We’ve all done ‘gap-yah’ Thailand, but if you are after a more grown-up break involving cocktails, Bradley Cooper, authentic Thai cuisine and full on pampering, then let us show you how it’s done. Bangkok - one of those cities that travellers usually just leave to a stopover night before hitting the islands - deserves a longer look. With brilliant sightseeing, great food, culture and shopping, it’s worth kicking off your holiday in style and splashing out on the most luxurious hotel your budget allows.
The place to stay: the luxurious five-star Lebua. The sky-high hotel is located in Bangkok’s business and shopping district and every suite comes with personal panoramic balconies offering breath-taking views over the Chao Phraya River below. If you are after a girlie weekend away then try The Hangover Suite where the cast (including a certain Bradley Cooper) stayed during filming of The Hangover II. And after exploring the sites and shops of Bangkok, pop on that bathrobe and have an in-room spa treatment (check out the 4 Hand Massage for a traditional Thai experience).
The vibe: From the lengthy pillow menu and 330 thread count bed linen to the in-suite spa rooms, you will feel like a princess. The Lebua offers a calm, chic haven from the bustling market streets below.
The Weather now: Hot hot hot! The heat sets in at the beginning of March, so go and enjoy that open-air swimming pool. If you prefer cooler climes then plan your trip during the cool season, from November to February.
Eat: Where do we start?! For a really special evening and the ultimate in fine dining, try the Mezzaluna, which combines European cuisine with Asian flavours and comes complete with a string quartet. From the Hokkaido Scallops to the Bultarra Australian Saltbush Lamb, the food is among the best we have ever tasted. Or if you have a head for heights then try Sirroco, the world’s highest alfresco restaurant for a fresh take on Mediterranean cuisine. But whatever you do, make sure you take time to cool down with a poptail (that’s a popsicle and cocktail combo) at the colour changing (and highly Instagramable) Sky Bar, followed by an experimental Ice Cocktail at Distil. And if you dare, sample the ‘Hangovertini’, a strong cocktail created for the cast and crew of the Hangover II.
Pack: Think Alexa Chung at Coachella and dig that boho out. We are talking floaty kaftans and bikinis by day and maxi dresses by night.
The Lowdown: The Tower Club at lebua (www.lebua.com) offers suites starting at £158 plus VAT per night for a one bedroom City View suite. This includes breakfast, light lunch and afternoon tea until 6pm, as well as alcoholic drinks and complimentary in-suite beverages.