Hotel Wars Grand Hyatt, Erawan Bangkok Pullman Bangkok Hotel G The Location Right on the Sukhumvit BTS line (SO convenient), the hotel is surrounded by high-end shopping malls and named for the active little shrine nearby. Newly opened last fall, this hotel is in the thick of the Silom Road area southwest of Lumphini Park. Less malls, more stalls selling Singha shirts. The Vibe A lobby full of leafy greenery and waterfalls lends a peaceful, serene feeling; the columned entrance gives a sense of grandeur. Achingly trendy. The video screens in each elevator flashing fashion and art scenes and emitting thumping music give you a hint. The Room Half of the rooms in this 22-year-old hotel have been completely renovated (with the rest on the way), and the décor now has a west-meets-Thai subtle homey-ness with high-tech bells and whistles and a snazzy partitioned bathroom. White, minimalist chic, from the bed to the floor to the desk. Constantly changing contemporary art hangs on the wall, which is also for sale. The bathroom tiles are glittery, and the minibar comes complete with condoms. Bangkok Break After a recent weekend in Bangkok, I seriously don't understand why Honkongers don't head there once a month in the winter. The weather's warm but not oppressive, the food is fantastic, the shopping's amazing, the massages cheap. There's just enough time to pack in all the good stuff before you get too peeved about the traffic, sexpats or constant "kaaaaas." Here are a couple of pointers. Tricks of the Trade I decided to play the medical tourist card this time around, getting a cleaning and a small cavity filled at a fraction of what it would cost in Hong Kong. I patronized what expatriates jokingly call a dental spa—seriously, they also have a branch in Phuket— DC One The Dental Clinic . My friend E took a chance on the much-vaunted comprehensive health check at top-notch Bumrungrad International Hospital , which many international residents who live there swear by. Preventive care in Hong Kong is rarely covered by insurance, and at Bumrungrad they'll run a battery of blood tests, check your thyroid, run a stress test, check out all your lady parts and generally make sure everything's ship-shape—all for not more than HK$2,000. As for Thai-style rubdowns, my first choice is Asia Herb Association , which has affordable treatments in a lovely setting as well as a little shop in the front of each branch selling fragrant spa goodies to take home. Failing to book ahead taught us a lesson, though. Another chain popular among residents is Body Tune , and I've heard good things about pricier Face, which also runs a restaurant and bar. A cocktail with my back-cracking? Yes, please! Till next time, Bangkok. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter: @HanaRAlberts.