Penn in Bangkok

Aug 2nd, 2005, 05:05 AM
  #1  
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Penn in Bangkok

Sometimes life just ain't fair. I had dinner last night with my new neighbor who happens to be the head concierge at the Peninsula in Chicago. We talked a lot about asia and specifically thailand. At the end of the dinner he said if I ever wanted to stay at the Penn in Bangkok to let him know and he could get me a rate of $75 off season or $100 in season. Rate will include breakfast but I assume tax and service is extra.

Now I just have to decide if it's worth it to me to give up a night or two at the Oriental just because the Penn is a good deal. And that, my friends, is why life just ain't fair.
glorialf is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 05:45 AM
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Can you share that rate with a "few" friends??? LOL Such a deal! It's too bad your feelings about the Pen go against most of the rest of us here.

BTW, do you have your BOS GTG ticket yet???

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 05:48 AM
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You poor thing, Gloria!

lol!
Kathie is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 05:57 AM
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Carol-- I don't dislike the Penn. If it was in any other city in the world I would love it. I just much prefer everything about the Oriental. Actually what I really prefer is the service and the restaurants and the lobby.

Won;t know about Boston until September. I'm President of the Board of a theatre company here and may need to do something for them that weekend.
glorialf is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 06:13 AM
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Come on Gloria- that is a great deal on a great hotel- how can you turn that down? You would be thowing money away- are you that rich that you can afford to do that? Just because you stay at the Penn- a fabulous hotel- doesn't mean you are disloyal to the Oriental!
Hey- its a hotel its not the entire vacation!
BillT is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 06:49 AM
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Gloria- as you know I love the Penn, but if I'm offered that deal for the Oriental- I would take it. They are both great 5 star properties- at $100 a night plus breakfast- now thats value!
BillT is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 08:39 AM
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gloria---i hope you will take advantage of the penn offer for a couple of days as one is not sufficient....of course you will not be known there except that your neighbor will arrange some "extras" for you probably so it will not feel the same as the oriental...being "known" does have tons of advantages...
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 09:20 AM
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gloria:
lol....some people have all the luck. Just spend your evenings in the lobby of the Oriental so you can do your people watching and have the atmosphere you like..it's just a short ride across the river.
Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 10:41 AM
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Bob -- believe me I'm NOT rich. I work for a social justice non profit. Switched over to that kind of work in 1985 and still am not making what I was in 1984 when I was in the corporate world. I'm what is called downwardly mobile. But I'm very careful in how I spend my money -- try to spend it on things that give me maximum pleasure. So I may spend more by staying at the Oriental but I never go to a deluxe resort because I don't care about pools, spas, beaches etc. Nor do I do nearly as much shopping as fodorites. It's all about doing what makes the trip special for you and that's different for every person. Staying at the Oriental is a major reason why I love Bangkok. On the other hand I love northern thailand for itself and am very flexible where I stay.

If I had never stayed at the Penn I'd certainly take the offer but I did and while I can understand why people love it it just wasn't for me. A lot because people are more important to me than amenities and I have "friends" at the Oriental.
glorialf is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:08 PM
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Taken to the extreme- apparently Gloria would not stay at the Penn even if they offered free room with breakfast!
BillT is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:27 PM
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Bill -- if I had a lot of time in Bangkok I would definitely stay a few days at the Penn at the reduced rate. If I have limited time (under 8 days) I probably would not.
glorialf is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 06:51 PM
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gloria---fully understand...i too am downward mobile, but mine is due to age and lack of interest in many things i formerly had interest in....

as you know, i love the marriott even though the penn and others are much nicer....its the people stupid as they say....you are the same with the oriental and i fully understand, although i love to pull your leg and kathie's as well (ROS towers)...
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 07:21 PM
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Bob-- I could tell when I read your report that your connection to the Marriott is the same as mine with the Oriental and it isn't because of technology or rooms. As you say, it's the people, stupid. Although I do think the "pool" is a big plus for you.
glorialf is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 04:23 AM
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I would add that we found the people at the Penn to be very friendly but in a professional respectfull way. BYW we do not stay at the Penn because of technology- that is of little interest to us. We stay there because 1) Its a great 5 star property in the true sense 2) Its a better value than the Oriental, 3) The rooms are large, very well appointed and they have a great bathroom- where my wife spends a lot of her time- that is most important to her(she spends little time with the hotel staff- so that aspect is of little interest here) 4) The Penn being taller it affords better views of the river.
BillT is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 05:11 AM
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Bill -- I'm the opposite of your wife. I spend as little time as possible in a bathroom -- all I care is that everything works, that there is a shower and decent lighting. It's the least important room in my home and in a 5 star hotel. That said the bathrooms at the Oriental are great although the Penn's are larger and have tvs etc.Unlike your wife, however, I DO spend a lot of time with the hotel staff, and people watching and chatting in the lobby. And for that the Oriental can't be beat.

I also prefer lower views of the river -- am that way about most views. I usually prefer around the 9th floor or even a bit lower so the height of the Penn doesn't mean anything to me.

No question the rooms are lovely and they are larger than the ones in the Oriental.

And, yes, the staff was highly professional but I missed the warmth and friendliness and for me that is by far the most important thing.

ASs for value -- The year I stayed at both I spent $50 a night more for the Oriental and felt it was worth every cent and more. So for me the Oriental was definitely the better value. I also think it has infinitely better and more varied restaurants and I much prefer the location.

BTW-- have you actually ever stayed at the Oriental? I mean are your opinions based on assumption or knowledge?
glorialf is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 05:32 AM
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I have not had the opportunity to stay at the Oriental- so on that issue I lack first hand knowledge. We generally do not repeat vacations in the same city- we prefer to see other parts of the world before we repeat destinations. The exception has been the Philippines - we are returning in Feb/March to cover other areas we were not able to see on our last trip. ( I continue to be puzzeled why Fodorites write off the Philippines- there is a lot to see and do there!) We may return to BKK in the future and if I can get a better deal at the Oriental vs. the Penn then I will of course try it. In fact if we get a better deal at the Four Seasons we may stay there next time! $$$ are important and I try to get the best deal on a true 5 star property.Less money spent on the hotel (while still getting whats important to us) means we have more mnoney to spend on restaurants and shopping!)
We spend little time in the hotel lobby areas other than maybe at the breakfast buffet so as I said it matters little to us about staff relations- we spend more time in the room and bathroom and that is very important. Yes you appear to be the opposite of my wife, so we can agree to disagree about the merits of these hotels.
BillT is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 06:13 AM
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Can we agree to disagree? Like Bill, I also prefer the Pen and love the bathrooms (yes, I spend a lot of time there, taking bubble baths while sipping wine and watching the TV with the mood lighting set). But I'm sure the Oriental is just as fabulous, just in a different way. I've never stayed at the Oriental but if I could get it for the same price as the Pen, I would give it a try. I'm sure I would love it, maybe as much as the Pen, maybe not. Everyone likes different things, and if Gloria is happy at the Oriental, then I don't see any reason why she shouldn't stay there, especially since she has stayed at the Pen and wasn't happy there. The hotel I stay at is very important to me and can really enhance a trip so I fully understand where Gloria is coming from. And like Bill, I don't understand why someone would not like the Pen but that's just my own bias since I love it so much. Both are superb hotels, albeit very different. The differences don't make one better than the other, they just cater to people with different likes and dislikes. Let's face it, it would be a pretty boring world if we all liked the same things and agreed on everything.

Gloria, I'm like you, also downwardly mobil. I gave up a good job with great benefits as a matrimonial attorney a few years ago to work as a per diem judge. The stress was killing me. I now have no benefits and don't get paid when I don't work, but I work when I want and have zero stress. Money ain't everything ;-)
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 06:28 AM
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Laurie -- you're in Chicago aren't you? I'm working for legal aid here. Naybe we should meet sometime. I work right next door to the Board of Trade.

And yes -- we should agree to disagree. But I want to make one thing perfectly clear (as Nixon once said) -- I DO like the Penn. I think it's a fabulous hotel and it would be my first choice hotel almost anywhere in the world. I'm not putting it down and I absolutely understand why people love it.

But it does matter what you look for in a hotel and everyone has different priorities. If I was into bubble baths I'd love the Penn more too perhaps.
glorialf is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 06:33 AM
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Gloria, no, I'm in New York. A bit far from Chicago! If you ever come to NY though, let me know. I'd love to meet. Still hoping you can make the Boston GTG.

BTW, I never thought you were putting down the Pen and I doubt it would bother me anyway. After all, I don't own the hotel, I just stay there ;-)
laurieco is offline  
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