Two of the hotel’s three restaurants are downstairs near the lobby. There is also a bar there with a snooker table, and a fancy boutique shop just over a koi pond. The shop is called Jim Thompson, and features fashionable silk goods that its namesake was famous for exporting. To learn more about this legendary Chicago native who mysteriously disappeared, click here.
One of the highlights of my three nights at this hotel was tea in the Jim Thompson Tea Room. At first I just thought it was neat that they kept the English tradition alive. After I ordered one of their wide selection of teas (many are locally grown; others are imported), out came a three-tier tray filled with English scones, pastries and finger sandwiches. But the bottom plate included regional treats, like egg rolls and dumplings. There was also homemade orange, grape and strawberry jam. There are strawberry fields all around, so dessert was a bowl of fresh-picked bright red voluptuous strawberries. They came with three kinds of dip (chocolate, fresh whipped cream and custard). This was far better than anything I’ve ever had in England. And the best part: It cost a quarter of the price (40RM [$10]). Tea time alone is worth coming to this hotel -- I’m not joking!