Friday, 17 June 2011
Le Fenix: more a beach party than just a Bangkok hotel
I thought I was seeing things. This, in itself, is not unusual in Bangkok, but let me explain …
Entering the lobby of Le Fenix Sukhumvit Hotel with its playful splashes of orange and red, I felt I’d walked into scene from Alice in Wonderland. You see, there was a gent standing there whose head looked like it was actually poking up through the ceiling, jing jing. I did a double take.
Sure enough, I wasn’t far wrong. It turned out to be a syncronous moment in which the world’s tallest man happened to be standing under the world’s lowest ceiling. And as though that wasn’t funny enough, he turned out to be a Dutchman dressed for whatever reason like Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter.
As I said: unusual sights are in themselves not really unusual in Bangkok.
Le Fenix is full of such quirkiness …
The place itself is comfortable enough, designery enough, to carry off its mid-range value boutique hotel positioning. A see-through swimming pool on an upper floor that gives revelers on soi 11 below a bottom-dwellers’ eye view of you doing your laps (or lap dance) in the pool for instance.
This hotel is slap-bang in the middle of some great BKK party venues, such as Bed Supper Club (50 metres down the road) and Q Bar (longstanding Bangkok favourite) you will literally fall into if you trip on the stairs coming out of Le Fenix.
And clearly not a few guests had been sipping liberally from the cup of Bangkok's notorious nightlife. A couple of Japanese or Korean girls spent a good 15 minutes trying to get the key in the door of the room next door to mine, giggling all the while, until they realized they were either on the wrong floor or had been using their ATM card instead of their key card. Another Western couple stumbled in around 6am full of good cheer and bon homie, just as I was grumpily heading down for breakfast and an early red-eye flight.
But now, with The Nest, there’s no need to even leave the hotel for one of Bangkok’s coolest nights out. This rooftop bar serves 200 baht cocktails (that’s about $6 to you) and after a few you really feel like you are on the beach in Phuket or even in Ibiza or the Carribean. The beach sand floor creates a let's-get-ready-to-party chilling mindset while the DJ spins loungey sort of stuff.
It’s open from 5pm if you want to catch the sunset and twilight glow over the burgeoning Bangkok skyline, and open till 2am, to add an extra leg to the Bed and Q Bar routine.
And popular too … I had to wait for at least 3 full elevator loads to pass my floor before I could get in at midnight.