Story and photos by Manos Angelakis

137 Pillars Suites Street Level Reception

137 Pillars Suites and Residences Bangkok
59/1 Sukhumvit Soi 39
Klongton - Nua, Wattana
Bangkok 10110
Thailand
www.137pillarsbangkok.com

Since the last time I was in The City of Angels i.e. Bangkok in early 1991,  the city has almost tripled in size. There are numerous modern  high-rises dotting the landscape where single or two-story buildings used to be. There are also now new peripheral and elevated roads that  attempt to alleviate the constant traffic in the city. There are a dozen or so new five-star hotels, in addition to the 5 that were in place  when I was last there. Many of these hotels and numerous upscale  shopping malls are located along the shores of the Chao Phraya River  that bisects the capital, but a number of the newer builds are in the  heart of the city.

One of the  newest properties is the 137 Pillars Suites and Residences, a luxury  property that is associated with the 137 Pillars House, a historic  building in Chiang Mai that belongs to the same owners.

The 137 Pillars House in Chiang Mai relates to the early history of Siam  (as Thailand used to be called). It is associated with the family of  Anna Leonowens, the famous “I” in the Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical  “The King and I”€.

The “King and I” story is based on a series of autobiographical stories written by Anna Leonowens and the king was Mongkut, now posthumously called Rama IV, King of Siam (ruled 1851- 1868). It is  notable to point that the famous 1956 film, starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner, was banned in Thailand as it was at the time perceived to  portray the interaction of the king and Anna as being discourteous to the monarch!

137 Pillars Bistro

The Suites and Residences is in one of the centrally located high-rises and it has both a residential section for long term occupancy that enjoys  all the amenities available to the hotel guests, and a hotel section  with spacious suites. There is a lovely rooftop pool and indoor and  outdoor rooftop restaurant and bar as well as a garden level bistro  called “Bangkok Trading Post”. Very nice Spa facilities and Fitness  Center. It also has a restaurant kitchen that can create Michelin-star  level meals. I should also mention that 137 Pillars Suites and  Residences is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels  www.slh.com/hotels/137-pillars-suites-residences/.

137 Pillars View from Club

On arrival from the airport, we were greeted by the General Manager Mr. Bjorn R. Richardson and whisked to the 26th floor where the Leonowens Club is located. The Club is the suites lounge and registration. My suite 2505, at the 25th floor, had everything an international traveler that stays in five-star hotels expects and more.

137 Pillars Suite Livingroom

There was a spacious living room with a couch and a semi-circular banquette,  an armchair, large flat screen television, refrigerator bar and many  occasional tables; it opened to a balcony with armchairs and a table,  overlooking the city. On the table in front of the semi-circular  banquette, there was a large welcome fruit basket and a tray of  delicacies.

137 Pillars Suite Bathroom

The lavish marble-tilled bathroom with bowl-bathtub and separate shower stall had a flat-screen television, plush terrycloth towels, a pair of  bathrobes and slippers, an exceptional amenities package and, of all the automation marvels now available in high-end hotels... a Toto automatic  toilet that lifted its cover, turned on a discreet light and gurgled  invitingly every time one passed in front of its stall!

There was a dressing room between the living room and bedroom with  floor-to-ceiling mirrors and ample wardrobe sections where the safe was  also located and that was where my suitcase was waiting for me,  delivered upstairs from the airport car upon arrival.

137 Pillars Suite Bedroom

The bedroom had a California king bed with high-thread-count sheets. There  was also an armchair, night stands, a modern étagère and a large screen  television on the wall facing the bed.

137 Pillars Chef Nanang

Of great interest to me was dinner created by sous chef Nanang Prasetya  Aditama. He is a young man, only 26, yet he has an exemplary  sophisticated palate and culinary expertise. Three of the seven dishes  he presented were dazzling twists on traditional dishes -- two Thai and  one Scandinavian -- that I really enjoyed.

137 Pillars Tom Yum Goong

I cook at home a traditional version of Spicy Tom Yam Kung; a clear,  lemongrass and kaffirlime infused delight, made with chicken stock, fish sauce, pounded bird’s eye chilies, prawns and sliced mushrooms. His  Spicy Tom Yum Goong hot and sour soup was even more fragrant, a bit  spicier and so much superior.

137 Pillars Som Tum Thay 2

His Twist on Som Tum Thay, using papaya, rice paper, green beans, Heirloom  Tomatoes, Peanut oil, Shrimp Feather and Lime Caviar made for an  exceptional appetizer. Here were a couple bites of Thai summer, sweet  and tangy and crunchy. Could not have enough of it. 

137 Pillars Sous Vide Nordic Snow Cod Fillet

And his award-winning main course, Sous Vide Nordic Snow Cod Fillet was a  twist on a classic Scandinavian Poached Cod recipe. Here the cod was  cooked in vacuum (sous vide) using Sweet Miso, Hajikami Ginger, Dashi  Broth and Poached Romanesco Kyabetsu. The vacuum cooking makes the flesh silky and the flavors of the liquid ingredients permeate the fish  making each bite a taste discovery. Pure delight.

Returning to Bangkok was a real pleasure. The city has grown and expanded without loosing the charm that its residents exude when meeting a foreigner.

I would love to come back some time in the near future for a longer visit.

With many thanks to the Tourism Authority of Thailand for the chance to  revisit a country I always treasured: https://www.tourismthailand.org

And to EVA Air for the delightful and award winning “Hello Kitty Shining Star” service http://www.evaair.com

 

 

 

© July 2017 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.

 

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