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A love letter to the hoteliers of Bangkok

Lifestyle

A love letter to the hoteliers of Bangkok

Inspire is delighted to have teamed up with Expat Life magazine to bring you more great content to do with Thailand

As we start to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic here in Thailand, some of us might have the confidence to consider a limited form of domestic travel. But before you look to escape our City of Angels, have you thought of a Bangkok staycation?

I would love to highlight our experiences in Bangkok hotels over the past few months. A handful of hoteliers, often because of their long term guests, remained steadfastly committed to keeping their hotels open, at this difficult time.

This letter is a testament and a thank you to the hotel industry staff from Housekeeping to the General Managers who, when their livelihoods were put at risk, turned up day after day, to greet a handful of guests. Their determination to ‘keep calm and carry on,’ and to provide an outstanding guest experience, when the majority of hotels were forced to close their doors, has been a bright light in our coronavirus days here in Bangkok.

Thailand’s Emergency Decree (20 March – 31 May)

When the Thai government issued the emergency decree on 25 March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we respected this decision. Home working has become the norm, and I have not walked outside my condo building for six weeks. I drive to the supermarket once per week and I support local food establishments for the delivery of takeaway food.

Every Saturday night however, we switched our social distancing life inside our condo, for a well chosen and safe retreat. The criteria was to find forward thinking hotels who had embraced the challenges of operating in such times. We wanted to see how they would rise to the occasion, how they would think creatively in terms of guest experience. In short, how they could turn the negatives of the pandemic into a learning experience for their staff and potentially develop any valued guests into life long ambassadors.

The list of Bangkok hotels remaining open was small and became an ever decreasing list. As March and April turned into May, more smaller boutique hotel closures followed.

Health and wellbeing of guests and staff.

Our first priority was our personal wellbeing. We needed hotels who could demonstrate extraordinary attention to detail with regard to the health and safety of their staff and guests.

I looked for hotels that had a clear COVID-19 policy for both guests and employees. I checked my trusted Trip Advisor for those who scored highly for cleanliness. We welcomed knowing that some hotels worked to an alternative staff roster and allocated rooms for staff onsite. This reduced the risk to staff, through keeping them onsite and off public transport and away from any potential external COVID-19 exposure.

For any hotels that I felt I needed extra clarification on their cover protection I arranged for a spot check to see how I was treated on arrival. Was I let onto the premises without having my temperature checked? Was I offered hand sanitiser on arrival? I politely declined any cooling towel that was not disposable. Did all staff wear masks and most importantly of all how were the other guests operating? Were they vigilant wearing masks to/from the dining area for instance?

The importance of the hotel room: bathrooms, balconies, gardens and great views!

As we were to remain respectful of the Government’s request to ‘stay home’ we looked for resort hotels, or hotels which offered an away from it all feel, with some form of outdoor (inside the hotel) experience. Having our own balcony became important! We wanted to gain a different (social distancing) view of Bangkok.

Normally I am not one to care much for what we see outside the window, give me a lovely interior any day. We are not usually the types to stay put in a hotel room. During these stays, the view was a deal breaker. Oh, and as we travelled everywhere with our yoga mats, we needed a room large enough to set up our zen calm.

Most hotels seemed to be offering upgraded rooms, and often we found ourselves skipping round the room in delight. The Anantara Siam Bangkok offered us a corner suite room overlooking the Royal Bangkok Sports Club which was one particular highlight.

Oh and a huge bathroom with a gorgeous big bathtub was important too. When you staying in your room virtually 24/7 you use all the facilities!

We looked for staycation hotels with an urban resort experience and large grounds and garden areas and found we particularly loved watching an unusually calm life down on the Chao Phraya River. How good is that river without the noisy disco boats that normally pulsate up and down? You could seriously perform a whole meditation sequence watching the humungous loads being pulled along the Chao Phraya River by the tiny tug boats.

Our staycation survival kit

On arrival we performed an extra clean of rooms ourselves. In short there was no point switching our careful social distancing condo life, only to contract COVID-19 on a Saturday night.

My staycation survival kit starts with my anti bacterial spray, my plastic gloves, my alcohol wipes and my hand sanitiser and ends with my harmony chakra balancing spray, massage oil, face packs, body scrubs and scented candles!

Read more at https://expatlifeinthailand.com/health-and-beauty/a-love-letter-to-the-hoteliers-of-bangkok/

Source: Expat Life Thailand

Inspire is delighted to have teamed up with Expat Life magazine to bring you more great content to do with Thailand

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Nina has worked for Inspire and Choice Group Asia since 2011 and loves to party when she can!

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