Bangkok is not — no matter what they said in “Chess” — a one-night kind of town. And those looking to make the city their oyster check into the Peninsula, an extravagant, resort-sized property in the middle of the action in the Thon Buri District, on the banks of the Chao Phraya river.
Known for its swanky river taxi and traditional Thai treatments at its sprawling spa, the 370-room hotel (rates from $470) is bucking the town’s rep as the Amsterdam of Aisa.
Its latest effort is a recently launched suite of new cultural and wellness wonders aimed at luring the “Eat, Pray, Love” self-care crowd out of Bali and into a city better known for fast living.
Here’s a look at the healthy fun.
The hotel has reopened Mei Jiang, a fine-dining restaurant with a menu of Cantonese classics, with a new plant-based Chinese menu. Aiming at “mindful eaters,” it’s serving up traceable produce, rare ingredients and organic vegetables. It looks something like this: double-boiled yellow ear fungus soup with sweet corn, carrot and chestnut. Pair not with wine, but with rare Thai teas.
The hotel is now hosting three wellness festivals each year, in addition to its yoga and boxing events, along with kombucha- and sourdough-making classes. The retreat-style trips will be three days of physical, mental and nutritional experiences. Drift off during a singing bowl meditation. Focus during a “sound of stillness” class. Join a consciousness art workshop. Or just import your yoga and Pilates vibes.
These may not be cheap thrills, but you’ll love them anyway. The hotel is now giving its guests “10 Amazing Experiences” — essentially cultural excursions far off the beaten tourist track. Examples include visiting hidden flower markets, sacred temples and ancient ruins rarely visited by outsiders; joining the daily alms rituals with local monks at dawn; heading to the temple where Thai massage was born; or cycling a dozen miles through the bustling streets of Bangkok to an old bronze workshop.
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