How well Iremember my first time. We met in my hotel room at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. Iwas still damp from my bubble bath. One touch and I instantly felt likesnuggling under the covers, which we did all night and into the next day.
We stayedlocked in that comforting embrace until, eventually, I separated myself fromthe 100 per cent chenille microfibre Ploh plush robe (first picture, $174) – but only to go horizontal on themassage table. Fast-forward 90 blissful minutes and I can clearly recallstanding amid the shiny black walls of Plateau Spa after the therapist had completed his kneading of my jetlagged limbs. As quickly as I could, I wrappedthis oversized joy around me once again.
I began toencounter the Ploh robe – with its shawl collar that strokes my neck likecashmere and front pockets for tenderly sheltering my hands – at other hotelsaround Asia. There it hung in the lacquered bathroom of the Nam Hai on ChinaBeach in Vietnam, overlooking the BladeRunner cityscape at Shanghai’s Hyatt on the Bund, inside a Chinese weddingcabinet-cum-closet at the Aman Summer Palace and above the Indian Ocean atTaj Exotica Maldives, to name just a few. When a man I mistook for thelove of my life dumped me (but asked if I would still send him entertainingemails), I was especially grateful to find this hotel perk at Amankora in theremote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.
Who needs apartner, I wondered, with all this tactile softness? So I decided to seek outthe makers of this emerging cult favourite, and was surprised to find that thecompany’s showroom and head office was located barely a kilometre from where I sat,at the St Regis Singapore, wearing yet another Ploh dressing gown and,this time, slippers too. Back then, the nascent company had no online sales, soI disrobed into civvies and marched down Orchard Road, thecity state’s main shopping conduit.
In the ultra-luxe comfort of Ploh’s chenille-and-cashmere-filled showroom, I cried one lasttime over Mr Wrong. Perhaps I felt enveloped by the tender softness of thePloh universe, which extends to goose-down-and-feather pillows (second picture, from $119), as well as 800-thread-count Egyptian cotton bed linens (from $49). Unsurprisingly for someone who foundeda company aimed at upping the comfort quotient under cover, theAmerican-educated Malaysian owner, Richard Loh, knew just how to handle thischick-lit moment. He handed me three pieces of high-quality chocolate and Ploh’sprice list. Just to be on the safe side, I left with two new purchases – therobe I no longer wished to live without and a cashmere travel blanket ($1,752) for thoseotherwise excruciating hours between one Ploh hotel and another.