Ringing in 2012 in Bangkok

This year I got a great rate on a suite in DC. Last year I took advantage of a mistake rate at the Conrad Bangkok – the one bedroom deluxe suite was going for 17,500 points + ~$55 a night. The deal came up in June, and I jumped on it, figuring one of my friends would be willing to trek to Thailand with me to take advantage of it (I wasn’t wrong).

The suite was great with every room having a wall of windows. It was laid out almost in a shotgun house style with the rooms leading into each other. There was a half bath immediately off the foyer, a large sitting area/den/dining room that looked out on the Bangkok skyline.

The bedroom was pretty large, with a large walk in closet and a long bathroom.

I loved the little spotted rubber ducky elephant that accompanied the tub. I did not like that the bathroom windows immediately faced a business building. A little creepy.

Our room also afforded a fantastic view of the many Bangkok New Year’s celebrations and after twenty tries I finally got a picture that semi-captured it.

The lobby was large and decorated for Christmas, but not really a place I cared to spend time in. The club lounge was much more inviting with great views of the skyline and fantastic Thai silk accent pillows.

I was lucky enough to have an adventurous traveling companion on this trip, so in addition to having fun shopping for faux Prada & Mulberry bags on the 6th floor of MBK, we experienced some pretty cool things I’d missed on earlier trips

One of the best places we went to was the least obvious – Coffee Beans by Dao. We originally visited to try the CNN acclaimed carrot cake but experienced the best cashew chicken I’ve ever had in my life. When I think cashew chicken I think small hard cashews in a heavily sauced chicken dish. This was sparsely sauced with giant tasty cashews and large chunks of spicy pepper. AMAZING.

Layered Crepe Cake at Secret Garden – the Thai food was good, but what blew our minds was the crepe cake. I counted over 50 paper thin layers of crepe with a scraping of whipped cream.

And lest you think all we did was eat, we spent plenty of time at the spa. I love doing the 5* hotel spas in Bangkok where I can get massages I’ve never be able to afford in the US for <$100. But this time we ventured farther than the hotel and discovered Health Land Spa & Massage. A massage chain (like Massage Envy) that offered two hours of thai massage for $15USD. While not as posh as the hotels I was used to, the surroundings were very nice. The one thing to be aware is that not all massage therapists there speak English, and they tend to get impatient if you’re not quick to anticipate what they want you to do.  But it didn’t matter to me. For $7.50 an hour, I’ll spend all day there :)

Among other sight-seeing we also tried the river tour which was interesting and heartbreaking since we arrived shortly after the floods.

While we toured some of the side canals we heard stories of families who were able to live in the second floor of their homes while the first floor was flooded and more tragically of the poor families who had to live in their flooded single floor homes because they had nowhere else to go. Even a couple of weeks later boat traffic risked generating waves that would swamp the recovering water-side abodes.

The trip was a great way to start the year and as much as I love my current room, I can’t help wishing I was back at the Conrad!

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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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