Some amazing luxury amenities offered by high-end Thai hotels and resorts meant to spoil, please, and pamper their guests.
by Christopher Scott Dixon and Percy Roxas.
Amenities almost sound too proletarian a description for the dazzling array of hotel amenities and perks that the five-star accommodation experts provide these days. Each property claim that what they provide is better than their peers but with customers voting with their feet, the hotels know that they must offer much more than simply Thai silk draped beds, or teakwood interiors to lure guests, inviting though those and other features might be.
The actual definition of what a luxury hotel is has changed over the past few years. There is a trend toward more hi-tech, upgraded lobbies; substantial emphasis on wellness; and a wider range of food and beverage options. In addition there is a broad range of amenities – from daily ice cream boy visits to soap concierges, and from personal pet buddies to 24-hour personal concierges – to match the promotional packages that each property offers as each tries to entice more visitors.
“In Thailand, there is a high cultural value placed on providing excellent service, and we are delighted to offer each of our guests their own personal St. Regis butler,” said Krister Svensson, general manager of The St. Regis Bangkok says of their unique service amenity, the legendary 24-hour butler for all guests. “Our butlers stand ready to provide our guests with the highest level of service with the utmost care and discretion. We look forward to serving you.”
Here are some amazing luxury hotel amenities shared to us by some of our friends in the industry from around the country. Some offerings are a reflection of a growing global trend, many are amazing novel amenities unique to some Thai hotels, while others are simply extravagant extras; flourishes that each hotel try to add to the stay experience of their discriminating guests.
Over a century ago, when John Jacob Astor IV founded the flagship St. Regis in New York City, his vision was “to make The St. Regis the finest hotel in the world.” He redefined personal service with the introduction of the St. Regis Butler, and set an industry standard. Carrying on this century-old tradition, The St. Regis Bangkok has been offering the legendary butler service to all guests – a first for a five-star Bangkok hotel – when it debuted in 2011. By offering the bespoke butler service to all hotel guests, The St. Regis Bangkok is elevating Thailand’s high standards of service to a new, white-gloved level of luxury for the worldly travelers.
At Hilton Bangkok Sukhumvit, all rooms exclusively feature Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich products and a unique Massaging Body Bar. The founder of Peter Thomas Roth has a heritage in skin care as his family have owned and operated Hungarian spa resorts for generations before he used his passion to create skin care products. All of these amenities are luxury quality and are vitamin-infused allowing for a spa-like experience from your hotel room so you will start everyday feeling nourished, refreshed, and looking your best.
In Phuket, the Andaman’s most celebrated island, the Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary, encourages guests to embrace the five-senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. In this boutique all-villa spa resort–infused with spa elements, healthy cuisine, award-winning spa and wellness activities–you will embark on a journey of rejuvenation and wellness with experiences to indulge and soothe all senses. You can indulge in Unlimited Spa Treatments at the Spa Sanctuary Pool Villa, complete with a private steam room, outdoor sunken bath, a floating bedroom concept, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, double vanity area, and a spacious bathroom, as the villa epitomizes luxurious living. Another special amenity among the many others,to be enjoyed at the Banyan Tree Phuket is the Private Villa Host at the Double Pool Villa.
Trisara Phuket’s latest offering, the “Picture-Perfect Stay Package”–valid until end of this month only–allows guests to use the resort’s unique Director’s Den (DDen) and its professional producers and digital artists to capture your holiday experience in engaging digital formats. With a stay of three consecutive nights at its hotel rooms, suites or villas, you can choose to create your own professional 2-minute holiday video or to go on an exciting photo shoot with the DDen crew.
At the newly opened The Monttra Pattaya, one can enjoy the “Soap Concierge” amenity. Enjoy the luxury of choosing your own soap scent whenever you wish. The Soap Concierge presents a platter of soothing soaps upon request. Start your day with an awakening scent and find rest with a relaxing aroma before falling asleep.
At Aleenta Resort Hua Hin-Pranburi, top amenity trademarks include homemade shampoos, body lotions, and conditioners from the farm, as well as Thai cotton pajamas, flip flops and their own beach bags so you don’t damage yours. But other amazing touches are even more personal: like the sand box where the team leave you messages on the weather everyday, a good night call from their front office to see if you need anything before turning in for the night, free canapés and nighty shot at 5 p.m. to all rooms, genre-loaded Ipods to suit your taste, and shower gels change morning and afternoon to suit your mood.
Sheraton Samui Resort’s leading guest amenity is probably the Signature Sheraton Sweet SleeperTM Bed, a revolutionary bed that introduces a whole new level of comfort, with luxurious sheets, a deluxe duvet, a selection of feather down and hypoallergenic pillows, and a custom Sealy mattress. But of course, that’s not the only one. Throughout the entire resort, guests are pampered with so many things, from the daybed areas at the beachfront pool to the luxurious products used in its Glow Spa and complimentary wireless broadband (Link@sheraton).
So many things make staying at Vana Belle Resort Samui memorable as well. They include the Signature Concierge Service, Butler Service, and Benz Limo service. As a destination authority, the signature Concierge Team unlocks the hidden charms of Koh Samui, curates treasured memories and makes the guest travel experience effortless. The top tier suites and villas have 24-hours on-call butler service, including complimentary afternoon tea and evening cocktails served in the room, and luxury airport transfer and day-trip service in Mercedes-Benz C-Class, with Vana Belle signature amenities, are standard offerings. And yes, we must mention the Explorer Packs, which are lunch pack menus in Vana Belle branded ruck sacks, perfect for those out to explore the island.
The world renowned Mandarin Oriental not only offers breathtaking views of the Chao Phraya River and impeccable service and tradition; its Oriental Spa provides a host of customized massages and cleansing experiences, private spa suites, and two unique treatments: the “Oriental Signature Treatment” and the “Oriental Organic Journey.” Something you might be taking for granted, which you should not, is the range of sporting and leisure activities with personal trainers and tailored fitness programs offered at its own dedicated health center located across the river from the hotel.
Sukhothai Hotel’s six acres of exquisite lotus ponds and gardens are a considerable selling point allied to the Spa Botanica, which is in a unique setting within the lush green surrounds. Guests can also choose a suite with their own private balcony. In the Deluxe studio rooms there’s a full service business desk along with an Apple iPod connection to the in-room sound system.
Le Meridien, in the heart of Silom’s business district, is targeting guests by offering a number of ongoing packages to outdo the competition. These include ‘Long Stay,’ where you can book a suite at the price as a standard room and exclusive benefits such as 24-hour in-room high-speed Internet access and a daily signature breakfast buffet.
Situated in the central Rachaprasong retail district, Grand Hyatt Erawan has a number of exclusive luxury packages including one called ‘Romance,’ which offers a jasmine garland, roundtrip limousine transfer, a bottle of sparkling wine per stay, a box of heart shaped chocolates per stay, set dinner for two people per stay and a late checkout.
Of course, there’s more than we can cover in this issue. But you get the picture.
Guests now are increasingly demanding and expecting more of an ‘experience’ and not just a stay for their baht when they arrive, and hotels are only happy to meet their requirements. It doesn’t mean that the usual services, amenities, and facilities are already obsolete but only that what is being offered now fits alongside new and contemporary needs and pursuits. But more about this in our coming issues!