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A staycation for pawrents


Standing 40-storey tall amid leafy surroundings, Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok celebrates its first anniversary this month. An oasis in the city where you (and your pet) can escape to for a green respite.

First Impression

The most basic accommodation of this 362-key city retreat starts respectably at almost 50m² in a Deluxe Room and runs up to Celebrity Suite, which is the poshest and biggest at 320m². I stayed somewhere in the middle in a Grand Premium Room, which would please even the fussiest people. From the eighteenth floor, I was treated to a floor-to-ceiling view of the greenery in Soi Tonson and Soi Langsuan, as well as neighbouring skyscrapers. The almost 90m² room has a separate living room, bedroom and bathroom and it can feel so open and spacious when all sliding doors are open.

Grand Premium Room.

Interior-obsessed folks (guilty!) are likely to pick up on little details that imply careful thought behind the room design. The bedroom definitely feels spacious as I star-jumped on the white-cloud king-size bed but still couldn’t touch the ceiling. The Vifa Helsinki speakers come in handy when you want to fill the room with serious bass. There’s a divan to lounge on while watching NHK World Japan on TV or simply enjoying the city view. The tiled bathroom may look unanimously pristine in the white-marble effect but the surface in the shower cubicle is textured so you won’t slip. The full-length mirrors at the back of the bathroom’s sliding doors add an illusion of space (and sexiness) to your bathing ritual. A wooden stool is placed near the big oval bathtub in case you want to enjoy bubble and bubbly at the same time (see what I did).

Do check out a small drawer box on the basin to find toiletries and a list of items that you can request from the front desk and keep for free or borrow during your stay. The room delivers in terms of space and extra details to make your stay special and memorable.

amaranth spa by HARNN.

Grand Premium Room.

Given its reputation as a pet-friendly property, I entertained the thought of checking in with my two dwarf hamster boys but decided against it at the last minute as it isn’t in their best interest to do so unless I can magically pack — ahem — two custom-made wooden/acrylic cages (one hamster per cage is the best policy) in my weekend bag. Also, them being rodents, I’m afraid they were going to sink their teeth into everything, including the carpet during our floor time.

However, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that Kimpton had prepared two bowls of chopped-up berries, two water dishes along with a couple more pet items for them. Although some of these items aren’t exactly for hamsters, I do appreciate the extra lengths they go to extend hospitality to children of pawrents. It’s the thought that counts! The hotel is much more well-prepared with the right amenities for dogs or cats, though. Your feline gets to enjoy a plush cat condo while sharing the room with you, for example. And yes, I ate the berries.

If you love animals, you’ll definitely come across them during your stay, especially on the weekend. There are gonna be a lot of aww moments.

There’s also a welcoming letter upon your arrival, which succinctly details opening hours of the hotel’s outlets and what’s available and not yet available at its facilities. I wouldn’t think twice about it if we live in a pre-Covid world but since we’re not, I appreciate it as a cheat sheet to know what to expect and plan my stay accordingly. Definitely a nice touch in my book as it shows how the hotel preempt any questions guests may have.

Staying In

Early birds (as early as 6.30am) should check out morning kick-start to get their first dose of energy with a cup of organic cold brew or Arnold Palmer in the reception area.

Retro TV dinner.

With double-height and open-floor layout, Stock.Room’s breakfast service is definitely a highlight. The four-hour breakfast service here gives you a great variety of cuisines and ample view of the greenery and skyscrapers. Breakfast here is serious international affairs as you can get your appetite going with a dim sum set, a charcuterie board or a simple chicken congee before you enjoy some falafel or hummus with spiced seafood that you can wash down with a light tom ka mushroom soup. Then sink your teeth into a chunky fillet of salmon teriyaki along with an onsen egg as your main before ending your meal on a big sweet note with bacon French toast.

Of course, egg dishes and other usual dishes that you expect from hotel breakfast are also on the menu but you can always eat eggs Benedict with smoked salmon or kuay tiew with soothing broth the next morning.

Craft on the ground floor is where you can enjoy freshly baked pastries, a cup of joe, a light meal and meet various pets. It felt like a mini pet convention when I was there as pawrents brought their pooches to chill and socialise at the garden just outside the cafe. Not sure how a non-pet person would feel, though.

You can indulge in adorable-looking pink pastries (and put a pause on calorie counting) for a good cause at Craft until Sunday. To mark the month of breast cancer awareness, 5% of the sale proceeds from selected pink menu items (from B65 per piece) will go towards cancer research at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital.

For a proper sit-down dining of Italian fare and flair, you have Ms.Jigger, also on the ground floor. If you want to take your meal to the next level (to the 40th floor to be more exact), head to rooftop Bar.Yard, which recently reopened with Latin-American fare and new concoctions. The cotton candy sunset view up there isn’t shabby at all.

If it rains cats and dogs outside, you can order Kimpton’s Retro TV dinners to be enjoyed in your room like I did. The Beef Stroganoff box is rich and packed with melt-in-your-mouth moments while the Fried chicken box impresses me with crunchy batter, creamy mash potato and well-seasoned green peas and carrots. Their festive version is coming soon, too.

On the wellness front, amaranth spa by HARNN is back but you must be fully vaccinated and have a negative ATK or RT-PCR test results. After a pampering session there, you’ll be guided into a relaxing room where you can nurse a drink and nibble on a snack while lounging on a divan and you can close a curtain around it like you stay in your own cocoon, as well.

The gym and pool are both on the third floor should you want to burn some calories. Do stop by the Pool.Bar for evening social hour during which you can enjoy mocktails as much as you want for an hour. But if you prefer to enjoy free drink in your own room, there’s a limit of two glasses per person. Sweat it out at the gym, which is well-equipped with high-tech equipment or join a scheduled workout class. The climbing wall outside the gym is for show, btw.

Going Out

There’s a lush garden that you can take a leisure walk through on the way to nearby community mall Velaa. Lumphini Park is about 10 minutes on foot away. Ride a bicycle around the green neighbourhood for free or if you want something with more ease, there’s a e-scooter for rent near the entrance. Of course, a short drive away from the hotel brings you countless of spots for shopping, dining and other activities along the Sukhumvit Road.

Final Verdict

Kimpton has a lot of factors going to make it a great staycation spot for city dwellers (and their pets) who look to getaway a bit without forsaking any conveniences that the city has to offer. Currently, Kimpton offers many packages to suit different needs and some of them are available for booking until December. For example, “Kimpton Loves You” starts from B6,000 per night and includes breakfast for two, early check-in, late check-out and B3,000 hotel credit for spa or food. That’s definitely a big bang for your baht especially if you apply Rao Tiew Duay Kan subsidy, which will see the starting price drop to B4,238 per night. You can check the full list of offers at bit.ly/StaycationOffer_en.

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