Thail;and Trip Report 15/8 - 30/8

Sep 2nd, 2004, 10:38 PM
  #1  
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Thail;and Trip Report 15/8 - 30/8

Hi folks

Just returned from Thailand after 14 nights - 5 nights in Bangkok at Landmark/ 9 nights in Hua Hin at Marriott Resort & Spa.

I thought I would share a little of my experience of the trip.

I travelled with my wife and daughter of 11 years arriving with Thai International at Bangkok on Aug 16th after a very smooth journey from Heathrow. In addition, our friends came too - with their two young children of 7 and nearly 4. The plane was a little dated without seat back TV's, but the legroom was superb (34" pitch) and they showed 3 movies plus other programmes too. The only slight gripe was a gap of nearly 8 1/2 hours between meals on the flight (apart from ice cream) - although I am sure that sandwiches were available for those getting a bit peckish in between meals.

Upon arrival at the Landmark at about 8am, our rooms were not ready but without any prompting, the hotel gave us and our friends use of other rooms until ours were ready after lunchtime, to allow us time for a couple of hours sleep. When we returned to reception at 1pm, they gave us our room keys and we were pleasantly surprised to receive an upgrade to a Deluxe corner room which is quite a lot more spacious than the other Deluxe rooms in this hotel.

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the fairly large pool on the 9th floor.

In the evening we had a superb buffet dinner at the Atrium Cafe for approx £6.00 sterling equivalent per person - a fantastic buffet experience.

The hotel was already growing on us due to the excellent service and as the days progressed this feeling only improved further due to its central location for the major shopping areas plus another magnificent breakfast buffet.

I can honestly say, that my friends and I could think of NOT one bad thing to say about the hotel.

I know it is not too near the river - but in my opinion, apart from one day doing the Grand Palace/ Wat Po/ River cruise - there is no other need to be near river as it is far from EVERYTHING ELSE !!

Anyway, The Landmark is very near a skytrain station which can get you to the river if desired.

One major highlight for me was a day trip to River Kwai - it was a very long day ( collected at 6.20am, returned to hotel at 7.30pm) but well worth it - I found particulary moving was visiting the immaculately kept war cemetary in Kanchanaburi, plus a train ride on the famous Death railway which brought home the amazing feat of engineering endured by the prisoners and labourers during the war.

Another highlight was the trip up the Baiyoke Sky hotel - we had a buffet meal on the 76th floor which to be honest was a little iffy, but then we got a lift to the 84th floor outside revolving observation deck - Wow !!! What a view - my advice would be to skip the meal and pay the 120 baht or so just to visit this observation deck.

The rest of our time in Bangkok was spent shopping - the World Trade Centre and MBK were only 3 skytrain stops from the hotel, plus we visited Patpong night market for bargains and bartering galore - unbeatable for me.

I shall tell all about Hua Hin in a couple of days.







Kevey is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 02:07 AM
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Looking forward to the report on the Hua Hin Marriott, other 'Fodorite' has also just come back from there.
JamesA is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 09:58 AM
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i remember your postings earlier about looking for a hotel...its nice that you were so well treated....you have, however, not convinced me not to stay on the river....there is a whole different feeling to being on the river...the air seems to be cleaner and most of the pool are in the gound allowing for a bigger area than on a 4th or 9th or 26th floor of a skyscraper...i'll stick with the river....i do often stay at the jw marriott near the landmark to assist with the shopping along sukhumvit so i am familiar with the area...the landmark, as i think i mentioned before, just seems a bit old and dark to me....i have never seen the rooms however...thanks for the nice report and i look forward to your report on HH...hope you liked the marriott, we loved it!!
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 01:27 PM
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Thanks rhkkmk - your comments re river are duly noted - but to be honest, in 5 nights stay at Landmark, we only used the pool once for approx 2 hours during jet lag weary first few hours at hotel.

At the end of the day, everybody has their own personal preferences - and I can honestly say that compared to the other hotels I have stayed in at bangkok in previous visits - Jade Pavilion, Novotel, Amari Atrium, the Landmark comes out on top. I do remember noticing how impressive the JW Marriott looked from the outside as it is only a few doors down from the Landmark.

I shall be doing my Hua Hin report tomorrow morning (UK time) - I think you will find my comments re Marriott Resort very interesting and I am sure they may provoke a reply. I shall just leave it at that for now and keep you guessing a little longer.
Kevey is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 07:01 PM
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rhkkmk, Your information is often helpful, but sometimes you are a little too opinionated and somewhat intolerant or dismissive of others likes or dilikes or interests. I think we all need to remember that travel and taste are individualized and one of the nice things about this forum is getting different views and perspectives. Not everyone likes or is interested in the same things.
CFW is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 07:19 PM
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CFW---i make no apology for being opinionated...i am entitled to it...this is a forum where opinions are asked for.....if you do not like my responses just ignor them and chuck it off as another crackpot poster...

i guess that is why i will be voting for george bush....i decided to say it before someone else suggested it...

i take your school teacher scolding as constructive criticism...by the way i hope you have noticed that my spelling is very poor as well....

kevey---based on the other hotels you have listed i can see why your opinions of the landmark are as they are...it is by far the best of that bunch...good choice...glad it served your needs...it is a good location in general...

sounds like you didn't like the marriott...i look forward to your observations...i probably won't answer as i can see i have offened some thin skined persons...
rhkkmk is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 02:08 AM
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CFW et al.-Bob and his ilk are an absolute necessity. Without strongly held opinions expressed vehemently, this board would lose its life-force. The enormous amount of helpful information available here comes from posters who visit early and often. If there's no emotional involvement whatsoever, but mere neutral information, I suspect they (I'm including myself) would not visit so often. Think of Bob as a resource, sort of like a lump of coal. Also, he deserves our pity because he's one of only three Massachusetts residents who will vote for George W. Bush.
Gpanda is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 06:08 AM
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Gpanda, I agree. Opinions are great and that is what we come to this board for. But that is all that they are -- one person's opinions. We shouldn't treat them as if they are facts and the only way to view things. Bob, we appreciate your opinions, and and I know you'll keep on posting. I was just feeling that at times you go a bit overboard (I think others have noticed it as well) and try to cut off others who have a different opinion. We want to hear everyone's views so we can make up our own minds based on our own interests.
Gpanda, are you one of the three?
CFW is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 06:45 AM
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Empatically, NO! I proudly live in Cambridge, the Hub of the Hub of liberal thought. Bob lives in a cowtown called Needham, pronounced Need'em, which is in constant debate.

The great things about opinions is that they appear to be irrefutable facts to some. Having been completely mistaken numerous times is no bar to my firm belief that it will never happen again. "Hope springs eternal in the Panda breast."
Gpanda is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 07:26 AM
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GPanda, Well, thank heavens you're not one of the three! I know and love Cambridge. Our daughter went to college there for four years and we visited often from where we live in liberal Connecticut. There's a great Italian restaurant we used to go to in a neighborhing town. Can't think of the name of it just now, but my husband will remember and I'll post. You probably know of it, but if not, try it.

Anyway, I think one of the things we and others on this site love so much about travel is that it opens your eyes and mind to new things, different perspectives, other cultures and ways of doing things. And of course, can't forget, different cuisine!
CFW is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 07:28 AM
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P.S. Your dinner with Bob should be fun! Can imagine the political sparks flying. Good you both have a sense of humor since you appear to be somewhat polar opposites. Have fun and we all look forward to a "trip report" on your evening!
CFW is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 08:22 AM
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In truth, we studiously avoid discussing politics...for obvious reasons. However, he is on my poem of the day list and I send him daily poems, many of which ridicule Bush or his minions. Every now and then, when something stikes me as peculiar, I will make fun of Democrats or Kerry, but Bush is more frequent. Of course, I guess both Bush and Kerry would stay at the Oriental and get driven around BKK in Limos. They would probably fly first class on an American carrier. Either trip report would be tedious.
Gpanda is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 09:28 AM
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I think I have read Kevey's report on the Marriott in another forum.
In Bangkok I have stayed at both the Landmark and the Marriott Resort and Spa. Both were great but when we return we will be going to the Landmark.I, like Kevey, did not use the Landmark pool but I thought it was nice. I also did not use the Marriott one. As the pool area is the Marriott's biggest selling point I kind of lost out on that. The Landmark has countless great restaurants close by and is next to the Skytrain station.
Re the Hua Hin Marriott, we had problems with a leaking air conditioning unit but it was fixed right away. It did not compare with the Bangkok Marriott room wise but was ok. I loved the pool area and the beach was the nicest part. The food and staff were first class. I cannot say I was too enthralled with the town itself though.
fiona is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 09:39 AM
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Fiona - you are correct re reading my Marriott report in another Forum - I am an avid reader of both this and Thailand Travel Forum, and thought that it would be worth posting it in both.

Sounds like you and I agree on things re Marriott, although if you did not use pool, does that mean you stayed on beach instead ?? On our first day, we popped down to beach and it was full of horse dung/poo which put me off a bit - but later in week, we noticed that it was a lot cleaner. We were subsequently told that there had been a huge storm the day before our arrival which may explain the state of the beach at first.

We thought the town was a bit commercialised to say the least - but the food was good and extremely cheap.

Did you eat in hotel mainly then ??
Kevey is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 09:47 AM
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I used the pool in Hua Hin, it was the Bangkok Marriott one we didn't use. We ate dinner at Hua Hin Marriott a couple of times but went into the town to eat as well and there were some great restaurants. I know people discussed the Hilton as a better alternative in Hua Hin but we took a look and did not like the pool area.IF I returned to HH I would probably go to the Sofitel( or back to the Marriott)My main gripe really was there really wasn't much excursion wise I wanted to do. And I got a bit fed up in the evenings as I didn't think there was much to do after the restaurant.
BTW my favourite trip in Bangkok was also the River Kwai one. The cemetary in particular was so moving.
I seem to have "hijacked" part two of your report! Sorry!
fiona is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 02:13 AM
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Fiona - don't worry abour hijacking my part 2 - it seems that no-one else has read part two anyway - boo hoo. Anyway, I shall continue with part 3 shortly.
Kevey is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 02:54 AM
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Kevey
everybody will have been looking for it to be added to this post! I have just scrolled down and found it.( but then I've already read it on the other site!)Why don't you copy it onto this post and also add part 3( which I haven't seen yet!)
fiona is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 04:58 AM
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Gpanda-- I must make a big correction. Bush would definitely NOT stay at the Oriental. I was there a few days after he left bangkok last October when he was part of the ASEAN conference. All the other attendees were staying at the Oriental, Shangrila and Peninsula which was also where the meetings were. Bush stated that he only stays at hotels owned by American companies and so he stayed at the Hyatt. Which meant that the city had to pay even more and disrupt the city even more every time he came to one of the River hotels. He also insisted that the final dinner at the Oriental not sever any liquor or wine.

His father,on the other hand, did stay at the Oriental (I was there when he was once) and the staff adored him.

glorialf is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 05:26 AM
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GPanda, If your still reading this post, which has moved off topic anyway (sorry Kevey, we've hijacked, but I did read & enjoy your trip reports) the Italian restaurant we enjoyed near Cambridge a few years ago is Stellina's in Watertown I think it is. Delicious food we thought & fun lively atmosphere.
CFW is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 09:14 AM
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Gloria-It figures Bush would stay at a hotel in BKK that never gets any mention on this board. His father always had more class.

CFW-We've eaten at Stellina's and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Boston and environs have many really good Italian restaurants.

Kevey-my apologies for the non-pertinent postings, but threads are rarely linear.
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