Continuing my review of the Grand Hyatt Erawan… (part one is here)
Located several floors above the lobby, the pool does not have exclusivity to the floor. First you walk through the spa and the gym area. The gym is available to members (well heeled residents of Bangkok) and hotel guests and is very, very exclusive. There was an entire area in the men’s locker room of simply luxury recliners in a dimly lit room.
It is inappropriate to head down to the pool from your room in your swimsuit alone, so do use the locker rooms to change before heading out to the pool.
Outside, the pool is relaxing, spacious but has some limitations. The water is very cold, something that is certainly welcome in the hot Bangkok heat, but I don’t think there are any heaters at all in the pool and that can be shocking when you first hop in and can’t feel your legs. There were some parka clad fishermen that had drilled a hole in the top of the ice and were fishing above my head, but other than that, you kind of get used to the temperatures after awhile.
The BTS, attractive from our room, is less fun when nodding off in the hot Thai sun. Every two to three minutes the BTS (Bangkok Metro Skytrain) rattles by seemingly just on the other side of a partition fence on one end of the pool. It’s a little annoying but on the other side of the pool it’s almost unnoticeable. While I bemoan the proximity to the pool, I certainly appreciate its proximity to the hotel when heading in or out, so I should probably just quit my whining and move to the other side of the pool.
Walking around with good regularity are waiters ready and willing to bring you just about anything to eat or drink you could possibly want. Billable to the room, rates are comparable to what you would find in a bar or restaurant at home in the States, which is expensive when compared to Bangkok, but reasonable for the level of service provided at this five star hotel.
With the Sherpstress there, as well as my mother, our daughter, myself and my brother we had a variety of goals and preferences around the pool. For all of us to be able to get something to eat that hit the spot (without going to five different restaurants) was fantastic with simple billing, and an easy process was maybe the only time on the whole trip we were all able to get exactly what we wanted.
The spa is a fantastic retreat. There must be 10,000 places to get a massage in Thailand, and there are prices that range from $6/hour for a foot massage, while a traditional full body massage might run as high as $100/hour. In this five star property it is certainly at the high end of the spectrum ranging from about $80-200 depending on the services. While that might seem normal for US readers, for those that have been to Bangkok, that’s pretty steep.
Not to worry. It’s worth it.
The hotel had some ideal treatments in mind for the Sherpstress and we sent my mother down as well as a Christmas present. They were pampered for an hour and a half each in their own private spa bungalow on the outdoor pool deck but away from swimmers and patrons.
The bungalows were fitted with pre-loaded iPod sound stations set for your particular type of massage. Masseuses were very professional, well-trained and spoke perfect English for both my experience as well as the ladies’. Traditional tea is served afterwards and we all felt like a million dollars.
I wouldn’t do a massage like this everyday (I certainly do on the cheaper massages) but I don’t know that your trip would be complete without it. If you’re in the Siam area of Bangkok, make the trip even if you aren’t staying on property. We have booked there some time over the holidays and I am sure we will make a repeat trip.
Located high above the other floors is the Grand Club lounge. Floor to ceiling windows overlook some of the best parts of the city. The polo club, a golf course, the BTS, and Siam Square are all laid out before you.
As with many of the Asian hotels of five star quality, hot items are available as well as cold. For breakfast you will be seated, offered a newspaper and a premium coffee (cappuccino, etc.) by a lounge host. At that point you can help yourself to European pastries, cereals, fresh cut fruits, juice, yogurt, basically anything you would find at a high quality brunch. In addition to that there are also hot items for you to help yourself as well as a chef making omelettes, Singapore noodles or whatever else you may like.
In the evening, there are again hot items, this time less of a meal and more of some heavy snacks. Cocktails are on offer and the lounge is always packed, not uncomfortably so, but busy. There are several private dining rooms, one of which was a family room. I appreciate having the option for a family room on a lounge floor because in many lounges, children are simply excluded from the club which in turn excludes their parents who may or may not choose to return to that property.
The lounge is a great way to start your day and if you don’t have Diamond status with Hyatt (you should) consider paying a little extra for the club level rooms. In my experience, club level rooms are usually about the cost of breakfast everyday from a regular room so if there are two of you, you have made your money back once you both go to breakfast upstairs.
There’s lots more to see and do at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, see more tomorrow…