Help! Which Starwood Hotels in Bangkok?

Aug 29th, 2008, 11:32 AM
  #1  
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Help! Which Starwood Hotels in Bangkok?

I've been lurking here on the Thailand board for two weeks now and after reading all of your messages, my husband and I are convinced. We've got to visit Thailand! We're starting to plan our trip for December 2009.

We have a bunch of Starwood points and would like to limit our hotel selections in Bangkok to SPG properties. We're in our late 30s and enjoy nice hotels, usually booking concierge-level rooms or suites. We often select hotels based on location so we can make the most of our limited time "in country."

We're just at the beginning of the planning stages, but so far we're thinking of something like this itinerary:

Day 1: depart from JFK
Day 2: arrive Bangkok
Day 3: Bangkok
Day 4: Bangkok
Day 5: Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia
Day 6: Siem Reap
Day 7: Siem Reap to Chaing Mai
Day 8: Chaing Mai
Day 9: Chaing Mai
Day 10: Chaing Mai to Bangkok
Day 11: Bangkok
Day 12: Bangkok
Day 13: depart for United States

For SPG hotels in Bangkok, we're deciding between:
Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit
Royal Orchid
Le Meridien Bangkok (I don't think this hotel is even open yet)
Plaza Athenee (although every time I try to check rates at SPG's website, it says no rooms are available)

We've ruled out the Westin Grand Sukhumvit. If we stay in that location, we'll pick the Sheraton instead.

I know many of you suggest first-time visitors stay on the river. Would you suggest we book the same hotel for both ends of our trip or would you try two different hotels?

If we were to pick the Royal Orchid for one stay, should we start our stay there or end it there?

Any thoughts on Le Meridien Chaing Mai?

Also, any suggestions for a luxury hotel in Siem Reap? Every time I try to price a room at Le Meridien Angkor, it says "no rooms available."

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

Andrea
LuxuryCruiseBible is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 12:13 PM
  #2  
 
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For 2009, you are probably a little early to book rooms, availability should show up in December or January for December 2009. I would begin my stay at the Royal Orchid. If you are into shopping and restaurants you may want to stay away from the river when you return. We stayed on the concierge floor at the Plaza Athenee and found it to be well situated and a good hotel. The Sheraton Grand Suk has an excellent location and if it is free via points, I would stay there rather than the Plaza Athenee.
Craig is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 12:22 PM
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The no rooms available means that the rooms haven't been released for next year.

Personally, I love staying on the river. My home in Bangkok is the Towers of the Royal Orchid. The hotel isn't flashy, nor does it have an impressive lobby. But the Towers has wonderful amenities and service (otherwise I wouldn't still be staying there after 20+ stays in Bangkok). We like the Deluxe Towers Suite, which is a one bedroom, 1.5 bath suite. All rooms have full river views. The Towers benefits include breakfast (either in the Club or at the huge buffet downstairs) coffee, tea, soft drinks all day, free wi-fi in the Club, evening canapes and drinks and 6 pieces of laundry per person per day.

The location is great - you are on the right side of the river, next to a water taxi stop, and you can take the hotel shuttle to the Skytrain. WHen you want a taxi, they are readily available, and you don't have to worry about the bridge (that is an issue for the hotels on the wrong side of the river).

If you prefer to stay on Sukhumvit, the Sheraton is excellent. For me, though, being on the river means Bangkok. I also think that being on the river makes the air clearer (as opposed to the canyons of Sukhumvit) and slightly cooler.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 12:32 PM
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I've stayed at the ROS on points (in a regular room-not sure how to book towers rooms with points only) and at the Westin Grand using Priceline.

Both are "ok" hotels. Many here like the ROS. I think it was fine for "free" but I would not necessarily pay to stay there. I thought the location was a bit difficult as I do not like to have to take a taxi everywhere and the ROS boat only goes to the skytrain every 1/2 hour or hour.

I also like to use SPG points, so next time I'm going to look at staying at the Sheraton Grand which is right next to the sky train, though it does cost more in points than the ROS (perhaps for a reason?).

Since you have 2 Bangkok stays, I would do both hotels. Not sure if it matters which one when.
Kristina is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 01:23 PM
  #5  
 
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I would stay at the ROS at the beginning of the trip and actually book both the ROS and the Sheraton Sukhumvit for the end. If you really like the ROS, cancel the SS. If you don't like the ROS, cancel the ROS. The best way to do this is to call Styarwood 800-325-3535 and get the cancelation policy and you can make the reservations on the phone.
Gpanda is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 04:40 PM
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I agree with gpanda. Stay at ROS on the river at the beginning of your stay in Bangkok and then move to Sukhumvit at the end. That way you will experience both "sides" of Bangkok. I prefer the Sukhumvit area myself. Others perfer to stay on the river.

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 05:14 PM
  #7  
 
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I would suggest the ROS. Great location and a nice hotel. We stayed there at the end of July and used points for the entire stay. Being platinum members we were upgraded to a top floor tower room and were treated like kings. The room was spectacular and we had access to the lounge. I can't say enough about how well we were treated at the Royal Orchid. I would stay there again in a heartbeat.
travellingteacher2 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 05:22 PM
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The Le Meridien Chiang Mai just opened. It's in a fantastic location, right in the middle of the night bazaar area. I haven't seen inside it yet, but I'm sure it would be a good choice.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 06:02 PM
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I would also agree with Gpanda's suggestion to stay at ROS at the beginning and have reservations at both places for the end and then cancel one place. I found the Starwood Customer Service Representatives in Thailand to be very helpful. I had to cancel and re-book several reservations while there and had no problems.

I also found it easier to book Starwood hotels by calling the reservation center in the US, rather than booking online.

As far as your itinerary, I think you should add another day to Siem Reap so you have at least 3 full days there. The time in Chiang Mai and Bangkok is good though.
tnnc2 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 04:22 PM
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I was in Chiang mai the other day, and I noticed the Le Meridian. Yes, it's right in the middle of the Night Bazaar. If you want to stay right in the middle of that area, it's a good option. If it were me, I'd want something a bit quieter.

By the way, the Night Bazaar was not as impressive this last time. Prices are higher on a lot of the items. I spent my day in Chiang Mai going to Bosang and Hang Dong markets. Prices were best if you go out away from the night bazaar. Bosang was probably best. But it depends on what you are buying...

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 07:44 PM
  #11  
 
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For me, the attraction of the Night Bazaar area is not the shopping, it's the restaurants and easy transport. There are tons of good restaurants in that area, and it's always easy to get a tuk-tuk or taxi around there - although you do have to bargain hard with tuk-tuks.

Anyway, if you want to use SPG points, I don't think you have another option at the moment.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 09:36 AM
  #12  
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Thanks everyone! This is such great information! I never would have thought of booking both the ROS and SGS for the second stay in Bangkok. That makes a lot of sense. It's so obvious but it never would have occurred to me! Thanks Gpanda!

I know I can save some SPG points if I stay in BKK on consecutive nights (stay 4 nights and 5th night is free). I'm just not sure if that's the best way to structure our time in Thailand. I'll need to think about it some more.

We won't be able to try for our frequent flyer tickets until January so I'll have some time to research and make decisions.

As it stands now, a good plan may be to start at the ROS and either finish there or the SGS. I'll keep you all posted.

We truly appreciate your advice!

Andrea

PS - For anyone interested in Le Meridien Chaing Mai, they are offering 3 SPG points per $1 spent between the hotel's opening and January 31, 2009. They also have a Discovery package that gives you a certificate for one free night at Le Meridien Bangkok.
LuxuryCruiseBible is offline  
Sep 1st, 2008, 05:35 AM
  #13  
 
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Hi

I stayed at Sheraton Grand Sukhumvit in June and that was very nice and the location is great. You can find my review of the hotel in my Bangkok trip report http://gardkarlsen.com/Bangkok_trip_report_2007.htm . Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  

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