A Staycation with Shangri-La Bangkok

As a photographer and a social media content creator, one of the things I look forward to and enjoy the most is when I get the chance to share experiences and moments from my home country. There is something not only personally fulfilling about promoting and celebrating one's culture and background, but also patriotic when it comes to sharing the intimate experiences and traditions that you have been privileged with while you were growing up. To kick off this summer, I had the opportunity to once again live out this philosophy, through a staycation with Shangri-La Bangkok. 

The Hotel

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok like all Shangri-La Hotels, the luxury accommodation brand known around the world and one of the top names when it comes to 5-star experiences, delivers on their promise: "Hospitality from the heart." From the very moment you enter the spacious lobby to the moment you leave, you are greeted with the friendly and warm smiles and cared for by the impeccable team of staff — from concierge to housekeeping, bartender to lifeguard, the personal attention and gracious Thai hospitality ensures your comfort and every need is always looked after.

Situated in the heart of the city, along the Chao Phraya river, the hotel offers guests a quick escape from the busy metropolitan into a tranquil, tropical paradise, nonetheless, guests can quickly reach the Bangkok's shopping district, chinatown, central business district, the Grand Palace and other cultural landmarks.  

The hotel itself is composed of two different wings: the Shangri-La Wing, a modern, youthful take on Thai design infused with rich silk and traditional Thai decorations, and the Krungthep Wing, a classic, timeless wing for guests who prefer something slightly more mature, and sophisticated yet still embody luxurious Thai hospitality. 

In my time, staying at Shangri-La, I had the opportunity to enjoy some of the hotels facilities. From serene early morning laps in one of the hotel's two swimming pools, to evening workout sessions in the state-of-the-art gym. There is something very peaceful about an early morning swim just as the city arises, and to do so in such a space right next to the river, truly added a sense of relaxation and refreshment. 

Breakfast at NEXT2 Café

I must confess, one of my favorite parts about staying in hotels are the breakfast offerings, and Shangri-La does not disappoint. Whether you prefer the classic continental selections, the international delicacies, or would like to try out something more local, NEXT2 offers a wide variety for you to choose from. From Sushi to Dim Sum, Indian Curries to an Omelette Station, everything you might crave for can be found here. You can also choose to enjoy your breakfast in the outdoor patio seatings overlooking the charms of the river, as water-taxis and riverboats pass by. 

Dinner at Salathip

The city of Bangkok is always full of life and as the sun begins to set and the city lights begin to glow, it is nice to sometime take a small pause to enjoy the moment.  It is easy for your senses to get overwhelmed in this city, and after a full day exploring, guests can enjoy authentic Thai flavors in an unique and exquisite dining experience by the river at Salathip with classical Thai dance performances. 

New Year's Eve in New York - HotelTonight x Intercontinental Barclays New York

New York City truly holds a special place in my heart, and will always be one of my favorite cities to visit. There’s a sense of magic in the air every time I step out into the city to start my day. The people, their fashion, the coffeeshops, the street performers,the tourists, the lights, all woven together in a beautiful symphony that is New York.

Growing up in Bangkok, Thailand, which is half a world away, my family and I would always spend lunch on New Year’s Day watching the ball drop in Times Square through our television. Even though we weren’t living in New York, nor anywhere close, somehow from the comfort of our couches it became a part of our tradition and our lives. Watching the New Year’s Eve celebration and ball drop in Times Square, year after year, has had me always longing to one day experience it in person. This year, I finally got to see it through.

Sometimes you don’t really see it when the stars align and things turn out the way they’re supposed to, not till way after at least. After this experience, I finally understand what it means to turn life’s lemons into lemonade. It was very last minute when my trip back home for the holidays got cancelled, but I am glad I took this opportunity to finally cross off something that has been on my bucket list for a really long time and thanks to HotelTonight, my time ringing in the new year was nothing short of magical.

The hotel I stayed with during my trip was the Intercontinental New York Barclay - one of my favorites that I’ve ever stayed with so far. The lobby was decorated with a beautiful Christmas tree and there were festive holiday decorations throughout making my stay feel that much more special. The room was very spacious and the bed was so comfortable that I had a really hard time getting out of it the next morning. The staff was also very friendly and helpful - even getting me checked in way before their usual time so that I could go get my early start in Times Square for the celebration. What was also really great was that the hotel was only a few blocks away from Times Square, making it an easy commute to and from the celebration. After standing for hours awaiting the clock to strike midnight, I was really thankful for having a short commute back.

Overall, my trip with HotelTonight turned out to be one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had. Not only was it so great that HotelTonight was able to accommodate my last minute travels, it also gave me the chance to live out a dream, and wake up to the new year in one of my favorite places in the world. If I could, I’d do it all over again.