Tuesday, 7 December 2010
The answer is 'very well' thanks ...
This came clear to me as our taxi rounded the corner at Bangkok Hospital on New Petchaburi Road. Health and wellness and medical tourism is one of the real boom categories for travel to Thailand these days. And just 500 metres from one of the city's biggest and best hospitals is the new Amari Residences.
(In the same area are massive companies such as Electrolux, Yokohama, Siemens, and Italian-Thai, so it's a good location for business travellers, too.)
So into the brand new lobby we go, all clean lines and Martha Stewart furniture. "That one coffee table alone cost us 200,000 baht," says Front Office Manager, Suwat. Off to one side of the lobby is a library, where some folks sit and read the morning papers. To the other side is a new cafe concept called Buttercup, from where tantalising smells of freshly-baked pastries from its European-style kitchen waft into the lobby.
But it's the courtyard that really radiates a sense of well-being. The big open area is dominated by a thong kwao tree, famous for its sap which is a pain reliever. Nice concept! Especially as the breakfast area and restaurant overlook this.
The rooftop is also an inspiring area, where more will doubtless be done once the hotel gets through the soft-launch period. But for now there's a large lap pool (built for functional swimming of laps, with lanes marked and everything, and alarmingly not a cocktail pool bar in sight!) A fitness centre on the roof, and ex-nurses working as therapists in the spa also speaks to the wellbeing orientation of the residences.
And so upstairs to rest and recuperate ...
Our one-bedroom suite was a full 60 sq metres -- that's the equivalent of a junior suite in many other hotels I've stayed at. Room rates kick off around 2000 baht per night, and long term guests can expect to pay around 55,000 baht per month.
The warm colours certainly work hard instil a sense of upbeat into this place. Egg yolk orange seems to be the central colour theme, jing jing.
This is complemented by quirky panels of contemporary colours giving it a spacious and airy feeling overall. All this ties nicely into the Amari's 'Colours & Rhythmns' rebranding vibe.
Not that I was there for medical reasons (honestly, my facial skin has always been this tight!) but I certainly came away with a good feeling. OK, maybe I had my boobs lifted, a little, but that's all I'm owning up to ...