The best way to experience the true soul of a place is to arrive by train. I’m reminded of this after spending several days aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express and disembarking my posh Pullman car at the dirty, chaotic platform of downtown Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong station at the height of rush hour. My senses are instantly thrust into overload. Train whistles are blowing at nearly all the 20 or so platforms. People are shouting, laughing, scrambling for luggage, rushing to climb aboard one train or another. Cars waiting in the street are honking incessantly. A chicken runs underfoot, feathers flying. A dozen young monks in bright orange robes shuffle through the station in a parallel but silent world. “Where is my valet,” I’m wondering?
Bulgari Bali Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia Bulgari recruited Ritz-Carlton to manage the resort and tapped celebrated spa-design firm ESPA to run the property using Bulgari’s own product line. This team has melded modern Italian glam with ancient Bali -nese enchantment atop an Uluwatu promontory, where an intricately carved teak house serves as the reception area. Favorite treatment: I don’t normally love facials, but The Bulgari Gem Essence facial is truly amazing. It uses actual gem dust from the brand’s famous jewels. I also love the guided sunrise meditation, followed by a rice-and-spice exfoliation, a ginger-yogurt wrap, and a lava-stone massage. Rooms from $750; +62.361.847.1000
Hey Brad, We’ve got one night in Bangkok (long story), so we need to make the most of our time. Where should we eat (late lunch and dinner for two)? We’ve never been to Bangkok before. –Brie and Jackson