Holidays needn't be fattening. I know this may be surprising, but I find that I generally get fitter and consequently, lose weight, every time I go on holiday. Work, on the other hand, makes me fat, because after a long hard day racking my brains at my desk in front of the computer, there's just no motivation to exercise after that. Plus, I'm just too tired after work to work up a sweat. But it's different when I'm on holiday. I get to sleep in, and only when I'm truly refreshed, slowly make my way to the gym and work out at my own leisure.
Of course, it helps when the hotel gym is gorgeous and brilliantly comprehensive to work out in. Perched on the 36th floor of the 5-star hotel and right smack in the middle of the Siam shopping belt, the floor-to-ceiling windows boast a stunning view of the city. You just get inspired to keep running on the treadmill when your voyeuristic tendencies come out to play, looking out at the busy world below. There's also a jazucci, steam room, sauna, rooftop pool and in-house spa to detox and relax. The gym alone makes this hotel, in a city loaded with luxurious hotels, my favourite to stay at, hands down.
The hotel's also impressive because of its immaculate service standards. Staff are polite to a fault, genuinely smiley and always helpful. The centralised location also makes this hotel a winner, it's connected to the BTS (Bangkok's version of our MRT and by far the most efficient way to get around the city cos the jams are horrendous) bridge walkway, so we walk everywhere! The hotel's just next to Gaysorn Plaza (a super high-end shopping mall, think Palais Rennaissance) and Central World, Siam Paragon and MahBoonKrong are just a short walk at 100 metres, 200 metres and 400 metres away respectively.
While the rooms may look generic and undistinctive, they are spacious, clean, modern and chic. It's a luxurious hotel with all of the trappings but still affordable at about S$200++ a night for a standard room.
Whenever I'm in Thailand, I just spend my days working out, getting massaged (Thai massages are quite ridiculously cheap, an hour-long oil massage costs just 400-500baht, the equivalent of S$17-S$20), taking long bubble baths and stuffing my face silly with amazing Thai cuisine. That really is THE LIFE, isn't it?
As per standard operating procedure, we ordered lots of room service. Hmm, come to think of it, we've never had a holiday where we didn't order room service. I guess that's why 24-hour room service is one pre-requisite of any hotel we stay at. We work out so we get to eat, guilt-free and deserving of treats! Okay okay, so that's our usual "operating procedure", but since the wedding's getting close, we cut down on our carb intake and resisted sweet treats as well. This is probably the holiday where we ate the least.
The Phad Thai Goong (300 Baht) Thai-style rice noodles, stir-fried to a fragrant heap, was loaded generously with prawns and chicken chunks. A carefully crafted egg mesh was layered upon the dish.
To mix it up, we also tried the Guay Tiew Phad Si-ew (290 Baht) stir-fried thick flat noodle sheets with prawns was sweeter and smokier in flavour than the pad thai, and oilier. Still, this was good food, sinful, but good.
The Phad Pak Ruam Mitr (290 Baht) wok-fried garden vegetables with beancurd and mushrooms was crunchy, sweet and yet savoury with the use of garlic and a little oyster sauce.
The Gaeng Kiew Waan (320 Baht), green curry chicken was rich, creamy and spicy, while the chicken was chunky, juicy and fresh.
The Gaeng Massaman Gai Rue Nua (300 Baht) was a nutty, thick but not as creamy, massaman-style chicken curry. The gravy was like a mix of our nonya chicken curry and satay sauce.
The Gai Satay (260 Baht), Thai-styled grilled chicken skewers with home-made peanut sauce is really no different from our local Malay-style satays. While there wasn't a discernible layer of fat between the skewers, the chicken was juicy, moist and tender.
While the Tom Yam Goong (320 Baht) had plentiful fresh and sweet prawns and straw mushrooms, the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf spiced broth was just not spicy enough. My theory is that the Fiance's very very oriental look made them think that we cannot eat spicy food, and so they toned down the spice level of the soup.
We also got a dish from the Chinese portion of the menu, cooked by their in-house Chinese restaurant, Summer Palace. The Stir-Fried Fish Fillet (350 Baht) with ginger, spring onion and capsicum was really a sweet and sour version of flour-battered fried fish chunks. Homestyled taste.
You can order also eggs as late as 11pm at night, the All-Day Breakfast (320 Baht) consists of 2 eggs cooked any style you want, served alongside grilled tomato, hash brown nuggets, and your choice of chicken or pork sausage. Mine was scrambled with chicken sausage. This was just okay, wasn't as fluffy as I'd like and a tad too much cream in the batter.
The Fiance got 2 portions of eggs (which makes it 4 eggs in total, by the way), both cooked his favourite style of sunny-side up, one with chicken sausage.
And the other with pork sausage and extra baked beans for protein.
Hotel Intercontinental Bangkok
973 Phloenchit Road