Marriott Hotels and TED have partnered to launch an experiential interactive room experience like no other. We try the one in Bangkok.
Marriott Hotels has convinced me that it’s time to do away with our idea of a typical luxury getaway. Any five-star hotel can promise world-class customer service, stress-melting spa programmes and decadent nosh. All it takes is a swipe of your credit card. But a true travel experience that starts right from the moment you step foot into your hotel room? Now that can be hard to find. So when I received an invitation to try out The Curiosity Room by TED, a one-of-a-kind escape room experience set within the opulent Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, I eagerly accepted the challenge.
The Curiosity Room by TED review
Before leaving for Bangkok, I sheepishly remarked to my editor that I’m terrible at puzzles and games. “Won’t it be funny if I end up not being able to solve this?” I said. “You’ll be fine,” she assured me.
She was wrong.
Okay, she was right. We did end up solving and completing the mysteries within The Curiosity Room by TED. But I’m convinced I wouldn’t have done so without the help of very excitable, competent team players (and hints from hotel staff). Without them, I would’ve been reduced to a bamboozled child.
Now, before you judge me, take note that this experiential interactive room experience (that’s also available in San Francisco and London) is dreamed up by Marriott Hotels and the brainy minds at TED. Yes, the very same award-winning educational platform famous for its life-changing influential videos.
They’re not letting anyone off too easily. The actual hotel package requires you to book the room for a minimum two-night stay (starting at $620), and for good reason. I’m convinced you need a full day (or at least half a day) to come out on top of this.
It might seem pricey, but the booking can accommodate up to four guests, and includes one dinner at Goji Kitchen + Bar, and a treat from the Siam Tea Room’s bakery. Honestly, it’s pretty worth it.
Nothing is as it appears to be
When you first step in, it looks almost like any other bedroom within the hotel. What sets it apart, at first glance, is a mural of Bangkok city behind the beds, and a giant TED sign displayed on one of the walls.
Our first clue hangs up on a panel that reads, “Welcome to The Curiosity Room where things are not always as they appear”. And if that doesn’t summarise the full experience in a nutshell, I’m not sure what does.
We’re armed with just a journal, complete with hints and prompts, to guide us through each phase of the adventure. It isn’t tacky either; there are tons of concealed tech elements within the room that bring the experience to life. I can’t say much more without giving the whole shebang away. But you can definitely expect intriguing puzzles tied to Bangkok’s iconic landmarks, useful objects hidden in plain sight, and perplexing riddles that require a good deal of logic to solve.
How do I rate this experience? I really think it deserves a 10 out of 10. I can absolutely imagine having the best time here with family and friends. The only thing is that non-English speakers might find this a little challenging. All riddles and clues are written in English, and some are tricky to decipher – even for the fluent reader.
The best way to live it up in Bangkok
Outside of this gripping escape room experience, I find that Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park offers all one would need to enjoy a luxury getaway in the capital of Thailand.
I love that it sits right in the heart of Sukhumvit Road – Bangkok’s vibrant business and entertainment district. The Sky Suite is the jewel of this hotel (if you’ve got enough moolah to book it). I didn’t get to take a peek as it was occupied during the duration of my stay, but I heard it features three spacious bedrooms, a rooftop garden with lounge areas, butler service and a grand piano (what?!).
The hotel also comes with various facilities and amenities I wish I had more time to enjoy. Spend your afternoons tanning by the poolside or working up a sweat in its 24-hour fitness centre. You can also indulge in a relaxing massage at Quan Spa or some retail therapy at nearby shopping hot spots. We were told it’s just an easy five-minute walk to luxury shopping mall EmQuartier, and Phrom Phong’s BTS Skytrain station.
Stellar dining options you can’t get enough of
If you’d rather splurge on good food and drinks, that’s no problem. ABar Rooftop, the hotel’s rooftop bar boasts grand views of the Bangkok cityscape, and the largest selection of gin in the city. I was stoked to find that the hotel is also home to renowned mod-Japanese restaurant Akira Back. You’ve gotta stop by for delish fusion dishes like tuna pizza with white truffle oil, and unagi tacos with seared foie gras.
But the real star of the show for me was the daily buffet breakfast at Goji Kitchen + Bar. Think a wide selection of authentic Asian cuisine and live cooking stations. Plus, its menu is ever-changing, so you’ll always be treated to something new whenever you’re in Bangkok. The noodle and DIY french toast stations were my favourites to frequent.
I really didn’t want to say goodbye when it was time to leave. The Curiosity Room by TED was a refreshing experience that stands out from the litany of luxury hotel packages in this part of Asia. It’s a real pity it’ll only be around till November!
The Curiosity Room by TED at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, from now till 15 November 2022, prices start at $620, 199 Soi Sukhumvit 22, Khlong Tan, Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand; book online using the promo code ‘FML’