An Unforgettable Hotel Experience in Bangkok

Confucius asserted, “Wheresoever you go – go with all your heart”. It is quite a thought and advise to take and while I actually went with all my heart to this property- I even came out with my heart filled with beautiful experiences and memories which are going to stay with me forever! In short, this was not just any visit or stay in a hotel- it was one where I felt cherished and cared for throughout!

The property I am referring to is a sister hotel to the award winning 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai, and is located on Sukhumvit Soi 39 in Bangkok called the 137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok. It enjoys a wonderful location as it is situated only a short distance from the upscale and fashionable shopping district of Emquartier/Emporium.

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The architects for the property are Palmer and Turner from Bangkok, with Interiors by P49 Design and Landscape by Wabi Sabi Studio. 34 exquisitely appointed suites opened their doors earlier in April this year. And lucky me, just late May- I got the opportunity of experiencing the magic at their Sukhothai Suites.

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The check-in procedure was extremely smooth and exclusive as my suite check-in happened at the Leonowens Club where we were even treated to a refreshing and colour-packed welcome drink.

In no time, we were guided to our suite and I have to admit it that I had a jaw-dropping moment- the minute I stepped into my suite and what made it even more special was a welcome note and platter filled with goodies.

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As I looked around, I unravelled all about my home for the next two nights! Some of its features included a private butler service, maxi bars with wine cellars, user friendly mood lighting, high ceilings, large walk-in wardrobes and stunning marble en-suite bathrooms with chic circular baths complete with built in TV.

01 Sukhothai Suite - Bathroom

They even reckon that the sleep experience is of the highest standard and the spacious balcony was the ultimate chill zone, complete with the traditional 137 Pillars House signature rocking chair and an over-sized day-bed for two, with superb view of the Bangkok skyline. The balcony was a true blessing for a person like me who loves to sometimes just disconnect and relax!

​137 Pillars Suites features the 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts signature Leonowens Club, the Jack Bain’s Bar and Cigar Divan, and the exquisite Nimitr specialty restaurant featuring Thai favourites with a molecular twist as well as Western delicacies created by their Group Executive Chef and Culinary Artist, Peter Marx from Sweden. A meal here is a must. We dined here once and not just enjoyed the true beauty of the restaurant but thoroughly loved every bit of our meal as well.  It was quite an experience I must say!

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Their Bangkok Trading Post Restaurant is an all-day dining bistro and deli appealing to local residents and guests, serving Western and Asian favourites as well as freshly baked breads, connoisseur coffee and specialty beverages. I was told that both the restaurants were designed and created by Bangkok’s chic design couple Sophie Beghin and Faun Israrena na Ayudhya of Santhaya Associates.

And this is not it, staying in the suite comes with even more added benefits. One need not use the common pool, instead I had an amazing time swimming in their rooftop infinity edged pool. Also, an exclusive gym facility is available for the suite guests! The 27th floor has chic late check-out and early check-in pods and separate shower facilities in the event that suites are fully booked.

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10 GYM for Suite Guest on Level 26

Trust me when I say that there wouldn’t be a dull moment when staying here. The NITRA spa and wellness center with a separate yoga and meditation sala offers activities including aerial flow yoga, tai chi, reiki and dance. Their Golf Studio seemed rather fun and interesting. Others services include 137 signature dining and picnics by design, a personal shopping service and guide, privately curated and customized tours, tennis and golf practice putting and chipping with personal trainers for both on request, kids’ corner and meeting space.

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In case you want to know how to get here, then here are the details… You could get to the Emquartier/Emporium shopping complex through the BTS Skytrain/MRT underground trains and then you could get a pick-up scheduled in their complimentary London Cab, affectionately known as Louie.

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Also, since the property name reflects residences, here is why- 137 Pillars Residences Bangkok houses 179 private residences offering bespoke facilities for leisure, business and long stay guests including the use of their stylish, customized London Cab.

Lastly, I can’t thank 137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok enough for the most spectacular stay ever! The staff here was the most helpful, caring and accommodating… I thoroughly enjoyed my breakfast each day and have to mention that one cannot afford to miss trying their waffles for breakfast at Leonowens Club!

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Wishing this property great success always as they deserve every bit of it!

Best,
Sonali

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High on Hotels: Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

Hello! So it is that time again when we further apprise you with an absolute stunning and top quality property from around the World. This time around, we shall be getting enlightened about a space that is nestled in a dream destination for many- Maldives.

Without much ado, here is all about Gili Lankanfushi… Whether you are planning for your honeymoon or that milestone anniversary, we are very sure- this property will truly prove to be breathtaking.  And what’s more is that a little birdie told us that this place been the preferred choice for global icons like Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Q: Why a stay here would prove to be the most memorable one?
A: Gili Lankanfushi is an intimate coral island that has a Palm Beach with an expanse of white sand beach below a blanket of stars and a horizon beach that is overlooking the quiet bay of the resort island. With many coral gardens around, we have a habitat of marine life living in the lagoons circled around the island and house reef on the borders of azure waters of the island of Lankanfushi.

Q: What all facilities would you find in the room?
A: Here are the details:

– Large open-air living room with day beds and dining area
– Roof-top terrace with day-bed and dining facilities
– Overwater sun deck with sun loungers
– Semi open-air private bathroom with separate glass-walled shower area
– King-sized bed

Gili Lankanfushi Resort Maldives


Q: Elaborate on the facilities in the hotel for in-house guests?
A: The Services and facilities include:

-Friday Concept: Named after Robinson Crusoe’s loyal friend, Mr. Friday makes guests’ stay as pleasant as possible. Day or night, the Mr. Friday will swiftly answer any request in mind. Even keeping the little ones entertained with storytelling and activities while parents spend some romantic time reconnecting with each other.
-Meera Spa offering holistic treatments with facilities including yoga/meditation champa, steam and sauna rooms, as well as a relaxation area.

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-Ocean Paradise Dive Centre offering PADI course and diving sessions to several dive sites including the world famous Manta Point.
-Fitness Centre
-Organic Garden
-Wedding Pavilion for celebrations of memorable milestones.

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-Library offering an extensive selection of easy reading and reference books.
-Poolside offers the perfect location to soak up the sun, relax on loungers, stargazing into the night or to sit beside the traditional Maldivian fireside “Alifan Fenda”.
-Boutique shop selling authentic Maldivian items and handmade items form the resort
-Leisure activities include sunrise yoga, meditation sessions, variety of water sports, tennis court, volleyball, table-tennis, petanque, jogging, pool table, a large selection of board games, movie screenings at the Jungle Cinema.
-Other activities that can be organized upon request are guided snorkeling trips, water skiing, sunrise/sunset dhoni cruises, sandbank picnic, dolphin cruise, excursions to the capital city, private movie screenings at your location of choice and special entertainment programs for kids by our Mr. Friday.

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Q: A must try restaurant in the hotel and why?
A: Our destination dining experience at locations such as One Palm is a must try, as it provides you with a unique Gili Moment and an endless choice of romantic destinations to escape to. By the Sea presents a Japanese Culinary adventure combined with breathtaking views of the ocean. Our newly refurbished and air conditioned Sushi Counter and brand new Teppanyaki Counter has only added to our guests’ culinary experience.

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Q: Please throw some light on the USP of the hotel?
A: Here is an insight into the USP-

-Private Reserve: The largest standalone over water villa in the world standing at 1,700sqm featuring a private spa facility with sauna, indoor and outdoor treatment pavilion, gymnasium, private cinema on the 2nd floor of the central living area, an infinity pool, resident Mr. and/or Ms. Friday on call 24hours, fully equipped gourmet kitchen, a waterslide installed from the top deck into the coral pool. Additionally, there are also sea level sundecks with sun loungers with clear views of coral gardens and amazing marine life. Dining spaces include roof-top terraces with daybed and two outdoor dining pavilions.
-Luxury of reconnecting with nature in a natural environment with our “No Shoes, No News” philosophy, and doing as much or as little as you want at the resort.
-Mr. Friday Concept about which we shared above.
-Eco-friendly concept focusing on sustainability in all activities that we do with/for guests and internally with staff. Activities include organic garden farming, producing our own water, an in-house eco-center to recycle and reuse materials – turning them into new items, more significantly our coral line project, where our marine biologist grow these corals.
-Exquisite dining experience which includes:

  • Main Restaurant offering a great buffet and a la carte breakfast. Daily changing gourmet experience for dinner as well as theme nights such as Mediterranean Spice Souk, Asian Street Market and Passage to India evenings.
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    Gili Lankanfushi Resort Maldives
  • By the Sea presents a Japanese Culinary adventure combined with breathtaking views of the ocean.
  • Over Water Bar offering a casual menu that features a wide selection of fresh salad leaves from the garden, sushi. Mediterranean delicacies, daily catch of fish, imported meats as well as local spices and herbs.
  • The Underground Wine Cellar and Chocolate Cave.
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  • The in-villa dining experience.
  • Destination dining offering a slice of paradise with an endless choice of romantic destinations to escape to.

Q: Could you share a little about the connectivity of the hotel?
A: Our Island is located 20 minutes away from Male International Airport.

Just seeing this place in pictures has been such a delight, imagine what the up-close experience would be like!

 

Pictures Courtesy: Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

Taking the Spice Route

There is no scarcity of restaurants in today’s times, whether it’s the standalone ones or those housed in plush hotels but there are only a few that truly leave a mark, for they believe in delivering exceptional yet value for money experiences.

We were honoured to experience one such outing rather recently, when both of us, dressed in our Sunday best drove down to a restaurant featured among world`s top ten as per Condé Nast Traveler… It is The Spice Route at The Imperial that we are talking about.

And we must admit that this was a day when luck was on our side, as not only were we being hosted to impeccable hospitality amidst rich ambience but joining us for lunch was their star Chef Veena Arora, who has also been awarded as the Best Lady Chef by Ministry of Tourism in India for her Outstanding Achievement and Contribution to the Promotion of Tourism in the Country.

On comfortably being seated, we were constantly reminding each other that we were still very much in Delhi and not in Thailand or Sri Lanka because of the interiors reminiscent of the spice route nations.

If you are a Thai cuisine lover like us, then this be a great bet for the queen chef is born and brought up in Thailand and brings only the most authentic flavours along.

Besides a very extensive and rich menu, the restaurant boasts a special Winter Menu that ensnared our taste buds with the interesting dishes listed below:

Appetizers:

Prawn in a Sarong: Malaysian style por pia skin wrapped prawns, flavoured with lemongrass, chillies and fried crisp. Served with sweet chilli and plum sauce

Fish in Banana Leaf Parcel: Vietnamese style steamed fish flavoured with lemon grass, chillies and pounded glutinous rice served in banana leaf parcel

Soups:

Tom Yum Thalay: Spicy hot and sour mixed seafood  soup, flavoured with lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves.

Main Course:

Meen Biryani: Kerala style rice cooked with fish, flavoured with whole Indian spices

Phanaeng Pla: Crispy fillet of sole served with phananeng sauce

Desserts:

Ice-cream Tauhu: Silky bean curd ice cream with cinnamon flavour (vegan)

All seafood lovers, trying out these delicacies is a must for you all.

And we ordered some more from their a la carte menu too for our strictly vegetarian Shagun.

Appetizers:

Por Pia Chae: Thai style spring roll with vegetables, fried crisp and served with sweet chili and plum sauce

Som Tum Chae:  Tangy Thai raw papaya and peanut salad

Soups:

Kaeng Cherd Tauhu Lod: Clear vegetable and silky bean curd soup, flavoured with fresh sautéed garlic

Main Course:

Phad Phrik Tauhu: Stir-fried silky bean curd and bamboo shoots in Thai basil sauce

Malabar Vegetable Curry: Assorted vegetables cooked in Southern spices from Malabar coast of India

Hmmm… Sounds like quite a lavish spread, doesn’t it? But the best part was that each and every dish was reflective of great love with which it was prepared for that is the reason that each of them tasted a perfect ten on ten.

Talking about the décor, it is truly one of its kind, there is so much thought which has gone into each and every corner of this restaurant. Believe it or not, but each section of the restaurant represents a part of the human cycle; expressed through hand painted walls, intelligent placing of various elements and the overall ambience.

Well, the interiors are splendid but we have to also share our favorite spot. It was actually their courtyard which is bedecked with traditional Thai sculptures from Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. An evening spent here would be truly worthwhile and memorable.

Before we sign off, we would like to say that if you haven’t been here as yet, you are surely missing on something. And for those planning to visit Delhi anytime soon, make sure you visit The Imperial Hotel for its sharp representation of Indian heritage and culture.

Winter Collection at The Spice Route (South East Asian Restaurant)

15th November 2014- 15th February 2015

Timings:  Lunch- 12:30pm to 2:45pm and Dinner- 7:00pm to 11:45pm

Love,

Shagun & Sonali

Enjoy Thailand like the Locals do!

Thailand has it all to make it a tourist’s paradise! However, this time around I am glad to experience it differently; thanks to my friends- I visited so many places which usually never make it to a foreigner’s ‘Places to Visit’ diary! Here is a peek into some of the memorable experiences-

Bangkok- There is just so much to do in here that one always falls short of days. If you are fully aware of what all is in store, you would be surprised to realize that there is ample buzz both during the day and the night. I am a big Chatuchak Market fan, it is believed to be the world’s largest weekend market. Getting lost in its lanes while shopping has its own charm! There is no end to what all you can get here, I was surprised to see such funky accessories for pets and believe me, some really fine pieces for your home can be purchased from this shopping haven. There are ample shopping avenues to spoil you- for the affordable and trendy clothes and accessories-it is a must that girls head to the Platinum Mall. For those who prefer the branded route, Siam Paragon and Emporium Malls should be the preferred choices. Some exciting offers and discounts can be rather enticing! In the evenings, you could shop amidst the hustle-bustle, a stroll at Khao San and Patpong can be fun! Your bargaining skills are sure put to test in here!

For the foodies, the Eat Me Restaurant at Silom is very international and offers some great delicacies. The  soothing ambience after a busy day comes as a blessing! Their flourless dark chocolate cake is simply divine!

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Another innovative and interesting restaurant is Greyhound at the Emporium Mall. It is genuinely one of those out-of-the-box restaurants which stands out for its unique dishes. Their Complicated Noodles are outstanding to say the least!

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Octave Bar and Lounge at the Marriott makes for a refreshing roof-top experience! For a lavish buffet spread, Windsor Suites is a sensible pick.

Street food is addictive and one is spoilt for options. The Platinum food court offers some heavenly local delicacies, the mango salad here was really delicious.

When in Thailand, spas have to make it to your itinerary, my pick would be The Oasis Spa in Sukhumvit without a doubt!

Pattaya- For all those who love to strike a pose every now and then, their new 3D art gallery makes for a worthwhile experience! For Shopping, the Central Mall is ideal for branded stuff!  Their weekend night market is enjoyable especially if you like indulging in street food, you sure have to try the banana roti on the Beach Road.

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You need to save some time to have a drink at the Hilton, the view and ambience is simply priceless.  Take the pampering quotient a notch higher with foot massages(even on the beach), nail art and hairstyling.

Phuket- Perfect choice would be to stay at the Patong Beach. This area is quite happening and would not leave much room for you to go elsewhere. The beach here is  blissful!  Simon Cabaret, FantaSea and Water Park make for great tourists attractions. And not to miss the amazing Thai doughnuts- Pa Thong Ko, you must try them! Joe’s Downstairs offers the view of the beach and has some fine delicacies.

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Patong Sea Food is the ideal restaurant for those who like to go big with seafood, their Tamarind Prawns shouldn’t be given a miss!

For the  ultimate experience, don’t forget to  book yourself a day trip to Phi Phi as you are sure to return with memories of a lifetime….

Look forward to hearing your experiences of the Amazing Thailand!

The Americana Route…

Girls and boys, we are definitely not recommending some heavy duty fashion mantra for this summer! Casual is the look to reckon with J This must have come as a respite to all those who love gallivanting in their flip-flops or ganjis…

Unlike before, casual wear does seem much more chic and interesting, thanks to the endeavours like – AmericanSwan.com

Good news, isn’t it?  Peppy fashion is just a click away!

American Swan product styling is distinctly modern and chic, combining the classic, iconic ‘Americana’ theme with the sensibilities of European Fashion: its refinement, tailoring &effortless styling.

The whole idea of revamping oneself with global designs and standards does sound rather exciting. Honestly, for the high fashion societies that we live in, one needs to opt for something out-of-the-box at all times. Also, it is extremely important that you do not forget to accessorize your outfit well.

The collection at American Swan simply put, follows the 3 A’s as it is inspirational,  accessible and affordable.

These high quality offerings are not just restricted to apparels, the options are overwhelming. So, opt for high sensibilities by checking out their cosmetics, shoes, watches and jewellery!

This international twist will sure be worth the moolah! Have a look…

 

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Get spoilt on- www.americanswan.com

Lighthouse In The City

We definitely didn’t have a real hard time hunting this place which was in absolute tandem to our tastes and preferences. Sometimes, good things do come easy and are extremely overwhelming. Lighthouse 13 is one of those places which aren’t in your face yet provide a satisfying experience.

The place is wisely divided into two sections, for those who know us well, won’t be surprised to know that we chose the open space over the closed floor. The terrace overlooks the hustle-bustle of the heart of the city, yet the night time seems totally divine especially on Wednesday’s when soft sufi music only adds to the serenity of the whole ambience.


The food is another highlight of this restaurant as it brings together the best of national and international cuisines. We have to say that each dish would talk about the meticulous nature of the chef. The condiments which come with every dish would leave you biting your own fingers. We absolutely fancied the hummus, sun dried tomato hummus and avocado dips which came in the mezze platter.


What instantly popped out our eyeballs in the bar menu were the wine cocktails. So, we both ordered our separate share. Though, the drinks were refreshing, somehow they didn’t live up to our expectations as the flavours were quite subtle.
As we enjoyed our wine, the chef generously spared time and helped us decide on the menu for the evening. Discovering our love for cheese, he planned it accordingly. From interesting salads like Fattoush to zucchini crepes, the evening had it all that had a touch of cheese.


The menu is honestly quite glamorous with exotic offerings like oysters, prawns, salmon, and duck- all made available under one roof. The ones who’d like to turn towards the safe zone of pasta and pizza, then there are enough options.

And for all those, who like lots of chocolate to end their meal, there is nothing that would work better than a tiramisu or a chocolate mousse! It was absolutely heavenly savouring these under the skylight.

Well, we’ll be honest and admit that the thing which would actually get us back to this buzzing joint is its interesting ambience. After all, this that one important factor which we all are always desperately looking for!
So, those in search of a beautiful rooftop that can assure peace, tranquility and amazing sheesha then do visit this place and if possible make it a Wednesday for their live Sufi night. Cheers!