Restaurants near Peninsula or Marriott

Jun 22nd, 2005, 06:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19
Restaurants near Peninsula or Marriott

My wife and I are planning to stay in one of the better hotels in Bangkok the last few days we're in Thailand and based on price / reviews are leaning towards the Marriott Resort ($130+tax) or Peninsula ($140+tax). However, I'm not typically a big fan of eating at large hotels while in fun places like Thailand, I would much rather eat a $5 dinner at a local place away from tourists. I have also read several complaints about food / drink prices at the Marriott...are there local restaurants withing walking distance of either hotel? I think somebody mentioned a shopping area near the Marriott, with McDonalds, etc...but I'm looking to find non-western places. Thanks!
James79 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 05:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I would advise riding the hotel boats to the skytrain station and from there you can go many places to many restaurants.
You do not want to walk around the hotel area, as there is not much there.
If you can get the Peninsula for only $10/day more than the Marriott- then I say go for the Penn! Its a 5 star where as the marriott is a 4 star and the boat ride from the Penn is shorter as well.
BillT is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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James-it is clearly a matter of opinion on this forum as to whether the Marriott is a "4 star" or "5 star" Some travel guides rate Marriott as a 5 star, and the Marriott can be more expensive than the Penn. at times. In my mind, there is no question that the Marriott is a 5 star resort, the lovely Thai/Asian art work/antiques found in all parts of the resort, the lush vegetation, the many restaurants (6 or so), and the well-decorated teak rooms with great views all go into the deluxe rating.

I would definitely stay there over the Penn-when I walked into the Penn. last Jan., the lobby stank of cigar smoke emanating from this rather claustrophic bar-I really couldn't get out of there fast enough-it had a coldness and sterility to the place that utterly turned me off.

As far as the food prices at Marriott, they have an excellent little coffee shop on the bottom level with scrumptious pastries, salads, and meals at QUITE reasonable prices. Not only this, but the Thai mini shopping mall attached by walkway to the Marriott has at least 3 or 4 local restaurants with very inexpensive prices, -and although I didn't eat in any, I know quite a few people have and thought the food was very good-(there are virtually no one but locals in those restaurants, btw). I plan to try one the next time I'm at the Marriott (should be this Jan.)

As far as street food goes, you should not be afraid to try it, partic. in the area around the skytrain stop where the hotel boats let you off. I have eaten my way up and down that street, and there are all KINDS of good street food to be had here-everything from pad thai, to fresh and spicy green papaya salad, Thai sweets, and fresh pieces of tropical fruit, such as papaya and watermelon, sprinkled with fresh coconut flakes and put into a plastic bag all chopped up bite size for you so you can walk around and eat it with a wooden skewer -the street food costs practically nothing.

So go out there and experiment-I for one, will not go to any more high-priced tourist restaurants in BKK, (such as those that are mentioned frequently on this board, like Baan Kanitha) -it's simply not worth it, the food is mediocre, you're surrounded by tourists and I got the feeling that I was back home eating in a Thai restaurant-who wants to go to BKK for that?

I'm really talking about touristy Thai restaurants, but there are some excellent western restaurants in BKK though. While there, you should definitely try to make it to Bed Supperclub. It is both a nightclub/dance spot on one side, and an upscale "Mediterranean fusion" restaurant on the other-where you lounge on beds while dining. The nightclub and music is just the best-GREAT crowd of westerners and locals-this is clearly not an all-"farang" hang-out, and the restaurant I understand is excellent. Highly recommended. Check it out on
Spygirl is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,242
First of its Bill not James!
Second the expert on the Marriott is Bob who practically lives in the place for all the times he has stayed there and he gives it a 4 star rating. Most reviews would give it a 4 star rating as well. Don't get me wrong I think its a nice place- I'm not knocking it- but it is a 4 star and the boat ride is longer. Our stay at the Penn was fabulous and we did not have any complaints.
BillT is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,282
I'm another one who found the Peninsula cold, sterile and while luxurious not a place I would ever return to. I have not stayed at the Marriott but did go to look at it to see what everyone was talking about. I definitely liked the "feel" of the place and think that if you are looking for a resort typle hotel it would be terrific. The only caveat being the location which I found to be less convenient than other hotels.

As to whether it is 4 or 5 stars, I can't say but I would say that the Peninsula is definitely more than $10 more luxurious -- but, in my opionion, not worth the money at any price. I should add, however, that spygirl and I are in the minority when it comes to the Peninsula. Most people have wonderful experiences. Sort of depends on what you are looking for in a hotel. Bill is probably the Peninsula's biggest advocate while spygirl and I are probably the biggest nay sayers.
glorialf is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 03:53 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19
Thanks for the detailed replies from everyone! Just by browsing the websites, I do get a more relaxed, resort feel from the Marriott and a more high-tech / corporate feel from the Pen; I'm sure both are great stays. Good to hear that there are cheap, local options near the Marriott, the places you described are exactly what I'm looking for. We'll probably spend the first part of our trip (4-5 nights) on the other side of the river, so a little out of the way doesn't both me too much. Thanks again.
James79 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Spygirl-I'm with you. We can afford the Pen however prefer the Marriott Resort. Our room at the Marriott was a five star room and compared favourably to many five star properties we've enjoyed! And Bill, I think Spygirl was addressing her post to James79 not you! LOL!
Lyndie is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 07:07 PM
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i've just returned from almost 5 weeks in thailand, about 1/2 of which was at the marriott....we ate only 2 meals there, both in the uno area, which is identified above as the coffee is not cheap by thai standards but is normal by marriott standards...the food is decent but not inspiring...the other restaurants are generally overpriced...

we love this has the best pool in bkk...the people who work there are fantastic...i will start my trip posting shortly so watch for it..

the penn has fabulous restuarants and all are pricey...and typical hotel restaurants but with a flair...the lobby bar is not claustrophobic at all and does not smell of cigar smoke and is in fact huge with large windows overlooking the river and terrace...

basically there are few restaurants near either the marriott or the penn...other than on their properties, with one exception....the mini mall attached to the marriott has a few restaurants in addition to the fast food joints....we had a fabulous meal at the thai family restaurant on the 2nd floor of the mall in back of the bank....last year we ate there and thought it not inspiring but this year it was tasty and great all around...we were the only non-thais...very cheap....$15 for two with beer and wine (glass)....

just across the river there are many place to eat...harmonique and tongue thai and gallery cafe come immediately to mind...there is also a few restaurants in the river city shopping center next door to the sheraton---the one on the roof is nice on a nice nite...very thai...

the costs at the penn and the marriott do not compare at all....the penn is usually at least 40% more in price....example...for june, 2005, the marriott was about $115++ and the penn was $190++

have you looked at thai reservation web-sites like:

you can save a pile here....i did all my res through them for this trip...

scroll down to "other thailand locations" and you can choose form many thai towns.... requires pre pay
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 24th, 2005, 05:14 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,664
I leave the star rating to others, but in answer to your inquiry about restaurants, your best bet is to hop on the ferry from ewither hotel and cross the river. There are several good restaurants close by, RhkKmk covered three of them. All are very good. You can also jump on the Skytrain and get to many others. We stay at the Royal Orchid Sheraton and mix walking to the close ones and riding by Taxi to others. It depends on how tired we are from the day.
Gpanda is offline  

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