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LUXURY HOTELS: The Peninsula Bangkok
Style: Sleek, classy hotel
The Scene:  Landscaped surrounds on the banks of Chao Praya River in Thonburi, Bangkok

Seen in the lobby: Bangkok's elite, leisured tourists

THIS STUNNING hotel from the peerless Peninsula Hotels portfolio has just celebrated 15 years in its prime position on Bangkok's River of the Kings. The Peninsula casts a cordial eye across the river to her near neighbour and friendly rival in the high-end stakes - the legendary Mandarin Oriental Bangkok.
It is a given that you will be scooped up - in the genteel sense - from the airport in one of the hotel's fleet of BMW 7 series or Rolls Royce Spur. You will be handed a cold towel, mineral water, a magazine should you choose - and whisked expertly through Bangkok's traffic to the hotel (45 minutes)
Ah! Arrival. Seeing the proud white lion Door God at the hotel's entrance, and the towering orchid alongside, is a wonderfully welcoming greeting. As with all Peninsula hotels, check-in is seamless and usually takes place in your de-luxe room or suite while you sip a jasmine tea and inhale the perfume of tiny white floral blooms threaded together and offered as a traditional greeting.
the peninsula suite
the peninsula suite
peninsual bangkok garden
thai suite
peninsula bangkok hotel boat
thai salas flank peninsula bangkok pool
the serene swim pool of peninsula hotel
We are perfectly at home in our Grand De-Luxe room with mesmerising views over the busy river and its endless stream of traffic: heavily-laden barges, noisy long tail boats (hang yao) trailing monster wakes, various tourist craft, and of course the Peninsula's own boats which ferry guests to and fro across the river. The boats - restored rice barges - are so adorable we want to take one home.
Our room has lovely Thai touches which include glistening teak floors, luxurious silk furnishings and original Asian antique at pieces. The Peninsula has 370 luxurious guestrooms and suites including the Peninsula Suite, four themed suites and 60 one-bedroom suites. Each is equipped with state-of-the-art electronic systems including complimentary wired and wireless high-speed Internet access.
We amble down to The River Café for breakfast, and to feast our eyes on the ever-changing river scene and observe the hotel's guests who are a mix of locals, and international business and leisure travellers. En route, a perusal of the smart boutiques - including the hotel's own boutique which sells their stylish merchandise, alongside Jim Thompson's Silk Shop and others - deserves close inspection.
We are also captivated by the abundant herb garden which provides ingredients for spa-based aromatherapy massages and healthy Naturally Peninsula meals.
Guests participating in Peninsula Academy program can attend an introduction to The Joy of Thai Cooking which offers step-by-step demonstrations, a visit to a local market  (by the Peninsula's own Tuk-Tuk and white-suited chauffeur) and an exquisite lunch at Thiptara restaurant under the magnificent Banyan tree in the hotel's gardens.
But now, I am heading for my favourite spot where I am perfectly content to while away hours  -  one of the salas which flank the superb three-tiered swimming pool which creates the illusion of cascading into the river below.   

Check in: The Peninsula Bangkok, 333 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan, Bangkok 1060, Thailand.

Ultimate Luxury:  Private Dinner for two in the Peninsula's Paribatra Aviation Lounge on the 37th floor.
Most Indulgent Moment: A helicopter scenic ride from the hotel's rooftop helipad to Hua Hin, for a wine tasting, followed by an elephant ride.
Insider Secrets: Up a mossy path, behind a blue door the Elysian Tea House is the go-to spot for organic and exotic teas.
The Little Things: Grooming items, including shoe bag, shoe trees (after guest has sent shoes for polishing), shoe horn and suit brush, beautifully laid out in the dressing room for Sir and Madam.
Junior Luxies: Heaps. Peninsula Kid's Academy offers junior chef classes and Thai Painting classes where they can create an umbrella, fan, T-shirt or shoulder-bag to impress the folk back home. The hotel also offers the "Pen 10", an insider's guide on 10 best kid-selected things to do around Bangkok.
Dent in the platinum:
Luxury Hotels Link: www.peninsula.com
To mark Peninsula Bangkok's 15 years in style, the hotel has launched 'Fifteen Facets' a special package featuring 15 unique Peninsula experiences until October 2014.
The package comprises:
-  Fast track welcome at Suvarnabhumi Airport 
-  BMW limousine roundtrip transfer (Suvarnabhumi Airport - hotel
-  Grand Deluxe Room for two 
-  Daily Breakfast for two at River Cafe & Terrace 
-  Relaxed Lunch for two at The Pool 
-  Herbal Discovery: Discover the secrets of Thai herbs 
-  The Peninsula Afternoon Tea for two 
-  Exclusive Dining Experience at Chefs' Table, Mei Jiang Restaurant 
-  Yoga Lesson at Thiptara 
-  The Joy of Thai Cooking: An introduction to Thai cuisine 
-  Tuk Tuk Tour of Klongsan 
-  Asiatique The Riverfront Visit by Peninsula BoatThe Peninsula Academy Footprint from the Past 
-  Late Check-out until 6:00 pm
Maggy Oehlbeck 2/5/14
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