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A poetic city getaway

Get a good dose of lit at The Raweekanlaya Bangkok

Photos courtesy of The Raweekanlaya Bangkok

You're a hard-working city dweller who doesn't have time to drive two hours out of Bangkok to get that much deserved rest and relaxation you're craving. You probably haven't even realised you need to take a break; all those long nights at the office have just morphed into one long humdrum existence. You've also probably completely forgotten the meaning of wellness. Well, if you have, please, let Guru remind you.

We were super excited when The Raweekanlaya Bangkok opened its regal doors to the public in February. Located in the historic old quarters of Bangkok, the hotel was originally constructed in the 1800s as the residence for His Majesty King Vajiravudh's (King Rama VI) royal governess. She, along with other high-ranking governesses of the time, stayed in this beautiful abode. Touched up with beautifully painted olive green walls, contemporary fixtures and a small saltwater pool, the building has now been restored to replicate its 19th century origins but also to keep up with the times. Walking through the property, you'll notice beautiful paintings drawn onto the walls by students of Silpakorn University that reflect the heritage of old Siam.

King Rama VI went down in history as one of Thailand's most prolific and gifted writers. He harboured a huge appreciation for other writers of the time, himself translating many of the great works of literature into Thai. The Raweekanlaya has really taken this into consideration with the interior design of all its 38 rooms. On the walls of each of the rooms you'll find a poem written in Thai, penned either by the king himself, one of Thailand's supreme patriarchs, or a translation of Shakespeare. Reading lines from The Merchant of Venice, verses by Thailand's past supreme patriarchs and absolutely soul-awakening poetry from King Rama VI is thus something that can be expected during your stay. A copy of one of the greatest poetic Thai plays, Enau, is also placed on your bedside table, bringing you into closer contact with the tale that has shaped so much of Thai folk-history. Reading lines of poetry and prose by such great writers has the power to help you disassociate from any present worries you may have and to draw into your ken new light.

Other greetings from the bedroom included a delicious welcome bowl of fruit; strawberries, grapes and crab apples to delight your taste buds and a 6pm turn-down service that left us with a bag of some of the most delicious khanom kleeb lamduan -- the well-known Thai multicoloured shortbread cookies. These ones were just simply out of this world. We were here to experience some healthy cuisine but these little things really led us off the beaten track. Our hats really go off to the baker that made these. If you're looking for something to jolt you back into the present moment, the sweetness of these will do just that.

Our room was in the garden wing, overlooking the resort's 900 sqm of beautiful lush greenery; in the middle of the property stands a tall, far-reaching banyan tree that brings the resort the much-needed shade especially during Bangkok's hottest months. Although your technically in the centre of Bangkok, you really wouldn't think it at all. Krung Kasem Road is surprisingly pretty quiet, especially during nighttime; you can actually hear the sound of the wind blowing against the trees and birds chirping. Our highlight was just standing in the pool leaning against the edge and peacefully watching the green backdrop of the garden. You'll see small iron figurines of love birds dotted all over the place that really add to the overall chilled vibe of the place. What a way to spend a Sunday; come here to get your creative juices flowing, or to just enter a world of zendom.

And what would a wellness cuisine resort be without a formidable menu and dining experience to back its claims? The Raweekanlaya did not shy away from impressing us on this. Breakfasts were beautiful; a mean cup of coffee and a choice between going continental or Thai. We went continental on both occasions because we simply could not get enough of the poached eggs with mushrooms and spinach the chef served up. If only breakfast could start like that every day! For lunch or dinner, we ordered dishes à la carte. Our personal favourites were the Morrocan seafood stew with seasonal greens and rustic bread (B680) and the Seared ocean fish with butternut puree & tomato confit (B580). All dishes have health and nutrition in mind and you simply will not leave the dining room feeling anything less than full of good food. What we particularly love about the resort is its organic veggie garden. Pick the veggies you desire from the garden (or get someone to do it for you) and have them on your plate for dinner.

The resort also has an imperial spa where you can put those knots in your back to rest, once and for all. On offer are a number of traditional Thai massage therapies which have been carried down across several generations. The therapists were all trained at Phothailai Leisure Park (the owner co-founded Wat Pho's massage school) and their hands certainly know precisely what to do when it comes to giving massages.

And if you're feeling super ambitious after a long day of rest and relaxation, you could venture out to (dare we say it) the incredibly nearby Khao San Road because, really... when was the last time you went on a night out in Khao San?

The Raweekanlaya Bangkok is located on 164-172 Krung Kasem Road, near the United Nations. For more information, visit www.raweekanlayahotel.com, www.fb.com/raweekanlayahotel or IG raweekanlaya.

Make bookings via the hotel's website or by calling 02-628-5999.

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