25 September 2023

Impressive akyra and Mövenpick ambience sparkle in Sukhumvit

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By Rama Gaind.

Welcome drink: Wuttikrai Itsaro, popularly called ‘Jason’, served a refreshing drink at akyra TAS Sukhumvit Soi 20 Bangkok. It’s made with tamarind, cinnamon, orange rind and a touch of sugar in a stylish glass – with its own straw! Photo: Rama Gaind

This propitious adage by J.R.R. Tolkien vividly captures the essence of a sojourn in Sukhumvit, in Bangkok, Thailand:

“You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” My footsteps and intentions had purpose. I had been intrigued by what the taxi driver had to say about my destination. The knowledge displayed by Ashok Aggarwal was phenomenal. Sukhumvit Road is not only one of the longest roads in Thailand, but one of the longest roads in the world (more than 488 kilometres).

It’s never too early for a history lesson. Once Ashok realised I was staying at two special hotels in the area – akyra TAS Sukhumvit Soi 20 Bangkok and Mövenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 Bangkok – there was an overflow of enlightening interaction. We discussed the growing number of Indian film fans in the Thai capital (his young daughter’s learning classical dancing), the screening of Hindi films in cinemas and visiting Little India, known locally as ‘Phahurat Market’. I also know Thailand is one of the top favourite locations chosen by producers to make Bollywood movies.

I’m told, in its entirety, Sukhumvit Road stretches all the way to the Cambodian border, but we are only dealing with the 10-kilometre stretch that cuts east through downtown Bangkok. This bustling, modern neighbourhood lacks the traditional tourist landmarks found elsewhere, but people are often charmed by its authenticity and ‘big city’ appeal. Even if your hotel is not located nearby, first-time visitors to Bangkok will almost certainly hear the name ‘Suk-hum-vit’ again and again due to its importance in relation to shopping, dining and leisure activities.

Room with a view: comfortable surrounds and eye-catching views made for a memorable stay in the one-bedroom junior suite at the akyra TAS Sukhumvit Soi 20 Bangkok.

Sukhumvit transformation

The perennial traffic jam, this time on Sukhumvit Road, was not a surprise, but looking at the Skytrain, high-rise apartment buildings, shopping and dining outlets it’s hard to believe that this area used to consist of rice fields until World War II.

Sukhumvit is an exclusive district in Bangkok and home to trendy hotels, villas, restaurants, bars and clubs, but it becomes more and more a Thai residential neighbourhood as you follow the road south-east.

The many shopping malls, restaurants, fashionable bars, luxury hotels and famous clubs give the area an international, urban vibe. Many of the finest things to see and do around Sukhumvit are located down small streets or ‘sois’.

Boutique delight: akyra TAS Sukhumvit Soi 20 Bangkok is Asia’s first single-use plastic-free hotel in Bangkok.

It’s not wrong to say that Sukhumvit is the ‘coolest’ neighbourhood with a frenzied buzz that’s hard to ignore and an electric atmosphere that envelops you in its embrace.

Being a frequent visitor, I find the city’s frenetic energy is infectious. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes … they all captivate, enlighten, enrich and entertain.

Having earlier visited the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple (south Indian style architecture Hindu temple) in the Bangrak district, conversation with Ashok turned to another recent noteworthy event. In June this year, Bangkok had again hosted the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards weekend after a decade. The 19th IIFA not only featured power-packed performances by Bollywood celebrities, but also raised awareness about women’s empowerment, gender equality and plastic pollution.

Along with the Indian film industry, Hollywood has always been fascinated with foreign locations. Thailand has all the right elements to make it a wonderful visual treat for filmmakers. Here’s to thinking about your out-of-the-ordinary memories from such films as the James Bond’s The Man with the Golden Gun, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Beach, Kaho Naa … Pyaar Hai, Ready and Student of the Year.

Best location: Mövenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 Bangkok is located near the heart of the city where you find the best shopping, eating, drinking and entertainment options.

Captivating highlights

Soon after check-in, it was fascinating to find the stylish boutique akyra TAS Sukhumvit Soi 20 Bangkok is also Asia’s first single-use plastic-free hotel.

Ground-breaking! Akyra owners have led an amazingly positive change for the environment by replacing single use plastic water bottles with refillable stainless steel bottles. It’s also being innovative with it’s own brand of toiletries.

It’s located in the epicenter of Bangkok’s most dynamic tourism area on Sukhumvit Soi 20, a lively neighborhood known for its fine restaurants and nightlife, as well as lifestyle malls, quality spas and green recreation spaces.

There’s a lot to like about akyra – and it was made even more memorable when I was upgraded to a one-bedroom junior suite. It was easy to retreat to my private city sanctuary that seamlessly blended Thai art and culture with contemporary design and hospitality.

Sweet sensation: chocoholics will love the happy chocolate hour at Mövenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 Bangkok. Photo: Rama Gaind

A thirst quencher was the welcome drink: a refreshing combination of tamarind, cinnamon, orange rind and a touch of sugar – on ice, in a trendy glass – with its own straw!

My short stay at Mövenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 Bangkok was also unforgettable, for a number of reasons. Celebrating my birthday here, and partaking of some special meals – courtesy of dining at the Lelawadee Restaurant – were a taste sensation.

Attending the happy chocolate hour is recommended. What a remarkable array of cakes, pastries and chocolates, all well complemented with iced coffee (minus the cream). An ideal indulgence for those with a ‘sweet’ tooth.

The hotel, which sits down a quiet side street, is just a short stroll away from all the action. It is connected to the city via both the BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway, both of which have stations at the Asok Interchange hub, just a five-minute walk away.

Panoramic views: for a taste of the fantastic Bangkok skyline, head up to the Rainforest Rooftop Bar at the Mövenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 Bangkok.

If walking is not your preference, then you can avail yourself of the free round-the- clock tuk tuk shuttle service. Whether it be short jaunts around the neighbourhood or excursions further afield to the Grand Palace or Chao Phraya River, the central location and easy, convenient public transport connections make this hotel the right choice. There’s also a free coach transfer to Terminal 21 and a complimentary transfer service to Bumrungrad International Hospital, south-east Asia’s largest private hospital.

There is so much to see and do in Sukhumvit where Terminal 21 is a shopping mall with a great theme that recreates several world-famous cities under one roof. You’ll feel overwhelmed by the calm and green of Baan Kamthieng House Museum; Benjasiri Park, often referred to as ‘Queen’s Park’; Dinosaur Planet Bangkok, a theme park dedicated to prehistoric beasts; Kidzooma in the Gateway Shopping Mall; and enjoy stunning 360-degree views of Bangkok from the Octave Rooftop and Lounge.

You have to agree “life is like a camera: you focus on what is important, capture the good times, develop from the negative and if things do not work out, take another shot.”

Rama Gaind was a guest of akyra TAS 20 Sukhumvit Bangkok and Mövenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 Bangkok.


Stay here

akyra TAS Sukhumvit 20 Bangkok

7 Sukhumvit Soi 20, Sukhumvit Road, Klongteoy, Bangkok 10110 Thailand

T: +66 2 260 0555

E: [email protected]

W: www.theakyra.com/bangkok/sukhumvit/

Mövenpick Hotel Sukhumvit Bangkok

47 Sukhumvit Road Soi 15, Klongtoey Nua, Wattana, Bangkok, 10110,Thailand

T: +66 2 119 3100

W: www.moevenpick-hotels.com

Travel there

Tourism Authority of Thailand

T: (02) 9247 7549

W: www.tourismthailand.org

Fly with

Thai Airways International

T: 1300 651 960

W: www.thaiairways.com

Bangkok Airways

W: http://www.bangkokair.com

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