Life is Suite

It’s that time of year and we are checking into Le Meridian Surawong, Bangkok. This hotel has become our favourite Marriott group property and this is the third or fourth time I have stayed here, Mrs Sachie has, by now, lost count.

This afternoon is different. There is a stir in the air. It’s Sachie’s birthday tomorrow and we are hitting the lounge. They know us (well, her) at check-in and things go very smoothly. Sachie never gets an upgrade at Le Meridian, they’re fancy, but this time we have a corner suite on the 19th floor. I speculate that the hotel is being very nice for her birthday but she speculates that they cancelled her booking when we checked-in last January and that it’s by way of apology. Up to the room we go.

It is a dignified room, as they all are in the 1900s floor. In 1923 Pablo Villa was assassinated, they put up the Hollywood Hills Estate sign, Calvin Coolidge became president of the US, Mustafa Kamel founded the CHP. Melbourne police went on strike, resulting in riots and the calling in of the army and Adolf Hitler got arrested for the Beer Hall Putsch. It is a big room but I have no idea how they fit them all in.

It is huge. Luxurious even. Very nice in every way.

I bet you wish you could afford to sleep in a big soft bed like that? We do too. The truth is, Mrs Sachie got this on Marriott points. I have no idea what it would cost for this kind of room at regular times but probably far too much. Just the housekeeping between guests must set the hotel back a couple of staff-days.

This is certainly the fanciest coffee service we have seen. It’s Illy and you put the capsule in the cup and twist the handle onto the machine and pretend that you’re a barrister barista making a real espresso and getting underpaid for working in a joint like this but you have an audition tomorrow and pretty soon, you will be the one ordering around underpaid arts graduates.

Of course, we didn’t bother with the pretend café coffee maker, heck, not that long ago we’d just call up the butler for a coffee. Anyhow, above is my spot in the scheme of things, banging out this blog before Mrs Sachie wakes up and starts making demands.

And here is Mrs Sachie’s spot. Likes a hot bath, she does, and Le Meridian has possibly the best baths in Bangkok. Deep, generous, and they don’t have that bullshit where the hot water takes forever to reach your room. Speaking of bathing…

Twin showers. This suite has two showers, so you can watch your partner wash and criticize their technique (“You don’t even wash your ass, you animal!” “It’s not heathy! I saw it on the Internet!”), but it also has twin swinks. There are two TVs and one person can be in the sitting room while the other is in bed.

I am convinced that this room is for couples that have been together forever and are condemned to argue about everything. The shower temperature isn’t right after she has been in there. He leaves hair in the sink. She wants to watch Korean dramas so he will storm into the other room to watch sports or something. There’s only one shitter though so don’t leave a floater or you’re in for an explosion.

Lovely view though.

There’s this sign in the lift and it’s been there pre-Covid. They should pick a new station. Like Montreal http://youarelistening.to/montreal

Down we go on the lift. After exploring the room we had gone up to the lounge for coffee and cakes. Now, this being the wife’s birthday, I had considered calling the lounge last week, Sachie being a bit of a regular, and explaining that it was her birthday and could they supply a cake? Perhaps sing Happy Birthday. I described this plan to Child #1 and she pointed out that Sachie would hate it in the first degree.

I had bought a couple of bottles of her favourite sparking wines (Sachie’s, not Child #1’s) and snuck them to the lounge staff to put in the fridge. Well, it turns out that they already knew it was her birthday and had organized cake and singing. THIS should be amusing. I messaged Child #1 with the news and was instructed to take video.

But the lift has reached the lobby and we are out on excursion. First stop is Taniaya mall.

If you have ever been here then you will know that it is a golf-centric shopping centre. In fact, there is very little on the first two floors that is not golf-related. I hate golf. Not the sport, or because the courses are ecological wastelands that could support homes or native wildlife. I hate it for its crass accessories and consumerization. It appears to me that, for most, golf is an excuse, not a sport.

It turns out, though, that this little shopping centre is a boy’s club. There is a very nice wine shop, a shop for model trains and even a Tamiya outlet! In my excitement I didn’t photograph anything but returned to the hotel with two 1/700 scale model warships that will do fine duty on my shelf, still in the box and unassembled for the next decade.

We also stopped at Donki to look for a maid uniform for Mrs Sachie to wear at my birthday party (Oh shit! Was I supposed to bring a costume for tonight?) but they’re a bit cheap-looking and not in the right way. In fact, most of the costumes at this discount supermarket (they sell fishnet stockings, thongs and Gundam models too) kind of looked like an invitation to statutory rape.

Speaking of filth, we returned via Patpong Soi 2. Many things have changed over the years but they still have the kinky bondage club that’s too expensive and Black Pagoda dominates all. Quick visit to Foodland and it’s back to the lounge for ‘creative hour’. That is, the nightly pissup.

Wasn’t Bellview a nuthouse in the US?

That’s the white, it’s a fruit wine (3.2 on Vivino), so is the red. The sparkling is the same BellevillE brand which I really don’t rate. I does seem to be the case that after the covid shock a lot of hotel lounges have been democratised and, with the extra traffic, there is pressure to economise. Thus there is no smoked salmon and brie at afternoon tea and the wine is a bit rubbish. Time to move on.

Nature finds a way.

Righto, let’s get to to work on this list, I am proud to say that we knocked off all the cocktails except the Thai Mojito but I suspect that we didn’t miss much. The Cabernet Cobbler was a little rubbish and the Aperol was, well, what you expect.

That’s the sparkling, the Aperol and French 75. I last ate a maraschino cherry almost 20 years ago and they have not improved in taste. If you are wondering who drinks the mocktails, well that would be all the gay couples, there’s loads of them. In fact the lounge was a bit of a snakefarm, there being only two lady-guests other than Sachie.

The Krungtheopolitan was excellent.

I’ve been throwing a lot of shade at Le Meridian lounge but it’s the Ritz compared to the lounge at the Marriott Melbourne. There’s also the outstanding attention to service.

Yep, they waited until we had forgotten to spring their trap!

And another victim! This chap was turning a year older on his own. There was another table with a birthday too, which must be pretty exhausting for the staff. Not sure if they teach the Birthday Paradox in hospitality class but they probably should. What they do teach though…

What the fuck! Where’s the free bottle of wine?

And that’s pretty special. Not your usual turndown service.

And there’s a very happy girl on her 39th birthday. I made a bunch of notes at breakfast the next day, mostly about how people just look at their phones rather than talk (Sachie read her book and I the newspaper) and how it was all dudes again. In fact, a very odd bunch at breakfast, but lets leave with the happy image above and wish Mrs Sachie a very happy birthday.

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