For this escape we journey just a handful of Skytrain stops away to find a new cityscape and a new Bangkok. We leave behind our somewhat suburban Sukhumvit location, to find ourselves in Bangkok’s shiny commercial centre, snugged up at the Intercontinental Hotel. We are located smack in the centre of Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong area, one of the busiest and tallest cityscapes of the city, an area known best for its unmatched shopping malls and entertainment. This quick getaway is for Fanfan’s pleasure, having just finalized her exams, she is due a lavishing with her three favourite things; swank hotels, steak and wine dinners and shopping. The Intercontinental Bangkok Hotel is perfect for this and for me it also has its perks. Situated on the doorstep of Bangkok’s top malls, I have no obligation to escort her, hold her bags, and endure all them mind-numbing shopping conversations. Instead I remain snug inside the elegant rooms of the Intercontinental Hotel, tucked up in a bed which would be best described as ‘a cloud’. Few beds ever come this comfortable but if you feel you can better the cloud-like experience there is a ‘Pillow Menu’ to peruse with 13 different pillows to choose from; from Japanese Igusa pillows to Natural Rubber Pillows?? (100% rubber). They no doubt cover all bases here. So for the day I lie in my cloud looking out over city skyline views. I empty fruit bowls, flick through movie reruns, and enjoy laziness as Fanfan skips happy through surrounding malls.
The Ratchaprasong Area
The Intercontinental Hotel is situated in Bangkok’s commercial district, the shiny centre of Bangkok’s shopping, malls and everything that comes with. From the Intercontinental Hotel we have views over Central World (Bangkok’s largest shopping mall) and further along to Siam Paragon and the other Siam central attractions. From the Intercontinental Hotel we connect to pretty much everywhere in the city centre with the Skytrain line and Skybridge a step or two from the front doors. Being central, however, means we have no need to go anywhere. Despite it’s already impressive facade this area continues to grow and the newest addition to the skyline is found just a few doors down at the Central Embassy Mall, Bangkok’s first “ultra-luxury mall”. However there is more to this area than just shopping, and at any given time of the year there will be some reason or event to bring crowds to the area. During our visit it is the Christmas celebrations now in full flow in late November. For four months the nearby Central World will host the city’s largest Christmas tree, entertainment stages, markets and beer gardens. Bangkok goes all out for Christmas and the trimmings from last year were only taken down on March 7th 2014, to be erected again 8 months later in early November. It’s great if you like Christmas but if you don’t there’s plenty to find inside.
On Site Treats
Fortunately Christmas hasn’t yet made it indoors and the hotel is business as usual, which is no doubt a good thing. Christmas can be a little over the top in this part of the city so it’s always good to have an escape to normality. In the past we’d never actually ventured through the front doors of the Intercontinental and all we really knew about it was from glimpses on passing. Once inside we realize just how expansive, and opulent, the hotel complex actually is. There’s more than enough to keep you excited and entertained without setting foot outside; from the spa facilities, to the rooftop bar and swimming pool (37th floor) sharing impressive views over surrounding areas. Again on lower floors we find a number of adjoining aisles and arcades with all sorts of shopping and various genres of restaurants. This of course brings us to the other reason for us being here, the Fireplace Grill.
The Fireplace Grill
So the Fireplace Grill is fancy, the service potentially flawless, but little of this mattered at the time. I was excited for the steaks and the Fireplace Grill is often lauded for having some of the best steaks in Bangkok. We needed to see for ourselves. So we both keep it simple with a Marble 8 Wagyu rib-eye (Stockyard) which is the highest marbling we’ve been served to date. It was a steak so good I couldn’t even consider adding pepper, pepper sauce, mustards… When something is already perfect it makes no sense to add condiments. Instead I leave the pepper sauce to share with my ‘mashed potato with truffle essence’. Again this didn’t work, the mashed potato too good to share. “Would it be weird for me to eat pepper sauce alone?”. In short I didn’t eat the pepper sauce, and the food was unbelievably good. So I won’t delve too much into restaurant design, as in a couple months it will be irrelevant. The Fireplace Grill is due a makeover in coming months, I do however hope they keep the open kitchen (the Fireplace) central to the restaurant, with flaming grills, and firing tomahawks. Also the Crêpe Suzette is recommended for a unique tableside fire show. All-in-all the Fireplace Grill was both delicious, and fascinating.
Further Info on the Intercontinental Hotel and Fireplace Grill:
InterContinental Bangkok = www.icbangkok.com
Facebook page = www.facebook.com/intercontinentalbangkok
Facebook page Fireplace Grill = www.facebook.com/Fireplacegrill