Be cocooned in comfort at the heart of Bangkok's commercial district, writes Daniel Fallon.
A lounge chair on the outside deck of the executive lounge on the 32nd-floor of Amari Watergate offers a stunning panoramic view of Bangkok.
It's a peaceful place to sip some wine and take in the expansive cityscape of this famous Asian hub; it belies the bustle of life below.
At the top of this five-star hotel you are removed from streets crammed with traffic, street vendors selling everything from soft toys to tom yam goong and the torrents of people that move between them. And that is just outside the front doors.
Amari Watergate sits in the commercial and shopping district of Pratunam and is something of a modern cocoon from the busy world outside.
It offers many of the luxuries you would expect of a property of its type - sumptuous suites with comfortable king beds, modern decor and resplendent bathrooms, tech-savvy (Wi-Fi), a spa and salon (offering everything from traditional Thai massages to facials), business conference rooms, a fitness centre and pool - and some you wouldn't (ping pong table, squash courts and aerobics studio with free classes). It is a huge development with 569 rooms, including 186 deluxe and the 112 square metre presidential suite.
My cosy executive room sits on one of four executive levels at the top of the 34-level high rise, which are all serviced by a private reception for check-in/check-out.
For these rooms, buffet breakfast is included in the executive lounge, which also serves as a good spot for a nightcap or to enjoy one of the complimentary beverages (cocktails, beer, wine) and cold hors d'oeuveres between 5pm and 7pm.
The food here is passable but in terms of culinary experiences there are better options on offer.
Watergate has six restaurants to choose from and in less than 48 hours, I manage to try most of them. At Thai on 4 there are delicious local meals including spicy salads and tasty stir-fried dishes and homemade ice-cream for dessert; Heichinrou, which is a cavernous venue that will delight those who enjoy southern Chinese - the dim sums are a specialty and the deep-fried chicken in almond crust is delicious; an Asian and Western cuisine buffet at Promenade; Cascade for sandwiches and cakes; cocktails and snacks at the Pool Bar and on the basement floor, Henry J. Bean's Bar & Grill for beer and western pub fare. I have sensational dinners at Thai on 4 and Heichinrou.
Amari Watergate is perfectly placed to launch shopping sorties. There are six major shopping centres nearby, including Central World, Gaysorn Plaza, MBK and Siam Paragon, all with plenty of designer labels on offer, as well as Platinum Shopping Mall for street fashion and accessories and Pratanum Market just outside.
You'll also find yourself tempted to spend on the way there, with street vendors selling clothes, toys and souvenirs along the way.
I find myself engrossed in Pantip Plaza, a technology shopping mall with every gadget and piece of software you can imagine. I am most impressed by a vendor who cleans my iPhone screen and expertly applies a protector bubble for free.
And the best way to unwind after a busy day shopping or seeing the sites? A traditional Thai massage at the Breeze Spa on level eight. An hour of deep-tissue therapy will ease any doubts about staying at this hotel - and what you've spent shopping.
The writer was a guest of Amari Watergate and Thai Airways.
Amari Watergate, 847 Petchburi Road, Bangkok 10400.
Rooms start at THB 2800 ($97) a night. An executive room costs THB 6350.
The hotel is in an excellent position to launch sorties to some of Bangkok's largest and best shopping centres including Central World, Siam Paragon and Platinum Shopping Mall.
While there is a fine view from the outdoor pool in the landscaped garden on the eighth floor, it is not heated (I found it chilly) and not suitable for laps.