Hotel check: Centara Grand at Central World



An ultra-modern 230 metre-high architectural icon inspired by the shape of a blooming lotus that towers overBangkok’s CBD.  Inside, a cool, minimalist handwriting shows clean, uncluttered lines, a vast expanse of marble-tiled floors, a fantasy elliptical staircase, and glass walls providing views over the mega-city. Brilliantly positioned, it links directly to the new Bangkok Convention Centre and CentralWorld, one ofAsia’s largest, trendiest malls with more than 500 retail and entertainment venues.


1 Rama Road, Pathumwan,Bangkok. It’s 30 minutes fromSuvarnabhumiInternationalAirport(depending on the traffic). Two ofBangkok’s futuristic sky train stations, Chidlom andSiam, are linked via a sky-walk, whisking you off Blade-Runner style to wherever you need to go.


The 505 rooms range from the smallest at 32m² to the largest at 278m² (Royal Suite). These include 75 Superior World Rooms, 30 Premium World Rooms, 72 World De Luxe rooms, 30 Executive Suites, 255 De Luxe World Rooms, 26 World Club Executive Rooms, 14 World Club Premium Rooms, six World Executive Suites and one Royal Suite.


Free high speed Internet, satellite TV, air-con, radio, mini bar, fridge, safe, IDD phone line, smoke detector and sprinkler. Our king-sized bed was comfortable, and the sleek reclining chair perfect for watching DVDs or Bangkok’s skyscrapers from 41 floors up. Dressing gown, slippers and a bathroom scale were provided while toiletries included hairbrush, toothbrush, mouthwash, razor and shaving cream along with the usual shampoos and shower caps. The bathroom was a poem to aesthetic functionality, with the exception of the towel rack. We couldn’t find one.  But the bathtub was generous and my husband and I loved the curved, glass-walled shower.


Seven restaurants and bars provide an array of dining options. The RedSky bar, covering the entire outdoor area of the 55th floor, is the Thai capital’s hippest place for martinis. It overlooks the glittering skyline with a huge neon arch changing colour every few minutes from acid lime to yellow, blue, orange and mauve. The drinks aren’t cheap, but it’s definitely worth a visit, even just to see all the lights twinkling into infinity. Also on the 55th floor is the Fine Dining Grill. Ginger, on the 24th floor offers Japanese, Chinese and Thai cuisine. We tucked into sushi at our table opposite an aquarium where tropical fish provided a calm counterfoil to the noisy hordes of children accompanying their parents for dinner. To be fair, we arrived at 6 p.m., which was probably family time. 

At The World International, also on the 24th floor, we smacked our lips over smoked salmon served with fresh capers and a Thai curry. Breakfasts at the World International offer everything from sushi (my idea of culinary heaven) to Dim Sum, fruit, pastries, egg and meat dishes. It’s open all day. Other options include the Lobby Lounge (light refreshments and snacks), the Globe Bar (drinks) Sky Lobby (more snacks) the Spa’s Juice & Snack bar, and Zing for coffee, sweet and savoury snacks


Spa Cenvaree, on the 26th floor offers 14 multi-function therapy rooms, an infrared sauna, couple-treatment suites with Jacuzzi, a Thai massage room, nail bar, outdoor pedicure sala, relaxation rooms, a well-stocked fitness centre and two outdoor tennis courts. How many balls have you lobbed and smashed from the 26th floor lately? Hydro facilities include a whirlpool, herbal steam bath,Vichyunit and outdoor swimming pool.


With more than 10,000 square metres and a ceiling height of 13.5 metres, the convention centre can accommodate up to 6,000 delegates in a single, pillar-less environment.  The World Ballroom seats 700 banquet-style, the five Lotus Suites can seat between 10- 400 people theatre-style, while the Boardroom seats 19 ballroom-style. The hotel features nine executive floors and indoor parking for delegates.

All guests staying in Executive Suites get free access to the World Executive Club Lounge that covers the entire 51st floor. It’s open 24 hours, with complimentary breakfasts, High Teas, evening cocktails and canapés, served daily. The World Club Lounge has a dedicated butler, concierge service, and private library. There is a selection of meeting rooms for private use for up to six hours per stay, as well as complimentary broadband Internet access in the lounge.


From 8,000 Baht a night (around R2, 000), the rate being roughly around four to one. Most expensive is the Royal Suite at 70,000 Baht, which includes three bedrooms and a living room, full board and all club floor benefits.


Just opened in October 2008, the five-star Centara Grand CentralWorld, part of the Centara Group of 13 upscale hotels inThailand, is hot, hip, and happening. Icy, whiplash sophistication is tempered by warm and efficient service. Business execs will appreciate the free daily newspaper delivery, easy access to the CBD and the fully-integrated work-hard, play-hard ethic. Their wives will enjoy the shopping. And then some!



66 (0) 2 100 1234

Fax 66 (0) 2 100 1235

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Caroline Hurry