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Hansar Bangkok – a relaxing Thai city break

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Bangkok – a city that evokes images of bustling markets, sky high rooftop bars and, thanks to The Hangover, men on a mission to get drunk. The question was whether it could provide a quick two-night respite of delicious Thai food and relaxation… or whether I would have been better off spending my weekend at that Thai restaurant by Shek O!

With tonnes of special Cathay fares to Bangkok, I turned to my old faithful friends, Mr and Mrs Smith, to help me find somewhere boutique to stay. I wasn’t interested in chain hotel monotony, but instead a city sanctuary – and thankfully, in the shape of the Hansar Bangkok, I found more than I was expecting.

Lobby3_Hansar BKK

Located in the central modern Lumpini area, the Hansar hotel boldly neighbours stalwarts such as the St Regis and Four Seasons – but out of the three, the Hansar is actually the most architecturally impressive and design focused. Dark tactile surfaces dominate the hotel’s interior and exterior, whilst a living wall blurs the lines between in and out. Dimmed lighting and local teak and silk create a stylish interior with walls adorned with locally sourced art and photography. A slick downstairs bar complete with live band was buzzing with people by the time we arrived.

Vertigo Suite_Hansar BKK

The Hansar’s rooms are categorised as studio, urban, edge, loft and finally, our home for the weekend, the Vertigo Suite – so named because the bedroom protrudes from the main body of the building, giving the sensation, when looking through the three-sided windows, of hanging over the ground below. The dark and textural feel found in the lobby continues upstairs, creating a slick and modern vibe perfectly suited to a city break.

The huge lounge, including a sofa, office area and free mini bar, was alone larger than most HK apartments! Running the same length as the lounge was an indulgent bathroom/walk-in wardrobe; with glass dividers accentuating the feeling of space, everything from the his-and-hers sinks and wardrobes, rain shower and free standing magnificent bath made you want to linger here.

Vertigo Suite4_Hansar BKK

The bedroom shunned the usual sky-high hotel beds; instead, the room was simply decorated, with a low floor-lying bed at its centre. Normally I love high beds so took to this one warily… but I was quickly won over by the sheer comfort factor.

At 94 rooms, the Hansar stretches the term boutique, but never once felt crowded – and a further benefit of its size was its five star hotel facilities. Breakfast, located in the ground floor French Eve restaurant, was a time for gorging on pancakes, eggs and a delightful buffet spread. The eighth floor pool lacked a view and exposure to sunlight, but was a tranquil spot perfect for a touch of downtime after some obligatory morning sightseeing (the BTS station is just two minutes down the road, ideally located for whipping you off to the markets and Grand Palace). The gym was high-tech, fully fitted and blissfully empty… much needed after the amount of Thai food consumed!

Hansar Bangkok, Thailand.

I also took it upon myself (in the name of research!) to sample the Luxsa Spa on the tenth floor. I wasn’t expecting too much given the size of the hotel, but was lulled to sleep by an incredible head massage in a beautiful spacious treatment room thanks to a graciously friendly therapist. In fact, all of the staff at the Hansar went above and beyond, and their friendliness really did enhance our stay.

We decided not to dine on-site as the hotel’s restaurants, whilst popular amongst locals, aren’t on any must-visit lists. On our first night, we headed to the surprisingly rural feeling Issaya Siamese Club. In a spacious colonial feeling building, we dined on the terrace, overlooking the herb garden and munching on spicy but oh-so delicious Thai specialties. Dinner on the second night was preceded with rooftop drinks at the Banyan Tree’s Moon Bar, a spectacular spot to watch the sunset. We then met up with friends for a lively and scrumptious meal at Long Table.

Hansar Bangkok, Thailand, on the 9 August 2010.

What with my lovely massage, ample lounging time in both my room and by the pool, and some wonderfully satisfying meals, my Bangkok sojourn ticked all the boxes. The star of the weekend was undoubtedly the Hansar Bangkok itself, which is without question one of the most stylish, slick and well thought-out hotels I’ve stayed in. Best of all? Despite its bustling nature and modernity, Bangkok prices remain low. Taxis are even cheaper than HK ones, meals out average less than HK$500 per head including drinks, and the hotel, in all its luxury, has rooms starting from just $1300 per night. So what’s stopping you? Time to book that Bangkok city break now, people!

Hansar Bangkok, 3/250 Soi Mahadlekluang 2, Rajdamri Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand, +66 2209 1234

www.hansarbangkok.com

jaime

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