THE MANDARIN-ORIENTAL BANGKOK (*****L): Since 1876, and despite of the presence of the neighboring top luxury Chatrium and Peninsula, "The Oriental" (as all travellers and residents still call it affectiously) remains the most stylish hotel in Bangkok, and one of most famous palace-hotels in the world.
In the shadow of the modern hotel structure, stands the 19th century Oriental Hotel building: a sublime colonial pavilion (“Original Wing”), housing some of the best suites (we particularly like the Somerset Maugham's Suite), and the “Authors' Lounge” (romantic and classy place, where the Bangkok society enjoys “High Tea”, comfortably seated in white "Emmanuelle" armchairs). With its Garden and Main wings dull 1960's - 1970's architecture, The Oriental now looks like from outside any Hilton or Sheraton, with nothing typically Siamese... but the rich and famous connoisseurs book months in advance. Kurt Wachtveitl, alias "Khun Kurt", the legendary General Manager, retired after more than 40 years devoted to The Oriental (replaced by Jan Goessing in 2009): remaining the "adviser" of a soulful hotel, with a very low turn over among the staff... sometimes working here for decades (the executive chef was enrolled... in the 1980's), and actually knowing regular guests' -including the Royal Family- personal tastes and special requirements! The much devoted, anticipating service, always gave us the impression that we were staying in a very chic boarding house. We were soon called by our name: by the so friendly female head-concierge, and the discreet though efficient floor butlers (bringing you complimentary evening snacks, wine and and beautiful bouquets, or shining your shoes without any special request from your part!). We would like to understand how the lift-boy (how many hotels still have a lift-boy nowadays?) can send the guests to the right floor, faultless from the first till the last day of their stay? And also, why the butler always stood behind our back at the right moment to open our door? We have just recently been revealed one secret: there are motion detectors hidden in the rooms: to check whether it is empty or not, so that nobody could destroy the happy few residents intimacy.
Jet-Set and Peoples are found of this very special atmosphere: royals, statesmen, artists and globe-trotters are still making the reputation of The Oriental. Two or three decades ago, those people didn't mind the standard comfort and decoration of the “ordinary” rooms; just checking in the splendid suites. But times changed: the hotel has been fairly well refurbished, and actually offers a five star deluxe design and comfort in ALL rooms. Since decades, we have stayed in almost most categories: the view from the Deluxe Rooms / Main Wing is breathtaking, and their comfort is remarkable. Our last stay (Winter 2012) in a Premier Room / Garden Wing was quite nostalgic: with a view of the tropical garden and Chao Phraya River, we actually felt like staying in a high-end boarding house. This is certainly, with the Original Wing, the "boutique" section of the hotel. The Premier Rooms look like studio-suites. The writing-desk is flanked inside a nook, and the entrance door is accessible by a staircase: which gives more volume -and higher ceiling- to the 35 Sq. M room looking much larger indeed. If you can afford, experience the "Captain Anderson” Author Suite once in your life, like we did some years ago: and you will see what luxury actually means. That kind of suite costs about USD 1200 per night; a Deluxe Room goes for more or less USD 450. Which makes The Oriental one of the Top 10 most expensive hotels in Thailand; nevertheless, those lavish rooms actually remain affordable to a large majority of travelers, so happy to spend only 50% of what they would pay in a Paris or London palace hotel, for more space and an unmatched level of service...
We particularly enjoyed the location of the hotel, on the left bank of the river Chao Phraya: despite of the mad traffic jams in the streets all around, this is indeed the last area in Bangkok where oxygen remains more or less generously available... Let's cross the river aboard the hotel private teak-wood shuttle boat (also deserving the nearby BTS Sky Train station), land on the right bank, and visit the “Sala Rim Naam”: where royal Thai cuisine can be enjoyed in a typical “Sala”, with live Siamese traditional music. Next door stands the most prestigious SPA in Bangkok: an Eden, made out of precious teak wood, devoted to relaxation, with a new Ayurvedic Penthouse where we had a well worth the trip 90 minutes massage and treatment, performed by selected Thai masseuses proficient in the Indian techniques of relaxation and soothing. Alternatively, the very complete and soothing 90 minutes Signature Massage is excellent (approximately USD 130, and worth it). This Thonburi bank is also housing the quiet Thai Cooking School, and the very high-tech and chic Fitness Club.
Though traditionally overpriced -and full!- for dinner (but a great value for money for lunch), the signature restaurant, “Le Normandie”, remains one of the most awarded French restaurants in South East Asia. Refurbished from its original warm and picturesque design into quite a conventional coffee-shop, the “Lord Jim” is an excellent alternative for both affordable and palatable international food. We actually prefer “Ciao”, the open-air terrace restaurant (opened during the “dry season” only), its palatable antipasti, pasta and seafood, with a breathtaking view on the river which must be experienced after dark. Note that this is, with the Riverside Terrace (serving splendid chargrilled BBQ lamb and blue river lobsters in the evening), the last place where you could freely enjoy a good cigar; a strict law recently took over the gourmet and “aficionados”' freedom to smoke in air-conditioned public areas (which, in Thailand, means everywhere!); even the now smokeless Bamboo Bar, despite of the entertaining live music, lovely jungle theme with deep leather sofas amongst palm fronds and authentic bamboo shades, lost part of its soul; with a clean air, the once so animated Oriental jazz-club looks like a Swiss clinic... Ironically the Habanos shop, with a selection of the best tobaccos from Cuba, stands next door!
A legendary hotels, by definition has got some legends: we received some remarks, and saw some posts in TripAdvisor also, concerning some guests claiming about shorts and flip-flops supposedly banned in the lobby. Which is -unfortunately- not true! When most of clients are indeed the smartest in Bangkok, some guests tend to feel little bit too relaxed with the basic dress-code. The flip-flops addicted evinced from the hotel, by the gentle though firm security staff, are nothing but inquisitive outsiders: basic tourists coming with their rude habits (...and camera) to peep in a hotel where refined guests are actively looking for intimacy. Note that they surely passed the word around, as we have seen none of those "invaders" during our last stay.
This is a Mandarin-Oriental hotel.
visiting Bangkok only once in their life should stay nowhere but in The
DUSIT THANI (*****L): We discovered this lavish hotel more than one decade ago, and stayed there on many occasions with increasing pleasure: breathing its luxurious and typically Siamese atmosphere, enjoying supreme comfort and unmatched service. The anticipating staff pampers one of the most distinguished clientele in the world. Our ultimate inspection, in May 2013, gave us the global impression that the Thai Royal Family's favorite hotel is bumping into The Oriental, challenging for the title of the best hotel in town. Of course, the Silom area is not as romantic as the banks of the river Chao Phraya; but the shady and relaxing Lumpini Park (Bangkok "Central Park") stays across the street. Night life is great, with Patpong and plenty of open air seafood restaurants nearby. Last but not least, we like very much the proximity of both Sky Train (BTS) and underground Metro (MRT): located just beside the hotel main entrance, those clean, reliable, air-conditioned means of transportation drive you everywhere (Siam Square, Sukhumvit shopping and business district, Chatutchak market, Chinatown, Chao Phraya riverside...) within a few minutes, ignoring the dreadful Bangkok traffic!
Most of the rooms and junior suites have been recently redesigned into a somehow «Zen» style; replacing the Old World atmosphere of the « Landmark Rooms » which made the reputation of the hotel until the new millennium and its modernization policy. No more period furniture and deep sofas; but a functional, minimalist though stylish concept, with high tech communication system (the High Speed Internet is, indeed, high speed! Not so common in Thailand...), flat screen LCD TV, etc. We would advise you to book a Dusit Club Room, or a Dusit Grand Room: they are larger, and display ritzy bathrooms. They come with many privileges: like complimentary Internet, credit for express laundry (we gave a ink stained shirt, which came back immaculate!), pillow menu, bath menu... and access to the very recently refurbished and upgraded Dusit Club Lounge which has always been -and actually remains one of the top 5 best VIP lounges in Bangkok. This is were we had breakfast, and where snaacks are served all days long: we could taste lobster rolls, king prawns, French goose liver... while many other hotels serve very common canapés! There is a fine selection of wines -usually imported from reputed California vineyards-, whiskeys and brandies. The fruit juices are freshly pressed, and the coffee is Italian. Five star go to this lounge!
Our preference goes to the «Thai heritage Suites»: superb and extra large, with splendid bathrooms, they match The Oriental. In the past we stayed in the «Sukkothai » and «Lopburi» suites: an amazing experience. Of course, exclusive suites guests enjoy the privilege of the Dusit Club Lounge..
A «Dusit Club Room» will cost you approximately US$ 200 - 250. This is the kind of accommodation we would like to recommend. If you want to feel like a kind, you will be expected to pay about US$ 300 - 350 for a "Thai Heritage Suite". The price of a three star room in a chain hotel in London! Indeed, this is a wonderful value for money.
Staff is most friendly and helpful: calling you by your name, and remembering your face until your next visit! The reception staff is among the best in Bangkok.
The restaurants are reputed among the Bangkok happy few. A lot of upper class local people consider that the Mayflower serves the very best Cantonese specialties in town. Which is also our opinion. Queen Sirikit is one of its faithful guests. The Thien Duong serves much affordable Vietnamese fares. We like very much the Royal Thai cuisine served at Benjarong. Il Cielo, under the tutelage of a native Italian chef, offers « trattoria » style specialties, and wood-oven baked pizza. Last but not least, the D'Sens is the unique restaurant in Thailand operated by one Michelin star rated chefs: Jacques and Laurent Pourcel ("Le Jardin de Sens", France). Accessible by a private lift, this trendy restaurants occupies the whole top floor. Very innovative cuisne, cooked by remarkable Chef Christian Ham (trained by Michel Del Burgo and Joël Robuchon), and great wine pairing, will astonish the spoildest gourmets. Just make sure that you booked a table with a view, indeed: the panorama over Bangkok is breathtaking, night and day. Gentlemen's washrooms are unique: with urinals dug against a floor-to-ceiling window, giving you the feeling to pee in the air!
For lunch, just forget the impersonal coffee shop: just like in any international hotel, it is definitely standard and packed with dull businessmen. Rather go to the exquisite Hamilton Steak House: great food, and warm atmosphere. The staff at this fine American-style restaurant matches the best European maîtres d'.
There is a brand new fitness club: working up there, enjoying a sauna or a steam bath, is a most pleasure way to relax. They even get a golf training on the roof ! We experienced the new Devarana Spa. « Devarana » means « garden in heaven ». Right definition for this outstanding beauty and massage studio, where skilled therapists provide guests with the ultimate in relaxation and pampering. We arrived with a slight jet lag; getting rid of it thanks to the soft 90 minutes massage we received in one of the elegant, peaceful suites decorated in a discrete Thai design. Rates are attractive, and money saving individual or couple membership applies for long stay guests.
The Dusit Thani is a distinguished member of the «Global Hotel Alliance».
You already understood why
this is one of our favorite hotels in Bangkok!
SOFITEL SO BANGKOK (*****L): If hospitality were a religion, this cyclopean hotel would be a
cathedral. From far the most impressive -both in term of volume and
services- of the many properties which we visited during the whole year
2013, and surely one of the most luxurious, this brand new Sofitel So
is a must-be-seen (and a must-stay!) in the vibrant capital of
Thailand where hotels are growing like mushrooms.
We became the privileged hosts of one of the Five Elements -Water, Earth, Wood, Metal, and Fire- 238 guest-rooms and suites (up to 138 sqm) inspired by Thailand’s top design firms and an award-winning architect. The "So-Comfy" “Water” rooms are reflecting sophistication and calm. Designed by Pongthep Sagulku of August Design, those 38 sq.m rooms are actually convenient and not crushed by a more and more generalized trendiness where design harms to comfort. We liked very much the striking view of Bangkok from floor-to-ceiling windows, extending up to the onyx bathtub, in the marble walls connected open-bathroom. We have been impressed by the high-technology provided in this 21st Century room: the lighting is magic, somehow intriguing, but always efficient and so relaxing. The Samsung plasma TV is equipped with DVD player and Apple TV; we used it quite a lot, as the Internet speed was from far the fastest which we ever experienced in Thailand. There is in fact a direct connection to a dedicated broadband server, only for the hotel, making streaming movies on YouTube as fluid as in Western Europe or in the USA. WiFi was also very fast, and complimentary. Those on a long stay, or visiting Bangkok for business, will like to know that browsing is not a frustration anymore. Though we didn't make much use of it, we noticed with satisfaction that the well filled minibar (soft drinks, water, but also peanuts and other small crackers) came also with the hotel compliments. The walk-in dressing-room with lots of storage space and a large safety-box showed, if necessary, that we were staying in a real palace hotel.
had the chance to inspect further thematic rooms in this hotel
mapped like a “Tree of
Life”. Though our favorite category of room/floor are the warm and cozy
“Water” and “Earth”, we would like to recommend the “Wood” to those
looking for a more classical, somehow easier-to-deal-with design. Our
next stay at Sofitel So will be definitely in the fairy-tale, magically
designed “Earth” rooms: painted in a somehow hypnotic shade of blue,
they won't please all the visitors, for sure. But we loved them at
first sight: we would recommend them to honeymooners, for
instance. Businessmen should straightly book in a “Earth” room.
There is only one inconvenient in that kind of hotel: it features so many resources that time is not enough to enjoy all of them. We just could peep in the So SPA, located on the 11th floor, providing rejuvenating health & beauty treatments, involving refined French cosmetology. We would have loved to join one of those amok evening parties organized during the week-end on the 10th floor Infinity pool garden terrace. Or to exercise in the So FIT fitness centre, displaying iconic design and high-tech equipment with personal trainer.
The hotel is well known by international gourmets and the local hight society for its discerning restaurants: Australian Executive-Chef Paul Smart worked with the chefs of El Bulli and cooked for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
at Sofitel So Bangkok starts from THB 5,400++ (room only) for a "So
Cosy Room" during the low season, until THB 9,700++ (with Breakfast +
Club Benefits) for a "So Club Room" during the high season. Suites
start from THB 11,700++ (with Breakfast + Club Benefits).
SOFITEL SO BANGKOK: 2 North Sathorn Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
PHONE: +66 (0) 2 624 0000 FACSIMILE: +66 (0) 2 624 0111
VIE HOTEL BANGKOK
this sleek, new boutique hotel, Accor made one step further into
luxury: The Mandarin Oriental, Dusit Thani or Siam Kempinski guests
would find the same plush rooms, amazingly large suites, fine dining
and level of service in this still little
bit confidential hotel as in the well established and much publicized
high-end hotels in Bangkok. Maybe because it became one of them...
have undoubtedly been positively surprised by VIE Bangkok: introduced
as a boutique hotel, it has all what one might expect from a small,
intimate property; plus all the advantages of a large palace hotel.
With 154 rooms
spacious in any category (38 up to 420 sq.m), featuring super high
ceilings in the splendid Duplex Suites, the VIE doesn't look like that
much boutique from outside; but once in the zen and human-sized lobby,
the homey atmosphere popped up, and we felt so much pampered by the
staff that, yes, indeed, boutique is a proper word to define this
refined hotel managed by Accor, but owned by a local family which cares
on each detail to make it looks like all but a chain hotel. We have
already visited some M
Gallery Hotels by Accor;
VIE beats them all in term of luxury, and already received many awards
(Best Boutique Hotel by AsiaRooms.com, “Trendy in Asia” award by
Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards, “Best Newcomer in Bangkok”
by Wotif.com, “Best Urban Hotel” by Anywhere Magazine, etc).
CHATRIUM HOTEL RIVERSIDE BANGKOK (*****L): Being permanently ranked among the Top 20 best hotels in Bangkok by Tripadvisor should be enough to attract any traveler looking for luxury and top-quality. The Chatrium Riverside, which we experienced three times already with an increasing pleasure, is one of the most impressive hotels in South East Asia. The location of this 36-story tower, with an elegant progressive architecture, is unbeatable: right on the bank of the River Chao Phraya. Allowing a sweeping view of the «Menam» and the «City of Angels», from the oversized windows of the 396 rooms... which are actually lavish suites, covering from 60 Sqm. for a Deluxe Room, until not less than 460 Sqm. for the largest Presidential Suite in Bangkok.
We booked a 120 Sqm Two Bedroom Chatrium Suite, which was perfectly suitable for a family stay. Just like all the suites, it featured a spacious balcony, floor-to-ceiling windows that afford optimal light, four-fixture bathroom with separate tub and shower, fully-equipped kitchen, and dining table. The beds are amazingly smooth and top-comfortable. Chatrium Suites features three zones, each with its own unique style of accommodation: Grand Floors (7-31), Executive Floors (32-34) and the Premier Floor (35). The outdoor Olympic-size swimming pool on the 6th floor, with a pleasant and romantic river view, is easily accessible from all floors. Guest of the Executive Floor and Premier Floor are entitled to the exclusive «Club» complimentary privileges: breakfast at River Barge Restaurant or in the stunning «Chatrium Club Lounge», in-room hi-speed internet connection, one-hour use of the meeting room in Business Center per stay, laundry service for 2 pieces per day, late check out until 6:00 pm, and use of the club lounge on the 36th floor. Tailored-made for the distinctive traveler, the recently upgraded «Chatrium Club Lounge» also hosts the Business Center and boardrooms: it offers VIP breakfast, all-day refreshments, and evening cocktails with canapés from 5pm to 7pm. A great place to socialize with the other guests! We like very much the «Chatrium Club Lounge» philosophy, and our personal experience through the years confirmed how well the Chatrium Riverside controls the concept vs the competitors.
Though, you don't need to be an executive guest to enjoy the splendid service which participates in the prestige of the Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok. We have been systematically called by our name by the staff, which is actually 5-star: from the security guard checking our taxi fare upon arrival, just to make sure we had not been cheated by the driver, till the extremely active and efficient room-division manager, we found so much kindness and respectful hospitality in this hotel! This was a good surprise, as the Chatrium is large and new. Two factors which, normally, do not facilitate a personalized service. It took short time to train the staff to a supreme efficiency: making the guests feeling perfectly at home.
The breakfast, served in the River Barge restaurant, with its curved windows overlooking the river, is delicious. Note that it features plenty of Asian (Thai, Chinese and Japanese) delicacies. The place is very popular for its international cuisine and regional specialties buffet-style and à la carte. We had a great Sunday Brunch at Silver Waves: located on the 36th floor, this chic Chinese restaurant features authentic Cantonese cuisine served in a setting that affords breathtaking 360-degree panoramas views of the cityscape and the river. The selection of Dim-Sums is almost unlimited, and the quality is high end... for less than USD 20.
The professional fitness-club is richly equipped with the lastest instruments available on the work-out market. Impressive! Another bonus is the classy, vintage teak-wood shuttle boat, linking the hotel with a too short -5 minutes- river cruise to/from the Taksin BTS - SkyTrain Station: assuring that all points of the city are within reach.
expressly to meet needs of discerning business and leisure travellers,
Bangkok is the new, and certainly the most brilliant,
in the legendary Thai five star hotel industry.
HOTEL RIVERSIDE BANGKOK: 28 Charoenkrung Soi 70, Bangkholame,
By contrast, the 303 rooms (including 42 suites), as well as 98 serviced residences, look like a homey, actually relaxing retreat. Matching the high standard of the hotel: with a hip, contemporary interior, warm parquets, high walls covered with precious wild silk, fabulous king-size bed, balcony with garden & pool view... And certainly the most spacious bathroom downtown: so large and richly appointed. «Boutique» by the design, palace-hotel by the concept, we actually liked our Deluxe Room: featuring a large LED flat screen with video on demand, Internet radio and media entertainment system, iPod connectivity, complimentary LAN and wireless broadband internet. As a bonus, all the items in the minibar (mineral water, soft drinks and beer) were provided free of charge; just like the Lavazza Expresso capsules for a premium coffee facility! If luxury is not enough, just book one of the Cabana Rooms, displaying private terrace overlooking the garden with direct pool access. Executive rooms and suites guests can enjoy the privilege of the exclusive Executive Lounge. Opening offers and packages are available at fair price.
Though we didn't experience the restaurants yet, judging from the extraordinary quality of the breakfast -one of thee finest ever enjoyed in Thailand- they must all offer splendid dinning. Which sounds like a necessary challenge: right in the heart of Bangkok, the hotel is surrounded by the best restaurants, and the high end Siam Paragon shopping mall, with plenty of gourmet resources, is located next door: an anticipating, elegant security guard will even stop all the cars to make you cross the street safely! Isn't it a five star service!?
to say that we warmly recommend this remarkable palace-hotel.
SWISSÔTEL NAI LERT
PARK (*****L): “Thailand’s
Leading City Resort” by World Travel Awards 2011, this luxury hotel is
reputed for its stylish service: an alchemy of Thai hospitality and
Swiss rigor. But what makes it actually unique and definitely worth the
stay is its private
park. Residents only receive the privilege to
wander, relax or swim in the well-designed jungle-like eight-acre lushy
and odorant gardens, with an exuberant vegetation, small bridges over
fishy canals and pounds, inhabited by a rich fauna (squirrels, mynah
birds and plenty of tropical species which revished our eyes and ears).
We felt like in Samui, Phuket or Hua Hin; not at all in the heart of
the business and shopping Sukhumvit area, with all the best malls,
fashionable bars and restaurants located almost
next door. Don't mind the legendary Bangkok traffic jam: the BTS
Skytrain stations Ploenchit and Chidlom are a stone's throw from the
hotel. Just beside the park stands a small, hidden though world famous
shrine giving tribute to the female spirit Jao Mae. Lots of colored
« lingham » (penises made out of wood, steal or
stone) lay at the foot of a Banyan tree: they are symbolic gifts to the
shrine from women in demand of fertility. It gives the hotel a unique
spiritual value you will find nowhere else in the world.
THE PENINSULA (*****L): Since November 1998, The Peninsula Bangkok offers to the traveller a splendid riverside alternative to the legendary Oriental. Both hotels are facing each others: without the river Chao Phraya as a border line, sure a merciless war should had broken out already. Such a concurrence is a splendid opportunity for who is looking for superlative service and comfort in Bangkok. According to us, The Peninsula quickly took the post position: it will do its very best to keep it. While The Oriental is located in a much congestion area, which is inconvenient for businessmen, The Peninsula stands on the Thonburi side of the river: traffic is still OK there, and the highway is accessible in a few minutes. There is a private pier and river shuttle, with check in/checkout facility on opposite bank.
The lobby is palatial. Some find it quite cold; personally, we loved it distinction at first sight. The staff is extremely courteous: which is quite normal in a five star deluxe hotel in Thailand. One of the most impressive difference with other hotels of this category comes with the brand new Rolls Royce Silver Spur II, available for glamourous and top comfortable transportation (THB 1,800 per hour, inside Bangkok). The Dusit Thani used to have its Silver Shadow II fleet, but unfortunately stopped the operation five years ago. Distinctive travellers will hear with pleasure that the Spirit of Ecstasy is back in Bangkok !
Rooms are exceptional. Large: about 46 sq.m. All with a dramatic view over the river. They are certainly the most sophisticated in town nowadays. They come with invisible fax machine, discretely integrated inside the desk. Besides the king size beds, a master switch controls light, air conditioner, and TV. Bathrooms would suit a Roman emperor. Made out of yellow and black precious marble, they are equipped with a TV set: having an aromatic herbs bath while watching a good movie is considered here as a basic facility. The suites are too new to get the charm of those at The Oriental or Dusit Thani; but on the other hand, they offer much more luxury. Impossible to find more comfortable, glamourous and ritzy than The Peninsula Suite. Imagine a duplex, designed like a multimillionaire's apartment, with Chinese furniture and antiques, deep and smooth sofas covered with gold Thai silk, huge bedrooms (including a small one for the butler), a large dining room with separate kitchen, bathrooms with Jacuzzi and, last but not least, an open air sun deck with hot tub overlooking the river and the all city of Bangkok. There is no hotel in South East Asia, even The Raffles in Singapore, offering such a superlative suite. At US$ 2,600 ++ per night, happy few will still find it good value for money. Budget minded traveller will just refuse to believe it when we would reveal the latest (September 1999) rate for a standard room: US$ 85 only ! We couldn't believe it ourselves; but the hotel needs to offer flat introductory rates to build its fame in an economically stricken Thailand. A Superior Suite is US$ 120... It will be mathematically impossible to keep those ridiculous rates more than a few months: it is therefore the right time to experience The Peninsula at low cost.
The pool is a long and straight one, with some waterfalls: we like its design. The pool side is much pleasant: very tropical, with a its private "khlong" (canal), and small lake with a Thai Sala. The fitness center is one of the best equipped and luxurious in Bangkok. It is equipped with Californian work-out equipment, and has a very pleasant hot tub. Of course there is a sauna, and all the basic facilities one could find in any international hotel.
Fitted for VIPs, The Peninsula has its own helipad. Only the Shangri-La can compete with it on this matter. Before flying over Bangkok, the passengers can have a drink in the very high tech and intimate Paribatra lounge. We enjoyed the place very much, with its aviation related decorative items.
We had delicious Dim-Sums, Egg Noodles with Seafood and Moon Cakes at the Mei Jiang: The Peninsula relaxing and smart Chinese restaurant was full the day of our visit. Excellent service: they even get some kind of a sommelier... specialized in tea ! The Cilandro is serving Thai specialities. For lunch, it displays a superb international buffet. There is a terrace for outdoor evening barbecue. Such a luxurious place should have its French restaurant; it does not. As there is the top famous Normandy, at The Oriental, the management certainly preferred to offer a more relaxed alternative to smart dinners: with Jesters. There is some Philippe Starck's influence, indeed, in that trendy room, decorated with aluminium, painted steel, and high tech furniture. A large window faces the river. There is a live band. By night, it may be extremely romantic to have a candle light dinner there. They serve "Pacific Rim" cuisine: we still ignore what it means... More details will be provided after our next inspection.
Part of the PENINSULA
GROUP OF HOTELS.
JW MARRIOTT BANGKOK (*****L): Awarded as one of the Top 50 Hotels in Asia 2007 from Travel & Leisure, with a remarkable location in the business and commercial (prestigious shops, night market...) Sukhumvit district, right in the city center and well deserved by the Sky Train, this is one of our best tips in Bangkok.
The hotel took the best from America (excellent security, high tech everywhere, huge rooms...) and Thailand (palatial lobby, Thai design and superb service).
We stayed in an Executive Suite: fairly well appointed, with deep sofas, CD player, a panoramic plasma TV in our large living room, plus a a 32 inches flat screen in our bedroom. The king-size bed was extremely comfy, with down comforters and custom duvets, and the bathroom large enough to accommodate a family... From the razors to the toothbrush or talc powder: nothing was missing in the extended toilet kit provided to the guest. All rooms feature tea and coffee facility and ironing board with a steam iron... Which we found very useful for a quick pressing of our jackets. Last but not least, the panorama over the city was fantastic.
This five star environment is completed by a top comfortable Executive Lounge; its access is actually limited to a very limited number of happy few, and we immediately felt at ease there. This is the place for breakfast and complimentary drinks and snacks. There is high speed WiFi also: a pleasant place to work and communicate, indeed.
Now, what actually makes the difference with other hotels is the breakfast, in the Marriott Café: we enjoyed it so much! The location if bright, pleasant, with a lot of families. You don't feel like in a corporate hotel (but is it so?). The buffet is gargantuan, with a variety of delicacies we found nowhere else in Bangkok. From the Scottish salmon to the Italian sausage, from the French « pain au chocolat » to the bagel, with a wonderful Asian corner (great Dim Sums and fried noodles with tiger prawns...). This is what would make us come back again, and again. The price of the breakfast, included in the room rates with some packages (or if you stay in the Executive Floor), is a great value for money. The impressive quality of the F&B comes graduating in the New-York Steakhouse, Man Ho Chinese Restaurant, TsuNami Japanese Teppanyaki Steakhouse (with all sorts of Saté and rare kobe beef), and White Elephant Thai Restaurant which are all very famous in Bangkok, and very much visited by expats and prominent Thai personalities.
We also appreciated the express check-in and check-out, the very friendly and efficient concierges (the head-concierge is a « Clef d'Or », and can solve on the spot any problem the guest might encounter with the somehow sophisticated in-room high tech equipment), and the way the hotel staff cares about you security, even after checking out (taxi reference is taken, in case of any problem with the fare or lost item!).
Price for a double deluxe room for 2008 starts from THB 6,900 THB ++ to THB 8,000 ++.
hotel, well worth the stay.
MARRIOTT BANGKOK : 4 Sukhumvit Road, Soi 2, Bangkok
The 525 rooms and suites (featuring 23 rooms for disabled guests) have been pleasantly designed. We felt like the practical American comfort, with a subtle Asian touch. Our Deluxe Room, located on the 14th floor, overlooked the pool, allowing a breathtaking river view. Rooms have twin or king sized bed, coffee / tea facility, a large working desk, and are all en-suite with bath and separate shower. There is of course Sat TV with indeed many western channels, a digital safe, and WiFi, which comes with a fee in the room; it is free-of-charge in the public area (lobby, restaurants, lounge and pool), and the speed is fine.
This large hotel has got smoking / non-smoking floors, and Executive Club Floors located on the two top floors. Deluxe Executive Club Rooms, Plaza Suites, and Terrace Suites guests enjoy private check in / out, and exclusive access to the Executive club lounge offering a fine buffet breakfast, afternoon snacks, evening cocktails, use of a boardroom for 1 hour per day and internet access. All complimentary. It comes with extra bonuses: 2 items of clothing pressed per day free-of-charge, late check out until 2pm, etc.
Just like the lovely Terrace suites, the Presidential suite, located on the 16th floor, offers spectacular views of the river Chao Phraya from its large terrace, equipped with a private Jacuzzi. With two bedrooms, a large lounge and dining area, it is a very enjoyable for romance or business.
A good choice of restaurants and bars completes the warm, friendly ambience of the Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Bangkok. Using fresh local ingredients, plus some imported delicacies for a finest cuisine, all of them apply a very reasonable policy in term of price: much cheaper than what one could expect in a luxury hotel. The "Ah Yat Abalone Forum Restaurant" is well known for Chef Yeung Koon Yat's Hong Kong style cuisine, specializing in abalone. Our favorite bar is the romantic, cool "Terrace@72 Restaurant & Bar": with its illuminated bar and chairs located in the open air, along the river. This is where we enjoyed one the best breakfasts in Bangkok (with a yummy Asian and Indian food corner): though serving each day hundreds of guests, the staff always recognized us, remembering perfectly that we didn't like American coffee, but double espresso. Extremely busy to serve everybody promptly, we always had a short discussion with a kind word from part of the anticipating head waiter. We actually felt like sitting in the neighboring -and much more expensive- Oriental Hotel terrace. We experienced the same top quality level of service in the room (our kind maid inquired each morning and evening about any special request) and in the lobby area (with one of the most efficient concierge in Bangkok).
There is a well appointed fitness & SPA, and a large pool which is not so much oriented to the sun: ideal for children (and Asian guests, disliking sun-tanning). Those preferring «farniente» can use the spacious and airy sun-deck, with many beds along the river, just close to the pool.
We have read in some reviews that the hotel was «far» from the city center. Which sounds like misleading. The location is ideal. Certainly away from the noisy downtown districts; but a 7 minutes complimentary pleasant cruise, aboard the complimentary hotel shuttle-boat, brings you to the Taksin Bridge sky-train and public speedboats station. Making all the attractions, shops, and business a few minutes away from the hotel: avoiding the stress of the terrible traffic jams which participates in the infamous «legend» of Bangkok. By night, the entertaining Silom-Patpong district is a ten minutes taxi drive. Moreover, the hotel stands in a very authentic, safe and friendly area which is well worth the exploration, away from the tourists paths. You will love the small temples, fresh fruits and flowers sellers, and the old Chinese shops all around.
Rates vary according to the season. A Deluxe Room with breakfast costs about THB 4,000 in the low season, till approximately THB 6,000 in the high season. Exciting packages and special offers apply.
PLAZA MENAM RIVERSIDE BANGKOK: 2074 Charoenkrung Rd.,
LEBUA AT STATE TOWER (*****): Extraordinary, extravagant, exorbitant... the easiest way to review such a hotel would consist in concentrating superlatives. This is the place where each detail, each movement, each word has been thought up carefully to please much spoiled -though amazingly young- guests, conviced that they had already visited the best hotels in the world. The Lebua makes them change their mind... It took just a few years to build a universal reputation, rank atop Tripadvisor, and get unanimous reviews in the medias worldwide. The tallest five star hotel in Bangkok? The most impressive concentration of staff we have ever seen? The largest rooms (which are all suites)? The highest terrace-restaurants? The most expensive dinner ever served in the World (at 1 million $ a head!!!)? There is only one reply to this quiz: Lebua!
The hotel extends from the 47th till 65th floors of a cyclopean neo-classic sky-scrapper, located right in the center of Bangkok, between Silom Rd shopping district and the Chao Phraya River. The lobby is warm, intimate: it made us feel like in a small luxury hotel: which the Lebua actually is, with only 198 suites. Our Three Bedroom Executive Suite was palatial,, with 266 Sq. M fitted for a king. Our check-in took place in the «intimacy» of a living-room which could host at ease a private party (which sometimes happens, when guests require a private in-suite chef to take care of their gastronomic entertainment!): it was flanked by a service kitchen, with a large refrigerator and all the kitchenware adapted for premium cooking sessions... Another particularity: we were kindly asked to sign up a discharge before we got access to our large, round shaped balconies with a stunning view of the Chao Praya River and the whole metropolis... Who would commit suicide, being already at Heaven in this dreamed hotel?
The design of the suites is modern, trendy with large tables and sofas, elegant parquets and fine carpets. The king-size beds are as smooth as silk, with sweet linen and duveted mattresses. There is a Sat TV in each room, with DVD, and complimentary high speed broadband Internet. We liked the spacious marble bathrooms, with top quality Bvlgari amenities. This glamorous atmosphere infuses a restful relief from the hot glare of the city. Service is anticipating and so discreet: we have never been disturbed, though the movement was permanent once we left our suite, which was cleaned many times a day, and generously provided with fresh fruits, fine chocolates and snacks... Each morning was a delight: the Buffet Breakfast was sumptuous. We recommend the Dim Sums and the Sushis. It is served at Café Mozu (a place for belly dancing, each evening, in an atmosphere which remembered us the Buddha Bar in Paris), by one of the best trained -and beautiful- waitresses in Bangkok. They call each VIP -which means 100% of the guests!- by his name, and remember by heart any personal taste and requirement .
The hotel pride remains The Dôme: located at the 51th-65rd floor, this is a congregating of fine dining scenes under one roof. We had a wonderful gastronomic experience at Breeze. Seating in the open-air terrace, close to the stars, with a bird's eye glimpse of Bangkok. This multi-awarded restaurant, has been designed to revolutionize the Asian style seafood-dining, The steamed jasmine rice, mixed with abalones and lobster meat, and the Dim Sums are just sumptuous! This is, with Sirocco, Mezzaluna (the best Italian five star restaurant in town), Distil and the Sky Bar (unforgettable: perched on the 63rd floor), the only restaurants and bars in the Kingdom of Thailand recognized by Conde Nast Traveller 2005-2007.
There is a pleasant Mezzanine floor open-air pool with Jacuzzi, a large Fitness Center with the ultimate equipment and kind coaches, and one of the most competent concierge in town offering very special services: like staff welcoming you directly at the plane, guiding you through the immigration and luggage processes, while a comfortable air-conditioned limousine with a uniformed driver awaits for you at the gate... Such is Lebua, and such we loved it!
to The Lebua to see Bangkok; go to Bangkok to see The Lebua!
PHONE: +662 624 9999 FACSIMILE: 624 9998
PRAYA PALAZZO (****L): We
try to find out the
convenient adjective to express our impression after our stay in this
hotel; if "unique" were not so neo-marketing nowadays, this
would have been the ad hoc word. There is no place like that
Bangkok. We can't
even call "hotel" this residence, built in 1923, by Colonel Praya
Chollabhumipanic: a Thai-Chinese millionaire and nobleman who worked
closely with King Chulalongkorn. The “Ban Bang Yee Khan” (former name
of the Praya Palazzo), last mansion of that kind surviving along the
river banks, has lost none of its soul after a complete and faithful
restoration, opening to the public in 2009 as a landmark of hospitality.
LIT! (****L): Operating since 2011 and permanently on the top of Tripadvisor, this cool boutique hotel combines
the international luxury of a four star superior hotel and a
bewildering colorful design with a Thai influence. A rare, attractive
concept, with one of the best locations in central Bangkok:
just off the hip
Siam Square, opposite MBK (our favorite shopping center in Bangkok!),
with a quick access to both Rachatewi and National Stadium BTS - Sky Train station
(making Sukhumvit, Silom and Riverside areas a 10 till 15 minutes
MA DU ZI (****L): One of the most surprising, highly
sophisticated small boutique hotels in Bangkok, located
at the most vibrant intersection of the extravagant Sukhumvit area, Ma
Du Zi comes with a touch of glamour, lots of luxury, and the intimacy
of a family run property. Almost opposite the exit gate of both
BTS and MRT metro station Asok, surrounded by banks, shopping malls,
and clinics (Asok is well known for its myriad of dentists and plastic
the low rise, modern building hides itself behind the closed
gates of Heaven. Once in this sanctuary of luxury and
tranquillity, stress suddenly vanishes and life passes by more slowly
REMBRANDT (****L): Those looking for a deluxe hotel with a warm, relaxed atmosphere, not to mention an amazingly good value for money, will like the Rembrandt. One of the most popular top class hotels in Bangkok, revamped with upgraded rooms, a stylish lobby-bar, and a well appointed Executive Lounge -with a stunning view of the city!- which we used very much during our stay.
With its tall architecture and 407 rooms and suites, the Rembrandt looks like very much a corporate hotel; which comes quite correct, as many businessmen made it their home away from home. Nevertheless, this is also a perfect resource for leisure travellers looking for a softer notion of luxury. We found there one of the best level of hospitality we would ever expect in South East Asia; while there was no kind of plush ostentation at all. Except in the palatial «Rang Mahal» restaurant, the design remains «bourgeois» but not rich: making everybody feel at ease for a lovely holiday or business stay in the City of Angels.
The rooms (30 Sq. M, with flat-screen TV, broadband Internet, large duveted beds...) are divided in different categories, though there is actually not a real difference between a Superior, Deluxe or Executive Room. After the refurbishment of the hotel, an egalitarian comfort comes to each floor. Nevertheless, we would like to recommend business travellers and couples, looking for a little extra and more intimacy, to rather choose the latest category: the 24th floor Executive Lounge is one of the most cosy in Bangkok (we have experienced almost all of them...). This is the place for separate express check-in and check-out, complimentary soft drinks and sweets all day long (alcohols and fine canapes are served in the evening), Internet surfing (you can use the two computers, or ask for your 24h free Wi-Fi password to the beautiful hostesses)... The Lounge is quite small, but well designed for intimacy and discreet business discussion. There is even a meeting room, which comes also complimentary.
We also liked very much the Rembrandt for its restaurants. F&B is brilliant and amazingly affordable; prices are miles away from those applied by the competitors. The legendary “Rang Mahal” is the hotel pride: this is the most authentic and luxurious Indian restaurant in Bangkok. We had a dinner there, and were quite astonished to see that at least 80% of the merry dinners where Indians! So, no development concerning the quality seems necessary. The “Red Pepper” is fine also: it serves delicious Thai dishes in a lovely environment. It is extremely cheap, and captures a lot of hotel guests. Next time we will certainly try the Mexican “Señor Pico” and the Italian “da Vinci”. The “Café” is a coffee shop, with a piano-bar which starts to fill up from 6pm until late by night. Great atmosphere, indeed, extending to the lobby!
The location of the hotel, in a quiet lane, a 3 minutes walk off Sukhumvit Road, is very central. Those walking down, will see many small bars, family restaurants, Thai massage parlours which are not so hanky-panky (and where a wonderful foot massage cost 5 EUR only...)... and maybe elephants (with their mahout begging some money to feed the animal)! Those feeling lazy can use the complimentary « tuk-tuk » to reach the Skytrain in minute: it makes Siam Square, Silom or the MBK Shopping center almost next door.
This property (and its sister Rembrandt Towers Service Apartments ) is managed by a European team, whose efficiency is remarkable, and just joined the Warwick group of hotels. From the concierge till the maids, the staff is gentle and efficient. The day of our departure, we asked for a late check out; back from breakfast, we were surprised to see that our bedroom had been made up just like everyday, just to assure our complete comfort until our departure! This is the piece of detail which makes the difference between a good and an excellent hotel.
The Rembrandt keeps on being posted in Tripadvisor as one of the most lovable hotels in Bangkok, which reflects very much our excellent impression.
finest addresses in Bangkok.
SIRI SATHORN (****L): This boutique residence, displaying a modern, sober luxury after a recent refurbishment, gets a high reputation among business and leisure travellers. Spacious, designed for long or family stay, the Siri Sathorn serviced apartments are well located in the very central Silom-Sathorn district. There is a complimentary shuttle bus to the nearby Skytrain and underground metro Silom -Sala Daeng lines; though the green Lumpini Park (ideal for jogging), Patpong, the shops and banks are so close that we never used it during our stay.
The quiet, almost somnolent lobby doesn't reflect the actual size of the residence. The 111 suites (ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments) are large and conveniently appointed. We staid in a 100 Sq.m Two Bedrooms Designer Suite, which we would like to recommend to those travelling with a family. Immaculate, with classy furniture, well lit and spacious, it came with an immediate homey feel. Many expats have the same reaction, and book that category of apartment for long stay: they certainly like the full kitchen with a large table allowing to share a dinner with guests. Besides the well sized LCD TV, the soft matress of our bed and the lovely bathrooms, what we found most remarkable is definitely the perfect isolation from the external environment: we have visited few, if none, hotels with such efficiently sound-proofed windows: many tuk-tuk were passing by the street, and a building was under construction next door... but not even a whisper came up to our room! We slept like babies!
There is small, pleasant and inexpensive coffee shop, with a pool-side view, where breakfast is served by an anticipating, very courteous staff. The double espresso is delicious, and there is a good selection of fresh fruits cuts. We crossed by many expatriates there, living on a long-term at Siri Sathorn; though this was high season, we didn't see so many tourists. The place might be still quite confidential for leisure travellers.
Rates are well balanced, at about THB 6000 for a One-Bedroom Suite, and THB 10,000 for a Two-Bedroom Suite. Including breakfast, Wi-Fi Internet, use of the fine fitness center, and shuttle van to the nearby shopping areas. Monthly updated promotions and money saving long term packages make this residence particularly attractive.
alternative to traditional hotels.
COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT BANGKOK (****L): Located in an elegant residential and diplomatic district, this brand new hotel stands behing the Four Seasons and Grand Hyatt Erawan: in a quiet « soi » (lane), deserved every five minutes by a complimentary shuttle rickshaw («tuktuk ») lifting the guests to the Sky Train (BTS) station Ratchadamri (Siam square and Silom line). The BTS station Chidlom (Sukhumbit line), opposite the Central Department Store, can be accessed by a five minute walk through a picturesque lane, featuring cheap local restaurants and cafés. The worth the trip Erawan Shrine (« Four Face Buddha »), with spiritual music and dances, stands 500 meters from the « Courtyard ».
Located in an elegant building, with a hip lobby, this contemporary hotel, contrary to many « Courtyards », has been designed for corporate and tourists alike. The lobby staff, fluent in English, is anticipating and, during our four days stay, helped us on many occasions with an authentic kindness (helping us to pack fruits, to weight our luggage, etc...). There is a little shop (« MoMo Mart » ), selling beverages, snacks and toiletry, at a very affordable price; we used it with pleasure, as there was no minibar in the room.
We booked a Deluxe Room. Bright, intelligently designed, with a nice colors variation, we found it cool and trendy. The king-size beds are amazingly comfortable: this is a Marriott! There is a Samsung plasma TV, and tea / coffee facilities. A glass (with adjustable blinds) separates the room from the bathroom: this is a new, hip tendency, which we found quite stylish. The selection of toiletries is excellent, and you can sit in the spacious shower. Internet is provided via the hotel cable network, or using WiFi external signals (like « True Internet », which is quite cheap).
There is a convenient fitness room, and a very beautiful, large swimming pool. We enjoyed the Jacuzzi: warm and powerful, with waterfalls, it overlooks a private Siamese style private villa hidden in a green park. It was so relaxing, that we felt like miles away from Bangkok city center!
We noticed that the hotel was popular with Asian guests (mostly Japanese and Korean). The breakfast was fitted to please their taste, with a selection of mouth watering local specialties. Excellent fresh fruit juices, and remarkable service in the trendy Café MoMo which also opens for lunch and dinner. Last bit not least, it is actually inexpensive...
The « Courtyard » features 5 well designed, high tech meeting rooms (390 sq m of total meeting space).
Price for a double deluxe starts from approximately THB 3,700 ++
A smart and affordable hotel.
(****L): This hip boutique hotel opened a few months ago,
both tourists and business travellers, it will particularly
How could we describe the Tenface? Let's say that this is somehow an urban hideaway, situated just off Ploenchit Rd. A three minutes complimentary « tuk-tuk » ride from the hectic Sukhumvit Rd (where lots of bars, restaurants and shops await the tourists). An oasis in the heart of the city, Still quite hard to find; order their vintage Mercedes-Benz limousine at the airport or, after a treasure hunt, feel proud for finally reaching the « soi » (=lane) where this sanctuary stands. The Tenface is styled in an original way and bears absolutely no resemblance to other hotels in Bangkok,: inspired by the ten-faced giant Tosakan from the epic Ramakien, it is definitely boutique, cozy, refreshing and rejuvenating.
At check-in, we were handed an elegant box, featuring toiletry... and an unexpected iPod Nano Video with AV dock and remote control. This is the first hotel we visited lending iPods to its guests. Second originality: the box contained also a sim card with a private cellular phone number, and a small credit on it. It made us reachable on the spot, anywhere in Bangkok, and we found it a rich idea.
The rooms are actually suites. The Tenface is well fitted for long-stay, and comes with some of the particularities of serviced apartments. We had a one bedroom suite, covering more or less the surface of two single hotel rooms (61 Sq.m ): designed into an elegant and relaxing minimalist style, with a top comfortable king-size bed, LCD cable TV, free broadband Internet Wi-Fi, and even an espresso coffee machine. From the bay windows we could see the contrast between the quiet, residential Soi Ruamrudee, and the nearby skyscrapers planted into the bustling capital city of Thailand.
There is a nice fitness club, and a small though pleasant swimming pool. The Tenface is also home to the trendy Sita Bar, much visited by the new generation of Sino-Thai nice people, who like to see and be seen, mixing with the hotel guests enjoying elegant evening cocktails before heading to one of the supper-clubs or fashionable restaurants recommended by Pipek, the concierge and «entertainment guru», Note that the Tenface has its own, very affordable restaurant: the Wanara Eatery, serving light meals inspired by popular Thai specialties.
Many promotion rates apply, making the hotel a very good value at about USD 120 for a one bedroom suite.
A cool, interesting hotel.GRAND CHINA (****L): The bustling commercial centre of Bangkok for over two centuries Chinatown magic square, between Yahowarat and Charoen streets, with its sideways crowded by cradles and bags, narrow lanes invaded by markets, open-air restaurants and street vendors, featuring opulent goldsmith shops and dirty cheap garments stores, but also lovely temples and the unique Indian district in Bangkok, remains totally neglected by tourists. This is certainly why there has a one and only high end hotel: the Grand China!
Just like the vast majority of travellers, we always instinctively booked our hotels in the Sukhumvit, Silom and Riverside areas; forgetting Chinatown, as this is indeed one of the busiest district downtown, with a surrealistic traffic jam from 5pm until nobody knows when. Which means that we missed one of the most attractive and exciting attraction: one night in Chinatown, which is now the only place where the city never sleeps, and where you can have dim-sums, seafoods and fried noodles at 3am in a crowded restaurant... for a just a few dollars.
That time we made the Grand China our headquarter for the second time, in April 2013, and this was a wonderful experience.
One of the still very few high-rise in Chinatown, the hotel has got 155 rooms and 22 suites. Lots of them have been recently refurbished. One floor has been re-designed in a modern, top-comfortable standard; another one in a contemporary Chinese style which we like quite a lot. The highest you book -we recommend the 15th till 22nd floor, if possible room with a large terrace- the most impressive is the panorama of the city and the ever-busy Chao Phraya River. At down and sunset, the view is amazing, and well worth the stay. We found the Grand China extremely relaxing; maybe was it by contrast with the frantic rythm of the district, each incursion after shopping or touring was a soothing pleasure. The rooms are sound-proofed, and we couldn't ever believed that we were in the heart of one of the most noisy areas of the city.
This is a four star hotel: luxurious, but without any kind of ostentation. The hotel doesn't pretend to compete with The Mandarin Oriental or The Dusit Thani. Rooms are large (more than 32 sq. m in the lowest category), bright, clean, lovely, and comfy: which is enough for a most pleasant stay. Featuring all four star amenities, they include tea-coffee facility, LCD Sat TV and safe; but LAN / WiFi Internet still comes at a fee until the end of 2013 (it is complimentary in the lobby, where a practical business-center has been installed for the hotel guests: many computers are available, which makes access to the Internet very convenient). The rooms are very clean, and the maids extremely anticipating: they even replaced our old toothbrush with a new one... This is the very first time that we receive such a dedicated level of service in a four star hotel, where rates can sometimes go under THB 3000... (approximately USD 100).
There is a nice -though too small- sky pool with a view, a SPA with a fitness room and affordable massages. Last but not least, and this was the real reason of our visit, the Grand China is highly reputed for its restaurants. We got classy food, fair price and relaxed atmosphere in all of them. We recommend the Club Lounge: the unique panoramic revolving restaurant in Bangkok (and certainly in Thailand), which is far more than a touristic attraction: regional southern Thai cuisine, with some rare specialities, comes at its peak, prepared by the oldest chef in Thailand (78 years, and still brilliant!). The Siang Ping Loh restaurant serves sumptuous China cuisine and Dim Sum, with the emphasis on Cantonese delicacies and the robust flavours of Szechuan. All Bangkok comes here to enjoy their Peking Duck: the best in town (many would say in Asia, including CNN!), carefully prepared and served in three courses. Thai Isaan cuisine from the Northern region can be intimely enjoyed in the small Rabiang Pai restaurant, while cocktails and snacks are available in the Coffee Shop: quiet by day, it gets crowded after dark, with karaoke providing a very local and picturesque animation.
Very unique, this is one of the most enjoyable hotels in Bangkok.
GRAND CHINA: 215 Yaowarat Road, Samphantawong, Bangkok 10100
PHONE: +66 (0) 2224 9977 FACSIMILE: +66 (0) 2224 7999
PATHUMWAN PRINCESS (****L): In the middle of the city's best shopping and entertainment facilities, with connecting corridors to the MBK (Mah Boon Krong) shopping and business centre, a stone's throw away from shopping centres Siam Square, Siam Centre and Siam Discovery Centre and walking distance to the World Trade Center: this is a first class hotel with a first class location. This is also one of the most Asian deluxe hotel in town: the guests invading all year long the magnificent Pathumwan Lobby, cool and spacious, with it's luxurious marble floor and pillars leads, is 75% originating from far east. We have been astonished that westerners, who would like its discernible comfort and shopping facilities (home to over 2000 vendors, the MBK arcade is one of the best value for money in South East Asia), still didn't discover the Pathumwan Princess.
Individual traveller receives special attention: like separate check-in, quietly sitting being a guest relation desk. Away from the groups. Though the hotel was almost fully booked, it took us less than five minutes to reach one of the 382 guestrooms and suites. Our Deluxe-Room was fully equipped with air-conditioning, cable TV, minibar, personal safe, IDD telephone, and a nice bathroom with hair dryer, bathrobe, toiletries and telephone. The hotel is a 29-storeys high rise: we had therefore a splendid panorama over the "City of Angels". The Pathumwan Princess is only four years old; but it seems that, due to their immaculate cleanness and excellent aspect of fabrics, some rooms have already received some minor refurbishment. There are also two Executive Floors: complemented by an Executive Lounge, they are perfect for an upgraded stay, and will suit the requirement of business travellers. In addition, there are 64 service apartments for long-term stays.
We spent our evening at eighth floor amazing Olympic Club. This is the largest fitness centre in Bangkok: with the latest and best equipment by Cybex, supervised by highly trained personal instructors, it is rated by many professionals to be one of the best in the world. A superb roof top pool, tennis court, jogging track and squash courts, complements it.
The Pathumwan Princess is reputed for its restaurants. Great Asian food -including generous buffet breakfast- and good live Latin music at the Salsa Club.
Interesting rates, with an average US$ 60/night/room for corporate and Internet booking.
Hotel & Resorts are part of the Dusit
family of hotels.
DUSIT PRINCESS SRINAKARIN (****L): Half way (20 minutes) between Suvarnabhumi International airport and city centre, this business hotel comes with many advantages to those who -like us- don't like that much impersonal airport hotels. On a transit or short stay in Bangkok, this fine, four star hotel looks like a perfect solution for shopping (the Seacon Square Shopping Center stands next door), business (the Bangna district hosts many banks, companies headquarters and, last but not least, the BITEC - Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre), or just relaxation between two trips.
The Dusit Princess Srinakarin is actually pleasant, with a trendy Asian touch from the smart lobby up to the 198 comfortable rooms and suites. Finely furnished in contemporary Thai style, they all come with satellite cable television, central air conditioning with individual thermostat, Internet connection, IDD telephone, working desk, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities, and a personal safe.
This cool, calm hotel is managed by the Dusit group; which means great F&B! We experienced The Chinese Restaurant, specializing in Cantonese and Szechuan dishes which can be nothing but succulent... as many Asian travellers stay in the hotel. Miyuki is also reputed, with its own sushi bar and teppanyaki tables for preparing authentic Japanese delicacies. Square One offers a grand choice of Thai, Mediterranean, Californian and other international foods served a la carte or buffet style, while Petit Four provides a rendez-vous point for afternoon tea.
A state-of-the-art Health Club with swimming pool, invigorating sauna and steam bath ensured us a great time following our long-haul flight from Europe.
is very «Dusit»: which means polite, faultless and extremely
friendly. Rooms rates
are great value for money, starting from less than THB 3,000 for a
Situated at on the centrally located Rajdamri Road in downtown Bangkok, Hansar is perfectly positioned to take advantage of everything the Thai capital has to offer. Mere steps away from the hotel, the Skytrain takes the guests in 3 minutes to Siam Square and the commercial and business heart of downtown Bangkok.
The hotel features an array of innovative and highly spacious suites. Contemporary in design yet timeless in elegance, they have been designed for business or leisure travellers and long-stay guests who are looking for something a bit different than the average hotel room. From the 59sqm Studio Suite, till the plush Vertigo and 129sqm Loft Suite, we have been seduced by the warm, trendy atmosphere: teak wood, precious silk, high-tech equipment and lovely decoration items bring a summit of refinement to the homey apartments. All include an intuitively designed workspace corner as well as an integrated kitchenette and dining area. This multifunctional space flows into an intimate relaxation and living area with a state-of-the-art entertainment system and a sublimely comfortable king-sized beds. The Vertigo Suites are particularly attractive. Designed for those seeking the absolute heights of urban luxury they distinguish themselves by an expansive living space, with floor-to-ceiling bookcases filled with contemporary artefacts, a sophisticated work area and lounge and entertainment space. Sliding doors open onto a uniquely cantilevered bedroom which seems to literally float over the city below. Throw open the curtains and take in the greenery of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club and the city below. At the heart of the suite is the truly palatial bathroom, a world unto itself, featuring dual dressing areas, vanity stand, centerpiece terrazzo bathtub and a separate glass-walled rain shower – complete with its own surprising view. Completed with 50-inch flat screen TV with DVD player, iPod docking station and free high-speed Wi-Fi, all suites have been tailored made for a geek clientele.
The Hansar Bangkok is managed by a former Kempinski F&B: which makes the dinner scene promising. We have not experienced yet the Eve restaurant, specializing in inventive Northern Mediterranean cuisine. The pleasant Lobby Bar opens on a quiet open-air terrace. The breakfast, with freshly-baked pastries, tropical fruit and an extensive menu of Western and Asian specialties is served at Shine, by the large, lovely swimming pool perched on the edge of the cityscape.
There is a nice, well equipped Fitness Centre, and the LUXSA Spa offers an extensive menu of beauty and massage inspired by ancient Thai remedies and the latest international restorative techniques.
Attractive opening rates make this luxury boutique hotel well worth a try.
a one of the Small
Luxury Hotels of the World.
PARK PLAZA SUKHUMVIT
(****): Strategically located
100 meters from the Asok skytrain and Sukhumvit subway stations, in the
heart of Bangkok most prestigious business and shopping district, close
to Queen Sirikit Convention Center, this lovingly designed boutique hotel
impressed us quite a lot with its cool lobby-lounge, cozy
spotless rooms, and anticipating young staff.
CITRUS SUKHUMVIT 22 (****): This chic design boutique hotel is located in one of the most animated sections of Sukhumvit: right in the heart of this posh district, with plenty of shops, spa and massage centers, pubs and restaurants all around. The infamous Sukhumvit Road traffic jams can be easily avoided, using the BTS Asok station, a short walk from the hotel. Despite of its rich night life, the « Soi 22 » remains a safe, pleasant street. We found the hotel itself so quiet, with nothing to disturb our sleep, and didn't realize that we stayed in the middle of the action.
Opened a couple of years ago, and just handed over to the well established Compass Hospitality Group for an upgraded management, this hip and cool boutique hotel is warm and inviting. Like in many hotel in New York, the lobby stands on the first floor; next to the restaurant, and to the lounge bar with a nice view over the Soi 22. The young and friendly reception staff made our check -in as smooth as silk.
The rooms are accessible by a key-card secured lift. Safety seems to be one of the priorities of the hotel. Our 31 sq.m Superior King room was fitted with high-tech technology. A state-of-the-art entertainment system (WiFi, USB Port, LAN connections, HDMI & Adapter ) allows guests to plug in a thumb drive or notebook: watching the latest movie in the comfort of their room on the wall mounted 40” LCD flat screen TV... Just like in more hotels in Bangkok, WiFi is free of charge, and everybody will like surfing the web in the intimacy of his room or, better, relaxing along the pleasant rooftop swimming pool.
The fine quality breakfast is served in the Citrus Café, which offers the usual local delights plus International dishes that include the very popular Lamb Shank and Double Beef Burger.
Perfect for business and leisure travellers alike, the Citrus Sukhumvit 22 hotel offers an ultimate bonus: the rates are amazingly attractive, starting from as less as approximately THB 2,500 in a Superior Room with free WiFi and late check out.
SUKHUMVIT 22 (former I Style Trend Hotel): 14/4 Sukhumvit Soi
The spacious guestrooms of 40 sq.m are elegantly decorated in pastel fabrics with Thai artefacts. All are equipped with IDD phones with voicemail, fax link, personal safe and minibar. We like the twin hand basins in the marble bathrooms. All rooms have a dramatic view over downtown Bangkok.
Businessmen enjoy particularly the Corporate Floors, on the 29th-31th floor of the hotel. For these top executive clients, everything is available since they step inside the lobby: in-room check in, welcome drink and refreshing face towel, and daily breakfast in the VIP section of the Promenade Coffee Shop. There is also a 24 hours complimentary fruit bowl, coffee/tea facilities, and a selection of business publications on each floor in the lift landing area.
Each Corporate Floor room is equipped with e-mail and Internet connections. Full Business Centre services are available, including three small meeting rooms for guest use.
The Amari Watergate is extremely popular among travellers. Not only for its discerning comfort and much affordable rates (USD 184 for a single Superior Room and USD 248 for a double Executive room; with very interesting discounted packages); but also for its security. It has been regularly identified as one of the top 3 safest hotels in the city, by the Bangkok Authorities: thanks to the Building Automation System, regular staff training, and up-to-date fire prevention and safety equipment.
We like the fact that this nice hotel is also very much family oriented: this is the only one downtown with a Kids Club. Children will be delighted to find a special corner, prepared for them in their room upon check in, with plenty of welcome gifts and candies ! In the bathroom, they will find a rubber duck, and during their stay the hotel's photographer will take a picture of them with their favourite number of staff: as a souvenir to take home ! Thai service -and we get used of it- will never stop amazing us. And, at the Amari Watergate, it is actually first class.
Children are also taken care of when parents enjoy with them the restaurants. The choice is great, between the Heichinrou Chinese Restaurant, the Grappino (fine Italian specialities in a trendy atmosphere), and the famous franchised Henri J. Beans Bar & Grill (where a lot of expatriates hang up by night). The buffet at the Promenade Coffee Shop is excellent: its show kitchen is a feature of the restaurant, with uniformed cooks preparing eggs, pastas and meats on request. Their fastuous Sunday Lunch is a favourite in town.
One of the best choice in Bangkok.
Part of the Amari Hotels & Resorts
Group, managing fine hotels throughout Thailand.
THE PAN PACIFIC BANGKOK (****): One of the very best business hotels in Bangkok, located within walking distance of almost all the important offices, banks and tourists attractions in town. Its four star deluxe accommodations occupie the top 10 floors of the 32-storey Ramaland skyscraper. We found the Pan Pacific Bangkok more intimate than we had imagined from outside. It is a warm and human place, organised round a quiet atrium. The check-in is one of the friendliest and quickest we had in Bangkok. The 235 rooms and suites are perfect for corporate guests. Nothing missing. We had a Deluxe Room, with a dramatic view over the city. No need to mention that it was full equipped with IDD telephone, individually controlled air conditioning, and a useful message viewing and check out facility displayed on our cable TV screen. The bathroom was ritzy, with separate shower cubicle and telephone. Though in the bustling center of one of the noisiest city in the world, we hardly could hear anything when lying on our king-size bed: this hotel is 100% soundproofed!
We could also visit the Pacific Floor. Should you come on a business or, better, as a tourist, this is certainly the best place to stay. We didn't see much difference between the Pacific Floor Rooms and ours -except the suites, which are superb- but found that it is worth paying little bit more just to enjoy the Executive Lounge. If you are a traveller and already know Bangkok quite well, you will realise at first sight that this is a perfect copy of The Oriental Author Lounge! Even larger and more luxurious than the original, it is quite impressive: with greenery all around this somehow colonial style private atrium. The perfect place to enjoy a complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, and pre-dinner cocktails. Note that a private butler and complimentary laundry service comes with the room. This is, let's say, a five star upgraded accommodation.
Another good reason to stay in the Pan Pacific Bangkok is its unique Bali style swimming pool. From far the greatest in Bangkok, this is a landmark which appeared already in all the travel and decoration magazines worlwide. Its beauty is revealed by night, when the stone carved frescoes and columns are softly illuminated. One could hardly imagine being on a 24th floor. The view is, of course, terrific. It is linked to the immaculate and splendidly equipped fitness club and SPA.
Patpong and all the bustling nightlife is a two minutes by walk; anyway, many guests like to escape from the hustle and rather use the hotel's restaurants. The Keyaki is reputed for its Japanese specialities. The Hai Tien Lo serves authentic Cantonese fine cuisine.
The meeting rooms and ballrooms are very suitable for banquets, conferences and exhibitions, and can welcome up to 280 persons.
Rack rates for a room is US$ 200-275. Suites start at approximately US$ 320.
An excellent address downtown.
PHONE: +662 632 9000 FACSIMILE: +662 632 9001
CHAOPHYA PARK (****): Fairly well located in Rachadapisek, one of Bangkok’s newly emerging business, leisure and entertainment districts, this top comfortable, yet affordable hotel makes any attraction at easy reach: the subway, MRT station stands two blocks away.
Two lobbies on separate floors allow a quick check in. The recently refurbished 402 rooms and suites, displaying a pleasant Thai design, are comfy, large and well appointed: all with IDD Phone, complimentary high speed Internet, Sat TV, electronic control panel board, safe deposit box... Tea and coffee facility is available, free of charge. There is an Executive Floor, with a lounge.
We like the «green» concept of the Chaophya Park, where many efforts are undergone to protect the environment. This eco-oriented hotel hosts the 70 treatment rooms «Bali Spa and Thai Massage Centre»: one of the largest therapeutic massage complexes in Bangkok. The hotel has a fully equipped gymnasium and out door swimming pool with Jacuzzi. It is the only city hotel to feature a full service Golf Driving Range on 2 levels, with fully computerised caddies. The complex in which the hotel stands includes a huge convention center and the «Entertainment World» recreation center.
The 7 restaurants and bars include the recently opened, and yet reputed Al Massimo Ristorante Italiano: featuring fine Italian cuisine along with walk-in wine cellar. If you want to mix with local people for cheap, delicious Thai dishes, just cross the road, and join one of the small open-air restaurants after dark, when the air gets cooler and the «sanuk» warmer.
is about THB 4,000 till 6,700. Suites start from THB 8,800. Packages
promotions are permanently available.
NOVOTEL BANGKOK ON SIAM SQUARE (****): When Novotel remains a three stars product in its country of origin (France), it gets a more elitist image overseas, offering remarkable comfort and services: a perfect illustration being the NOVOTEL BANGKOK ON SIAM SQUARE. Ideally located in the whole heart of the business, shopping and leisure area of the "City of Angels", between the WTC and Siam Shopping Center, this elegant and modern hotel has got 429 rooms. Most of them being ranked in the "superior" category: nicely refurbished only few months ago, spacious, clean and top comfortable, they offer to the businessmen and tourists a wide range of high tech facilities: there is a minibar, satellite TV receiving more than 20 international channels, with in-house VDO displaying 14 movies per day ! We like very much the marble bathrooms, both elegant and fairly well equipped. Located in a district with a round-the-clock animation, the Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square is perfectly sound-proofed: you can be sure that your sleep will not be disturbed in any way.
When we stayed at the Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, on June 2000, the average rack rate for a "Superior" room was about USD120; corporate discounts and packages are reducing the yet most reasonable prices. Excellent fitness and sport equipment, with a huge swimming pool, a marble Jacuzzi, and a brand new work-out room. The distinguished guest will make sure he stays in an international four stars hotel when enjoying the restaurants which upgrade the fame of the Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square. We warmly recommend the Chistera Cafe Restaurant. For little bit more than USD10, we had free access to its buffet: this is actually one of the best in town, with Lord Jim at the Oriental Hotel. Of course, the Executive Chef is French ! The Lok Wah Hin proposes Chinese gourmet meals for very decent prices: especially if you come for a Dim Sums (succulent steamed Chinese dumplings) lunch. Most of the guests are Asian: which shows how perfect the cook may be. Their Italian restaurant, Focazzia, is quite good. There are many discotheques in the area: starting with the Novotel’s private one, ranked number two in town, just after the illustrious Spasso (in Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel). You will mix up with expatriates, tourists, but also young Thai people much involved in posh and fashionable night spots. The Concept Cm2 actually hosts many discos under a same roof: a ground floor street drives from a Californian bar with a reputed live band to karaoke rooms, or to a curious and top affordable restaurant where rice is cooked following many original -and succulent !- recipes.
This is an Accor hotel.
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