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J. W. Marriott in Bangkok

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I travel to Bangkok a lot. From one of the dirtiest cities in the world 12-13 years ago, it’s cleaned up become fancier, more welcoming, more modern and just a wonderful shopping destination and a quick flight from Mumbai! I have therefore shifted a lot of hotels- hotels close to the malls, hotels out of the city… My new favourite however has to be the J.W. Marriott Bangkok.

Two MTR Stops away from Siam and a single stop away from central, this wonderful hotel gives me a bit of sanity from the frenetic mall culture of Bangkok! Towering gloriously above the fashionable Sukhumvit district, this hotel has a good mix of clientele ranging from long staying guests, businessmen to shopaholics like me!

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If you do want to stay at the J.W. – I suggest you stay in the Executive Level rooms. For a very small additional charge you get to use the Lounge.The Lounge in the J.W. is tastefully decorated, spacious and has an indoor and out door sitting area as well as an internet area with a Tv and couches for a more relaxed coffee/ tea. Check-in is done on the 16th floor for Executive Level guests and the check-in is quick and efficient and over a cup of coffee and something to eat.

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The Executive Level rooms are nice,though a tad small. You have free internet access everywhere in the hotel and the speeds are wonderful. For a super-connected social networking geek like me…that’s always a big plus!

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Why do I like the lounge? Well firstly it’s large and the food is amazing! Unlike usual Hotel Lounges the tapas and hot meals vary every day!You have an incredible breakfast with a live egg station, japanese counter, cereal, cheese and bread counters and of course your customary cold cuts , sausages etc. If there’s something missing and you want it- they’ll make it for you! After breakfast , in casephoto 1-1 you get hungry by about 11:30 am or so…there’s always some muffins in the oven or some sandwiches and peanuts for you to grab and go with- along with a takeaway coffee or chilled soft drink/ juice. In the evening The Lounge has an array of drinks and wines. It also has salads, hot and cold tapas and wonderful live stations where burgers are flipped, fish is seared, rolls are made and sushi is rolled. Every night is usually a different theme – so after an American burger night with fries and onion rings (from their New York Steak house downstairs), don’t be surprised to go Japanese (from Tsu the Japanese restaurant) the following evening or Italian… The food is tasty, filling and perfect and after a long day on the streets of Bangkok or in the malls- it’s wonderful to unwind over a drink and fabulous food before you let the Bangkok nightlife draw you in!

Cost-: $260 a night approximately for the Executive Level room!

Best Times To Travel-:  For me …any weekend I need to escape… but generally October to Jan are peak months with the weather being significantly cooler…else Bangkok is perfect for those like me who love the heat!

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A Spa-cation in Pangkor Laut (Malaysia)

It was the ‘no reason except because I love my husband’ vacation! Aditya had been working around the clock and I felt he needed a break! 3 days of spa, pampering, massages and doing nothing I was sure he’d be back to his handsome, happy self in no time! So I knew he’d cheer up with a SPA-cation ( spa vacation!)

That’s why I chose Pangkor Laut Resort! I decided to kidnap my husband and take him to a resort I’d had my eye on for a long time! Off the coast of Malaysia,this  privately owned island located three miles off the West Coast of Malaysia along the Straits of Malacca and is entirely a luxury resort.

From Singapore you must take the budget airline Firefly (the only one which flies to Ipoh) then take a 90 minute luxury car ride to Lumut and then a 30 minute boat ride…! The island arranges for fabulous transport and your spa experience starts literally from the car itself with warm towels, reading materials, snacks and calming music…you are almost immediately transported!! I know that by the end of these transfers you must wonder whether it is actually with it! And it is! Nestled in the glorious lap of natural beauty Pangkor Laut resort is an unmissable experience!

Because Aditya really needed to relax and unwind, I signed us up for the spa package. The Spa bungalows were water bungalows located in the spa section. The bungalows perfectly balanced on stilts above the water provided privacy and incredible romance. The spa section was all about quiet luxury,  private pools and easy access to the spa and all it’s amenities! The spa package ensured that we’d have at least one massage every day lasting over 3 hours….now that may seem a lot to some but the spa package was uber fun (even for a non-spa person like me!). After you had a cup of aromatic green tea, the routine started!

First you had your feet scrubbed. then you wade thru chilly water and rushed through a running stream only to come out on the other side and be assaulted by incredible aromas of fresh spices. Then you bathed Japanese style sitting on stools and pouring mug fulls of water on yourself. Only then did you finally enter the massage area where each day you’d go thru a different massage technique used to calm stress, revitalize you or just to rid toxins from you!

Post the massage you’d have a quick wash and jump into the private pool…and you’re ready to take on the world or just sleep in the sun the way holidays were meant for!

Five restaurants and two bars serving everything from continental, to Malaysian, fresh fish and fabulous sushi- the choices are endless. The island is huge so you pretty much phone for a pick up when you want to travel! This is fun cos we’d end up walking to the shuttle stop post a massage and then taking a nice , romantic walk back to our rooms post a wonderful dinner!

There are lots of wild animals on the island and don’t be surprised if you see a bunch of monkeys fighting over the housekeeping cart or running away with a pack of biscuits left unattended!

I also booked us an exclusive private 5 course dinner at the Emerald Beach named because of the Emerald waters surrounding it! The dinner was calm, romantic and pretty darn amazing!

Running in the wind with your feet in the sea and your head in the clouds…sometimes that’s what vacations are meant to be… an incredible dream that you never wanna wake up from!

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