- ANA First Class SFO-NRT
- Thai Airways First Class NRT-BKK
- Exploring Bangkok, Royal Orchid Sheraton
- Thai Airways Business Class BKK-DPS
- Bali Part I: Kuta, Padangbai
- Bali Part II: Gili Trawangan, Seminyak
- Thai Airways BKK First Class Lounge and Spa
- Thai Airways First Class BKK-NRT, UA First Class NRT-SFO
We headed to the taxi stand after clearing customs and arrived at the Royal Orchid Sheraton after a 30-40 minute cab ride. There was a bit of a "lost in translation" moment between us and the cab driver since there are a couple of Sheratons in Bangkok, so would recommend that you bring a copy of your itinerary with the address to provide to the driver.
Since we were arriving so late at night check-in was a breeze and we were upgraded to a suite by way of my friend's SPG Platinum status. We joked that for 3,000 SPG points a night this hotel was a steal, since that typically will only get you a Four Points Sheraton near an airport back at home.
Overall I thought that the hotel was very good, with the only real drawback being the location. There isn't a lot to do in the immediate vicinity, which means that you'll probably be taking taxis many places. This had a couple drawbacks, the first being the time it took to get to other areas (e.g. up to an hour to Sukhumvit during rush hour) and also having to deal with the haggling process with taxi drivers. We were quick to learn to not be afraid to jump out of taxis and find another if they aren't willing to use the meter or negotiate a reasonable price.
|suite living room|
|welcome gift - white chocolate elephant|
The next day we woke up bright and early due to jet lag and headed down to the breakfast buffet. There was a great spread of eggs/omelet station, traditional thai food, pastries, and fruit and yogurt. After breakfast, we headed over around 9:30 am to the Mandarin Oriental where we had made a spa appointment. I never that I'd be getting a massage that early in the morning, but for someone who is still jet lagged, it was perfect. The Mandarin Oriental is located just a short 10-minute walk from the Sheraton, and one of the main reasons we booked the spa treatment there was due to the hotel's iconic status from The West Wing (my friend is a big fan). I had never seen the show since I'm more of a The Wire/Breaking Bad fan myself, but I wasn't about to let that stop us from going. Overall, the hotel definitely did not disappoint and from the moment you walk in you get the feeling of luxury.
What's interesting is that the spa and gym are actually not located at the hotel, but instead across the river. There is a boat shuttle that will take you across and only take a matter of minutes. When we arrived at the spa and were quickly greeted and offered a cold towel and iced tea. We actually arrived about an hour early since we thought that there would be time to shower and steam in a communal area ahead of time. This actually threw off the staff since it is not like spas here in the US and traditionally people are expected to arrive right on time for their appointments. We quickly figured out the reason why as each room is setup as its own private area where the entire spa visit is self-contained. We had each booked the 90 minute jet lag massage, and it was honestly one of the best I've ever had in my life. Afterwards, if felt like I was walking on clouds the rest of the day.
|hotel-seeing - lebua hotel from hangover 2|
|view from lebua roofttop dome|
|mandarin oriental lobby decorations|
|boat shuttle across the river|
|mandarin oriental spa|
|treatment room sink area|