[Hotel Review] – Dusit D2 (Studio Suite), Chiang Mai, Thailand​ (9 – 12 Nov 17)

Location

Dusit D2 Chiang Mai is located just outside the East of the Old City of Chiang Mai, within 15 min walk to the eastern Tha Phae Gate. The hotel’s location is nearby 2 night markets in the vicinity. Dusit D2 Chiang Mai is 2 min walk from the Night Bazaar and 5 min walk from the Night Market. It is 10 min away from the Ping River. However, the hotel is rather far from shopping malls in the city such as Maya Lifestyle Shopping Mall and Central Festival Chiang Mai. One point to note, Central Festival Chiang Mai offers shuttle bus service that stops by Dusit D2 Chiang Mai at scheduled timing.
Dusit D2 Chiang Mai Signage
Hotel Facade
Dusit D2 Chiang Mai Reception

The Suite

There are 2 types of suites in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai, namely Studio Suite and the larger D’Suite. I stayed in the Studio Suite which has a total room size of  64㎡ . The Studio Suite in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai has 3 sections to the suite, namely Living Room, Bedroom, and Bathroom.

Living Room

Entering the suite in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai, the minibar is hidden in the wooden cabinet to the right of the main entrance. Here is where one would find the mini fridge, electric kettle and glasses. Opposite the minibar, a door leads to the walk-in wardrobe, which is also linked to the bathroom (more about the walk-in wardrobe later). Further into the little corridor from the main entrance, the suite opens up to a spacious living room. The decoration in the living room is contemporary yet exudes a Thai flavour,. The choice of colour in the suite is also in line with the familiar bright orange we have seen in the hotel lobby, extending the vibrant and energetic spirit into the suite. The furnishings in the living are stylish yet functional. A large work desk, tucked into the wall of the living room on the right side, extends from the hidden minibar to the midpoint in the living room. This large work desk serves as an alternate space for me to put my things onto. There are a few power sockets on the wall, which makes it an excellent place to work and to charge my lifestyle devices.

Entrance to Dusit D2 Chiang Mai Studio Suite
Mini bar is tucked inside the cabinet next to the main entrance to the suite
Work desk with plenty of space

A small table built into the wall next to the work desk functions as extra space which is perfect for me to place my shopping. A curved couch, capable of sitting 4 persons wraps around the corner of the living room all the way to the wall separating the living room from the bedroom. At the end of the couch is where one would find complimentary beverages such as coffee, tea and bottled water with a coffee machine nicely tucked in the corner of the living room. A couple of wall lights on either side of the wall, in front of the large panel window that looks out into Doi Suthep, provides additional lighting in the living room of the suite. Across the curved couch is a large LED TV mounted onto the angled wall, which is perfectly angled for watching TV. A small glass top coffee table is placed between the TV and the couch. There is a single seat orange couch chair placed at the corner of the living room, providing the additional seat for guests to entertain their guests. The entire living room did not feel cramp and has loads of space to move around, as the furniture is arranged flushed to the wall around the living room.

Couch in the living room with a glass top coffee table
Coffee and tea area
Living room in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai Studio Suite
TV in the living room
View of Doi Suthep from the suite

Bedroom

A large wooden sliding door serves as the entrance to the bedroom from the living room. The bedroom is also heavily decorated with a Thai theme, together with the bright orange colour theme that is seen throughout Dusit D2 Chiang Mai. The bedroom feels cosy due to the colour scheme used and the lighting, making the entire bedroom feels very comfortable visually. Entering the bedroom, a wooden-framed king bed sits in the centre of the room. The height of the bed is a tad high, nonetheless, the sleep quality is excellent on the bed. However, I find the pillows too soft to my liking. On either side of the bed are bedside tables, but only the table nearer to the window has power sockets. Tucked by the large window panel on the right side of the bed is a couch, perfect for watching the TV in the bedroom or just for relaxing and enjoy the views of the mountain from the bedroom. Opposite the king bed, mounted on the wall, is a small TV. Despite the placement of this TV is a little off, guests are still able to watch the TV from the comforts of the king bed.

King bed in bedroom
One of the bedside table in the bedroom
Couch inside the bedroom
Couch and a small TV in the bedroom

Bathroom

Dusit D2 Chiang Mai Studio Suite has a large bathroom. The bathroom is accessible from the bedroom and the living room. Entering the bathroom from the bedroom, a shower cubicle sits opposite the door. Only regular shower head is found in the shower cubicle, however, the pressure from the shower head is great. The sink is located next to the shower cubicle where one can find ample space to put additional toiletries on the sink countertop. To the right of the sink, tucked into the corner of the bathroom is where the toilet is located. Opposite the sink, next to the large panel window that looks out into the bedroom is the bathtub. The bathtub seems to be tucked in a corner, making getting in and out of the bathtub difficult. I appreciate the window panel as it allows guests to watch TV from the bathtub. The sound from the TV in the bedroom is also piped into the bathroom, making it ideal to watch TV while relaxing in the bathtub. Dusit D2 Chiang Mai provides their house brand bath amenities, which is both of good quality and feels luxurious.
Shower cubicle in the bathroom
Sink in the bathroom
The toilet is located beside the sink area
Bathtub is placed next to a large window that looks into the bedroom
Bathroom amenities
Dusit D2 uses their in-house brand bath amenities which feels luxurious
Bathroom Amenities

Walk-in Wardrobe

The walk-in wardrobe is found in between the bathroom and the living room. Dusit D2 Chiang Mai employs an open concept for their walk-in wardrobe. Other than the 2 doors accessing the wardrobe, there are no wardrobe doors. The wardrobe space is large, allowing guests to change up after their shower. Next to the door to the bathroom, is where a 3 tiered drawer is located. These drawers provided additional storage space for small personal items. On top of the drawer is the in-room safe. A large ledge for guests to put their luggage on is located opposite the wardrobe.

Walk-in wardrobe where we stow our luggage
Wardrobe in the suite
There are places to put one’s luggage in the walk-in wardrobe

Club Lounge

The Club Lounge in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai is located on level 7 of the hotel. There are armchairs for smaller groups and several dining tables capable of sitting up to 6 guests for larger groups. Guests staying in Club rooms and suites can check in and out from the Club Lounge. Guests can walk in during the opening hours for complimentary drinks. Hors-d’oeuvre are served every evening in the Club lounge, where guests staying a club room and suites in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai can enjoy. The selection for Hors-d’oevure in the Club Lounge is, however, limited.

Sitting area in the club lounge
Hors d’oevure served in the evening

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai is located on level 1M. The freeform swimming pool is a little small but is still capable of letting guests to swim a few laps in. There is a limited number of suntan chairs at the pool area.

The free-form swimming pool is rather small

Gym

D:Fit is the gym in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai. The gym is located on the 10th floor of the hotel, with the entire floor dedicated to the gym. There are the standard treadmills and elliptical machines in the gym. which allows guests to do a decent workout. There are also some weight machines in the gym. There is a steam room inside the toilet in the gym.

Entrance to D:Fit, the gym in the Dusit D2 Chiang Mai
Gym in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai
The gym is well equipped with exercise machines
Weight area in the gym

Soi Cafe

The package that we booked includes breakfast and dinner. Both meals are served in Soi Cafe, located on the ground floor, next to the lift lobby in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai. Similar to many hotels, buffet breakfast was served in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai. Breakfast includes both oriental and western options, such as porridge, salad, bread to name a few. There is also a small selection of Thai food available during breakfast. There is a hot counter which prepares eggs, chicken noodles, pancakes and waffles that are prepared a la minute. Food on offer during breakfast is fresh and delicious. There are some variations in the breakfast served daily.

Soi Cafe signage
Cold bar in Soi Cafe during breakfast
There are cooked food which changes every day during breakfast
Cooking station where noodles and eggs are cooked a la minute

Dinner was served in Soi Cafe as well. During our first night there, we were given options of Thai cuisine (fish in black pepper sauce) and western cuisine (chicken steak). We opted for the Thai cuisine. The food was delicious and flavourful. During the subsequent 2 nights, instead of set dinner, Dusit D2 Chiang Mai offered us seafood buffet dinner. There was a good spread of food during dinner service. Cold dishes are placed in the centre of the restaurant, with options such as sea snails, cockles, cold soba shots and salads made available to guests. There is a section where guests can choose from a range of raw meats such as pork, pork ribs, chicken, salmon and dory fish, where the chefs will barbecue for guests. There are also cooked sections with fried rice, noodles, pizza available. As with breakfast, there is a minor variation during dinner service to the cooked food. The food on offer was delicious, with the right amount of flavouring to them.

Thai set dinner that we had on the first night
Cooked food served during buffet dinner
Cold bar during dinner where calms and sea snails are served on top of many other dishes
Barbecue station with numerous options
Cooked food options
Cooked food options
Pizzas as part of the buffet dinner
Desserts are tasty

Service

The service we received in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai is impeccable. Every staff who we came across displayed the nature of the Thais that we have all came to know about, hospitable and warm. They seem to go all out to ensure we feel comfortable in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai and our requests are being met with. The excellent service came weeks before we even departed for Chiang Mai when I coordinated with the hotel via email. The reservation supervisor, Panatsaya, was very prompt in her replies and gave us assurance that our requests are being captured. As the package we booked comes with return airport transfer and a vehicle for us to use for 8 hours, Panatsaya was able to quickly coordinated our requests and our flight details to arrange for the drivers to pick us up. During her absence, the coordination continued with her colleagues, Preenan and Pennapa. We were being picked up by the hotel staff the moment we walked out of the restricted area in Chiang Mai airport upon our arrival.

The staff at the main entrance, Young, welcomed us and quickly unloaded our luggage when we reached the hotel. By the time we were done with the check-in procedures and proceeded to our suites, our luggage was already waiting for us in our suites. When Young saw us heading out and helped us hail a taxi. He helped us translate to the cabby on our destination and even ensured that we were not overcharged. Young is always very welcoming and gave us the warmest smile whenever we bumped into him at the entrance to the hotel. Young drove us to the airport during our departure and refused to let us handle our luggage. At the airport, he even took the initiative to help us get trolleys and loaded our luggage onto them.

The staffs at Soi Cafe did a tremendous job in making us feel welcome. Phet showed us to tour table on the first night we had dinner. She was welcoming and made us feel like VIP. We requested for warm water from Phet during our dinner. 2 nights later, we met Phet again at Soi Cafe. After showing us to our table, she asked if we prefer to have warm water. Such observant and taking the extra mile in remembering our preference, despite being 2 days ago goes to show that the level of service rendered by Phet was impeccable. I don’t even remember what I had eaten the night before, let alone expecting Phet to remember our preference for small items such as water. I was pleasantly surprised by Phet.

Poy is another staff working in Soi Cafe in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai. We would see her every morning during breakfast service, standing at the entrance to the restaurant welcoming guests. I am glad to find that we only have to mention our room number on the first day during breakfast and Poy took the effort to remember our room numbers. During subsequent days, Poy did not even asked our room numbers and showed us to our table without delay. As one of the members of our group is a vegetarian due to religious reasons, I requested to Poy if the kitchen was able to prepare some vegetarian meal for my friend. To my surprise, instead of rejecting us, Poy got the kitchen to whip up a vegetarian meal and even checked if my friend like the taste. Subsequent mornings during breakfast, Poy would sit us at a table and quickly went into the kitchen to place the vegetarian meal order without us reminding her. She would never fail to check if the meal was sufficient for my friend.

Puchong is another staff working at Soi Cafe. During one of the dinner service, Puchong showed us around on the food options for the buffet dinner. He recommended us to try out the barbecue ala minute and would help us take our order and brought the cooked food to us. Puchong even took the initiative to bring us some sauces which he had recommended us to try with which food. Indeed, the sauces did make the food taste better (not as though the food is not good enough). Puchong would always check on us and ensured that empty plates are cleared and our water is being topped up. 

There are still many unsung heroes, who either work in the background (such as the housekeepers) or whose name I did not manage to get. They made us feel welcomed in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai and portrayed the traits of Thais that the world has come to know of. I have travelled to Thailand many times a year and this is the first time I experienced the warmness and hospitality of the Thai people in Thailand.

 

A very nice touch in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai. The housekeeper would place a different souvenir every day for guests to bring home
Welcome drink served in the bar at Dusit D2 Chiang Mai

Overall

I highly recommend one to come stay in Dusit D2 Chiang Mai should one visits this Northen Thailand City. The Studio Suite in the hotel is very spacious and comfortable. The design of the suite is functional and the infusion of Thai elements and contemporary decor makes the suite feel very cosy. The location of Dusit D2 Chiang Mai is excellent to explore the daily night markets and the rest of Chiang Mai. What left a good impression on us was the impeccable service. Every staff member truly embraced customer-centric and displayed the hospitality and the warmness that the Thais came to be known about. The staffs always saw with a smile and are very welcoming. I would come back to Dusit D2 Chiang Mai the next time I return to the city.

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[Hotel Review] – Anantara Baan Rajprasong (2 Bedroom Superior Suite), Bangkok, Thailand (21 – 23 Jul 17)

Location

Anantara Baan Rajprasong is a service apartment under the Anantara group, a Thai hotel chain group. The location of Anantara Baan Rajprasong is very central, located next to Lumpini Park. It is within 10 mins walk from the famed Erawan Shrine and within 15 mins walk from Central World. There are 2 BTS stations that provides excellent accessibility to the service apartment. The nearer Ratchadamri BTS station is 5 mins walk from the service apartment. This BTS station is one stop from Patpong and also one station away from Siam Interchange Station, where Siam Square and Siam Paragon is located.

Hotel Signage

Facade of the hotel

Fountain at the entrance of the hotel

Reception in the hotel lobby

Hotel lobby

The Suite

Kitchen

We checked into the 127㎡ 2 bedroom suite in Anantara Bann Rajprasong. Entering the main door to the corner suite, the kitchen to the suite is located to the right of the entrance to the suite. The kitchen is well equipped with a stove, a microwave oven and a full size fridge, allowing guests to do some cooking. There are utensils and cutlery, together with dinner wares for 4 stowed in the various cabinets in the kitchen area. There is a coffee machine as well as a electric kettle placed on the counter top of the kitchen area. A washing machine is also found under the sink in the kitchen area.

Fully equipped kitchen in the suite
The kitchen in Anantara Baan Rajprasong is furnished with a full sized fridge
Kitchen area in the suite. This door leads to the bathroom in the second bedroom
The kitchen is well equipped that it allows guests to do some cooking in the suite
Kitchen washing gears, that also comes with detergent for the washing machine
Mini bar amenities with complementary water, coffee and tea

Living Room

Further into the suite, pass the kitchen area is where the living room is located. Just behind the counter that separates the kitchen from the living room is a small dining table with 2 chairs. I particularly find it weird that only 2 chairs are furnished despite the suite being a 2 bedroom suite and can accommodate 4 adults. Further into the suite is where one can find the lounge area, decked with a 3 seater L-shape couch that faces the 42″ LED TV. There are no lack of international channels being played on the TV. The TV is placed on top of the TV console that stretches to the end of the room, extending into the work desk tucked by the wall of the living room. A little further into the suite, is where the balcony of the living room is located. The balcony is furnished with 2 chairs and a table, which makes it a great place to hang out. The view from the balcony here is not that great as it faces an office building.

Dinning table for 2 pax only in the suite
Couch in the living room of the suite
TV console and work desk in the living room of the suite
Air conditioner controls in the suite
The balcony in the living room is furnished with 2 chairs and a small table for guests to chill out

Bedrooms

Master Bedroom

The bedrooms are located on either side of the living room. To the left of the living room, from the main entrance is where the Master Bedroom is located. The Master bedroom is significantly larger than the second bedroom. The Master bedroom is furnished with a super king size bed, that can sleep 3 adults comfortably. The king bed is placed by the wall, next to the entrance to the bedroom. A couple of side tables are placed on either side of the bed. To the right of the entrance to the Master bedroom is where a couple of wardrobes are located. These large wardrobes provides ample space for guests to store their clothing. There is an in-room safe placed inside the wardrobe next to the make-up table. The make-up table is placed on the left corner of the bedroom, with a large mirror and a chair, the make-up table provides space for guests to place their cosmetics on. At the other corner, to the right side of the king bed is where the TV placed on the console is located. The placement of the TV console and the make-up table provides ample space for guests to walk inside the Master bedroom. The King bed is placed opposite a floor to ceiling window, allowing guests to lie on the king bed and peep into the scenery outside the room. The balcony in the Master bedroom is the biggest in the entire suite. The balcony wraps around the parameter of the bedroom and provides a great view of the swimming pool below.

King bed in the master bedroom. The TV console is nicely tucked in a corner so not to obstruct the view outside from the bed
Dressing table
TV console in the master bedroom
Wardrobe in the master bedroom
Another wardrobe in the master bedroom with in-room safe
A large balcony in the master bedroom that wraps around the perimeter of the room

Second Bedroom

To the right of the living room, from the main entrance, is where the second bedroom is located. The second bedroom is significantly smaller than then Master bedroom and there are limited walking space in the second bedroom. Furnished with 2 super single bed with a bedside table between the 2 beds, the second bedroom feels a lot more cluttered compared to the Master bedroom. Opposite the beds here is where a third TV placed onto the cabinet that stretches the entire length of the second bedroom is located. There is another make up desk at the end of the cabinet with a large mirror hung onto the wall, next to the entrance to the balcony in the bedroom. The cabinet provides ample storage space in the second bedroom. There are 2 small wardrobes placed on either side of the entrance to the bathroom here. There is also another in-room safe being placed inside the wardrobe. The balcony here is the smallest in the entire suite and it is not furnished with any furniture.

2 super single beds in the second bedroom
TV console and dressing table in the second bedroom
The wardrobe is a lot smaller than that in the master bedroom.
Wardrobe in the second bedroom with in-room safe
Wardrobe in the second bedroom
The bedside table is placed between the 2 beds in the second bedroom

Bathroom

Master Bathroom

What I like about the 2 bedroom suite in Anantara Baan Rajprasong is there are 2 bathrooms inside both the bedrooms. The bathroom in the Master bedroom is very big. The walk-in shower, enclosed in a glass cubicle is tucked in one corner of the bathroom, with the toilet bowl opposite the entrance to the bathroom. To the left of the entrance is where one can find the sink area, which does provide sufficient space for guests to stow their toiletries. A huge bathtub is placed on the right of the entrance to the bathroom. Anantara Baan Rajprasong provides 3 types of bathsalt, each with different healing properties for guests to soak in. Anantara Baan Rajprasong does not provide toothbrush as part of their bathroom amenities.

Walk-in shower and toilet in the master bathroom
Sink in master bathroom
A large bathtub only found in the master bathroom

Second Bathroom

The bathroom in the second bedroom is a lot smaller as compared to that in the Master bedroom. Unlike the bathroom in the Master bedroom, the bathroom here does not have a bathtub. Entering this bathroom, the first thing one would see is the walk-in shower. Compared to that in the Master bedroom, the walk-in shower in this bathroom is bigger. The toilet bowl is located to the left of the bathroom, while the sink area is located to the right of the entrance to this bathroom. A second entrance in this bathroom leads to the kitchen.

Sink area in the second bathroom, exactly the same as the one found in the master bathroom
Toilet with bidet
The walk-in shower in the second bathroom is bigger than the one found in the master bathroom

Swimming Pool

Anantara Bann Rajprasong features a freeform swimming pool located on 3rd floor of the hotel. The swimming pool is fun for both adults and children. For the adults, the swimming pool allows guests to get a decent swim. For the children, the freeform pool is a great place to play in the water. There is a wading pool that is separated from the main pool for the children. There are plenty floats around at the swimming pool for both adults and children. There are no lack of suntan chairs around the swimming pool. There are more of these chairs on the second level of the pool, allowing suntanners to get a great tan. Inside the toilet by the pool, guests can enjoy the sauna and steam room facilities. The swimming pool is a great place for guests to escape the heat in Bangkok, however the water temperature can be a tad too cold for some.

View of the swimming pool from the balcony in the suite
There are 2 sections to the swimming pool, the smaller wading pool in the foreground and the main swimming pool in the back
Free form pool is located on level 3 in Anantara Baan Rajprasong
Floats are provided in the pool area for patrons to use
Sauna inside the toilet at the swimming pool
Steam room inside the toilet at the swimming pool

Gym

Located next to the swimming pool is where a small gym can be found. Despite its small size, the gym still allow guests to get a decent work out. Treadmills, stationary bicycles and weights can be found inside the gym.

The gym is located next to the swimming pool on level 3 in Anantara Baan Rajprasong
Small gym which has the basic equipment for guests to do a decent workout
Inside the gym in Anantara Baan Rajprasong

Breakfast

As I booked my stay directly on the Anantara website, the hotel gives guests a choice of opting for complementary breakfast or 1-day BTS ticket. We opted for the breakfast. The breakfast is served in the Coffee Club located on the first floor of the hotel. The hotel does not provide buffet for breakfast, instead we were given an option to choose from the various breakfast sets from the menu. The breakfast was decent, sufficient to fill guests for the start of their day exploring Bangkok.

The Coffee Club on ground floor behind the reception where breakfast is served daily
Fruits were served as part of the breakfast set
One of the choices of breakfast set

Service

The good service started even before our stay in Anantara Baan Rajprasong. I emailed the hotel several times to make arrangements for our stay, the staffs were very prompt and replied to my emails  acknowledging my requests within minutes of sending these emails.

Whenever we walked past the reception, the staff will never fail to greet us with the signature friendliness that the Thais has come to known for. During check-in and check-out, we were offered drinks and cold towels. We were warmly welcomed by Vincent and Kwan at the reception at our arrival. Their friendly smiles gave us a feeling of familiarity, very much like friends welcoming us to their homes as guests. Both Vincent and Kwan processed our check-in swiftly to ensure that we do not need to wait longer than necessary despite our arrival at the hotel earlier than the stipulated check-in timing. Vincent took the chance to find out what we wanted to see in Bangkok and was not stingy in recommending other places of attractions and how to get there by BTS. Kwan brought us to our suite, explaining the locations of the various facilities in the hotel. She also took the time to explain the features of the suite to us and assured us we could call the reception at anytime if we needed help.

The bellboys in the hotel were excellent in service as well. They promptly helped us unload our luggage from the cab and brought our luggage to the suite without any delay. These very observant members of the hotel never failed to open the door for us whenever we enter or leave the hotel lobby. They took great care of our luggage when we were out spending our last few hours in Bangkok and ensured that the cabby took us to the correct airport in Bangkok. The bellboys were never stingy with their smiles and “wais” whenever we walked past them.

The exemplary service was also received by members of the housekeeping team. As I had requested for a baby cot and baby bathtub, shortly after our luggage were being brought to our suite, a member of the housekeeping team knocked on our door and brought us the baby bathtub. He also explained that he will be bringing up the baby cot soon upon confirming that we indeed requested for one. The housekeeping staff even checked with us if everything in the suite was fine and informed us to notify them at anytime should we need anything else.

Welcome tropical fruits are found in the suite adds to the thoughtfulness of the hotel

Towel origami found in the Master bedroom is a delightful sight when we enter the room

Overall

I had a wonderful stay in Anantara Baan Rajprasong Bangkok. The suite was terrific and well appointed to provide us with a comfortable stay during our time in Bangkok. The air-conditioning was very powerful to dispel the heat in Bangkok during the time of our visit. The bedrooms were functional and the beds provided us with excellent sleep quality, ensuring that we wake up afresh the next day. The freeform pool ensured that children can have fun and was decent for adult patrons to swim their laps. The service provided by the staff is top notch, making us feel welcomed and we were treated with smiles and “wais” by the staff. I would highly recommend for visitors to Bangkok for this hotel, given its central location and the excellent hardware and heartware.

[Hotel Review] – Aloft Bangkok (Stylish Suite), Bangkok, Thailand (27 Feb – 1 Mar 17)

Signage of Aloft Hotel at the entrance

Location

Aloft Sukhumvit 11 is located on Suhumvit Soi 11 and within 5 mins walk from Nana BTS station. Nana is one stop away from Terminal 21 Shopping Mall and 3 stops away from Central World. There are a couple of 24-hour convenient shops along Soi 11 from the hotel. The hotel is along the street where pubs are located, making it a great place to stay for guests who pubs.

The Suite

I checked into the Stylish Suite in Aloft Bangkok. There are 2 types of suites in Aloft Bangkok, Savvy and Stylish Suite. The expansive Stylish Suite has a total floor space of 62㎡, spreading across the living room, the bedroom and the bathroom.

Living Room

Entering the main entrance to the suite, the living room is the first room that greets guests. A door on the right of the entrance is a door that leads into the bathroom. Directly in front of the main door to the suite sits a round table with 4 chairs. This forms the dinning room to the suite. A little further into the suite, round the corner, the suite opens up into the living room with a couch and a coffee table facing the flat screen TV sitting on a TV console. The mini bar area is built into the wall on the left of the living room, where one can find the fridge nicely tucked away inside a cabinet. On top of the cabinet is a coffee maker and an electric kettle together with some reading materials stowed on the shelving on top of the coffee maker. The right wall features 2 large windows that allows sufficient natural light to shine into the living room of the suite. The suite seem lack of maintenance. The light bulbs in the living room seem to have blown and the door to the bedroom was dislodged.
Dinning table in the living room
Couch in the living room with a coffee table between the couch and the TV. The light bulbs in this suite doesn’t seem to work
Mini fridge (drinks are chargeable)
Mini bar area and a rack with reading materials on top
The door to the bedroom seem dislodged

Bedroom

Through a sliding room, I entered the bedroom of the suite. Sitting in the middle of the bedroom is a King-size bed, placed by the wall that separates the bedroom from the bathroom. The sleep quality of the king bed is excellent, which provided me with a great sleep throughout the night. I am not a fan of soft pillows, and I find the pillows in Aloft Bangkok’s Stylish Suite to be just nice for my liking. The bed is facing another flat screen TV that is mounted on the wall, between yet another 2 large panel windows. The spacious bedroom has a bedside table on either side of the bed that comes with power sockets on both sides for guests to charge their lifestyle devices. Next to the wall mounted TV, along the wall that separates the bedroom from the living is where a small work desk is located. There is a panel on the wall that allows guests to plug in their laptops to the TV between yet another 2 power sockets. The bedroom looks a little bare as there are no furnishings on the other end of the bedroom. The door to the bathroom is found near to the door into the bedroom.

King bed in the bedroom
Flat screen mounted on the wall facing the king bed 
Work desk in the bedroom

Bathroom

Passing through the door to the bathroom, guests will be delighted with the size of the bathroom. Stretching the entire length of the bathroom, the expansive bathroom does not feel cramp. At the furthest end of the bathroom, sits a large bathtub with Jacuzzi jets. Next to the bath tub are 2 cubicles, one being the walk-in shower and another being the toilet. The clever use of glass enclosing these 2 cubicles makes the already large bathroom appear even more spacious. Opposite the door to the bathroom from the bedroom, are a couple of his and hers sink with plenty of counter top space for guests to stow their additional toiletries.
A huge bathroom in the Stylish Suite of Aloft Bangkok
Large Jacuzzi bathtub
Walk-in shower cubicle 
Aloft Bangkok uses Bliss bath amenities
Toilet cubicle
His and hers sink in the bathroom

I like the design of incorporating the closet space as part of the bathroom, which provides not only convenience for guests to dress after a shower, it also makes the entire bathroom bigger. The closet space includes a  wardrobe, which is capable of taking up to 1 week’s clothing for 2 guests and a 6-tiered cabinet space with the lower 2 being drawers. This cabinet space provides alot of storage for guests. The in-room safe is located on the middle shelf space here. Opposite the wardrobe are a couple of ledges for guests to put their luggage on. The other door to the bathroom is located next to the ledges for luggage, which is positioned next to the main entrance to the suite.

Wardrobe is located in the bathroom 
Decent closet space in the suite
Ledges where guests can put their luggage on

Breakfast

Breakfast is served in Crave Restaurant located on level 8 of the Aloft Bangkok. There are a wide selection of Thai and western cuisines for breakfast. The food is delicious and filled me up sufficiently with energy to explore the streets of Bangkok. There is even an egg station, where the chef would cook up a variety of ways to cook eggs, according to the liking of guests. There are juices and a selection of coffees from cappuccino to lattes to brewed coffee. Guests would have to specify latte or cappuccino in order to be served those, otherwise the waiting staff will serve brewed coffee.

Breakfast is serve in Crave Restaurant on level 8 
Entrance to Crave Restaurant
Crave Restaurant
Breakfast is served in Crave Restaurant

Swimming Pool

The Swimming pool is located on level 10 of Aloft Bangkok. The infinity pool is rather small, but sufficient for one to do a few decent laps in. There are a number of sun beds for guests to tan on. There is also a wading pool for junior guests to cool off the hot climate of Bangkok.

Swimming pool is located on level 10 of the hotel

Service

Service in Aloft Bangkok is mostly good. My first interaction with the staff in Aloft Bangkok starts when the friendly bellboy assisted me with my luggage the moment I alighted from the cab. They took great care of my luggage so that I do not have to lug it up the flight of staircase into the lobby of the hotel.

The staffs at the reception were a gem in the hotel. I felt welcome immediately with my first interaction with the lady whom processed my check-in. The lady, greeted me with the signature Thai “wai”, is always wearing a smile. She checked me in swiftly and gotten another staff to help me with my luggage to my suite.

Staffs at the reception took alot of initiative to help me resolve my damaged luggage issue with the airlines. They provided me with excellent advise and took the initiative to help me call the airlines and the luggage repair company. One of them even used his personal mobile phone and took pictures of my luggage in case I hadn’t done that. The staff have gone above and beyond his call of duty to help me resolve my luggage issue.

The service at Crave restaurant  was a stark difference from that at the reception area. The service was mediocre with staffs appearing to be not interested in providing good service. The staff at the door, did not have a smile on her face and was seen talking to her colleagues most of the time. Empty plates on the table was not cleared, until I had to stack 3 plates than would someone come to clear the plate. The chef at the egg station seem to be in a foul mood on both mornings when I was at Crave for breakfast.

Overall

The expansive suite has a lot of space for guests. The suite is huge and the sleep quality on the bed is excellent. I had a comfortable stay in the suite. The service is generally positive with the staffs at the reception area providing the best service. These staffs were always seen smiling and went their way to help me. The service rendered by the staff at Crave Restaurant was mediocre, however this did not deter me from returning to the hotel.

[Hotel Review] – Mayfair Bangkok – Marriott Executive Apartments (2 Bedroom Suite), Bangkok, Thailand (9 – 11 Dec 16)

Location

Mayfair Bangkok is a serviced apartment managed by Marriott Group. The Aparthotel is centrally located in downtown Bangkok, about 7 mins walk to Chit Lom BTS Station. The famous Erawan Shrine, is around 12 mins by foot from the hotel. Siam Square and Siam Paragon is reachable 20 mins by foot from the hotel. There is another BTS station, Ratchadamri Station, which is located behind the hotel. However due to no direct link to the main road from the hotel, to access Ratchadamri Station, one would have to walk one big loop to reach that station. There are two 7-Elevens along the road where Mayfair Bangkok is located, one being around 2 mins walk from the hotel.
Hotel signage at night
Hotel facade
Hotel lobby
Christmas is in the air

The Suite

I checked into the 100m² bedroom apartment suite. As the property mainly consist of Apartments, the suite has everything one would need for long term stay. The suite design is modern and does not lack comfort and gives me a sense of cosiness. The air-conditioning is powerful and is sufficient to cool me down in the midst of the humid weather of Bangkok.
Entrance to Mayfair Bangkok 2-bedroom suite
The view from the living room isn’t that great. It faces an office building

Living Room

A dining table with chairs for four is the first thing that I saw when I entered the suite. It is a small area sharing the same space as the living room. Tucked nicely in one corner of the suite, the dining table does not feel out of the place. Behind the dining table is a cabinet with both functional storage space and aesthetics, with a traditional Thai flavour on the design. The living room is furnished with a maroon 3-seater L-shaped couch and a couple of square chairs at the side, surrounding the relatively large coffee table. The TV console is well positioned directly opposite the couch, allowing guests to watch the TV either on the couch or at the dining table. The space in the living room is sufficient for up to four pax to lounge around.
Dining table with chairs for four
The living room is a great place to chill

Kitchen

Next to the living room is the kitchen, separated by a kitchen counter which also doubles up as storage space for your daily shopping or food. The kitchen is fully equipped with over, stove, microwave oven a dishwasher as well as a large full fridge. The kitchen is also fully furnished with cutlery and dining set for four. On top of that, there are also cooking utensils such as pots and pans, kitchen scissors and knife neatly stored inside the cabinets in the kitchen area. The kitchen also comes with a sink for guests who chose to wash their dishes after using them. Neatly tucked in the corner is where a set of six mugs and a coffee machine can be found. The electric kettle is found on the kitchen countertop that separates the kitchen area from the living room.
Fully equipped kitchen
The kitchen comes with a full fridge and is so well equipped that guests can cook in the kitchen
The washer and dishwasher are placed in the kitchen area

Master Bedroom

Further in the room are the bedrooms. Furthest into the suite is where the Master Bedroom is located. From the entrance to the bedroom, a maroon armchair with a footrest immediately caught my eye. This chair is placed in a corner of the room, that does not sacrifice walking space. I welcome the small coffee table beside the armchair as it provides space for one to lounge in the chair drinking a cup of coffee or tea. On the right of the entrance to the Master Bedroom is where one can find the King Bed. The King bed is placed facing the ceiling to floor window, giving one a sense of spaciousness, other than allowing its occupants to look out into the streets of Bangkok. As one would expect, there  are a couple of bedside tables on either side of the King Bed. The King bed is very comfortable and provided me with quality sleep throughout the night, the bed is large enough to sleep three adults. Furthest to the corner of the room is a work desk, where one can find the only power socket outlets in the room, tucked in one corner. For those who prefer to have their lifestyle devices by their side while sleeping would find this arrange a tad inconvenient. The TV in the Master Bedroom is placed on top of this work desk, angled to face the TV.
Master bedroom in the 2-bedroom suite of Mayfair Bangkok
A nice comfy king bed that provided me with a great night sleep. The placement of the TV is rather weird
View from the master bedroom
To the left of the entrance to the Master Bedroom, one can find the wardrobe space. There are no lack of space for guests to store their clothing in the three wardrobes found in this room. The in room safe is also found stored inside one of these wardrobes. The Master Bedroom has an ensuite bathroom, accessible from opposite the wardrobe area.
There are tons of wardrobe space in the master bedroom
In room safe is found inside one of the three wardrobes in the master bedroom
More storage space in the wardrobes in the master bedroom

Second Bedroom

The second Bedroom is the first room on the right that guests would find while walking towards the Master Bedroom. This room is a lot smaller than the Master Bedroom. Despite its size, it is also well furnished with one queen bed, which also provides excellent sleep quality. There are also bedside tables found on either side of the bed. The work desk cum makeup table is located opposite the queen bed, next to a set of two wardrobes which are rather sizable. There is a smaller TV placed on top of the workdesk/makeup table. As the table is rather long, despite having the TV there are still space for one to stow their makeup kits. There is also a floor to ceiling window just next to the queen bed.
Queen bed in the smaller second bedroom. It feels rather cosy in here
Despite its small size, the second bedroom is still very well furnished with a TV, a dressing cum work table and a 2-panel wardrobe

Bathroom

There are two bathrooms in this Mayfair Bangkok 2-bedroom apartment. One of the bathrooms is located inside the Master Bedroom. This is the bigger of the two bathrooms. What caught my eyes as I enter this bathroom is the bathtub, placed at one end, next to the sink area. The Bathtub is rather small and shallow, but does the job of providing one with a good soak. The sink area is next to the door. There is only one sink, sitting on the marble laid counter top. It is rather roomy at the sink area for guests to place additional toiletries. Opposite the sink area, and in a rather weird place is the toilet bowl. When one open the door to the bathroom, the toilet bowl looks somewhat hidden behind the door. There is also a walk-in shower that comes with a rainshower head and a regular shower head, separated by a glass door, which segregates the wet and the dry area.
The marble counter top at the sink adds a sense of classiness to the bathroom.  The bathtub is only available in the  bathroom inside the master bedroom
Walk-in shower and toilet bowl. The toilet bowl is hidden behind the door to the bathroom when opened
The walk-in shower in the master bedroom has both a rain shower head and a regular shower head
The second bathroom is simpler in fixtures compared to the one in the Master Bedroom. What is missing in this bathroom is the bathtub. However I find the layout in this bathroom is better. The toilet bowl is opposite the entrance, unlike the one in the Master Bedroom. There is also a walk-in shower with only the regular shower head in here. Similar to the one in the Master Bedroom, I like the idea of separating wet and dry area. There are also plenty space at the sink for guests to put their toiletries on.
The second bathroom is simpler in its fixtures, it does not come with a bathtub. However it gets the job done
Only regular shower head in the second bathroom

Breakfast

Breakfast is served in the restaurant on level 2. There is a wide selection of food for guests to choose for breakfast. Other than the usual continental and american breakfasts, there are also a small selection catering to local and even an Indian section. I noticed that the menu changed slightly on the both days I went for breakfast. I thought this change in menu is a thoughtful gesture on the hotel part to give guests more variety in choices.
Breakfast is served in the restaurant on level 2
There is a wide selection of food for breakfast. Menu for breakfast changes slightly each day
More food being served for breakfast

Swimming Pool

The Swimming pool is located on 25th floor of the hotel building. The covered salt water swimming pool allows guests to swimming even during inclement weather. However guests who want to get a tan during their swim will be disappointed. There is also a Jacuzzi area inside the swimming pool.
The covered swimming pool on level 25
There is a jacuzzi in the swimming pool
Sauna is found in the changing room where the swimming pool is located

Gym 

The gym is located on 26th floor, which is accessible via a flight of stairs from the swimming pool. The lift does not service the level where the gym is located. The 24-hour gym is equipped with treadmills, stepper machines and stationary cycles. There are also several weight machines in the gym. There is a gym for children outside the entrance to the gym. The lack of equipment makes this area look more like a play area for children than a gym.
A small but well equipped gym
More weight machines in the gym
A small gym for children (looks more like a play room than a gym)

Service

I received very good service throughout my stay in Mayfair Bangkok. Staffs are warm and welcoming and seemed to take it upon them to ensure that guests are well taken care off. The great service started the moment I walked in to the main doors of the hotel, where staffs will always eager to open the door for guests, followed by a “wai” (the traditional Thai greeting gesture) greeting guests at the same time. The staff at the door are so attentive that I find it challenging for an opportunity to open the door myself. Service I received from the staffs at the reception is by no means lacking. They tried their best to ensure that my requests are being met. As I arrived ahead of the check-in timing, the staffs apologized for not having the suite ready for us. We left our luggage with the concierge and returned later to check into our room. To my surprise, the staff had already brought our luggage up to the suite. Whenever I walk pass the reception, there are no lack of “wai” and greetings. Checking out is done promptly as well.
The service at the restaurant were great as well. I ordered egg from the egg station and indicated that I would return to collect the egg at a later timing. Instead of letting the egg sitting on the table turning cold, the staff brought it to my table. It is evident that the staff at the restaurant not only displayed customer centric behaviour, she was also observant in taking note of the table I was seated at. Empty plates are also cleared promptly and there are not situations where I returned to a table of uncleared plates.
Reception area

Afterthought

For the price I booked for the 2-bedroom suite, I find the hotel to be of great value, given its location and the size of the suite. One would expect to pay at least 10% more for other hotels in the vicinity, moreover the rate that I paid comes with breakfast for four. The suite has sufficient living space for four persons comfortably, and the fully equipped kitchen is a bonus for guests who prefer to pack food back to the hotel for consumption. The excellent service I received during my stay adds to the enjoyment of my stay at the hotel. Despite not having tuk-tuk service to ferry guests to the nearest BTS (some of the hotels in the vicinity offers that service), I do not find this a bother as the BTS station is not exactly that far away from the hotel. I would recommend this hotel to those whom plan to visit Bangkok.

[Hotel Review] – Aloft Hotel (Stylish Suite), Bangkok, Thailand (19 – 22 May 16)

Location

Aloft Hotel Bangkok is part of the SPG group of hotels and is a sister hotel of W Hotel worldwide. The hotel is located in Sukhumvit Road, and the nearest BTS is Nana Station, which is a mere five minutes walk from the hotel. Nana Station is three stops away from Siam BTS interchange station and one stop away from Terminal 21 shopping mall. However do note that the side of the BTS exit does not have escalator and guests to this hotel are expected to climb three flights of stairs to get to the ticketing area of the station. While walking along Soi 11, one might feel the walk takes forever to reach Aloft Bangkok as it is located far in the street, despite only five mins on foot is required. The area around the hotel is sprouted with bars and pubs, which can be noisy and rowdy at nights. If the agenda is to enjoy the clubbing scene in Bangkok, Aloft Bangkok is an excellent base as the pubs are literally on the hotel’s doorsteps. Despite the clubbing scene around, the hotel rooms are well sound-proofed which is very effective in keeping the noise out of the rooms. There are also tons of street food from the hotel to the BTS station, there are also a few convenient shops in the vicinity of the hotel. Soi 11 from the main road to the hotel can be jam packed with cars and pedestrians at night, one will be faced with traffic jam at nights when going to the hotel.
Hotel Signage at night
Entrance to Aloft Bangkok
There are plenty of seating in the lobby of Aloft Bangkok
Reception area in Aloft Bangkok
Aloft Bangkok has a vibrant vibe throughout the hotel with the use of bright and cheerful colours

The Suite

Living Room

I checked into the Stylish suite, one of the two categories of suite Aloft Bangkok has, measuring a generous 60m². Guests staying in this spacious suite would have ample room to move around, entertain their friends as well as to stow their personal effects. As I entered the suite, a white coloured small round dinning table with four chairs caught my eyes. This dinning set is placed in one corner of the living room of the suite. There is a door to the left of the entrance to the suite, which gives me access to the walk-in wardrobe and the bathroom.

Corridor outside the suite
Main entrance to the suite. The door on the right leads to the wardrobe area and the bathroom
Guests entering the suite will see the dinning area with four chairs

Continuing into the suite, a turn to the left opens up to the couch area. The brown coloured 3 seater couch, together with a large sized cushioned stool is a perfect place for guests to laze in while watching numerous channels on the LED TV in the lounge area. A coffee table is placed between the TV and the couch. There is also a TV rack placed below the wall mounted TV, creating more space for guests to put their stuff on. I like the clever use of space in the suite, which creates a spacious feel throughout the entire suite.

Lounge area in the living room 
The lounge area is located right in front of the dinning area
The placement of the TV allows guests to watch TV even when dinning

The minibar area is well tucked into the wall space next to the dining table. Here is where guests can find a small bar fridge as well as a coffee machine and an electric pot. There is a magazine rack on top of the mini bar area, with the latest magazines for guests to read in the lounge area.

Minibar with complementary water, coffee and tea
Contents in the fridge (chargeable)
Snacks (chargeable) placed under the TV

Bedroom

Through a sliding door from the lounge area, one will find themselves entering the bedroom. Entrance to the bathroom is to the right of the door to the bedroom. Entering the bedroom, a cozy and comfortable sensation is immediately felt. Aloft Bangkok merged contemporary design with hints of Thai culture into the design of the bedroom as seen in the portraits above the headboard of the bed. the main feature in the bedroom is the super King Size bed, capable of sleeping three adults comfortably. There are a couple of bedside tables on either side of the bed, with power sockets, allowing guests to charge their lifestyle gadgets. Aloft Bangkok also provided an alarm clock cum docking device for users of Samsung phones to plug into on the bedside table next to the entrance of the bathroom. The sleep quality on the bed is nothing short of excellence. I had great quality sleep on the bed every night. The bed is so comfortable that I was fast asleep soon resting on it.

Super King Size bed that we sleep 3 adults comfortably 
The sleep quality on the bed is superb. I was left feeling refresh every morning
Clock cum docking device in the suite

Another large LED TV is being mounted on the wall facing the bed. As with that in the living room, there is also a ledge for guests to put their stuff, creating more storage space. Next to the TV, in front of the bathroom entrance is where one can find a work desk.

A LED TV is mounted on the wall opposite the bed

The work desk is tucked onto the wall facing one of two large windows. There is a series of connecting ports, ranging from USB to HDMI and more power sockets on the wall at the work desk.

Work desk
Spacious work desk allows one to do some decent work
Power sockets and various ports for connecting to the TV is available at the work desk

A white colour single seater armchair is being placed with a standing reading lamp in the furthest corner of the bedroom. I find this spot a perfect place for guests to do some reading or simply to chill.

 

Armchair tucked into the corner of the bedroom, providing a great spot for guests to do some reading

Bathroom

There are 2 entrances to the spacious bathroom, one from the bedroom and one from the living room. The design of the bathroom is an ingenious move, by merging the wardrobe area with the bathroom, the bathroom not only is spacious, it is also very functional. Entering the modern designed bathroom from the bedroom, one can find double sinks mounted onto a white table top. The generous double sinks allows guests in the bathroom do not have to fight or waste time waiting for their turns using them. Standard toiletries such as soap, shaver, toothbrush and vanity kits can be found placed between the two sinks.

Twin sink in the bathroom
Toiletries provided. Only one toothbrush is provided despite the records stating there are two of us staying in the suite.

To the right of the sink is two cubicles enclosed in glass, adding even more spaciousness into the bathroom. The toilet cubicle and the walk-in shower are located to the right of the sinks. The shower cubicle does not come with rainshower head, however the showerhead is sufficient to give me the rainshower feel. As a green effort that Aloft Bangkok is undertaking, shampoos and shower gels are not in small bottles, but placed in large containers mounted to the wall in the shower cubicle. The housekeeping staffs ensured that these amenities are topped up everyday they clean up the suite. I particularly like the Bliss all-in-one shampoo+conditioner and the shower gel as they left my skin feeling soft after every shower. The body lotion also leaves my skin feeling soft and does not feel sticky.

The use of glass in the bathing area enhances the spaciousness in the bathroom
Toilet cubicle
Shower cubicle. There are no rain shower head.
Excellent quality shampoo and body wash provided in the shower cubicle

Tucked at the furthest corner of the bathroom is where guests can find a Jacuzzi bathtub, which is a great place for one to relax into after a day’s shopping in the streets of Bangkok. However when I turned on the tap to fill the water in the bathtub, brownish water flowed from the tap. There were also black particles being ejected out of the Jacuzzi jets when being turned on. However these were being resolved by the staff the next day.

Luxurious bathtub with jacuzzi
Brown water coming from the tap in the bathtub. The tap was also ceased up that we can’t use the shower head by the tub

Guests are treated to a generous wardrobe area from the entrance next to the main entrance to the sinks. This area (about 3/4 of the size of the living room) is where the wardrobe can be found. The wardrobe, a single panel wardrobe is capable of hanging two weeks of clothing, however there limited hangers made available in the wardrobe. Guests can located the iron and the ironing board well hidden inside the wardrobe. Beside the wardrobe, built into the wall is a four-tiered open shelving and two large drawers. Hairdryer is stored in the top drawer. The space dedicated to these shelvings are rather generous, guests can put alot of stuffs in these shelves. An in-room safe is being installed in the middle open shelf. Aloft Bangkok designed their suite to give ample space to stow tow big luggage on the ledge opposite the wardrobe.

Wardrobe area in the bathroom. The door leads to the living room
Four tiered open shelf with two large drawers below
The wardrobe is capable of storing more clothing if more hangers were provided 
One of the two ledges for storage of luggages
This can double up as a vanity area or to stow luggage

Breakfast Run

Breakfast was served in Re:Fuel restaurant located on the ground floor of Aloft Bangkok. The spread was not a lot, but sufficient to fill my stomach. I am quite surprised to find grilled pork and soup noodles being served. There is a section of cold sandwiches at the entrance of the restaurant. There are however no signs of eggs nor an egg station. Guests would have to request them from the ever busy staffs.

Egg themed dishes 
Hot food area
Noodle station
Grilled pork and bread station
Cold sandwich station

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool in Aloft Bangkok is located on 10th floor. The 1.2m deep infinity lap pool stretches all the way to the edge of the building, where guests can relax, looking out into the streets of Sukhumvit Soi 11. There is a small wading pool at the other end of the pool, separated by hip height glass for safety reasons. There are limited tanning chairs around, however due to the low utilisation of the pool by the guests, I was able to get a spot fairly quickly whenever I visited the pool. There isn’t much trees around at the pool area, guests can be assured of a getting a good tan on most of the chairs. There is a small pool side bar indoors, where drinks and snacks can be ordered from. The water temperature in the pool is just nice, I wasn’t feeling too cold when having a swim there.

 

Infinity lap pool that stretches to the edge of Aloft Bangkok
All the tanning chairs are free from vegetations. Guests can be assured of having a great tan here
Infinity pool with Aloft logo
Edge of the pool

Gym

On the same level as the swimming pool, located by the lift lobby on level 10, is where the gym is located. The gym space is rather small, however there are machines that allow guests to work out every part of their body. There are limited numbers of each type of machine. The gym in Aloft Bangkok has a small corner where the weights are located. A water dispenser is available in the gym for guests to hydrate themselves.

Small but well equipped gym

Service

Service rendered in a hotel is another factor that I pay attention to. The service in Aloft Bangkok is a mix. Service at the reception of Aloft Bangkok is exemplary. I was warmly welcomed by the staff and the duty manager at the time of my checking in. The staffs at the reception introduced themselves to me and ensured that the check-in process does not take too long. I was briefed on the breakfast timing and the location for breakfast. The duty manager even assured me to give her a call should I require more assistance to ensure my stay is comfortable. There was this occasion when I raise some issues to the duty manager, instead of being defensive the duty manager listened with empathy and assured me that the issues raised will be rectified.

I approached the reception the next day to inform them about the brown water from the tap in the bathtub, instead of pushing it away, the staffs ensured that the piping was checked and I returned to the suite with clear water from the tap after the issue was being raised. Staffs at the reception area were always smiling and listening attentively to guests. When I asked to extend my late check-out, by another hour, the staff immediately acceded to my request without asking for reasons. She even voluntarily encode the keycard to my suite to ensure I will still be able to gain access to my suite. The check-out process is swift and fuss-free.

My friend arranged with the hotel for a birthday cake for me. The cake and a bottle of sparkling wine was placed in the suite when we entered.

The professional staffs ensured that I was not held up unnecessarily and even gotten her colleague to hail a cab to the airport. The hotel also provide complementary tuk-tuk shuttle service to the nearby Nana BTS and some other nearby locations. However there was no sign on how to get the service, I only found out on my last day of my stay when I approached the concierge desk in the lobby.

Hotel tuk-tuk that ferries guests to the nearby BTS station
Locations that the hotel can pick up guests from in their took-tuk

However the service during breakfast runs at RE:Fuel does not match up with that provided by their colleagues in the reception area. I was greeted by an impatient and frowning staff at the entrance to the breakfast restaurant on the second day of my stay. The staff did not offer smile and tried to put me up in a table (for four pax, we were a party of two) underneath the staircase leading to the second floor. When I scanned around and saw an empty table by the window and requested to change table, I was told off by the staff that the table is a larger table for four pax. I was only allowed to change table (reluctantly) when I told the staff that the size of that table (by the window) is the same size as that underneath the staircase.

On the third day of my stay, we met the same staff at the entrance to RE:Fuel whom told us that the ground floor restaurant was full. We were invited to use the dinning area upstairs. My friend and I went upstairs after getting our food and realised that none of the tables upstairs were set up for dinning. There were no cutlery set up in any tables upstairs. This is the time we went back downstairs and inform another member of the restaurant staff of the situation upstairs. After learning of the situation, this is when the staff swiftly cleared a table for us. In the process of setting the table, the staff dropped the table mat on the floor (the floor of the restaurant was dirty, at least in the area we were seated), instead of replacing the table mat, she put the same table mat on the table right in front of my eyes. I told another staff of what had happened, he apologised immediately and had the table mat changed.

Stained table mat during breakfast service
The coffee machine in the restaurant was also stained.  There were insufficient teaspoons provided

Despite the service lapse at RE:Fuel, the housekeeping staffs were friendly. I approached one of them to request for body lotion and was met with a smile, despite me disrupting their work. The housekeeping staff was diligent in keeping our suite clean and tidy, ensuring we always come back to a clean suite everyday. However I find it weird that only one toothbrush was provided in the suite, when the records showed that there were two of us in the suite.

Overall

I had a comfortable stay at Aloft Bangkok. The hotel has a hip and vibrant personality, extending from the lobby to the suite. I particularly like the spaciousness and the clever use of space in the suite. There is ample space for my friend and I to store our luggage and our daily shopping. The design of the large and brightly lighted bathroom with direct access to the wardrobe area is ingenious. In terms of service, staffs at the front desk of Aloft Bangkok did a great job to ensure guests feel welcomed. However the same cannot be said of those in RE:Fuel. I would recommend Aloft Bangkok for visitors whom like to pub or appreciates the spaciousness of the suite, however not so for the patronage of the restaurant on the ground floor.

[Hotel Review] – Grand Hyatt Erawan (King Room), Bangkok, Thailand (7 – 9 Jan 16)

Hotel Signage

Location

Grand Hyatt Erawan is located in the heart of downtown Bangkok. It is located right behind the famous Erawan Shrine, which sees thousands of devotees coming to offer their prayers to the Four-Faced Buddha. The hotel is within minutes walk from the nearest BTS station – Chit Lom Station. It is also within minutes walk from shopping mall such as Central World, Gaysorn to name a few.

The Room

The room I checked in is the Grand King room. Upon checking in, I was upgraded to the Grand King View room. The difference between the 2 rooms is the view. While the Grand King room faces the back of the hotel, the Grand King View room faces the front of the hotel. Upon entering the rustic room, the entrance to the bathroom is immediately to the right side. The squarish designed bathroom feels compact and luxurious at the same time, extending the rustic feel from the entrance of the room.  There are a couple of cubicles on the left of the entrance to the bathroom. The first cubicle is the walk-in shower with both rain shower and regular massage shower head, and the cubicle next to it, next to the sink is the toilet. There are no additional door to the toilet cubicle. The sink feels rather small, but sufficient for one to place one’s additional toiletries. Opposite the cubicles, by a foldable door that opens to the room, is the bathtub. There are speakers piped into the bathroom, so that one can watch the TV from the tub with the sound from the TV.
Entrance to the room
Rustic feel in the bathroom
Walk-in Shower cubicle
Toilet cubicle
Luxurious bath amenities
Additional toilet amenities in the box
Bathtub
After the entrance to the bathroom is the wardrobe area. There are 2 sections to the wardrobe – the open part and the enclosed part. The open portion of has 5 tier shelving with the safe occupying the centre tier, whiles there are baskets for guests to put their stuffs into for the rest of the shelves. The enclosed part of the wardrobe is purely for guest to hang their clothing. There is sufficient room for one to hang up to 2 weeks of clothing.
Open Shelving
Enclosed wardrobe
Walking pass the wardrobe, the room opens up to the spacious bedroom. Right round the corner, one can find a king bed. The bed is very comfortable and allowed a very well needed rest for the night after all the walking in Bangkok. There is also a pillow menu for guests to choose from different types of pillow to suit one’s need. There is a shelf to the left of the bed with a pot acting as a decoration in the room. The bottom part of the shelf houses a radio and a control for the switches in the room. There is sufficient room for one to place one’s mobile phone while charging on the bottom shelf. To the right of the bed is a bedside table with a phone and another switch control. To the right of the bedside table, further into the room and nicely tucked into a corner of the room facing the window is a couch and a glass top table. The couch is oddly placed in the room, and perhaps intended to function more like chairs for the table than for one to relax in and watch the TV. The large sized glass table functions as both a work desk, with most of the international adaptor powerpoints at the side of the table, and a dinning table. There is a lamp on the table. There is another armchair placed at the glass table.
Comfortable King bed
Couch and the glass table by the window
Powerpoints by the glass table, which also functions as a dining table
Switch controller
Opposite the bed, is a large table with the TV placed onto it, There are 3 drawers on the table for guests to store their stuff. There is a long beach placed underneath the table, which one can use to place their luggage on. Complementary coffee and tea can be found in one of the 3 drawers. To the right of the table, near to the entrance of the room is where one can find mini bar area, with the bar fridge well conceived on the bottom shelf.
The TV is located opposite the bed
Mini bar area
Contents inside the bar fridge
Complementary coffee and tea (the titbits are not complementary though)
View from the room
Lift lobby

Swimming Pool

The hotel has a fairly large swimming pool located on the 5th floor. The free-form pool allows one to dip in and cool off in the hot Bangkok sun. There are a large number of deck chairs to go around and most of them are not situated under trees or any form of shades, providing guests with good spots for tanning. There is a pool side restaurant providing snacks and refreshments for guests.

Swimming pool located on the 5th floor of the hotel

Spa Facilities

The hotel has a spa facilities separately for both male and female guests located on the 5th floor. There is a sauna, steam room, hot and cold jacuzzi inside the spa facilities. There are showers and lockers available inside the spa facilities. Guests can obtain the key from the staffs manning the counter outside the spa facilities. There are ample amenities such as shavers, cotton buds and towels available inside the spa room.

Lockers and changing room in the spa facilities
Amenities inside the spa facilities
Toilet inside the spa facilities
Hot and cold jacuzzis are available inside the spa facilities
Sauna inside the spa facilities

Gym

The gym is also located on the 5th floor of the hotel. The gym is quite well equipped with treadmills, press machines. There is a small counter serving drinks and complementary bottled water next to the gym. Towels are available on the shelves outside the gym.

 

Very well equipped gym located on the 5th floor

Breakfast

Breakfast is served in the Dinning Room located on the 1st floor of the hotel. There are quite a good spread of cuisine available for breakfast, ranging from Western to Asian to Thai to Indian, catering to the differing pallets of the guests staying in the hotel. The spread of food is good enough to last guests through dinner.

 

Dessert section
Fruit section
Wide spread of pastries available for breakfast
Beverage section, coffee and tea are available as well
Salad bar
Different types of bread available
All these are just for breakfast
Chefs preparing eggs and waffles for guests in front of the cooked food section
Indian Cuisine for breakfast

Service

The service in the hotel is truly 5-star. One will be treated like a VIP the moment one alights the cab. Staffs at the concierge are readily to assist us with our luggages and escorted us across the expansive lobby to the check-in counter where their check-in counterparts will assist us further. The concierge staff greeted us and opened the door for us whenever we walk past them. The staffs at the check-in counters truly embrace the warmth of the Thais, greeting us with a smile and went all way out to arrange for a room that we requested through booking. The proficient staffs processed our check-in very speedy and ensured that we did not have to wait for too long before handing over the keycard to our room.

The great service is not only found at the lobby and the main entrance to the hotel. Even the housekeeping staffs made us feel pleasant and welcomed in the hotel. We bumped into a couple of them during our short stay at the hotel. They never failed to smile and greet us whenever we bumped into them. I requested for additional bath amenities and extra pillow, the housekeeping staff got them delivered to us rather fast and as always with a genuine smile on his face. The staffs outside the spa facilities and the pool is always smiling and readily made us feel welcome to use the facilities in the hotel. There is always smiles hanging on the face of the staff at the spa facilities counters whenever we walked past them. The staffs are always ready to answer to any questions that I raised.

The service at the Dinning table is a mix. On the first day of our stay,  the staffs made us feel welcome and ensured we were brought to our table almost immediately. Plates were cleared whenever we left our table to grab more food. However, it was not so on our second day of stay at Grand Hyatt Erawan. Perhaps due to the crowd, the counter at the front of the restaurant was not manned by anyone. We were made to wait for 10 mins after admitting us into the restaurant as the staff was frantically looking for table to us. The chefs at the egg station cooked our eggs with care. There was once I wanted to grab some pancakes. A thoughtful chef, instead of giving me the one on their table, made a new one for me.

 

Check-in counter
Drinks are available at the check-in area

Overall

I had a pleasant stay at Grand Hyatt Erawan. The sleep quality is excellent and the room is well designed with comfort in mind. The facilities in the hotel were top-notch and the availability of the spa facilities to the guests without additional charge. The services that I had received during my stay with the hotel is fantastic. The staffs made me feel welcomed and were seen smiling and greeting guests. With the convenient location and the excellent hardware and service, this hotel is well worth a stay for visitors visiting Bangkok for leisure or business alike. I look forward to stay in a different type of room in Grand Hyatt Erawan the next time I visit Bangkok.

[Hotel Review] – Hansar Hotel (Urban Suite), Bangkok, Thailand (4 – 7 Jun 15)

Location

Hansar Hotel Bangkok is conveniently located in downtown Bangkok. The location of the hotel is within 3 mins walk from the nearest BTS Station (Ratchadamri Station), which is one stop away from the central Siam Interchange and one stop away from Sala Daeng Station, where the famous Patpong Night Market is located. The Hotel is also within 5 mins walk from the famous Four Face Buddha Erawan Shrine and about 7 mins walk from Central World Shopping Mall. The location of the hotel is very convenient for visitors as it is rather central to most of the shopping malls around the area.
Hotel Signage
Hotel Facade from the Street
Main Entrance to the Hotel
Stairs leading to the reception
Check-in counters
Artwork around the hotel
Lobby on ground floor
Hotel Facade

The Suite

Hansar Hotel Bangkok is touted as a all suites hotel, where even the most basic room is a suite. The suite that I checked into is the Urban Suite, a complementary upgrade when booked through the Small Luxury Hotels website. The contemporary Urban Suite has a total floor area of 71m² and has three sections to it.

Living Room

Upon entering the main door, the hotel’s signature green wall greets one on the right side. Further into the suite is the living area. There is a study desk with a marble bench right at the edge of this part of the suite. The marble bench is a great addition to the suite as it offered more space for guests to stowaway their belongings, be it stuffs that one buys from their trip or their luggage. The study desk faces the TV, which allows guests to watch the TV even while working. The study desk is rather sizeable and stretches about 3/4 of the width of the suite. There are ample powerpoints, with international sockets, at the study desk for one to charge their electronic gadgets. The hotel is rather generous in terms of powerpoints as one can easily find one around this suite.
Main entrance to the suite
The signature green wall
Overview of the living room
Bench for extra storage. The safe is located behind the wooden panel
Nice sized work desk
Powerpoints neatly hidden when not in use
Sky garden outside my suite. Unfortunately it is inaccessible
Right in front of the desk is where one can find a comfortable two-seater couch, where one can simple laze onto while watching the TV. The couch is so comfortable that I fell asleep on it while watching TV. There is also a coffee table and a stool in this part of the suite. The TV is mounted on the wall facing the couch and the work desk. The 40″ LCD TV has no lack of options for guests to choose to watch. As mentioned, the wall where the TV is mounted serves as a partition between the living room and the bedroom of this suite. Several cabinets are built into the wall where one can find more storage space beneath the TV mounting. To the right of the TV is where one can find the minibar. This is where one can find the electric kettle as well as coffee and tea. The fridge is nice tucked under the storage space for the kettle. The architects of the suite cleverly hide the fridge in the cabinet under the open storage for kettle. This small feature makes the whole suite look tidy. One thing worth mentioning is that all items in the minibar, both drinks and snacks, are complementary from the hotel and it gets topped up on a daily basis.
Two-Seater Couch in the living room
Minibar and the sliding door to the bedroom
Snacks are complementary and replenished daily
40″ TV in the living room with storage underneath it. There are no lack of storage in the suite
Magazines and stationery in the cabinet beneath the wall mounted TV
Contents of the complementary minibar
Welcome fruit plating. The fruits was delivered shortly after I checked in. Fruits are replenished daily during housekeeping
View of the living room from the study desk
View from the suite in the bedroom
View from the suite in the living room

Bedroom

There is a sliding door built into this wall serving as a partition between the living room and the suite. Rather than merely provide a wooden door, the designers has a full size mirror mounted on the door, which is functional yet does not occupy space. The decor of the bedroom is minimalistic. Upon enter to this part of the suite, one king bed attracted my attention. In fact the bedroom comprises only of the bed, a TV and a couple of bedside tables. It does seem that the designers has functionality in mind when designing the bedroom. There is another 40″ LCD TV facing the bed mounted on the wall that separates the living room from the bedroom. Again there are ample powerpoints in the bedroom so that one does not have to leave their phone charging in the living room. The kind bed is very comfortable and I had no problems going to sleep shortly after lying on the bed. The pillows are however too soft for my liking, but the hotel provides foam pillows that gave me a good night sleep. As with other hotels, switches for the lighting can also be found on both sides of the bed. Again the designers did a fantastic job by building ledges for guests to hide all the wiring. This feature make the suite look very tidy.
Comfortable king bed. The head board is an art piece which is manually strung up using beads. The headboard is very comfortable to rest one’s head on
Another 40″ TV in the bedroom
Items on the bedside table

Bathroom

Access to the bathroom is through the bedroom, separated by 2 panels of wooden doors with full length mirror mounted on the bedroom side of the door. The large bathroom occupies approximately 3/4 of the length of the suite. The dry areas of the bathroom is decked out with wood whilst the wet areas are laid with marble. At one end of the bathroom is where one can find the open wardrobe, which is very convenient and provides easy access to guests clothing. The wardrobe spans across the width of the bathroom, providing ample space for guests to hang up their clothing. There are two panels to the wardrobe, where one can find a 2 tier cabinet on the left panel. The top of the cabinet also serves as storage space for guests to stow their luggage. On top of the cabinet is where the hotel make full use of space by providing hanging racks for one to hang their clothing such as shirts and berms. On the right panel is where one can find a full length hanger for longer garments. On the wall side of the wardrobe in this panel is where one can find four open tiered ledges for putting away of small items. One can also find the hair dryer and plugs for shavers nicely tucked onto the wall. Along Stretching across the length of the bathroom, facing the door is where one can find the counter top with his and hers sinks. The dual sink allows both guests to brush their teeth without the need to queue up. The expansive counter top also means there are ample space for guests to store their toiletries. The hotel is also very thoughtful in placing two bottles of drinking water here for guests to utilise. Opposite the wardrobe is where one can find two cubicles. The use of glass as partitions for these cubicles makes the bathroom feel spacious. On the left cubicle is where the bathtub and the shower is co-located. The bathtub is very large for 2 to soak in to comfortably. Incorporating the shower area together with the bathtub in this cubicle is very convenient for guests whom prefer to shower after soaking in the tub. The bathroom features both a rain shower and a shower head. Water pressure on both shower heads are strong. The other cubicle in the bathroom is where the toilet is located.
Wardrobe with ample space for storage in the bathroom
Countertop with his and hers sinks
Amenities on the countertop
A couple bottles of water is being placed in the bathroom
The quality of the bath amenities are excellent.
Bathtub cum walk-in shower cubicle
Toilet cubicle next to the bathing cubicle

Breakfast at Eve Restaurant

Breakfast is served at the Eve Restaurant located on the ground floor. Guests are given the choice to choose indoor or outdoor dinning. Despite the limited choices for food on display, guests can order additional food, with its listing in the menu that is found on every table. The hotel made a couple of changes to the food on offer daily.
Additional items on the menu for breakfast
Honey is dripped directly from the source during breakfast
The high ceiling in the restaurant makes it look big
Menu for additional items not on the buffet table

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool in the hotel is located on the 8th floor. The roof top infinite pool stretches across the entire floor. The water in the large swimming pool is rather chilling, however it does provide a great cool dip amidst the hot weather in Bangkok during my visit. Most of the sun chairs are under shelter, hence guests wanting to do some tanning will find it challenging. There is a jacuzzi located in one end of the pool, just outside the changing rooms on this floor. Inside the changing room, other than shower cum toilet cubicles, one can also find a steam room here.
Swimming pool area
Infinite roof top swimming pool. The pool stretches across the entire floor

Gym

The hotel has a small gym. Despite its size, one can find the standard gym equipment such as treadmills, weights and stationary cycle here. The gym is both clean and uncluttered.
Small but well equipped gym
Some of the gym equipment

Luxsa Spa

The in house spa occupies the entire 10th floor of the hotel. Upon exiting the lift, a friendly staff greets guests stopping at the spa. The wooden decor of the spa gives one a zen feel. There is a waiting area at the spa when one exits the lift. The spa provides hair cut and hair care treatment, pedicure and manicure on top of the spa services.
Signage of Luxsa Spa
Waiting area in Luxsa
Reception in Luxsa

Service

The services in the Hansar is generally very good, except for one of the Duty Managers. The other staffs in the hotel understood what it meant to be customer centric. The impeccable services starts when I requested for a change of room when showed to my room. My room was changed immediately and the staff even offered to bring the keycard to my new room. Moments later when I was settling into my room, the doorbell to my room rang. The staffs knew my request for firm pillows and brought over the pillows from the other room as well as some welcome fruits.
The housekeeping staffs are friendly and detailed in their work. My room is always neat and tidy whenever I returned to my room at the end of the day. The housekeeping staffs ensured that all amenities are promptly topped up. There was this instance I requested for extra bath amenities late at night, one of the housekeeping staff brought the stuff to my room. I commented on the hot weather in Bangkok, the next thing was a ring on my door bell. The staff brought a bucket of ice and 2 bottles of water for me to quench my thirst. Such thoughtful behaviour attests to the fact that even the housekeeping staff knew what it meant to be customer centric. Every time I walked past the housekeeping staffs, there is always no lack of smiles and greetings from them.
The bell boys at the front of the hotel are excellent in their service as well. They are always seen with a smile and did not allow me to open the front door to the hotel myself, even late at night. They are always seen running up to the door before me when they saw me approaching afar so that I can transit into the hotel without having to open the door. Several times I told them it’s okay, I can open the door myself, they still wouldn’t allow me to, saying that it is their job to do so. I met Golf a few times and he is always with a big welcoming smile on his face. Golf even helped to hail a cab for my trip to the airport and helped me with my luggage.
The staffs at Eve Restaurant are very attentive and welcoming. I did not have to wait for long to be shown to a table for breakfast. Service is fast and there is no instance where I found plates uncleared from my table. I had the opportunity to speak with Han, the Operations Manager of the hotel during breakfast, whom is seen walking from table to table to chat with guests. I learnt a little more about the hotel and its operations from Han. It is very seldom where one would see the manager walking around chatting with guests.
My stay in Hansar would be perfect if not for one of the Duty Managers who was on night duty. During my check in I enquired about late check out and I conveyed to the duty manager that my flight is at 9 pm. The manager told me to check with the reception again on the day on my check out to see if a late check out is possible. I returned to the hotel around 1am on the day of my checking out, I met the duty manager again. When I asked about late check out, he gave me a bunch of dodgy excuses. The conversation soon became heated and the manager became defensive. I told the manager that I would want to check with the Operations Manager later in the day and checked if he will be in the hotel (being a Sunday). The duty manager told me that he will be in the hotel. Later during my check out, I learnt that the Operations Manager is not working on the day of my checking-out. At this moment, I realised that the Duty Manager actually lied to me. It is ironical that the rest of the staff understood what it meant to be customer centric, and a manager does not.
The rest of the staff provides great service and are very attentive, however not so for this duty manager. I was served by another duty manager and related my experience to her. The duty manager processing my checking out was empathetic and listened attentively without being defensive.

Overall

My stay in Hansar is comfortable. The size of the suite is large and the sleep quality on the bed is excellent. The Hotel clearly has the hardware, designing around convenience to guests. The service around the hotel is impeccable, less for the duty manager whom spoke to in a defensive manner. If not for this particular personnel, my experience in Hansar would have been perfect. It is unlikely that I will return to this hotel, if they can condone a managerial level staff to lie to their guests.

[Hotel Review] – Cape House Service Apartments (1-Bedroom Suite), Bangkok, Thailand (6 – 9 Nov 14)

Location

Cape House Service Apartments is located within downtown Bangkok. It is about 5 minutes walk from the nearest BTS station (Chit Lom), which is one stop away from Siam Central Station. The property is also within 6 mins walk from the famous 4-face buddha shrine – Erawan Shrine. It is within walking distance to major shopping malls such as Central World, Siam Paragon, Siam Square,  Central Embassy. The Platinum shopping mall is within 15 minutes walk from the hotel. There are no lack of 24-hour convenient shops (7-Eleven) near the property. There is one just right opposite to the hotel and one more nearer to the main street.

The Suite

There are 3 configurations of rooms available in this property, namely studio suite, one-bedroom suite and two-bedroom suite. I was informed that the two-bedroom suite is leased out for long term guests leaving studio suite and one-bedroom suite available for short terms stays. The suite that I stayed in is the one-bedroom apartment suite. The suite can be segregated into 4 main sections, namely the kitchenette, the living room, the bedroom and the bathroom.

Kitchenette

The kitchenette is situation to the left side of the suite upon entering from the main door. This small kitchenette features a mid-size 2 compartment fridge, an electric stove and microwave ovens. There are also kitchen sink installed here in the suite. The suite comes with full range of utensils, allowing patrons to host up to 4 guests. There are also pots and pans available in the suite for guests to do some cooking. A front loader washing machine is found in this part of the suite. A clever use of a bar stand separates the kitchenette from the living room. The kitchenette, despite its small size, is sufficient for one to do some cooking. 2 to 3 persons can work comfortably in the kitchenette without bumping into each other.
Kitchenette in the Suite

Living Room

Directly ahead of the kitchenette, in front of the main door is the living room. The contemporary and comfortable living room is the largest area in the suite. This area can be further segmented into 3 sections. Directly in front of the kitchenette is the dinning table. The table is tucked in one corner of the living room, making clever usage of space within the suite. The table is large enough to seat 4. Next to the dinning area is the work desk. The window facing work desk is not intrusive and the way the hotel lays out the work desk makes it functional, yet not cluttering the space with unnecessary furniture. The work desk has a separate lighting and wired connections for internet. The hotel also provides free wifi throughout the hotel. The other segment of the living room is the couch area. The two-seater couch faces a large LED TV. There is also a single seater armchair and a large cushioned stool in this area of the room. There is also a coffee table in the centre of the seating in the living area, decked out with in-house magazines and some other business magazines. To add to a sense of spaciousness, the designers of the hotel made use of the floor to ceiling window in the living room. The view from the suite that we were being assigned is not fantastic, as it faces another apartment building next to the hotel.

 

The dinning area and the work desk
TV in the living room, facing the dinning area and work desk
Cosy Couches for one to laze on

Bedroom

Further into the suite, to the right of main door is the entrance to the bedroom. Separated from the living room with a door, the contemporary bedroom screams of comfort and cosiness. It is of a right size, neither too big nor too small. The bedroom features a king size bed, placed in front of another floor to ceiling window. I kept the curtain here closed most of the time as I can see directly into someone else’s apartment opposite. The sleep quality on the king bed is excellent. One can almost immediately fall asleep on this bed, which is neither too soft nor too hard. The pillows are also just right for my liking. Next to the entrance of the bedroom is a 2 paneled wardrobe. The wardrobe is rather huge as it occupied almost the entire length of the bedroom. The huge wardrobe allows guests to comfortably stow away 2 weeks of clothing for 2 persons. An in-room electronic safe is also tucked away within the wardrobe. There are also a couple of bedside tables being placed on each side of the bed. There is another smaller TV, tucked away to the side of the  bedroom, in the same area  as the make up area. The make up area is located next to the wardrobe and has a separate lighting.

 

Comfortable King Bed
View of the bedroom and the doors leading to the living room and bathroom
Make up area and another small TV in room

Bathroom

The bathroom spans across the bedroom and the living room. Accessible from either of the rooms, the spacious bathroom decked in marble flooring and table tops has a rather large bathtub tucked in one corner of this area. There is a separate walk-in shower located at the other (living room) end of the bathroom. A sink and the toilet bowl is located between the bathtub and the walk-in shower. The hotel provides the standard range of toiletries with the exception of toothbrush and toothpaste. Patrons staying in this hotel are reminded to bring their own dental kits. There are also a couple of racks found on the walls of this room for patrons to hang their wet towels. This is a plus as most hotels lacked area for one to hang towels for drying.

 

Bath tub and sink area in the bathroom
Toilet Bowl and Walk-in Shower
Bath amenities

The Lounge

Guests in the hotel are entitled to free access to the lounge. Located on 15th floor of the property, the spacious Executive lounge is a great place for guests to hang out. Decking out in white theme and wooden flooring, the lounge has several couches for relaxation. There are also business magazines and daily newspapers for guests to browse through whilst at the lounge. There are an assortment of complementary pastries available all day for guests to enjoy, however only coffee, tea and plain water is available for guests. Smoking is allowed in the lounge within its enclosed smoking room. The view from the lounge is much better than that from the suite I was assigned to. Other facilities such as outdoor jacuzzi, swimming pool and gym are also available on the property. However due to my short time stay, I did not visit these facilities.

 

Finger food on offer at the Executive Lounge
Executive lounge decked in White and wooden flooring
Magazines and the reception area in the Lounge
Nice view from the lounge
Smoking room in the lounge

Service

The staffs in the hotel are generally very helpful. There are always a warmth welcoming smile whenever I approach them at the lobby. They are not stingy in offering information on the whereabouts in Bangkok should they be approached. There are also no lack in greetings whenever a guest walk past. These ambassadors of the hotel are very welcoming, truly embracing customer service and the friendliness of the Thais. The same is said of the bellboy. They are always alert whenever guests approaches the main door of the hotel. They would leave no guests having to open the main door themselves. There are no instances where greetings are not being accorded to by these staffs at the main door whenever I walk through these doors.
The same, however, cannot be said of the staffs at the No. 43 Italian Bistro. This is the place where one would have their breakfast daily. The staffs here are a little cold and getting a smile from them seemed to be an uphill task. It seemed to suggest that they are only interested in their function, to clear the plates and ensure the food is being topped up. Despite that, food is rarely being topped up during breakfast service. These staffs seemed to be hiding away from the sight of patrons most of the time, which leaves plates uncleared and food not topped up. There egg station do not seemed to be staffed at all times, and one would be expected to wait up to 10 minutes for anyone to appear at the egg station.
No. 43 Bistro where breakfast is being served
Breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast

Overall

The hotel is an ideal location for one to be at whilst in Bangkok. Its close proximity to the shopping malls in downtown Bangkok as well as amenities such as the BTS station and 7-Elevens makes it a great place to stay whilst in Bangkok. The well appointed suite that I was assigned, apart from the depressing view, is very cosy and comfortable to stay. The air conditioning of the suite is efficient and powerful enough to cool down guests from the heat of Bangkok. Service wise is a mix comparing to the staffs in the restaurant and the rest of the front line staff. I would not hesitate to stay here, given the price and the location and the size of the suite, the next time I visit Bangkok.

[Hotel Review] – La Flora Resort Patong (Pool Villa), Phuket, Thailand (10 – 13 Sep 14)

Location

La Flora Resort is located right in the heart of Patong area in Phuket. Patong, being the centre of all tourist activities on this island of Thailand. The resort is within mere minutes walk from Bangla street and Jungceylon Shopping mall. The resort is also located right at the doorstep on the northern part of Patong Beach, despite being a little further from the actions on the beach, one will also be able to catch actions and fun on the beach. La Flora’s convenient location where one can find the shopping and highlights on Patong and the beach, makes it a location to be sought after whilst staying in Phuket.
Resort signage
Entrance to the resort
Patong beach just at the back of the resort

Pool Villa

Bedroom

I was upgraded to a pool villa by the good people of the resort. After checking in, I was escorted to the villa. The villa can be divided into 3 sections: the bedroom, the toilet and the backyard. Upon entering the villa, a contemporary designed bedroom greeted us. There is a space right by the entrance of the villa where one can find a long study desk. The desk a tad too narrow for one to stow things. There are a number of standard items being placed on this desk, which gives little space for one to put their stuffs. During turn down in the evenings, the staffs would place 2 small bottles of mineral water on this table. There are a few cabinets below the study table, which provides additional space for one to stow one’s stuffs.
Study desk
Right behind the study table is a ledge for one to stow one’s luggage. This space is large enough to stow 2 cabin size luggage. Below this ledge is a couple of drawers for one to put away more stuffs. A wardrobe is found right next to this ledge, nicely tucked in a convenient yet non-intrusive location in the villa. The wardrobe is large enough to store a few days of clothing for 2. This is where one would find the mini fridge nicely tucked into the wardrobe, providing guests with complementary drinks to quench their thirst.
Luggage storage and wardrobe
Wardrobe and mini fridge
Well stocked fridge
On the left of the entrance of the room is a couch for one to relax onto or to entertain guests. On the 2 sides of this couch, are table top worked onto as a composite unit of the couch. Here is where one can find coffee and electric kettles. On the other end of the couch is where the resort placed a plate of complementary tropical fruits to welcome guests.
Welcome fruit
Couch
Coffee and Tea
The centrepiece of this part of the villa gotta be the oversized king bed. The bed is located in front of the study desk, using the study desk as the head board for the bed. The bed is neither too soft nor to hard to sleep on. Coupled with the comfortable bedsheets, one can be reassured of a good night sleep on the bed. The bed comes with 4 pillows, however the pillows are a tad too soft for my liking. One can always request for additional pillows from the resort, which they promptly delivered to the villa with a smile. In front of the bed is the LED TV. There is no connections to the TV from anywhere in the villa. One would have to plug their computers directly to the rear of the TV. There are, however, no lack of TV programs. One can either choose to watch the local TV channels or the documentary channels such as National Geographic or Discovery Channels, or choose from the library of movies the resort provided in room at no additional charges. The TV is hooked onto a hard disk drive where the movies are located.
King Bed
TV in room

Bathroom

Onward to the second section of the villa is the bathroom area. From the bedroom, one can walk right into a corridor where the dual sinks are located. This means that there will be no fighting over the sinks in the morning. The large sinks are placed on the counter top where one will be able to stow their toiletries. However, as with the study desk, the counter top is a tad too small, but still sufficient to put facial products. There is a cloth hanger for one to place their towels in this part of the toilet area.
Branded toothbrush
Dual sink
Between the 2 sinks is the entrance to the shower and toilet area. Upon entering this part of the villa, the blue bathroom opens up to a standing shower area to the left, featuring both a rain shower and a standard shower head. The shower looks into the back yard and provided a lot of natural light into the villa. I used the standard shower head most of the time as the rain shower seem to be suffering from a lack of maintenance. The water flow from the rain shower is in consistent and seem to be weaker then the standard shower head. To the right of the entrance is where one can find the standard toilet bowl. Further into the bathroom is where one can find a jacuzzi tub. the tub faces the back yard for one to relax into while soaking. The pressure of the jacuzzi nozzles is in good shape, and can provide guests with a well deserved water jet massage after along day on the beach or just walking around Patong area.
Bathing amenities
Jacuzzi tub

Private Plunge Pool

Further onto the corridor where the sinks are located in the bathroom is the back door which leads to the back yard. This is where one can find the private plunge pool and a couple of tanning chairs. The plunge pool is a tad too small for one to get a decent swim, but large enough for one to plunge and soak by the pool. This pool, despite the size, is deeper then the ones one would find outside the villa. The enclosed backyard ensures guests receives maximum privacy in the back yard. The back yard is also lightly decorated with some plants, giving guests a relaxing feel. However the placement and the orientation of the pool does not allow one to receive sufficient sunlight for a decent tan.
Tanning chair in villa
Private plunge pool
The villa, whist great, lacks power points for one to charge their electronic gadgets. There are limited powerpoint outlets throughout the villa. The powerpoints are located in in conspicuous places which can proof to be inconvenient for guests to accessed to. There are also lack of table top spaces in the villa for one to place their stuffs within reach. One would have to stow away their stuffs in the cabinets.

Swimming Pools

There are 2 lap pools within the resort grounds. One of them is the normal pool, where one can enjoy a swim without much obstructions. The other pool (located just outside our villa), is of the same length as the first pool. Here is where can find a few tanning chairs and a non-functioning jacuzzi.  There are pool access rooms located on the sides of both pools. Despite the lack of tanning chairs by the pool, there are a few more scattered on the resort grounds. The resort provides towels for guests who opted to tan on the beach, which is on the back yard of the resort.
Lap pools in the resort
Lap pools in the resort
View around the resort
View of the lap pool
Proximity to the beach

Service

The staffs in the resort was very welcoming. I was greeted with the widest smile upon arrival at the hotel for checking in. The staff ensured that guests have great experience from the point of check in to the point of check out. Welcome drinks and cool towels were presented to guests upon arrival. While another staff processed my checking in with speed. I did not have to wait for too long for my check in to be completed. Upon arrival, staffs were seen sprung into well oiled actions to ensure guests feel comfortable and everything is taken care of, including luggage.
The staffs would engaged in conversations with guests to see how well their day has been exploring around Phuket every time I walked by the reception. Wais were seen on every staff given to guests walking by the reception.  2 staffs came to our villa during evening turn down and their speed of turning down is remarkable. I was a the resort spa exploring the resort and the staffs, despite knowing my intention was not for the spa service, still greeted me and engaged in a conversation with me. This shows that the staffs on the resort know exactly what service is and what it takes to be service oriented. The staffs even provided valuable information on the Patong area and Phuket and how to maximise my time in Phuket. The staffs also ensured that the villa is being cleaned every single day and amenities are being topped up every single day, including the drinks in the fridge.
There was an instance where I had to go through the restaurant due to the rain, the staffs at the restaurant, despite knowing I was just trespassing, showed me the way to my villa and even offered umbrella to shelter me from the rain. I was promptly welcomed every single morning at the restaurant for breakfast.
Check out is equally efficient and I was given a room for shower before heading to the airport. The hotel staff helped me with my luggage to the room they assigned me for shower. The resort even arranged a complementary transfer to the airport in a Mercedes for my trip home.

Overall

 The resort is the place to be whilst in Phuket. It offered the best of both worlds, close to the proximity of shopping and allowed guests to relax close to the beach. I had a very comfortable stay in the resort, though more can be done in terms of the infrastructure in the villa. It is tough to find fault with the service rendered in the villa, with very single staff understanding what service is all about and offering guests the biggest smile they can give. I would recommend staying in this resort for trips to Phuket.

[Hotel Review] – Thavorn Palm Beach Resort (Premium Deluxe Room), Phuket, Thailand (7 – 10 Sep 14)

Location

Thavorn Palm Beach Resort is located in a quite area in Karon Area in Phuket. The resort is one road away from the beach, which sees much lesser crowd as compared to Patong. The resort is far from everything else and the nearest 7-Eleven is a good 10 mins walk from the resort. If one is looking for a quiet place to relax, this resort can be placed in your consideration list. The resort is about 20 mins walk from the famous Phad Thai shop in Phuket. There are some shops about 10 mins walk from the resort selling mostly daily use products. There isn’t much to see or do in the vicinity of the resort. The facade of the resort look aged and run down. The rustic lobby gives guests a feel of being taken back in time to the 60s. Most of the time the resort feels dark and deserted, perhaps partly due to the period I stay there being the low season for Phuket.
Quiet lobby
Welcome drinks

The Room

Wardrobe Area

After checking-in, we were escorted by a front desk staff to our room. Despite by aged facade of the resort, the Premium Deluxe room, which offers partial sea view, we were assigned to is rather new. The contemporary room seem to be recently renovated, however there are signs of ageing in the room. As one enters the room, one can spot the wardrobe located to the right of the main door.  The wardrobe is sufficient for 2 persons to unpack their clothing into. However my friend and I did not utilise this wardrobe much as it seemed aged, this is one of the few areas in the room where the resort did not managed to renovate. Right next to the wardrobe is the mini bar area. The standard mini bar is where can find complementary coffee and tea, however the rest of the beverages in the fridge is chargeable. We also did not use the electric air pot for water as it looked rusted and dirty.

Wardrobe by the main door
Mini bar area

Bathroom

Opposite the mini bar is the entrance to the bathroom. The bathroom provides sufficient space for guests. There is a large glass window in the bathroom, right next to the sink. The resort also provided curtains for one to hang for privacy. Opposite the door to the bathroom is the toilet bowl and the sink is next to it. This room only comes with walk-in shower. There is a ledge by the toilet bowl, which provides guests space to put their bathing amenities.

Toilet
Shower area
Bath amenities

Sleeping Area

Walking past the corridor from the main door opens up to the bedroom. The bed room is rather spacious. To the left of the room is where can find the bed. We requested for a king size bed and was given a bed which is a combination of 2 super-single bed. The bed sleep quality on the bed is bad as the mattress is very soft and one can feel the bed frame of the 2 single beds when sleeping. The pillows are also too soft for my liking. Next to the bed is the makeup table, which is of a decent size for female patrons to stow their cosmetics. Opposite the bed is where one can locate the LED TV. The TV only shows local channels and some outdated channels from popular TV shows such as National Geographic and Discovery Channels for free, one would have to pay for the rest of the channels. To the right of the TV, and in between the TV and the mini bar area, is a marble ledge where one can stow their luggage. The ledge is large enough to hold one huge luggage or 2 cabin sized luggage. To the left of the TV is a queen size day bed, placed next to a window that looks out into the balcony, this day bed is good for one to relax and laze without messing up their bed.  There is a coffee table placed right in front of the day bed.

“King Size” Bed
View of the room
TV
Day bed

Balcony

Beyond the makeup table is a glass door that leads to the balcony. The balcony is quite big, taking the entire width of the room. There are a couple of straw made chairs and a table placed on the balcony that looks into the beach a far and the swimming pool below. On a clear day, this is a good spot for guests to see the sunset.

 

Balcony

Service

We had very minimal interaction with the staffs in the resort. The service in the resort is generally acceptable. Cold drinks were being served upon arrival, and the front desk staff invited us to sit by the lobby while she processed our check-in. It took quite awhile before we were handed our keys. The staff volunteered to show us to our room, despite us rejecting a few times. She was however very friendly, and showed us the way to our room and the various facilities within the resort. Upon entering our room, she also show us the fixtures in the room. I can sense that she was waiting for tip and seem to refuse to leave without tipping, by going into mindless introductions such as the air port and the toilet bowl flush. We had tipped her to get her off our back.
The housekeeping staffs are very friendly and was never stingy with their smiles and greetings. However the same cannot be said of the staffs at the restaurant where breakfast was served. We had to search for our seats as the staffs were engaged in petty gossips amongst themselves, paying occasional attention to guests. The bellboys at the lobby is a nice bunch of people, who truly portrays the spirit of Thais. They are always asking how was our day, where did we go and if we needed help with our luggage whenever we walked past them.

Overall

Despite efforts to revitalise the resort, the effort is only restricted to the rooms. The facade and parts of the room still show signs of ageing. The location of the resort is very bad as it is far form everything else. Throughout my stay in the resort, it felt that most of the staffs did not bother to initiate a relationship with guests, rather the relationship building is left to chance. At the period of my stay in the hotel, it was low season for tourism in Phuket, however the attitude of the staffs towards guests seemed to be lukewarm. The sleep quality of the bed is also pretty bad, despite being a spacious room. This resort is not worth staying.