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Bangkok River Hotels

Old Jul 6th, 2005, 03:19 PM
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Bangkok River Hotels

Wife and I are going to Bangkok in October.
We want to stay on the river with a river view for under $200 a night. Oriental and Peninsula are over our limit but Royal Orchid Sheraton, Shangri-La and Bangkok Marriott meet our limit. All rates we got were for their club room equivalents such as breakfast, snacks, coctails and other special amenities.

Our question is what are the relative merits of all three?

Thanks for the help.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 03:36 PM
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I've stayed at the Shangri-La and it's a wonderful hotel, great value for the money. It's right next to the skytrain which is a big plus. I haven't stayed at the Marriott (Bob can give you the rundown on this one--it's his home away from home) nor the Sheraton but I've visited the Sheraton and eaten there. It's a nice hotel but I don't think the rooms compare with the Shang's. It is right next to the River City shopping complex however, which is nice, but you can easily get a boat from the Shang there (about 5 minutes) or from the Marriott, but the Marriott is further away, adding maybe another 10 minutes.

I personally prefer the Pen and I think if you shop around on different web sites you may be able to get it for about $200 per night or maybe a bit less. I saw it advertised the other day for $138 per night (probably plus 17% tax and service) and it is well worth the money. You won't get the Oriental for less than $200 though. If I can dig up the web site with the Pen, I'll post it for you.

The bottom line is that all three hotels are nice, the Shang is definitely 5*, I would think the Sheraton is too, but the Marriott, according to our wxpert Bob, is 4*
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 03:39 PM
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I have that web site for you--the $138 rate is good until the end of Sept but perhaps if you contact them they will extend it to Oct.

http://www.asiatravel.com/thailand/peninsula/index.html
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 03:44 PM
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I'd say the Royal Orchid and Shangrila have great locations. Marriott is further away. Shangrila is a very large and to my mind commercial (lots of tour groups, cruise ships stay there etc). I've heard the rooms in the club floor are very large and very nice.

I have not stayed at Royal Orchid. Kathie has stayed there often and loves it. I've also never eated in their restaurants but I love its location adjacent to River City.

The Marriott is more of a resort -- low rise. Fabulous swimming pool if you're in to that. I've also never stayed here but visited and got a good vibe. However, I'm not a fan of the location.

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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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huahin20m.com has the Pen through Oct for $198 including the 17% in case the other site won't extend the rate. $198 inclusive is a great price for a fabulous hotel.

http://r24.org/huahin.20m.com/bangkok/peninsula/
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 03:49 PM
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I always stay in the Towers at the Royal Orchid. The amenities are great/ They include not only breakfast in the Club, drinks and canapes each evening, but also free laundry (6 pieces per person per day) which I really use in Bangkok. The location is great, next door to River City, next to a dock for the Chao Praya Express, etc. The public areas are ok but not special, but the service in the Towers is excellent. I can usually get a suite in the Towers for under US$200 in November or early December.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 03:51 PM
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Portagee-- what kind of hotel are you looking for? What kind of ambience do you most enjoy? $198 is a great rate for the Penn but, frankly, with the 17% tax and service it becomes much higher and I, for one, wouldn't go over budget for it unless it's exactly the ambience you most like. I personally would never stay there again -- not because it's a bad hotel but because what it offers is not for me.

A good place to get reviews of all of these hotels is tripadvisor.com. Also searh this site by hotel name and you'll get lots of opinions. Bottom line -- everyone here has their favorites. Read between the lines and see which hotel will give you the experience you are most looking for.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 03:54 PM
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gloria, the $198 INCLUDES the 17% tax and service and breakfast too.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 04:06 PM
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i think asiarooms.com has the Shang Exec. River View at about $147 -- good price for a very nice room
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 04:23 PM
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laurieco-- you're right that's a great rate. Makes me wish I liked the hptel more since I can never get rates likes that at the Oriental.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 04:36 PM
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gloria--as you said, we each have our favorites. I happen to like the high tech feel of the place but it's not for everyone. I do find after staying there a few times that the staff is very warm. I'm sorry you didn't get that when you stayed there. One day I will stay at the Oriental. I eat there all the time!
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 04:50 PM
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Laurieco-- And our favorites are partially what we want in a hotel. I always prefer an old world feel to modern high tech. I never stay in modern hotels if there is a great traditional one. The Penn here in Chicago is our top hotel and I LOVE its restaurants and eat there all the time. But if I were to stay at a Chicago hotel I know I would prefer a hotel like the Drake or one of the smaller boutique hotels. So it really isn't all that surprising that the Penn wasn't my cup of tea. That's why I think it's so important for us to give a sense of the ambience of a hotel when people ask because everyone have a different ideal of what the "perfect" hotel would be.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 05:11 PM
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gloria, very true. My problem is that I like both old world and high tech! In Vientienne, we stayed at the Settha Palace which is very old world and I absolutely loved it. I'm sure I would love staying at the Oriental but at this point, I've latched onto the Pen and it really does feel like coming home to me. And it is always cheaper but the Pen's rates are climbing up there. I remember when you could get a room at the Pen for a little over $100 per night, not long after it opened. Ah well, the good old days...
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 05:55 PM
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i have stayed in all three of your choices and also at the penn....

the penn is by far the best and most fabulous, and a regular room there is sufficient and will beat out any club room at any of the others...every penn room has a full river view...

i personally find no reason for a club room in bkk...the restaurants are so great in that city that you never want to be tempted by the free food in the club area and thus avoid a meal...the marriott's club is the least nice of all of them as far as i can see, btw....

the marriott is our favorite overall hotel in the world...it has a perfect combination of style and service, and comfort to suit us...plus it simply has the best pool and garden area...its staff are the friendliest, even to new comers....added to all of this is the mini mall which is adajacent, which offers many valuable little shops: jewelers, drug store, bank, bakeries, restaurants, fast food, swenson's ice cream, tailors, etc..

the shangri-la is a fabulous hotel, albeit large....i do not find it full of tour groups but suspect that all the hotels have them except for the oriental which only caters to high-end travel...the public rooms are spectacular, the restaurants are fabulous, the rooms have a thai feeling to them...many rooms look out to the river, but not all...it is also right next door to the sky train which no other river hotel can boast of...
their FF club is free to join and allows many privledges...it would be very high on my list...

the sheraton...well,it is a sheraton..it could be found in LA, london or dubai...it has no thai taste at all...i find the staff indifferent...the rooms are old, but ok...it opened in 1982 i believe...it has been redone of course but the main benefit i find for it is its main pool, in the portugese embassy land, and its proximity to river city shopping center...i would never stay there again unless they gave me the room or paid me to stay there...if you had not been to the peninsula, four seasons, marriott or shangri-la you would think it was just fine, but i find nothing bangkok about it except for its river location....its cousin, the sheraton grande on sukhumvit is a far better and more thai location imo...

i use the site mentioned above for all inclusive pricing, and good pricing....

www.huahin.20m.com

the 17.7% service/tax added to your bill makes havic with budgets, so when you can avoid it ....

if you could stretch your budget to stay at the penn, you would be rewarded 1000 times over...its restaurants are fabulous also...

both the sh-la and penn, being 5 star places, have staff who are correct at all times...they are slightly removed and reserved so as to always provide "correct" service...i prefer a slightly less formal atmosphere...i say this to put in perspective some of the past fodors comments about the penn particularily....
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 05:59 PM
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The Royal Orchid is in a wonderful location...great shopping nextdoor and if you walk down the street with hthe 7-Eleven, you'll find the best buys in Bangkok.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 04:34 AM
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Bob gives the best- and in my view- very objective advice here.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 05:51 AM
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of the hotels listed the sheraton is in the least good position, imo, except that it is next to the mall....it does not have a free boat to the skytrain either...
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 05:57 AM
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Laurieco-- I think you hit on a key for all of us who return to Bangkok frequently. One hotel ends up feeling like home which can color our experience in other hotels of the same category.
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Old Jul 8th, 2005, 08:23 AM
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Give a try for the O or P at under $200. Several posters on this board have reported getting rooms there for less. Try hotel websites, calling the hotels and Asia-hotels.com and other websites. Of the 3 you mentioned, the S-la is probably the best. I do note that if you're a Starwoods member, you can stay at the ROS for free.
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Old Jul 8th, 2005, 09:34 AM
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you can only stay for free if you create a scene in the lobby and the manager has to come to calm you down...i.e. a panda rolling in the flowers...
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