Sophistication at The Okura Prestige Bangkok
When I stayed at The Okura Prestige Bangkok for a few nights, the first several minutes when I got there is the fact it is a very Tokyo kind of hotel. To explain, the hotel is found within a gleaming skyscraper, Park Ventures Ecoplex, that is shaped like a steel and glass rocket and its actual lobby with reception, concierge and most of its restaurants is up on 24th floor. (If you ever been to Tokyo, most large hotels are situated within tall skyscrapers and tend to have the middle and upper floors; the ground floor serves as public space than the hotel lobby.) The location is great since it’s in the thriving downtown Sukhumvit Road area, and a mere few yards from the Ploenchit BTS sky train station and countless shopping and dining opportunities. It’s a quick 30-minute taxi ride to the Royal Palace, Erawan Shrine and surrounding historical sites.
The high-ceiling lobby on the 24th floor is spacious, bright and near silent, inducing a feeling of remoteness reinforced by the fact that the entire hotel is located between the 23rd and the 34th floor of a tower block, well removed from the bustle below.
The Okura Prestige Bangkok is a sleek, modern hotel that’s brought a touch of Japanese-style luxury to Thailand’s fascinating capital city — think Japanese style gravel garden with oversized stones (and outfitted with a blossoming cherry tree and I was told it’s changed by the seasons), warm shades of amber and rust, polished wood and marble surfaces, and highly stylized furnishings.
My room is large and render fantastic views and a serene Far Eastern ambiance. The simple décor, neutral color scheme of taupes and creams, is complemented by state-of-the-art amenities. The marble bathroom come with a tub and rain shower, a fully automated toilet and yukata robes to wear. There’s also a Japanese-style tea set and good quality sencha tea offered in the room.
The huge, plush California king sized bed is made with chic Egyptian cotton linens, while a digital bedside panel allows touchscreen control of the room’s air-conditioning, lighting and curtains.
The facilities in this hotel are nice but the greatest thing would be the uniquely cantilevered infinity pool. Perched on the 25th floor, this 82-foot-long swimming hole is a thing of beauty with breathtaking views of downtown Bangkok.
One of my breakfasts was at Yamazato where it focuses on the centuries-old cuisine of Kaiseki Ryori. It’s a simple looking menu where each person has a choice of grilled protein like mackerel, chicken, and salmon; the style of rice you’d like to have it cooked (congee, steamed white rice, or steamed white with vegetables).
The waitress outfitted in a kimono would bring out a simple but beautiful wooden box filled with various pickles and seaweed and eventually breakfast. This deceptively simple looking but elaborate breakfast was wonderful. The minimalist flavors were very good and each dish was cooked perfectly. The mackerel was grilled nicely without having too much fishy flavors. The tamagoyaki omlette was wonderfully fluffy. My bowl of rice with vegetables was delicious with the gentle nuances of umami from the pickled vegetables cooked in it. The miso soup with egg was lovely as was the bowl of boiled fish cake and vegetables (nimono). The overall meal was based on subtlety so it’s not about robust, strong flavors and I really enjoyed it.
There was dessert so to speak of fresh sliced fruit topped with thick yogurt and pomegranate arils and the cups of genmaicha tea and Americano were a lovely ending to this meal that is healthy, satisfying and filling.
What is quite charming and unique about The Okura Prestige Bangkok is the fact they do align with the sentiments of Japanese food culture which deeply cares about food seasonality. Since we arrived at the start of sakura or cherry blossom season, we were fortunate to try the Sakura Afternoon Tea at its Up & Above Restaurant.
Here’s the items served:
Sakura Mont Blanc
Sakura Chocolate Praline
Choux Cream Cherry Blossom
White Peach & Lychee Verrine
Lychee & Peach Cheese Cake
Cherry Blossom Macaron
Pickled Sakura Scones
Clotted Cream, Jams, and Marmalade
Smoked Ham and Karashi Sandwich with Smoked Pickle
Cold Water Shrimp and Apple Salad Choux
Traditional Cucumber Sandwich
Egg and Basil Salad with Fried Quail Egg
Served warm poached egg with potato espuma in a glass
My friend and I adored the presentation of the food – it’s set in a drawer with compartments of containing the savory food except for the glass of poached egg. All of the items were freshly made and very tasty. If I have to play favorites, the Mont Blanc was delightful and the cheesecake was so ethereally light like a sakura blossom yet it does have the flavor of the sakura. The verrine was gently sweetened and the gelatin wasn’t too firm nor loose which is a very good thing. The peach ice cream was sublime (I love Japanese peach desserts!). The savory items were tasty and seasoned well. The poached egg was interesting since it still managed to have the egg yolk still runny and when mixed with the light potato espuma (or foam) with the basil pesto, it’s so good.
As for the breakfast buffet at Up & Above, they are great at having a vast mix of both Western and Asian foods and the amazing outdoor terrace and dine outside. While the food overall were very good in its own right, the highlights are the fresh sliced fruits; the unique and glorious assortment of baked goods (I have never encountered purple wheat bread before and it’s definitely not taro and it tasted good and the matcha almond muffin was excellent), and the made to order egg dishes.
My entire stay at The Okura Prestige Bangkok was great. The staff is friendly, well-trained, English-speaking staff are always on hand. (A big shout out to the young porter who helped me find a taxi last minute on a Monday night – and I managed to make arrive my dinner reservation on time! I was stressing out over 45 minutes since the Grab app was a major fail and there’s a large wedding happening over the next hotel.) The room was comfortable and smartly laid out and the stunning views of the city takes the cake.