Home > Lounges, Star Alliance, Thai Airways, Thailand, Trip Reports > Asia 2012 Trip Report: Thai Airways Royal First Lounge and Royal Orchid Spa at Bangkok

Asia 2012 Trip Report: Thai Airways Royal First Lounge and Royal Orchid Spa at Bangkok

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: United Airlines LAX-SFO, United International First Class Lounges at LAX/SFO

Part 3: United Airlines Global First Class, San Francisco to Frankfurt

Part 4: Lufthansa First Class Terminal at Frankfurt

Part 5: Lufthansa FRA-ZRH, SWISS First Class Lounge at Zürich

Part 6: SWISS First Class, Zürich to Hong Kong

Part 7: Emirates A380 First Class Suites, Hong Kong to Bangkok

Part 8: Singapore Airlines Business Class, Bangkok to Singapore

Part 9: Exploring Singapore

Part 10: Singapore Airlines Business Class, Singapore to Mumbai

Part 11: Singapore Airlines Business Class, Mumbai to Singapore

Part 12: Singapore Airlines Business Class, Singapore to Hanoi

Part 13: Hanoi / Ha Long Bay

Part 14: Qatar Airways Economy Class, Hanoi to Bangkok

Part 15: Bangkok / Park Plaza Soi 18

Part 16: Emirates A380 First Class Suites, Bangkok to Hong Kong

Part 17: A weekend in Hong Kong

Part 18: Thai Airways/United First Class Lounges at HKG, Thai Airways First Class, Hong Kong to Bangkok

Part 19: Thai Airways Royal First Lounge and Royal Orchid Spa at Bangkok

—————————————-

My overnight stay was nothing spectacular – just a cheap place near the airport to crash after a late flight and a jumping-off point to go visit the airport early. While my flight wasn’t until 12:45pm, I wanted to be at the airport by 8am to enjoy the lounge (which would likely be much better than my airport hotel).

I asked my ride to drop me off at the 1st door at Suvarnabhumi Airport’s terminal, reserved for Royal First and Royal Silk (business) passengers. As soon as I exited the car, I had a Thai Airways (TG) employee ask me which cabin I was in. Once I responded First, he placed my bag on a cart and escorted me to the separate First check-in area. Once there, two agents guarding the entrance welcomed me with a couple of “Sawadees,” while another requested my passport and asked me to have a seat. Another employee presented me a cold towel and welcome lemongrass drink while I waited. Not a minute in the airport and already the most personalized service of the trip – wow!

Royal First/Royal Silk Entrance

Royal First Class check-in area

Welcome drink + cold towel

This sounds excessive but it’s all done with a warm sense of welcome. Though I like the blurb from Thai’s website describing the various cabin classes:

Quote:
“Royal First Class represents the ultimate in flying luxury, awarding privileged recognition to those who have achieved the pinnacle of social or professional status.”

Please note that I don’t have a real career yet nor can I rent a car in several states. If this is my pinnacle, I’ve peaked too early, like a child star in Hollywood.

Anyway. I had selected seat 2K but was told that the passenger in seat 2A had been given 2K due to a malfunctioning 2A. I was offered seat 1K (though not really given a choice, since it was the only window seat remaining). I accepted, and actually preferred row 1 over row 2 once I saw the inside of the cabin. I could rest easy when the agent confirmed the aircraft would be the 77W with suites. I let out a “Yes!” that would make even Marv Albert blush.

I was given my boarding pass and lounge invitation, though the latter was unnecessary, since I was escorted all the way to the First Class Lounge by a TG employee.

I also don’t see the point of a lounge invitation when the class on the ticket is very conspicuous … I highlighted it, just in case you can’t see it…

The First check-in area leads out to a priority security line. From there, we headed to the Royal Silk Lounge entrance. At the entrance awaited a modified golf cart and I was invited to get on to get a ride to the Royal First lounge down the way.

The path to the Royal First lounge is through the hallway parallel to the entire Business Class/Star Gold lounge, in view of almost everyone in the lounge. The ride seemed a good way to get a quick tour of the Royal Silk Lounge on video:

Upon entering the lounge, I was asked if I’d like to schedule an hour-long massage in the Spa across the hall. Now that’s something you don’t hear when you enter a Delta Sky Club …

I requested one of the many empty living rooms within the lounge … I guess the other passengers don’t do research before their trips, since a lot of them were in the general lounge area. But Mama didn’t raise no fool … in fact, Mama specifically told this unfool to get a living room after her visit in February on her first First trip (needless to say, I’ve begun to get a lot more phone calls about what credit card to use when she’s at a store …).

The living rooms aren’t exactly “private,” as the glass partition only covers about 50% of the entrance. However, they do have a very personal and home-like feel. The only thing missing is a comfier place to lie down – there are sleeping rooms down the hall, but I feel they should have a comfier “sleeping couch” in the living rooms. Also, the power outlets are in odd locations, as the only place to keep a computer is on the desk or in the corner of the room (i.e., no outlets near the sofa/coffee table).

Main lounge area

Only one thing wrong with this picture …

Corner desk

Nicer than my living room in my college apartment. TV’s made by B&O and it creeped me out when it swiveled toward the sofa automatically when I walked into the room.

Once inside, I was given a menu that would put the LH FCT buffet to shame (though I am biased since Thai food is my favorite). It was tough to take pics, so here’s a link to a video of me thumbing through it.

Not really a fan of a big breakfast so early in the morning, I ordered just plain eggs and toast, saving room for a bigger and better lunch.

Breakfast

After finishing that, I had a bit of an appetite, and visited the buffet area (which I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t take pictures of, but it was basically where they kept items from the menu). In typical hospitable Thai fashion, the buffet attendant wouldn’t let me pick up a plate and select items myself. Instead, I just pointed to whatever I wanted and returned to my living room. A couple of minutes later, a lounge attendant came by with my food.

Chinese donuts

Every 10-15 minutes, a lounge attendant would drop by to ask if I needed anything. Feeling bad to say no so many times in succession, I’d ask for a random drink here and there.

The detail in presentation for a simple cup of coffee

Soon, it was time for the massage, the real highlight of flying First/Business on Thai Airways out of Bangkok (anyone flying Star Alliance First Class can access the First Class lounge, but the Spa is available only to Thai Airways passengers).

A lounge attendant fetched me from my room and escorted me just across the hall to the Royal Orchid Spa. First Class passengers get an hour, while business passengers get 30 minutes. This is the “menu,” courtesy of the website:

Quote:
• Touch Of Silk Massage (Full body oil massage – 60 minutes for First Class only) – Ler’s start your journey with a relaxing Touch of Silk full body oil massage. Delivered with the unique ‘Thai touch’, this massage will help to prepare your body for your onward flight by increasing blood circulation as well as relieving muscular tension and helping to provide the necessary hydration for your skin. On leaving the massage you will be left with an overall sense of well-being and total relaxation.
• Neck & Shoulder Massage (30 minutes) – This is a great massage for passengers who are stressed, work at the computer too much or don’t relax well. Neck and shoulder problems from routine activities are among the most common area for massage therapists to address. Using specific techniques the therapist will work to loosen tight muscles around the neck and shoulders whilst simultaneously assessing how much tension is held in the body and how best to release it. You will board your flight feeling more relaxed and a little lighter on the shoulders.
• Relaxing Hand Massage (30 minutes) – Are your hands tired from all that clicking, driving, messaging and typing? If so, how about offering them a break and giving them a massage they truly deserve? By massaging the major channels/meridians of the arms and reflex points in the hands, this deep hand massage is designed to thoroughly release tension that accumulates in the hands and arms from our daily tasks. Finishing with warm towels for both arms encourage muscle relaxation; this treatment can help to deliver a total sense of relaxation.
• Relaxing Foot Massage (30 minutes) – Let’s help prepare your feet for your onward journey, by taking the weight of them and giving them a relaxing massage that they truly deserve. Foot massage is a well-known relaxation therapy to help take care of tired feet. With the gentle touch of the therapists’ hands, a sense of overall relaxation is induced. Deeper pressure by the fingers will help to stimulate your vital organs.

I’m not too big a fan of oil massages, so I asked if I could have an hour’s worth of a combination of the other 3. My request was fulfilled without hesitation, and the massage actually ended up being almost 75 minutes (at least I think … I did snooze off for the better part of it …).

Waiting area in the Spa

Door handle at the entrance to the Royal Orchid Spa

Afterward, I was escorted back to my living room. Massages really build up appetites, so lunchtime couldn’t have come at a better time!

Tom yum goong, green curry, and a Chang. Just looking at this makes me want to go back to Thailand.

Mango pastry one of the waiters brought by after lunch. Tasty!

I took a few minutes to look at the rest of the lounge, though forgot to take a picture of the dining area.

Taking the term “lounge” literally

Work center

Sleeping room

Boarding time on the BP was set for 12:05pm, but I was told that “that’s for Economy Class.” A Thai Airways agent would get me at the last possible moment for boarding. After all, as he said, “the plane cannot leave without you!”

About 20 minutes before departure, a lounge attendant came to get me and escorted me to my flight. It was too short for a buggy ride, and after having eaten and knowing that the remaining deadly sins awaited me onboard, I preferred the walk.

The pictogram on the top right is definitely not an First Class passenger …

I’ve said that the Lufthansa First Class Terminal makes you feel as if you’re not in an airport … the Thai Royal First Lounge and Royal Orchid Spa come very close to that, although there are the once-in-a-while flight announcements that serve as reminders of where you are. It really was a great place to spend a few hours. Get there early, I say!

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  1. June 7, 2012 at 11:22 am

    So what was on the screen there didn’t make you lose your appetite?

    • June 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      The semi-private living room let me curse freely.

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