In 2012 I had the pleasure of staying at the Rembrandt Hotel in Bangkok. Then, I was indeed impressed.
Recently, I undertook a 14 day detailed 'Fact-Finding Tour' of Vietnam, starting in Hanoi and working south to Ho Chi Minh City. That tour was intensive and tiring (as I has expected) and so decided that on its completion, I would fly the short distance to Bangkok and spend a few days basking in the 35 degree temperature and preparing for my return to the UK where the December temperature would hover around 6 degrees.
As I had enjoyed my first stay at this hotel so much and had been made aware of certain up-grades and improvements scheduled for 2013, it wasn't difficult to make my choice to be a guest for a second time.
With that 'basking' at the forefront of my mind – once having eaten breakfast from a bewildering array of food items – and it being the first morning of my stay, I headed for the pool, a sweet smelling bathrobe covering my torso and with two, large, fluffy towels under my arm ready to toss onto one of the comfortable loungers.
It was then that I noticed that the very large swimming pool had undergone a major makeover. It had been completely re-tiled with high quality ceramics which reflected its colour through the clear water. Money well spent indeed as verified by the many favourable comments by those with the same 'basking' idea as myself.
The changes didn't stop at the pool.
Now, the hotel can boast two new restaurants. Senor Pico – a vibrant mexican style one on the 1st floor and the Red Pepper – what else but one serving authentic Thai dishes – also on the 1st floor. Add these to the already popular Da Vinci (Italian of course) and the Rang Mahal on the 26th floor – the most popular Indian Restaurant in the city (if its discerning Indian clientele is anything to go by) – and hotel guests have a dining extravaganza to choose from, all housed under one roof!
Rooms are large by any standards and are accessed by four express elevators. When stepping out on any floor, guests are met with wide corridors, fresh orchid decorations and a soft, quiet ambience that is hard to beat.
Use of computers – set aside in the cavernous lobby – are free to use and WiFi is available throughout the hotel.
From early evening onwards guests are treat to real quality music, not from 'musak' machines and broadcast through speakers, but by musicians of exceptional talent. In particular the pianist displays his virtuosity through every genre and the saxophonist wafts his subtle tones, sometimes in concert with his fellow musicians and at other times as a solo artist. It's really hard to drag oneself away, except perhaps for an hour or so while eating a meal?
Located down Soi 18 on the internationally known Sukhumvit Road, the hotel freely provides a Golf Buggy style three wheeler (with a driver of course) from and to that exceptionally busy road with its MRT (overhead railway) station a minute's walk away.
Once there, the world is your oyster. There are huge shopping malls such as Terminal 21, hundreds of shops and street stalls, restaurants galore, clubs, pubs and nightspots. Take your pick and go with the flow.
One of the Rembrandt's best advantages, is, unlike those of similar class and rating located directly on Sukhumvit Road, that the frenetic traffic noise is not noticeable even when sitting out around the pool….and that is a real bonus, believe me.
The hotel has a diverse choice of rooms with a range of prices to suit most pockets, those at the higher end of the scale (but still affordable) are located on the higher floors where guests are invited to use the Executive Lounge, and enjoy a delightful hour or so each evening sipping cocktails and nibbling canapes (free of course). Oh…I nearly forgot…those rooms entitle guests to take breakfast there too!
Finally a word about people. The entire staff work under the quiet authority of Eric Hallin, the General Manager, while Jamie Miller – a dynamic American – has the role of Hotel Manager and on the occasions that I have watched him in action, immerses himself in every facet of the hotel's operation, to the benefit of every guest.
With those two men at the helm I can only envisage their ship sailing smoothly onwards without stabilisers.