Through some great bit of good fortune, this year both Thailand and the United States have a three-day weekend at the end of May. This doesn’t happen often as the Thai holiday is a Buddhist one, which moves around based on the lunar calendar. We’re going to take advantage of our long weekend to get away, but not very far away. In fact, we’re just going across the river to Bangkok’s Right Bank, Thonburi.
One of the positive side effects of all this political turmoil (which has been going on pretty much since right after I moved here in 2005 – coincidence?) is that tourism has been down. This means that the local hospitality industry is desperate to attract business, turning to locals with some amazing deals. Now, this usually happens during the low season, which coincides with the rainy season here and summer elsewhere in the northern hemisphere. But these deals are turning out to be a regular feature of Thailand life. Not offered to tourists, though. Only Thais and foreigners residing here for work or retirement are eligible.
Originally, we were going to drive three or four hours south to Hua Hin or Cha-Am. But that’s what all the Bangkok residents will be doing this weekend, so prices at those hotels we’re nearly as nice. We originally wanted to stay somewhere for about 2000 baht a night, about US$60. But the options we found, while nice, weren’t super nice and would require the expenditure of gas money and time.
When I saw a newspaper ad on Wednesday from the Peninsula Hotel, Tawn and I decided to explore the offer. The Peninsula consistently ranks as one of the top hotels in Asia and we’ve visited it many times when guests have stayed there. Their standard rooms often go for at least US$300 a night, and usually for much more than that.
Their rate for this promotion? Only 3000 baht (US$91) a night, inclusive of breakfast for two and a choice of either a set dinner for two or 50 minute massage for two. The promotion also provides full use of facilities and a 25% discount on other food and beverage. Drinks at the river bar, anyone?
It seems that if you calculate the cost of fuel and time, driving all the way down to Hua Hin doesn’t make a lot of sense. Instead, we’re going to hunker down at the Peninsula, not leave for two days, and enjoy the luxury. I’m also going to leave my computer at home. No Xanga for 48 hours…
Here’s to hoping we have a fun weekend away.