Wellness & Wow at the W Bangkok
To many, “Bangkok" invokes images of dynamic, exciting, sensory-overloaded encounters. Steel and glass contrast ancient temples and the myriad street mazes are filled with culinary delights, sounds and colour. It is a place of high energy and high experience. For
To many, “Bangkok” invokes images of dynamic, exciting, sensory-overloaded encounters. Steel and glass contrast ancient temples and the myriad street mazes are filled with culinary delights, sounds and colour. It is a place of high energy and high experience.
For me, The City of Angels forever challenges my spectrum of human experience: it can ignite your soul and, admittedly, occasionally disturb you. But, it would be wrong to mistake the city for a perpetual race track. Over the years I have meandered through curious corridors to discover hidden havens for quieter, slow-frequency moments to immerse in self reflection, people watching, or letting the world drift by. Traffic jams and hard-hitting partying aside, Bangkok is a soul-filled destination for questioning my perceptions, reviving my inspiration and igniting my passion for living and dreaming big. I also come to bring focused care to my body in tandem with my mind.
If you are seeking a surprisingly easy escape in search of your own restoration and revival – mixed with a dash of glamour and the amenities of a captivating city – then choose Bangkok. Although, if you stay at our chosen accommodation, you may actually have little reason to leave its immediate vicinity. Where do we suggest? The W Bangkok, an unexpected sanctuary proving that the ‘wow’ factor and ‘wellbeing’ truly go hand-in-hand
W Bangkok: where W is for Wellness as much as WOW
The W brand is known for its five star, contemporary-glam properties and the fun urban – or exotic – playground vibes that attract the trendiest of crowds. The W Bangkok is an exceptional urban escape in the collection, blending rich history with modern edge.
Everything you need is right here: first class service, where all the Talent – there are no “staff” here – make you feel like their primary focus (The “Whatever/Whenever” service is very literal), and amenities galore. My “Spectacular Room” was just that: a spacious open-plan affair with bright colours, modern design and traditional touches. Humungous sequin Muay Thai gloves are thrown in for your own in-room play fighting. A golden glass wall screens your own free-standing tub for bubbly soaks, and a bathroom amply stocked with Bliss goodies. Modern tech is available for every convenience. My h-u-g-e cloud-like bed brought me the best nights of sleep I have had in months.
It has to be said from the outset that you cannot help but be taken by the beauty of the views: from the light rising over the Chao Praya River and dancing over the towering city facades to all that glitters as the night comes to life. This, in itself, is worthy soul food.
Food = Fuel
You are what you eat, and here you are given every opportunity to eat to feel your best. The fabulous and funky of BKK are clearly powering through their day by eating right from the get-go. As the W Bangkok says, “FUEL: The energy to look good, feel good, go longer, stay later.” Start your day at The Kitchen Table with a freshly blitzed pineapple and ginger juice (or any other combination you can fathom), and marvel at the array of healthy options: chia, flaxseed and beetroot drinks, probiotic yoghurts and bircher mueslis, and the freshest tropical fruit and vegetable mixes.
For lunch, saunter over to The House on Sathorn, a spectacular colonial mansion from 1889 listed under the Department of Fine Arts and meticulously preserved by the W Bangkok. Intricately decorated hallways and rooms envelope you in historic opulence and sophistication. It houses a stunning courtyard, an artisanal fine dining restaurant and a seriously stylish bar to carry you through till the early hours (even on the superbly delicious virgin cocktails that I sampled).
I was delighted to chat with Head Chef Fatih’s ethos for his Asian-Fusion delights: the ingredients are of the highest purity and sourced from the Royal Project Foundation. This initiative was established by the late dearly beloved King Bhumibol to instill non-GMO, organic, and environmentally-conscious farming practices in the North of Thailand. Here, eating clean and light means absolutely indulging in delicious flavour: we loved our courtyard lunch with freshly made fruit lemonades and the fragrant Thom Kha Black Cod soup.
Move my body, feed my soul
Get your blood circulating without stress: The FIT gym is kitted out with all the gear you need for a body boost, and is suitably stocked with fresh fruit and lemon water for healthy snacking and rehydration. The WET deck presents its outdoor pool to practice your mermaid strokes and level-up your vitamin-D stores on one of their lounging cabanas. Hours can easily be whiled away here with a good book and a #FUELYOURBODY mocktail in hand. You wouldn’t imagine that you were in a metropolis, save for looking over the tree-lined walls to see the SkyTrain seamlessly drift over the cars down below. Each Tuesday evening sees Khun Mam, the resident yoga teacher, guiding guests through restorative and tension-relieving Sunset Yoga Sessions by the pool: it’s the perfect way to reset your mind at the end of the day.
Get AWAY without going anywhere
The AWAY Spa is your transformative escape from the outside world: a cocooning sanctuary for restorative, healing and detoxifying practices to encourage your inner butterfly to emerge. Glowing corridors lead to steam and sauna rooms, a bedazzling hammam and jacuzzi, and private rooms. A slew of new “Muay Thai” inspired treatments have been introduced that are designed to detox and rejuvenate hard-working bodies and stressed-out minds. I opted for the Muay Thai Boxer massage in between a coffee-yoghurt scrub and charcoal mini facial…and maybe because I wanted the snazzy Muay Thai shorts that are complimentary with the treatment.
My mixologist let me select purple mood lighting for “happiness” and we discussed ailments and pressure intensity. Intensive muscular manipulation was combined with sweeping fluid-drainage techniques for the ultimate detoxification combination. My stomach started gurgling, a good sign of fascial release in the body. That was even before my capable therapist got to the actual tummy massage, where she performed deep twisting strokes to stimulate gut cleansing. The head-to-toe vigorous sweeping made me feel like all the toxic goop inside was being drawn out of my toes. By the end of it all, I felt born anew, refreshed and ready to spread my new-found wings.
I need some Bangkok vibes
Being in the heart of town, you are not far from anything. The front-of-house team will hail you a cab, or you can hop onto the SkyTrain at Chong Nonsi just outside (its only a couple of stops to Siam, the central hub) the hotel or meander local streets. All around you will find cute hideaway cafes, street food delights and spectacular architecture.
The W Bangkok provides everything you could need to facilitate your own detox escape without skimping on the fun and style. It simultaneously embraces the magic of the surrounding city that will leave you with a glowing with inspiration from the inside out and ready for whatever the world brings you next.
All photography credited to Thom Arnold Photography © unless stated as W Bangkok