Q: What is it? A: Modern. Streamlined. Luxurious. One of Bangkok’s very finest. But no matter how streamlined it is, I can’t but think that it’s lacking a little bit of… heart and soul.
Let’s start with some fair and balanced reporting here…
Several times while writing this, I’ve asked myself: How grumpy should I get? How can I not just appreciate perfection? If this was an objective review, the Peninsula should get a higher rating. It really should. I’ve rarely stayed at a place where everything has been so incredibly well thought-out. Every little detail in every room is designed, fitted and positioned for your convenience. That’s good. All rooms come with a river view. That’s good. A little connector for a pair of headphones is placed just behind the couch, should you feel like watching TV while your roommate wants to sleep. That’s good. And so the list goes on…
Even the location is close to perfect.
The view from my room on the 18th floor is a killer. I also have a small balcony. The pool area is incredibly wet and offers several options for you to plunge into. The bar near the water is exactly where I should put a bar, had I been the architect. The Thiptara restaurant is way better than most (TripAdvisor-ranking: # 88 out of 5,350 restaurants in Bangkok). The hotel is racking up good things and still I am only giving it three lousy stars!?
I’m trying to find imperfection. I don’t find it until I’m searching for an outlet to charge my laptop. By accident I open a panel marked ‘fax’ by the writing desk in my room. There’s the fax. There are a number of outlets and there’s also… a tiny cockroach. Dead. But it’s most definitely there. Instead of disgust, I feel somewhat relieved. Almost a sign of life. A pity it had to end through the effects of a strong insecticide.
It’s problem: Being too well thought-out and aiming to be too… perfect.
I’m trying to put my finger on it, but… this hotel is like a German manufacturer of house appliances. It opened its doors in 1998 but it still looks shiny brand new. Don’t get me wrong, I choose a squeaky-clean over a dirty one every day, but I tend to avoid perfection that is approaching the antiseptic. The Peninsula works so hard on achieving perfection, that members of the staff lose their warmth. They’re on duty. Perfectly drilled but… no, I am not buying into the concept completely.
On arrival a jazz band were playing in the lobby. They weren’t that good but they, along with the cockroach, proved to be some necessary dents in the Peninsula perfect paintwork. It’s still a very good hotel, rated # 4 out of 718 Bangkok hotels. It’s just happens to be not entirely my kind of Bangkok hotel.
The Peninsula Bangkok
333 Charoennakorn Road
Klongsan, Bangkok 10600
– – – – –