Friday 26 February 2010

Bangkok -- Phachara Suites: Service with a Smell

It's a first for me: I am the first ever guest to sleep on a floor of a hotel. No, no, no, not on the floor, I mean the fifth floor of the barely-even-opened yet Phachara Suites 'serviced residence' in Sukhomvit Soi 6.

When all completed, there will be 194 suites. A fitness centre. A business centre. A spa. A pool. 'An indoor pool with an outdoor deck, I guess you could call it,' says Majinder Kaur, the hotel's GM.

Meanwhile, the smell of newness is everywhere from the bright white lobby (where large-screened Mac computers impart a cutting-edge atmosphere) to the rooms, where the varnish or polish on the parquet floors has probably only just dried.

Nice room! Compact, but well laid out. A little sitting room with sofa and a reading chair and light. Good one! The centrepiece is the bed, facing the window, and half screened from the kitchen area where quality Electrolux appliances hold sway. Bathtub and shower in the bathroom (which is just where, frankly, I would expect to find them.) There are studio, one and two-bedroom options, even some rooms which open onto a garden with BBQ facilities.

Muted tones, floor-to-ceiling drapes. View of bushes and trees, and out onto some larger office and hotel buildings from there. It's quiet ...

The surprise there is that we're just off Suk Soi 4 (aka Soi Nana), which is a heaving street: full of all day-all night nightlife (if that makes sense?), restaurants, cafes, pubs. But you here hear nothing hear here. Then there's the embassy district, and Queen Sirikit Convention Centre. Majinder tells me it's only a minute's walk to the BTS Skytrain at Nana. Yeah, yeah, yeah, heard that one before ... I've spent my life writing ads full of exaggeration and hyperbole and you can't fool me ... oh, I'm already there. It is about a minute's walk. Jing jing!

The overall feeling is comfy apartment or condominium rather than hotel. But right now I'm feeling something else -- wet paint.

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