mentally to travel for a week through Cambodia without computer, blog or email… Quite a challenge.

So I go and bring in my computer. I recognised the computer girl and she recognised me, almost like old friends meeting. I had brought her some mango cookies from Guimaras, Philippines for xmas and new year – and to thank her for the good service. She then takes my computer in to the back room to talk to the technician, and when she comes back she says “wait 30 minutes”… and the computer screen was replaced (at half price of Belgium!).

  • She had actually persuaded the technician to repair my little baby on the spot!
  • Wow, that’s service… that’s Bangkok

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