Did you know Bangkok was voted the “World’s Best City” by Travel + Leisure in 2012? Bangkok is no doubt one of the most preferred destinations for international travellers, whether for business or pleasure. As the most vibrant capital of exotic Thailand, it combines modern dynamism with classic wonder in a true fusion of East and West. From contemporary high rise buildings to traditional Buddhist temples, from bustling street markets to ritzy upscale shopping malls, from notorious nightlife to a gourmet’s choice of dining; Bangkok is the kind of city where anything is possible.
So, are you planning to visit Bangkok soon? If you are, perhaps you can consider to stay at the Sofitel So Bangkok. Sofitel So Bangkok commands a prime central location on the corner of North Sathorn and Rama IV roads, directly opposite the green expanse of Lumpini Park, the inner city’s green oasis. The unique vantage point offers panoramic views of both the park and the city’s dramatic skyline. In the immediate vicinity of the hotel are the offices of major businesses and financial instituitions, as well as the shopping and nightlife attractions of the Silom area.
BubbaMama was in Bangkok recently and we had the chance to visit Sofitel So Bangkok and experience the wonderful Thai hospitality that the city is renowned for. We would describe the hotel as fresh, fun, young and stylish; from the bold staff uniforms (designed by Christian Lacroix) to the Thai-design interiors. The winning feature of the hotel would no doubt be their floor to ceiling views of the park and sparkling cityscape. We were impressed that most of the hotel staff (including the bellboy who was such an eye candy (hahaha!!!) could speak good English.
Sofitel So Bangkok is currently offering a special Five Elements package that allows guests to experience in one stay the full variety of the hotel’s design innovations. The hotel features themed accommodation focused on the Five Elements – Water, Earth, Wood, Metal and Fire. With the Five Elements package, guests booking a minimum of four nights can choose a different room design for each night of their stay at special discount rates starting from Baht 4,800++. The offer also includes a pack & unpack service and a 20% discount at So Spa, while guests will experience the Fire element with complimentary romantic dinner for two at the hotel’s rooftop Park Society restaurant (excluding beverages). It is definitely worth mentioning that this hotel is Asia’s first hotel to offer a fully connected lifestyle with complete Apple-based digital solutions, including Apple Mini Mac provided in all the rooms.
The hotel offers an exciting selection of innovative restaurants and bars. Most notably is the Red Oven, with its signature French Molteni oven and variety of live cooking stations; Park Society, a magical fine dining venue with stunning city views complemented by the exclusive rooftop private cabanas of HI-SO, and Chocolab which offers simply the finest chocolates in town. BubbaMama had the chance to have dinner at Red Oven situated on the hotel’s 7th floor. Our first impression is that the restaurant is like a World Food Gourmet Market, casual yet interesting. The restaurant offers a really extensive and delicious buffet spread that offers dishes reminiscent of traditional street food fare but given a contemporary twist by Executive Paul Smart, who commands the distinct live cooking stations ranging from a pasta station to a Japanese sushi and Robatayaki bar to a fresh seafood counter, organic salad corner and a desserts spread (there were 9 different ice cream/sorbets flavours to choose from!). Just in case you were wondering if we were given a free meal to give such good reviews, the answer is No! We paid for the dinner buffet and it was worth every cent of it!
If dining indoors is not so much your scene, guests at the Sofitel So Bangkok are invited to enjoy their meals al fresco with the introduction of three picnic options. Picnics at the Solarium Oasis Lawn, situated on the hotel’s 10th floor adjacent to the swimming pool, can be organised any time of the day. Guests can also opt for a sun-kissed picnic in the late afternoon with occasional dips to cool off in the 33 metre-long infinity pool, or have a romantic nibble with your special one beneath the stars with the backdrop of the sparkling city nightscape.
The third picnic option (which is what Bubbamama chose to try) is the picnic at Lumpini Park. Guests can order a picnic basket-to-go, borrow a bicycle from the hotel and enjoy the picnic spread under the shade of lush mature trees or sit at one of the pavilions by the Lumpini Lake inside the 142 acre Lumpini Park just opposite to the hotel. Bubbamama spoke to the Executive Chef Paul Smart on the inspirations of the picnic baskets. To complement the unique settings, Chef Paul Smart has carefully curated three “best of” picnic baskets featuring the most exquisite treats from Asia, Italy and France. We chose to sample the Asian basket. Our basket turned out to look like a Japanese Bento box with – maki and nigiri sushi, fresh Vietnamese spring rolls, chicken and beef satay, selection of Thai sweet delicacies and seasonal fruit skewers. Seriously, I am not much of a spring roll fan but the spring rolls in the Bento box were beyond tasty and delicious! It was crunchy, tasty yet very light on the palate, total perfect blend of tastes! The lemongrass tea that was served really complemented and matched the food served in the Bento box.
So, how was the picnic at Lumpini Park? It was definitely an out of this world, utterly fabulous experience. Especially for those of you who have young children, you most definitely must choose this picnic option for you and your Bubbas! The Lumpini Park is really gorgeous with lots of flora and fauna, fresh air, 2 huge lakes (where you can also rent a Swan boat ride for only 40 baht) and plenty of space for active bubbas to run about. A definite must mention is that the park is really children friendly – there are like so many playgrounds with slides and swings situated all over the park. It is really amazing that such an oasis exists right smack in the middle of busy and bustling Bangkok city. Thumbs up to Sofitel So for creating this unique al fresco dining option!