HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant makes for an addictive series in the quarantine era. A bingeable thriller with dark humor, the show begins when flight attendant Cassie (played by Kaley Cuoco) wakes up hungover in a foreign city to find her one-night stand murdered next to her in bed. Although she doesn’t remember anything, Cassie races to clear her name.
The show transports stuck-at-home viewers to Bangkok, as we see Cassie cruising down the Chao Phraya River, strolling and noshing in a packed night market and then, after things go awry, scurrying past bright tuk-tuks.
Most of the Bangkok action revolves around the fictional Makara Prince Hotel, which is actually Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel. For the show’s December 17 season finale, we give you a tour of the property’s Hollywood-worthy highlights.
As Cassie flees the suite of her mysteriously murdered paramour, she hurries through the property’s atrium, an oasis along the centrally located Rajadamri Road. The hidden courtyard is filled with palms and tropical foliage, and it holds a placid pond with brightly hued koi.
If not rushing to solve a murder mystery, you can linger in the open-air space by visiting the restaurants and shops that line it. Aqua bar serves cocktails like Tom Yam Siam (vodka-loving Cassie undoubtedly would like the combination of Ketel One infused with spicy tomyam herbs, Malibu, lychee and lime juice) and international bites (like chicken wings, samosas and sushi). Spice Market turns out modern Thai cuisine like poo nim pad prik tai on, crispy soft-shell crab with peppercorn sauce, chili noodles and rice. The atrium also hosts a lavish Sunday brunch buffet that includes everything from dishes like lobster Thermidor and foie gras to a rotation of Thai street food.
You also can peruse the courtyard shops. Look for the fine works to be found in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store or copy Cassie and pick up a scarf at the boutique from famed Thai silk purveyor Jim Thompson.
The newest addition to the atrium is VIVID, an IV drip bar, anti-aging and aesthetics center. A partnership with Singapore-based Verita Healthcare, VIVID helps revive and rebalance visitors with immunity-boosting IVs that are said to help do everything from alleviating hangovers to energizing jet-lagged travelers.
The distinctive Anantara Siam lobby also makes an appearance in the series. Since its 1983 opening, the hotel has been known for the elaborate murals that cover the two-story lobby’s walls and for pioneering a Thai-style ceiling fresco type of art in watercolor and raw silk.
The sprawling mandala-type works were made by one of Thailand’s foremost painters, Arjarn Paiboon Suwannakudt. The theme is the coronation of a king. Beneath the realist depictions of hundreds of richly costumed figures and numerous animals, trees and flowers, the painting carries much symbolism. For example, the elephant signifies war; the horse, commerce; the chariot, royalty; and the boat, trade.
The striking ceiling is adorned with hand-painted silk mandalas, abstract geometrics, Buddhist symbols, adapted Sung dynasty floral patterns, traditional Thai mythological and astrological animals, stylized sunbursts and other elements of nature.
While the suite that served as the grisly murder scene was a set, Anantara Siam’s One Bedroom Corner Suite is a good stunt double. It has a similar look and feel with spacious living and dining room areas covered in dark, rich teak wood, and large windows that face the Royal Bangkok Sports Club’s golf course. While it doesn’t have the outdoor hot tub that Cassie soaked in, it does have an oversized sunken bathtub (plus, the hotel an Olympic-size outdoor swimming pool surrounded by lush plants, palm trees and a lotus pond).
The suite also comes with perks that business travelers like Alex Sokolov, Cassie’s lost lover (played by Michiel Huisman), would appreciate. It includes access to the Kasara Executive Lounge, which provides light food and drinks throughout the day, sunset cocktails, complimentary meeting rooms and a dedicated concierge.
Although Cassie had to hightail it out of the hotel, it’s worth making time for some pampering at the Four-Star Anantara Spa. At this haven of serenity, every treatment room is a suite with its own shower, and some have a Roman-style tub or steam room.
The treatment menu focuses on Asian therapies. Try the Siam, a signature massage that draws on the country’s diverse cultural heritage by incorporating elements from Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and China. It includes a bamboo stick rubdown, stretching, pressure point work, and an herbal oil massage and reflexology. It ends with gold-leaf patches placed on the left arm and left side of the chest to help quiet the mind — something Cassie can certainly use to help solve Sokolov’s murder.