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Date of travel

January, 2019

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Culture / Sightseeing

When we received the itinerary for our trip to Thailand, we thought the hotel in Ayutthaya, a Siamese Royal capital, was called Ludia. However, on arrival in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, we learned Ayutthaya had previously been known as Ayudhya which was similar to “iuDia.”:http://www.iudia.com/

The boutique hotel has 13 individual rooms, offering either river or garden view. We were lucky to be upgraded to the Ok-kun suite, named after the Siamese diplomat Ok-khun Chamnan Chaichong who visited France and Rome on an embassy in 1688.
The first part of our suite was large with squashy sofa, desk and chair. The flooring throughout was polished terracotta tiles, but a hessian rug with black stencil geometric lines in various directions was a real feature.

Our bedroom followed with a comfortable double bed. There was a large TV opposite along with an October 2018 TV guide, which wasn’t much help as we were there in January 2019. Beside the bedside lamps, was a lighting console and on our last night, we finally established how to control the vast number of lights dotted around. There was effective, if a little noisy, AC in both the bedroom and ante room and complimentary Wi-Fi was available all over the hotel.

The next area had two double sinks and plenty of space for toiletries. Opposite was a large hanging rail and shelf underneath for our suitcases. Interestingly two cotton robes were hung on the only two coat hangers provided. More shelving and a towel rail would have been useful. This area also housed the mini bar, safe and hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities and useful plug points for charging.

There was a separate loo and to the side, and in another room with large windows, a deep bath and huge shower: which once again lacked towel rails. The bath/shower room had electric blinds for privacy.

Overall it was a splendid, sumptuous room with lots of china objects in glass display cases and interesting wall decorations. With a few coat hangers or hooks and towel rails, it would have been perfect. Oh and perhaps an more up to date TV guide!

We had a large decked terrace overlooking the Chao Phraya river and Wat Phutthaisawan on the opposite bank. It was relaxing to sit and watch all manner of boats pass. In particular, we loved being so near to the strings of huge, low barges being guided by small tugs at either end. When we saw these later in Bangkok from the 18th floor or our riverside hotel, they looked tiny. There were also slow-moving cruisers serving meals with a side of music, and in stark contrast, long tailed boats flashing past.

Breakfast was available from 7am in the coffee shop at the front of the hotel. We were served freshly squeezed orange juice and helped ourselves to cereals and fruit from the counter. There was a lovely range of fruit including dragon fruit, peeled tangerines, water melon, mango and custard apple. A menu gave us the choice of an English or Asian breakfast. The first came with bacon, eggs of your choice, sausage, tomato and baked beans, whilst the latter had several options involving rice or noodles. All were good and huge. Toast, with excellent jam and marmalade, was served and coffee was strong and hot.

On a couple of days, we had lunch in the coffee shop which provided simple snacks like spring rolls, satay and sandwiches.

The hotel had a reasonably sized swimming pool and loungers for relaxing with complimentary bicycles available for the more active. We were the former.

Helen Jackson

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