Saturday, August 13, 2011

Peninsula Experience (^_^)

Contrary to what you all might have thought, I did not stay in Peninsula Bangkok during my entire trip to Bangkok. For one, the location is far away from the shopping district.. on the opposite side of Chao Phraya river to be exact! It is possible to take Sky Train (Saphan Taksin station) to Pratunam but we didn't want to waste time taking trains. Secondly, I have set a budget for this trip (hey! I'm not filthy rich so budget is a must). After securing MAS tickets for only RM800 all-in, I booked Baiyoke Sky Hotel where we stayed for a few days.. it took us only 5-10 min walk to get to Platinum Mall. Here is the picture of Peninsula Hotel Bangkok which I took while taking their boat to the opposite side of river. This hotel stands majestically from where we are! Look closely at the hotel and you might actually notice that the hotel is iconically W-shaped designed.

After checking out of Baiyoke Hotel, we took taxi to Peninsula Bangkok which was located in a quieter Khlong San district. Upon reaching the hotel, memories from 8 years ago flashed back. As a matter of fact, this was actually my second time staying in this hotel. My first time was with Thule delegations back in September 2003. Thule's Asia Pacific Conference was held in Peninsula Bangkok and therefore I got the opportunity to stay in one of the top hotels in Bangkok. I could only remember that the room was exceptional and I had been telling Jenn so many times when we planned our Bangkok trip in June 2011.

Hotel staffs were very polite and courteous - if you are those who rate customer service highly, you definitely won't be disappointed. They literally took care of everything from the moment you stepped out from taxi. Our bags were quickly whisked away to luggage room while we proceeded to the check-in counter.

Love the black Bentley Continental GT :)

Mighty lion statues guarding its entrance

I just love the ever colourful and vibrant orchids

Do not expect to see contemporary and modern designs inside the hotel. You could even see antique furnitures placed around the hotel lobby (such as this one). However, the hotel gave both of us cosy feeling...

Now this is their boat service that will take you to the opposite side of the river.. it's FOC by the way. It is also the only way to get across the river should you decide to take Sky Train. My advise is DO NOT take taxi as most likely you will get stuck in the traffic jam on Saphan Taksin bridge linking both sides.

The room... ah yes! THE ROOM - how could I miss out? I wanted to settle for Deluxe room at the beginning but after realising that there was not much difference in term of rate in order to get the Balcony Room, I opted for the latter. The bed greeted us as soon as we entered the room - it was as good as Westin's Heavenly Bed. I could fall asleep easily on this bed.

View across the room from the bed.

2 separate basins for her and him - so I don't have to fight with Jenn who took her own sweet time to make-up and brush teeth/wash face.

For those who are always on the go and busy, they do have fax machine and high speed internet access in the room for you to use.

A little surprise from the management of Peninsula Bangkok - a box of chocolate! Yummy..

Breakfast at their Riverside Cafe is always an exciting affair. Part of the reason why I wanted to stay in Peninsula Bangkok was due to their breakfast affair! Why? I shall get to that part later...

They adopt an open kitchen concept right outside the cafe where the staffs prepare food on the spot to make sure that everything is fresh!

Jenn loves her Egg Benedict - I have yet to find another hotel that prepares this dish on the spot in Malaysia. Oh yes they do serve Egg Florentine too but we didn't manage to try that.

We did not manage to get a table inside the cafe - which was came as surprise for us as we never expect the breakfast crowd to be that many in this hotel (a sign of a very popular hotel despite its price tag). So I took some pictures - starting with pastry and bread section!

Their cold cut and salad section. They do have other sections that serve local Thai and Chinese dishes but I was not really looking forward to that.

My main objective is this - BACON! Crispy and piping hot bacon which is always replenished to ensure the patrons did not have to wait. During my stay in Baiyoke Sky Hotel, they could not make enough bacon to meet the demand from the breakfast crowd. I had to stand there for 5-10 minutes just to get the bacon!

My first plate of breakfast - loads of bacon, pork sausages, roasted potato wedges, grilled tomato and shitake mushroom.

Jenn opted for legs of ham (not those generic ham), waffles, scrambled egg and some salad

I couldn't stand the sight of the legs of ham - I helped myself to a second round shortly after!

Even the fruits tasted fresh from the market directly onto our table.

Signed Leo & Jenn from Peninsula Hotel Bangkok!

Leo's verdict - staying a night at this hotel cost at least RM700-800 for their Superior Room alone. FOr the Balcony room, all I can say is that I paid close to RM1k! My review on the hotel picked from tripadvisor site "This was actually my second time staying in Peninsula Bangkok, having stayed here once 8 years ago on business purpose. It was my first time that prompted me to stay here again for the second time, as I was very impressed by the level of service shown by this hotel. The level of service has not dropped but further improved to my delight!
I have written to the hotel (through the agent) that I would be celebrating my 5th anniversary with my wife this time, and we were delighted with the little surprise when we checked into our balcony room which overlooks the Chao Phraya river. Having said that, my wife was very happy & we had a wonderful time in this hotel. The food at Thiptara was exceptionally good and even though we didn't make any reservation that day, the staff let us to sit at the table directly next to the river since we were quite early (the next reservation was at 8pm). May I say that the breakfast at the Riverside Restaurant was equally good? I have yet to find another hotel that make Egg Benedict on the spot!
Location-wise it is located on the other side of the river but they make up with what I called the "Peninsula Experience". Boat service is provided to take you to the other side of river where BTS train station is located. Having stayed in city centre (another hotel) a few days earlier for shopping purpose, we decided to enjoy our last day in Bangkok being pampered by Peninsula Bangkok and definitely not disappointed!"

Peninsula Hotel Bangkok
333 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan
Bangkok 10600, Thailand
02-861 2888

1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thiptara @ Peninsula Bangkok

On our last night in Bangkok, both of us agreed that we would stay in the hotel and enjoyed a quiet dinner at one of their restaurants. We have read about rave reviews on their Chinese restaurant, Mei Jiang, but since we already had Chinese food in Chinatown.. we passed and opted for their Thiptara Thai restaurant instead. This time we didn't make any plans and the decision was kinda last minute so we didn't make any booking.

We showed up at the reception at 6.30pm to enquire on tables next to Chao Phraya river but were disapppointed when they told us that all the tables were booked for the night. That guy (forgot his name) might have sensed our disappointment and therefore looked at the booking sheet one more time. He then promptly informed us that he could arrange one table (yay!) for us but politely reminded us that we could only have the table until 8pm as the guests were expected to arrive at that time. Since we hardly took more than 1 hour for dinner, we said YES!

The sun had already set and therefore it was not that hot and it was not long until the night fell and all the buildings were lit up brightly. Can you apot Jenn in the picture?

Complimentary marinated cashew nuts

While waiting for our dishes to be served, we asked the waitress to take a picture of us.

As the night fell, all the buildings across the river were lit up... revealing a breathtaking night scene from where we sat. Settings - f22, 15sec, ISO100! The result?

Refreshing concoction of lime & mint leaves juice

Khao Phad Thiptara (360 baht) - essentially the fried Jasmine rice with chilly paste, shrimp and salty egg. Being a sucker for fried rice.. I found this dish full of wok hei and moderately spicy. With a dash of lime juice, every bite was heavenly (at least for me). Jenn shared the same sentinent as I was...

However she felt no "kick" in the fried rice and asked for all available sauces from our attending waitress - she gave us 4 of them!

Phad-Phak-Ka-Nah Moo Grob (280 baht) - seriously without Engligh translation at the bottom of every dish, I would be scratching my head figuring out what the heck the dish was... wok fried kale with crispy pork!

Tom Yum Goong Mai Nam (440 baht) hit the jackpot! As usual, the soup has what I was looking for - spicy and sourish, fresh river prawns and distinctive lemongrass flavour.

Clear winner of the night belonged to this particular dish - Gaeng Phed Ped Yang or roasted duck simmered in red curry & sweet basil! The curry was thick, creamy and packed with all the required flavours. We could have ordered second helping of rice just because of this dish!

By the time we finished our dinner, I looked at my watch and it was only 7.45pm. Charged the dinner to my room and went back straight to our room. Actually we could have gone to the bar next to Thiptara for a glass of wine or two. The reason??? To enjoy the breathtaking view of Bangkok city from our balcony - settings f22, 15sec, ISO100! We even bought two bottles of Singha beer and some snacks while chatting the night away. Romantic?? You bet it is :)

Next post - Peninsula Hotel Bangkok!

1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.