Looking for a last-minute escape over the Christmas holidays? Sassy Mama George discovers a kid-friendly paradise in Bangkok
So we have avoided city breaks like the plague up until this year, but my family decided to give Bangkok a try now that our 5- and 8-year-old are slightly (and I mean slightly) better behaved and can walk for more than five minutes before whining Where are we going? Are we there yet?! Having braved the city earlier in the year – and loving our stay on the outskirts in the resort-like Anantara Riverside – we were ready to delve further in with the kids!
For me, the key to a good family city break is the hotel. It’s got a lot of boxes to tick: location, facilities, price, food options… I could go on! So the Anantara Siam Bangkok came up trumps all round. Located right opposite Ratchadamri Skytrain station and in the heart of shopping land – with a pool that wasn’t on the 400th floor and going to give me heart failure. Plus it didn’t break the bank!!
The stunning lobby murals had us wowed from the start. Check-in service was fabulous, particularly when the kids were given their Anantara Tuk Tuk guide to Bankok! And Mum and Dad were thrilled to find the fabulous Nancy Chandler map of Bangkok for sale in the minibar! Armed with that and the handy mobile phones provided by the hotel, we were ready to hit the streets!
First stop: Jim Thompson House — only two skytrain stations away from the hotel. The kids were entertained by the lovely guides – who made them endless elephant origami – while we looked around the amazing house and took in the fascinating story!
A quick trip to the Erawan Shrine (a 5-minute walk from the hotel) then back to the hotel and thank goodness for the lovely playground and swimming pool on the 2nd floor — a total oasis for the kids to cool down and run around! And easy for mummy to pop to the spa for a fab Bamboo massage — one of the Anantara’s specials! Bliss! Also time for a quick shop in the beautiful parade of shops attached to the hotel – including a Jim Thompson store for last minute gifts!
We had a fabulous meal at Spice Market Restaurant (fine Thai cuisine) in the courtyard of the hotel. I highly recommend the Lamb from the grill… and the Thai Shiraz — who knew Thai wine could be that good?! A good thing to know is that Centralised kitchens here mean you can actually order anything off any of the 6 restaurant menus – so Japanese, Italian, International etc and eat it all together. No more family arguments, and kids’ menus, too!
The next day after a fabulous Anantara breakfast (basically as good as a brunch – from Dim Sum to Full English) – overlooking the lovely pond and Koi carp – we rode the Skytrain two stops to the Snake Farm for an awesome show of cobras! We followed it up with a trip on the lake in the lovely Lumphini Park on swan pedalos.
Who says kids can’t do city breaks?! Bangkok, you rock. And Anantara Siam, we will be back!