Embrace chaos! This is what I always say (or at least think to myself) when traveling to Bangkok, Thailand—a city that’s as known for its frenetic, hustle-bustle atmosphere as other areas of the country are known for their full moon parties on the beach.
Having been to Bangkok now a handful of times in the past few years, I can honestly say that the key to surviving and enjoying your time is to forgo the hostel scene and indulge (and invest) in a sanctuary. An ideal place being the Oriental Residence Bangkok.
Don’t be daunted if your taxi driver doesn’t know where it is (Bangkok is, after all, an enormous city of over 8 million people), though it does help if you can remember that the street the Oriental Residence is on, Wireless Road, is known as Witthayu in Thai. It’s also a relatively new hotel, having officially opened in January 2012 with 145 rooms and an additional 46 private luxury residential units on the 22nd to 31st floors.
From the busy, humid world outside, crossing the threshold into the Oriental Residence feels like stepping into a relaxing oasis: it’s pristine without feeling sterile, calm and clean, and utterly comfortable. The décor is European-inspired and reminiscent of a colonial world; a time when train travel was glamorous and every interior had 16-foot ceilings and tufted sofas with shapely, curved legs. Built-in drawers feature vintage trunk-like handles; most suites also include a kitchenette stocked with a trusty Bodum and a full set of pots, pans, and flatware. A peek outside reveals large expanses of green—a true luxury in Bangkok.
Of course, I wouldn’t dare recommend you hole yourself up in your room entirely, but should you find yourself needing a day or night in (this is not uncommon in Bangkok, trust us), there’s also a pool with the most inviting loungers I’ve ever seen and a delicious, reasonably priced room service menu. The streets of Bangkok offer plenty of good eats, but even after a week in the country, the hotel’s sticky rice and mango with coconut milk dessert was still the best I’d tasted.
Don’t want the experience to end? Thanks to a small fleet of Jaguars, you can continue to play the part all the way to the airport. Sure, it’ll set you back around 10,000 Baht, or approximately $330 USD), but little tastes of luxury go a long, long way in Bangkok.