I have just arrived in the most visited city in the world, according to Forbes. With over 15.98 international visitors annually, Bangkok, Thailand, has become the first Asian city to overtake London and Paris for most retreated-to destinations.
As Lonely Planet suggests, Thailand is “Same same, but different.” This Thai-ish philosophy sums up Bangkok and all of its grit and glam, a city where the familiar and the exotic dance together like flavors on a plate of pàt tai.
Bangkok is a place unlike any other in the world, a city that mandates to you live on the edge. Welcome to life outside of your comfort zone…
The infamous City of Angels has more to offer than temples, excellent food, world-class nightlife, and shopping. Peel back the layers of the hot and humid populated metropolis and you will reveal a wellness wonderland. Exclusive spa treatments, luxury hotels, and decadent fresh-to-order meals—my first stop is Amari Watergate Bangkok. You can feel the excitement of Bangkok just outside the front doors of Amari Watergate Hotel. The prime location puts you in the heart of the vibrant Pratunam neighborhood in downtown Petchburi, known for its bustling landscape of shopping bazaars and lifestyle malls.
There are onsite world-class famous eateries; my favorite is the Amaya Food Gallery. The signature dining experience features live cooking stations. Cascade is a hip, chilled out dining venue serving up café-style baked goods, deli items, and delicious appetizers.
As I entered the hotel main lobby on the ground floor, tucked comfortably away from the hustle of downtown traffic, I was promptly greeted by a kind hotel manager and a friendly bellboy who helped to carry my luggage. I proceeded directly to the 32nd floor for my own private check-in for Executive Club Room guests. FYI: Executive Club Room guests are also entitled to late checkout till 3 p.m. on the day of departure (subject to availability), which was great for me to enjoy a little more Bangkok before departing. Staying in the executive rooms gives guests access to the executive lounge, which is a major perk.
Located on the 32nd floor, the executive lounge is decorated with sweeping floor-to-ceiling glass windows, marble top tables, and cushy lounge chairs, projecting contemporary casual comfort with a sophisticated flair. I ate my daily breakfast buffet at the executive lounge, which was accompanied by a stellar view of the Bangkok skyline.
I also enjoyed happy hour at the executive lounge (daily 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.). I enjoyed a selection of complimentary chilled cocktails, beers, wines, hors d’oeuvres, and appetizers. Fruit juices, soft drinks, tea, and coffee are also complimentary throughout the day.
After happy hour, I headed straight to my Breeze treatment. Breeze Spa is known for their Mood Treatments, based on your mood you can choose from dreamy, invigorated, serene, energized, or rejuvenated.
I check off rejuvenated. I love how this spa performs mood massages, their signature approach to wellness. The premise is simple yet brilliant in its approach. Think about how you’re feeling now, then imagine how you want to feel, and you pick a massage based on that feeling. Simple yet effective…
Dreamy: Take It E-Zzzz
Leave the busy world behind as calming sounds, hypnotic aromas, and long, flowing massage strokes send you into a state of complete and utter tranquility. Perfect after a long flight, at the end of a busy day, or just whenever you want to drift away.
Serene: No Worries
Lie back and let it all go. To help that along, this oh-so-soothing massage uses a long stroke palm pressure technique that stretches the muscles, works out all the knots and kinks, and leaves you feeling like you don’t have a worry in the world.
Rejuvenated: Let it Glow
The science behind it says that these lymphatic drainage massage techniques and carefully selected essential oils speed up the removal of unwanted toxins built up from stress, pollution, and a busy life. But I like it because it leaves you looking and feeling absolutely radiant, enlivened, and ready to take on the world.
Invigorated: Past Tense
Breeze’s own deep tissue massage was created especially for those who want to leave their chronic tension in the past. Strong, high-pressure techniques target those points where stress resides, forcing out the tension and getting those feel-good endorphins flowing.
Energized: Thai the Knot
This traditional Thai massage proves that ancient wisdom can still teach us a thing or two today. It starts with more than 10 traditional Thai herbs to create a warm herbal compress exuding earthy aromas and healing goodness to loosen up. Then prepare to be stretched and kneaded with Thai massage to unwind all the knots. The result? A newfound spring in your step and the energy to make tomorrow even better than today.
I pick the two-hour Bangkok retreat package. This signature treatment is a perfect way to unwind after a day of shopping and sightseeing in bustling Bangkok. The special treatment begins with rubbing my tired feet with the signature aromatic foot ritual. My feet are pampered and dipped into a bowl of warm water with flowers. My calves and feet are rubbed and cared for and after my spa therapist dries my feet gently, she escorts me to the massage table.
I melt into the table with a full body massage that will take all the stress away with a special focus on the legs and feet. She also uses hot stones. After restoring energy to my body, the treatment concludes with a soothing and deep cleansing Oriental rose quartz facial treatment. My entire body feels refreshed and rejuvenated.
What is one of the more special features of Amari Watergate Bangkok is the company’s commitment to giving back to the community.
The Baht for a Better Life Project was started by Amari in 1995. Small change, contributed by guests to the hotels and donations from our staff, are used to further the education of children in Thailand. There are no administrative costs in running Baht for a Better Life. Therefore, every dollar, pound and euro given to the fund is used for educational projects.
Funds from Baht for a Better Life have also been used to rebuild a dilapidated school in Na Chompoo, Udon Thani, and to build ten new schools in Doi Angkhang near Chiang Mai, Chumporn in the South of Thailand, Benjama in Chiang Mai, Baan Changlang in Trang, Baan Na Nok Peed in Loei, Baan Klong Waai in Surat Thani, Chum Chon Paa Yaa Kaa in Ubon Ratchathani, Tak province on the border with Burma and Baan Pong Com in Suphanburi and Wat Sri Muang Am Toddler Care Centre, Khon Khen. As well as building classrooms donations have been used to buy essentials such as desks, chairs, blackboards, books and pencils.
In addition, some of the guests decide to give larger donations. US $250 will pay for a child’s school fees and necessities such as books, a uniform, and lunch for one year. Many of these children have ambitions to become teachers or nurses so that they can put the skills, which they have been lucky enough to learn, back into the benefit of their community. When you stay at an Amarai property you feel the passion and care they have for all of humanity. It is part of their giving back process that makes them so compassionate and welcoming.
The Amari Watergate Hotel in Bangkok has a lot to offer the wellness warrior. One of the largest hotel gyms we’ve ever seen, world-class spa service and treatments, healthy food, and fresh juices along with excellent service. It is sure to make your trip to Bangkok one you will remember forever.
Want to Go:
Amari Watergate Hotel Bangkok
Address: 847 Petchburi Road, Bangkok (opposite Platinum Shopping Mall)
Phone Number: +66 (0) 2653 9000
Photos Caroline White http://www.carolinewhitephotography.com/