Grand Hyatt Erawan is quintessentially modern Bangkok: big, busy, and as central as central gets. The hotel is almost its own stop on the Sky Train, and to step outside is to be plunked into one of the most traffic-clogged and active corners of metropolitan Asia. Although the Grand Hyatt is linked to a shopping mall via a sky bridge, the world slows down a touch inside the hotel. The comings and goings of suit-clad men and women and shoppers clutching huge bags creates a soft-edged urban atmosphere. The high-ceilinged, almost colonial-feeling lobby sets up a pleasing contrast with the clean lines, neutral tones, and natural light of the spacious rooms. The hotel is, of course, kitted out with lots of technological perks, such as iPod docks, enhanced work desk lighting, and LCD screen TVs, and the service is attentive.
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Siam Square is a busy shopping and business district in the heart of the city. Grand Hyatt Erawan makes the most of that, linked via sky bridges to the Erawan Shopping Center—with five stories of upscale shops, such as Burberry and Comme des Garcons—and a Sky Train rail station, from which guests can access the rest of Bangkok. For culture that doesn’t require a credit card, the Erawan Shrine is next to the hotel. This small but lively Hindu place of worship features a golden statue of Phra Phrom, the god of creation, and classic Thai dance troupes or Chinese lion dancers who often perform around the shrine.
Need to Know
Rooms: 380 rooms; from $315. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: There are 13 dining options in this huge hotel, but the top choices are Tables Grill, which offers tableside, European-inspired cooking (very entertaining) and an excellent Sunday brunch buffet; the very authentic Italian restaurant, Spasso; and You and Mee, which features noodle dishes from around Asia and is popular with locals. Spa and gym details: The spa offers oxygen inhalation therapy, which promises to offset those cramped, airless hours on the airplane or rejuvenate visitors who have fully embraced the city’s nightlife.
Who's it for: Business travelers and shoppers who want or need to be near busy Siam Square. Our favorite rooms: The Grand Club rooms are massive and include personal concierge service, cocktails, and access to the hotel’s excellent Club Lounge, which features lovely artwork and a library area in which cell phones are banned, as well as refreshments available through the day. Must-see: Twentieth-century silk baron Jim Thompson’s house—a beautiful teak home with lush gardens that is now a museum—is a traffic-clogged yet interesting half-mile walk from the hotel.