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Total Thai experience by the river

Anantara Riverside Bangkok and AVANI Riverside Bangkok Hotel

Michelle Chenery reports on a stay at the many-faceted Anantara Riverside Bangkok - and she also has a sneak-peek at the new AVANI Riverside Bangkok Hotel

Situated on the west bank of the broad Chao Phraya River, the Anantara Riverside Bangkok encompasses exotic gardens and leisure and business facilities spanning eleven acres, creating an urban oasis amongst the busy streets of Thailand’s capital city. Approximately an hour from Suvarnabhumi International Airport and 45 minutes from Don Muang Airport, the hotel provides a limousine service with a fleet of hybrid vehicles, there are taxis and also the Airport Rail Link by BTS Skytrain. This can be an attractive option, as Anantara runs a regular complimentary 15-minute boat ride to Saphan Taksin Skytrain station, offering convenient connections to locations all over the city, as well as being only 5 minutes away from Asiatique, Asia's largest night market.

Originally built in 1992, the hotel completed a full refurbishment during 2015.The guest rooms reflect a simple yet elegant Asian style, with wooden furniture echoing the colours and feel of a traditional Thai home, the rich colours of Thai silk lit by the natural daylight spilling in through large windows accompanied by the warm brown hues of the natural wood floors.

The 408 rooms include 101 suites, with options of scenic river or lush garden views, enjoyed through floor to ceiling windows or from the balconies of the hotel’s three main buildings. There are seven different room categories. The Deluxe Premier Room spans 38sqm and features a king-size or two double beds, in-room mini bar, tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary internet access via LAN and Wi-Fi, an LCD TV and dvd player, backlit mirror panels and a luxury bathroom with marble features.

The Deluxe Premier River View marble adorned bathroom features a rain shower and sliding bathroom doors opening up the space of the room even more. The Junior Premier Suite measures 46sqm added extras include a spacious lounge area, private balcony, separate bathtub, shower and toilet, tea and Nespresso coffee making facilities and an iPod dock. The Anantara Riverfront Suite provides 108sqm of living space a wrap around balcony, separate living and dining area, in room wine cooler, as well as guest being able to enjoy Kasara benefits during their stay.

The largest of the suites and newly introduced this year is the 114sqm, two-bedroom Chao Phraya River Suite boasting private balcony, marbled floor bathrooms with double vanity sinks and designer amenities, a multimedia hub and Exclusive Kasara lounge privileges.

In every single room Anantara places a Handy, an in-room smartphone for guest to use during at the hotel and on the move. This allows guest to stay connected, informed and entertained 24 hours a day.

Anantara Handy offers a range of complimentary services:
• Unlimited local calls
• Unlimited international calls to 10 destinations (including Germany, the United States, France, Great Britain, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and China)
• Unlimited 3G data connectivity with Wife tethering capability to other mobile devices, such as laptops and tablets
• Popular pre-installed apps: social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and travel apps like currency converter, maps, GPS, news and translation services 
• Additional apps can be installed from Google Play Store
• Digital city guide with recommendations and promotions for restaurants, shops and tourist attractions
• Information on hotel facilities, services, events and special offers
• Incoming hotel room calls and room to room calls
• Hotel direct dial features, including instant access to the hotel concierge

10 dining options
On-site there are ten dining options. At Benihana chefs entertain diners at their tables with their Teppanyaki style of cooking seafood, meats and vegetables. Fresh handmade Italian pasta and pizzas from wood fired ovens can be found in the Tuscan villa setting of Brio.

Trader Vic's serves Pacific Rim cuisine within a Polynesian inspired setting. Bangkok's only Chinese wood fired oven provides Jamaican Jerk Spring Chicken, Hawaiian Pork Chop and Roasted Atlantic Salmon.

The Riverside Terrace, set overlooking the Chao Praya River, not only offers a culinary experience with its wide array of international dishes cooked in open style kitchens, but a cultural experience, with traditional Thai classical dancing during evening meals.

Numero Uno Café offers over 100 types of chocolates, a complete chocolate lovers dream, as well as serving up deli-style sandwiches alongside Asian and Western cuisine.

Alternatively guests can enjoy two hours of multi-course dining whilst travelling along the Chao Phraya River on a fleet of fully restored wooden rice barges with Manohra Cruises, passing royal sites and temples as well as striking modern landmarks.

A fascinating option for groups is the Spice and Spoons, the Anantara cooking school that offers guests the chance to get hands on and create some of their favourite local dishes either at the purpose-built school or whilst cruising on board a rice barge.

Extensive meetings facilities
The meetings facilities have been extended by a further 1,500sqm, catering now for up to 600 delegates in the Chaophraya Ballroom. The Impressive entrance doors and Thai silk padded walls make it ideal for a lavish banquet of cocktail party. In total there are twelve versatile spaces available, all with natural daylight and the latest av equipment. Up to 220 people can be seated in the Garden Room banquet style and 180 delegates cocktail. Smaller meetings can be catered for in the Poppy, Bamboo and Lotus rooms.

A team of professionals tailor the setting, theme, cuisine, entertainment and activity to suit individual needs for a creative coffee break, a garden picnic, or letting Bangkok come to the event with themed tuk-tuk or floating dining concepts.

Anantara Spa
The Anantara Spa is reached via pathways through the landscaped gardens. There are nine treatment rooms, as well as steam rooms, a beauty salon and a relaxation area. Guests can enjoy a range of four signature treatments involving rice, from massages to scrubs. A fitness centre is equipped with a range of cardiovascular and muscle training equipment. Muay Thai kick-boxing lessons are offered in the grounds, with a full hour learning the history and techniques of the martial art.

For more information on the Anantara Riverside Bangkok visit bangkok-riverside.anantara.com

AVANI Riverside Bangkok Hotel – Michelle’s sneak-peek


Set to open in the first quarter of 2016, the AVANI Riverside Bangkok Hotel is bringing the AVANI philosophy to life in Bangkok with its first purpose-built riverside location. Avani stems from the Sanskrit word for 'earth', a meaning that is expressed through a grounded personality and simple sense of style. This is expressed in the hotels with a relaxed contemporary inspired comfort. Rising up 26 storeys, the hotel not only offers uninterrupted views of the river and city from its 251 rooms, but also aims to offer the best in shopping, entertainment and leisure activities, city explorations and business necessities.

Attitude Bar and Restaurant located on the hotels' rooftop is set to become one of the new in-spots with views over the city and river that are unmatched. Diners will have a choice of contemporary Asian tapas, whilst watching the chefs whip up their specialities in the open entertainment kitchen. The designer infinity pool is also located on the rooftop. There are a further three bars and restaurants. In the lobby guests will be able to pick up speciality snacks and treats at the Pantry, whilst the Long Room Bar will serve simple snacks and local specialities. Skyline restaurant will serve an international breakfast and dinner buffet.

The hotel’s 251 rooms are all located above the 12th floor. They all feature a mini-bar, direct-dial telephone, personal safe, air conditioning, wi-fi, twin or a king-size bed, rain shower and bathrobe and slippers. There are 4 classes of room available, 224 AVANI River View Rooms of 29 sqm, 20 AVANI River Junior Suites of 55sqm with full-size bath tub, where guests can relax and enjoy views of the river. The Avani River View 3-bedroom suite, the largest, measures 167sqm.

The hotel boasts an impressive 4,500sqm of versatile events space. The Grand Ballroom, on the 10th floor, has 11-metre-high ceilings and is able to cater for 1,500 delegates theatre style and up to 80 exhibition booths. It can also be divided into four different spaces along with the unique option of opening up onto a 'show kitchen'. The hotel will be able to cater for any function from a board meeting for 18 in either the Breeze or Horizon rooms or up to 780 for a banquet in the Grand Ballroom. Pre-function areas will host up to 800 for cocktails.

Together, the two neighbouring hotels will be able to offer 27 meeting rooms.

There will also be over 60 renewed retail outlet stores, restaurants, bars, spas and entertainment outlets adjoining via Riverside Plaza, so guests don't even have to travel into the city.

For more information on the AVANI Riverside Bangkok visit avanihotels.com/riverside-bangkok

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