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ekscrunchy May 11th, 2009 08:35 AM

BANGKOK-LeMeridien, BanyanTree, Pathumwan Princess, ShangriLa Krungthep????
I hate to start another post about this subject, but...

I will arrive around midnight and spend either two or three nights in Bangkok late next February. Last time I stayed at the Peninsula, which is a stunning property (even if the swimming pool was cold!)

This time I would like another location. Pool for laps is a must. Other requirements might be ability to walk to restaurants at night. Extra points for ease of taxi access to Chote Chitr restaurant.

I do not care about shopping in the fancy malls but might want to wander around small shops during the day. Mainly I would like to relax, swim and eat.

So far, with only a brief look, I came up with these and would love to read comments; please expand upon location of these places..and suggest others.

A million thanks!

1. Le Meridien (new hotel)

2. Pathumwan Princess (I know it is near MBK but the pool looks great and the prices seem very good)

3. Banyan Tree. Again, pool looks excellent

4. ShangriLa--Krungthep wing looks like it has a good pool. Is this the more or less-luxurious part of the hotel (I thought it was more luxurious but a review on TA contradicted this.)

rhkkmk May 11th, 2009 08:49 AM

the royal orchid sheraton has a nice does the marriott resort and spa....

take a look at the nei lert....nice pool

the pool at the hilton on the river is unique


Hanuman May 11th, 2009 08:58 AM

Madam CEO,

Satellite recon shows a rather large swimming pool here - but not hotel!

robmac May 11th, 2009 09:21 AM

My wife and I stayed at the Pathumwan Princess and although I am sure there is no comparison between it and the Peninsula we felt that it was good value for money. There is also very easy access to the Skytrain. And the pool was good.

Craig May 11th, 2009 09:34 AM

The Krungthep Wing is the more luxurious part of the Shangri La (and closest to the Skytrain). The Shang has two pools - the one by the Krungthep Wing is smaller and rectangular shaped, probably best for doing laps.

Kathie May 11th, 2009 09:41 AM

From among those, I'd chose the Shangri-La as I love being by the river.

As you know, I love the Royal Orchid Sheraton. I always stay in the Towers (lots of extra amenities). The ROS has two pools, one is a lap pool, the other is in a shady garden and is more for lounging.

simpsonc510 May 11th, 2009 09:45 AM

Take a look at the Metropolitan. I've not stayed there, but the name came up when I did a google search for Bangkok lap pool. The Met is next door to the Banyan Tree, which is on your list.

ekscrunchy May 11th, 2009 10:34 AM

Hanuman: Very funny! Must you be reprimanded yet again for blasting the confidential satellite photos all over the internet? Dili is waiting! And besides, there are people in that pool! I need my own lane!

I will take a good look at the ROS and Met. I thought I should stay somewhere other than the river this time, but I am just beginning to mosey around looking for hotels.

I just took a brief look at the SwissHotel Nai Lert-excellent reviews on TA! Why do we never hear about it here? Do we have an idea of what that location is like?

What about the location of the new Meridien? And location of Banyan Tree?

There seem to be so many options!

Are any of these even remotely near Chot Chitr restaurant?

Craig May 11th, 2009 11:21 AM

This SwissHotel Nai Lert is a 10 minute walk on Wireless Road from the Ploenchit Skytrain station. I have not stayed there but it is located right next to the Promenade home furniture mall which we visited last month. Wireless Road in that area has nicely shaded wide sidewalks. The Swiss and British embassies are nearby.

Chote Chitr is in or near Banglampoo which is not near any of these hotels.

The new Meridien is in the Silom area and the Banyan Tree is on Sathorn - neither are particularly well-situated IMO.

ekscrunchy May 11th, 2009 11:51 AM

Bob: Yes, I hope so!!!!!

Ok: This hotel looks excellent; great-looking pool. Any opinion on location; prices do seem high, though:

Hanuman May 11th, 2009 11:55 AM


Nai Lert is a nice hotel but the guest rooms have rather small bathrooms. The pool is big but it's not built in a typical Olympic style pool shape but the garden surrounding the pool is wonderful. Close to the Central Chidlom department store and the furniture mall Craig mentioned.

The owner, a stately old lady, live in one of the nicest classical Thai teak house right next to the hotel but it's fenced off and hidden from the hotel. Tell the guards that her estranged grandson works for you and they might let you in.

Hanuman May 11th, 2009 11:57 AM

The Sukhothai is right next to the Banyan Tree. Another nice hotel but the pool is shared with their health club.

Gpanda May 11th, 2009 12:00 PM

EKS-the pool at the Royal Orchid Sheraton is perfect for lap swimming. Plus, there are several very good restaurants within walking distance. The rooms are nothing special, but the convenience of the ROS, plus being free with Starwood Points, convinces us to always stay there. Maybe you could ask for the Panda Suite.

Hanuman May 11th, 2009 12:04 PM

Oops I meant to say the pool is shared with their health club and it can get busy sometime. Rooms are nice at the Sukhothai and you can walk to the Banyan Tree for food or vice-versa if you're staying at the Tree.

Getting late - signing off for the day!

ekscrunchy May 11th, 2009 12:37 PM

Wait, wait, Hanuman: Do you mean the Sukhothai pool can get crowded sometimes? Or the Banyan Tree pool? The Sukhothai looks right up my alley.

"Estranged grandson???" The plot thickens!

Panda: The ROS pool does look good; I did not realize that they had two pools!

So I think it will be between those two: Sukhothai or ROS with Banyan Tree running just behind.

ekscrunchy May 11th, 2009 12:37 PM

.or the new Meridien. They are also Starwood.

Kristina May 11th, 2009 02:12 PM

eks- I've stayed at the ROS and I really don't think it's worth the $$ if you are paying for the room. If you are looking for a room for starwood points then it's a good deal. Though if that's the case, you might want to look at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit (don't know about the pool though). I think if you stay at the ROS after having stayed at the Pen previously, you will be very disappointed.

Wondering why you MUST go back to Chote Chitr? You went before, right? You think it's worth returning? After my 2nd visit, I did not.

rhkkmk May 11th, 2009 02:18 PM

the meridien is just up the road from the main store of jim thompson....its not a great area, but not a bad one end of patpong is nearby....

ekscrunchy May 11th, 2009 02:21 PM

Kristina: I had such a good lunch there and I have been thinking about it for the past year. But I don't HAVE to fact I would welcome recommendations because I feel as if I did very little exploring during my trip last year.

Did you feel that the food at CC was not as good? Or just that it was not worth going through the trouble of getting there for a second meal? Can you give me more details about what you did NOT like? Honestly it would be a lot easier to eat someplace else. But nowhere that I ate came remotely close to the level of greatness that CC showed.

Kristina May 11th, 2009 02:46 PM

I felt that the owner was pushing the same 4 or 5 dishes that she pushes on everyone; those that were in the famous NY Times article. In fact, I had to insist on the eggplant dish (which is very good). But while the rest of the food was good, I don't think it was particularly better than any other place, nor do I think it's worth the hassle of getting there (unless you are already in the area).

Have you tried Baan Kranithita? (not certain of spelling on that sorry) It's on soi 23, and judging by what I know of your taste, I think you might like it.
Here's what I wrote about them
"The restaurant looks like an old Thai house and they seat us upstairs. They bring a wonderful complimentary appetizer with leaves that are to be filled with all sorts of savories, wrapped like a package and eaten. We also order eggplant salad with shrimp, squid, and ground pork, duck red curry with grapes, stir fried morning glory with garlic and chilis. It'a all good and this turns out to be one of the best ducks of the trip. The food does not seem to be "dumbed down" for tourists (though there are quite a few here). With the food, we have two beers, waters, rice, and it's 1000 baht."

I'm going back to BKK in July, not sure yet where we're going to eat. I like to try new places, so I'm going to have to go through my notes to see where we've not yet been. Now that we're staying at the Pen again (as opposed to the SGS), I'm going to have to do a little more research. Would love it if I could find some place within walking distance on that side of the river. There used to be a guy who sold duck/rice right across the street from the driveway entrance...

simpsonc510 May 11th, 2009 03:35 PM

Put Kinnaree (Sukhumvit soi 8) on your list. It's also in a house. Very nice place!! Very close to Nana skytrain station. Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit it quite close as well. Well within walking distance.

Craig May 11th, 2009 03:37 PM

Yes, Kinnaree is great...

Kathie May 11th, 2009 03:59 PM

eks, I love the Towers at the ROS (I've never stayed in a regular room which I understand are nothing special except for the view). We get a Towers suite, and they are lovely, plus I like the breakfast, cocktails and canapes each eve etc, included in the room price. I love the location, as I mostly take public transport in Bangkok, and it's next to a water taxi stop and a short shuttle boat ride to the skytrain. I also like that it's walking distance from a number of good restaurants. However, not everyone feels this way. As I remember, Kristina found it inconvenient to the skytrain, so it depends on you. I also love Chote Chitr. A number of people have commented on having problems wiht teh owner, but we have not. We've ordered things from the NYT review (our first time) and we ordered some repeats the second time and some not. The owner did encourage certain dishes, but I did not have a problem with that. Apparently she was more insistent with Kristina.

We tried to go to the restaurant Kristina is recommending last trip, but we had one mishap after another and finally ate elsewhere. It's still on our list to try as is Kinnaree.

Hanuman May 11th, 2009 07:25 PM


I meant the pool at the Sukhothai but that happens usually around late afternoon only. Between the 3 hotels you have on your final list I would go with the Sukhothai. A good Thai restaurant within easy walking distance is the Secret Garden restaurant.

rhkkmk May 11th, 2009 07:29 PM

put coconut palm restaurant on your list....go just before noon to avoid the crowd....its next to wat pho...tong took us there and we had fabulous food... it closes at 7 i think

rhkkmk May 11th, 2009 07:30 PM

we did not like CC at all....either the food or the pressure or the rude owner...i would not return...

ekscrunchy May 12th, 2009 03:36 AM

Hanuman: Are these fellow swimmers doing laps that clog up the pool? Or children? I am assuming that this is the after-work crowd, right?
That Sukhothai looks so lovely!

Can you offer some comments about the location of the new Meridien hotel? And since you are my man on the scene, where would you stay given my "requirements?" (Please do not disclose the location of the safe houses; those are NOT an option!!!)

The owner of CC was VERY rude to me--screaming at the top of her lungs about not using the sink in the bathroom (HUH??) But the food was just so fabulous! I would not mind eating the same meal again. But it is such a pain to reach. Do taxi drivers even know how to find it?

The other one on my list in that area is Ran Jay Fai..also in the RWApple article; they open after lunch. I am determined to try that as well but the thought of taking a taxi through all that traffic is kind of daunting.

Kristina: I will definitely put Baan Kanitha on my list. I had it on my list last time, but I did not get out to explore nearly as much as I would have liked. I did think the location of the Peninsula was a drawback due to the lack of places within an easy walk. Now for all we know, there are great places to eat out on the main street...or somewhere in the area. There is a grouping of covered food stalls not too far away, towards the bridge, but I did not try these.

When I was really tired, I just could not get up the energy for the boat-skytrain combo. I know that sounds ridiculous now...

Bob: I will also put Coconut Palm on the list...many thanks. Taxi is the way to get to CP and CC, right?

Kathie: I know you really like that hotel; it is like your second home!

A big thank you to everyone here for supporting me during my obsessive phases, which seem to pop up when I have to choose hotels (and to a lesser degree, eating places).

Yours truly, ekscrunchy
CEO of the corporation

ekscrunchy May 12th, 2009 03:41 AM

I forgot, I will put Kinnaree on the list, too! Thank you Carol! That Sheraton Grande gets great reviews but the pool looks like one of those lagoon shapes that are not great for swimming laps.

Hanuman May 12th, 2009 06:39 AM


No they were not doing laps but more of an after exercise or after squash kind of relaxation swim. Mostly well groom young muscular men which you might like!

I don't feel qualify to give opinion on the new Le Meridian as I have not been to the hotel yet. However the location is on Surawong road in quite a busy section of town. Personally I would opt for somewhere more quiet and less "busy" like the Sukhothai.

If it was me and I want a hotel with a nice pool, within walking distance to shops and restaurants I would go for the Four Seasons -

The Sukhothai, Nai Lert and the other hotels are nice as well and I don't think you can go wrong with any of the hotels mentioned so far.

If you come back in a few years time I would recommend the then brand new Siam Kempinski Hotel. The boys at the Royal Crown Property did a great job and it will be the flagship of all the Kempinski around the world, also own by the Royal Crown Property as well.

rhkkmk May 12th, 2009 06:46 AM

eks--maybe you could work out a deal with hanuman whereby you could do laps in his drawback the ride to his house takes about 30-40 minutes...haha

i think a taxi is the only way to get there...

for baan khanitha you want to go to the one on soi 23, sukhumvit...there is also a newer one on sathorn, but it is just in a building, not a house.

Hanuman May 12th, 2009 07:03 AM

My humble pool is too small and it's leaking!

ekscrunchy May 12th, 2009 07:28 AM

Bob: He has to say that about his pool. Can you imagine the shock if he opened the door and found his handler there, all decked out with goggles and hand paddles?

Hanuman: Good work. Keep the location secret, as discussed in the training manual.

The Four Seasons looks great--rack rate with breakfast is 7600 for least expensive room. The pool appears to be in shade for much of the day but that is probably good for me as long as the water is warm enough!

So we now have Four Seasons and Sukhothai at the top of the list. I will see what kind of prices I can get with travel agent; please give tips for getting best prices since corporate rate offer my not be forthcoming.

Thanks so much!

simpsonc510 May 12th, 2009 07:28 AM

There are two Kinnaree restaurants in close proximity to one another. The one you want is the HOUSE on soi 8... the other one is on soi 11, and it is in a hotel... more like just a coffee shop.

Four Seasons is a great idea! Great location, as far as getting out and walking around, and finding great restaurant options.

I was thinking of the Millenium Grand on Asok, but I don't see a lap pool pictured or advertised at that place.


ekscrunchy May 12th, 2009 07:29 AM

ps. Can I get some kind of deal if I book both Bangkok and Hong Kong Four Seasons on the same trip--for at least 3 nights in each one?

Kathie May 12th, 2009 07:35 AM

Eks, no one I know of has had a taxi driver who could find CC. But any driver can find the nearby wat, Wat Suthat (by the giant swing). And CC is a mere 10 (max) walk from there. I've published my detailed walking instructions several times here. I always enjoy that wat, so we visit the wat then walk to CC and garb a taxi on the way back.

I visited the Sukothai briefly. It seemed very businessman-oriented to me. But the grounds were beautiful and it felt very exotic with the uniformed doormen. The Four Seasons is nice, though I don't like to stay in that part of town. Guenmai considered it her home away from home before she moved to Emporium.

Hanuman May 12th, 2009 07:51 AM



Hanuman May 12th, 2009 07:55 AM

and the secret sat map. I redirected the eks109 to do a flyover.

ekscrunchy May 13th, 2009 12:04 PM

Good work, Agent Hanuman. We are pleased to tell you that the position in Dili has been filled so you can rest easy for the time being.

This does NOT mean, however, that you can cut out at 2pm and head over to the Sukhothai swimming pool. Or lollygag around the pool, leaky as it may be (I will have my secretary look up "leaky pool" in the code book--the actual meaning has slipped my mind, but I assure you this is but a momentary lapse) on your own estate.

Remain alert and ready to receive next assignment.

ekscrunchy Jul 24th, 2009 02:50 PM

topping for a devoted poster

rhkkmk Jul 24th, 2009 09:18 PM

the sheraton is one of the oldest of the 4 star hotels in bkk...

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