My first interlude at the Ibis was in Paris in autumn, 1995 (doesn’t that sound romantic?). It was not in the centre of town but it was, dare I say it, affordable and in that genre, you can’t beat the Ibis. It does its job impeccably well which is thankfully why it’s still here.
Part of the Accor group (whom I rate highly) the Sathorn is one of three Ibis hotels in Bangkok. On foot it’s not the easiest to reach but I persevere down the narrow soi (lane) with my bags. The result is suitably adequate. The staff are well presented and as courteous as one might expect of a 5 star. The room is en-suite with a bed, modern flat screen TV, unlimited internet and for the ‘budget’ range some fine wooden décor and complimentary water. You can’t ask for more. It is so cosy I didn’t even go out! Really it’s because of work but it’s homey enough to hide away from the heat outside. Even in December Bangkok can be overbearing for those not used to it.
The bed is also comfortable and I’m asleep in no time. Before long it’s time to utilise the shower and home in on the breakfast on offer downstairs. Here too they are pretty impressive. There is a range of cereals, pancakes, condiments, as well as rice, noodles with pork, eggs (scrambled and fried) and toast.
Perhaps the most immediately noticeable thing is an absence of orange juice. In its place is pineapple. They do like their pineapple here – it shows up in a number of dishes. I settle for grape which looks like diluted cordial but tastes much better, some toast, pancakes with honey and some sautéed potatoes and egg of the scrambled variety. It does the job.
On this evidence the Ibis still serves a vital role and if it ever offers a writer in residence slot – I’d be happy to live there. Is that too obsequious? Who cares.
*with special thanks to the Accor team in Bangkok for allowing my residence at short notice*
Soi Ngam Duphli Rama IV , Bangkok, Thailand
Contact tel: (+66)2/6592888 , fax: (+66)2/6592889