The title Le Meridian is French for “The Meridian”, but you probably already know that. In this case, the name refers to a chain of fancy hotels, one of which Miss S and I had the privilege to stay at for a weekend at the rock-bottom prices afforded by the pandemic. That’s right, the two of us are doing our part to keep the struggling Thai economy alive during these dire times so that, one day, when my son asks me “Dad, what did you do to help during the Great Dying?” I’ll be able to look him in the eye and tell him “Son, I vomited into my own shoe after 12 martinis in the club lounge on at least two occasions.”
The February 2022 stay at Le Meridian on Bangkok’s stylish Surawong Road wasn’t our first tango at this place. The hotel had been an early stop in our drive through Bangkok’s five-star accommodations. On that occasion I had walked from our modest apartment in Sathorn and arrived as a sweaty, shabbily-dressed and middle-aged Farang man mortified by imposter syndrome, cowering under the glare of the hotel’s gate guardian. Here’s a picture.
For this visit I took a motorbike taxi so at I could arrive in chauffeured style. Miss S met me for our lobby rendezvous (that’s French for meeting) where afternoon tea was being served. If you are a lecteur régulier you’ll know that platinum status entitles her, and by extension, me, to certain perks not open to full-fee paying guests. In this case it’s free coffee, little sandwiches and Russian ham rolls. Nice.
Up to the room we go. It’s very much like the last one we stayed in. In fact, I think it is the same one but they have changed the view out the window to keep things fresh and exciting.
The view is a bit better looking out at the MahaNakorn building, which is actually pretty cool.
But enough of that, the weather is shit and the view is typical, so let’s have a tour inside. Miss S has a thorough inventory of the room so you can check her companion piece, if you can read Japanese, that is, and given the level of French comprehension so far, I’m not confident. We shall start with the safety briefing.
Yep, The Meridian has a Japanese robo-toilette (that’s French for ‘toilet’), which is a win in my book.
Here are the controls, which provide steering configurable for up to two users and the very handy Stop button. Sadly, this is a modern hotel so it has a huge, kinky plate-glass window between the main room and the bathroom (with electrically-raised and lowered modesty(!) blind) which means, as a gentleman, I’ll be heading down to the lobby for my morning evacuations.
When you’re platinum, you’re special and they leave a present in the room for you. In this case, a handsome jar of caramel popcorn which we greatly enjoyed a week later along with everything else we cleaned out of the room: shampoo, tothbrushes, razors, pens, notepads, that sort of thing.
For those readers who don’t know what real luxury is, the king-size bed was laid with two cards, the pillow menu (five choices), and our poem. Yep, this room comes with a translation of a short Thai romantic poem, which I stole to compare to the poem received on our last stay. Perfect match. Either everyone gets the same one or this one really is for us.
No time to waste lounging around Dan, it’s 5:30! Creative hour! What’s creative hour you ask? Well, The Meridian doesn’t have an executive lounge but us platinums get two hours of free-flow at bar on the second floor. Platinums and anyone else who signed up for the special stay package, which was everyone.
Now, you can probably tell from many of the articles on this site that Miss S and I are avid photographers of restaurant food.
We were not the only photographers of finely presented nourriture, there were at least two other tables of bloggers, the scum, with their fancy SLR cameras and smugness of knowing that quaffing sparkling wine and enjoying la charcuterie counts as work in their world. I should know, being a former travel journalist and having gutted a mountain of caviar and foie gras (that’s the French for ‘fat liver’, which is what you get if you stay on the restaurant review circuit for too long) in my time. No matter, one of the clumsy brutes has already smashed his champagne flute and retired for the evening, lightwight.
The waitstaff were overtaxed and our food order was thoroughly fluffed but we played the free booze game and had a respectable tablefull at the finish line (7:30pm).
Unlike the lounge in other places we got a chronicle of misdeed that we had to sign for.
That’s a bill for Bt7,259 that totals to zero, so this stay just paid for itself. Take that COVID! For the record, we enjoyed the Nua Brut , the Bombay Sapphire, the Jameson’s, the Eaglehawk Siraz and the margaritas very much. Thanks Praew!
The next stage of the game is to not sleep though breakfast, because it is spectacular. On our previous visit I remarked that I had not been to a hotel breakfast that featured honey fresh from the comb. Miss S remarked that they were serving sparkling wine to guests who were platinum at nine in the morning and I suspect it was at that breakfast that the platinum seed was planted, eventually growing into this mighty tree, fecund with rich fruit, underwhich we lie with our mouths open.
Current day: we are now platinum, it’s nine A.M and we are getting drunk on vin mousseux, which is excellent with fresh mango.
The breakfast at The Meridian is very good. This recently renovated hotel stands a cut above the usual Marriott brand and we will probably try for a third stay before they come to their senses and start pricing vultures like us out of the market. I may never again enter the lobby to check in dressed in work boots, shorts and a stained t-shirt but I no longer suffer from imposter syndrome. And I have tamed this bitch.