Trip report: 2 Bangkok river hotels

Old Mar 12th, 2007, 05:11 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,353
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Trip report: 2 Bangkok river hotels

I was in Bangkok for a week and stayed at both the Marriott Resort and the Peninsula. In previous visits Iíd stayed along Sukhumvit/Ploenchit (Hyatt, Sheraton GS, InterContinental), and many years ago had also stayed at the Sheraton RO. This would be my first time at either the Marriott or Pen.

On arriving at the Marriott, the reception was warm and excellent. Check-in was fast and efficient, and the lobby area, though busy, is open and gave me the sense of a tropical resort. The check-in agent showed me to my room and told me that Iíd been upgraded to a large suite. (I had booked a room at an inexpensive corp rate of $129++/night.) The suite was in a wing away from the main building, and itís a bit of a walk (outside) to that wing.

The suite was both enormous and gorgeous. Thereís a long entryway, a dining area, a huge living room with a powder room, a large bedroom and master bathroom, and a balcony along two sides. The balcony overlooked a terrace restaurant Ö and thereís the rub. The terrace restaurant features Thai music from 5.30-10pm, and there was absolutely no way to block out the music from the room. Iíd already settled in by the time that the music started, and was too tired after an overnight flight to ask to change rooms. Shame, as the hotel otherwise seems like a lovely place, even though its location is really, really bad. (Nothing in the immediate vicinity, and a haul even to get to a SkyTrain station.)

I cut my stay short at the Marriott and moved to the Peninsula after 1 night. Itís not fair to compare the two hotels, as they are in different classes, and priced accordingly. Check-in at the Pen was equally quick and welcoming, and I was shown to the balcony room that Iíd reserved (no upgrade). The room was large with more than enough space for a king bed, sofa, desk, and armoire with flat-screen tv and clothes closet. The bathroom was large, with a separate shower and bath Ė the bath featured a flat-screen tv plus a no-hands telephone, just in case you needed to make a call while bathing.

Service at the Peninsula was beyond compare. Push the valet button and someone appear4s at your door instantly to take care of any need. Room service was excellent and efficient, and the front desk staff were amazing. There is never a hint of ďthatís someone elseís jobĒ attitude: if the staff member that you ask canít meet your need, they take the initiative to find the person who can. I fell ill with a chest cold and fever for a day or two, and the general manager made it a point to ask about my well-being.

I was amazed at how much cooler is the river area compared to downtown. When thereís a bit of a breeze, it is actually refreshing! I wasnít sure that the balcony would actually be useful, but it turned out to be a pleasant spot to sit and read/relax. (Unfortunately, youíre breathing the Bangkok air, which is not so refreshing.)

I used the spa extensively; it is exquisite. The treatment rooms are well-equipped, the masseuses who treated me were all excellent, and the pre- or post-treatment relaxation room was especially pleasant. I was not so fond of the pool area: it looks nice, but it was crowded and not at all relaxing.

The Peninsulaís location was not a problem for me. The hotel operates boat shuttles that operate every 5 minutes to both the SkyTrain and to the Oriental and Oriental Place shopping ctr.

Overall, Iíd have to say that the Peninsula is my favorite Bangkok hotel: service is great, the hotel restaurants are varied and excellent, and the river location is certainly more relaxing than the Sukhumvit/Ploenchit area. Yet, I also enjoy being in the middle of everything in a place like Bangkok, and both the Hyatt and InterContinental are terrific hotels where you walk out the door and youíre in the midst of the city. So if I visit Bangkok 5 times, Iíll probably stay at the Pen 3 times, and once each at the other 2 joints.
DonTopaz is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 06:08 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can't wait to read Bob's reply to this.

Imagine anyone having the temerity to denigrate his beloved Marriott.
robmac is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 06:50 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 13,518
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My best friend will be going back to Bangkok for vacation, in a couple of weeks, and will be staying at the Intercontinental this time. I think you,Rizzuto, have stayed there. I haven't, but I told her that it is in the heart of things. On her last trip, she stayed at the Indra Hotel...at Pratunum Market area and really disliked it. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 07:01 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
guenmai
I've stayed at the Intercon and liked it. I also stayed at the "new" Holiday Inn right next door to the Intercon. I can recommend this hotel without a doubt. I would stay at the HI again. The price is less than the Hyatt and Intercon and you are still "right in the heart of it all" in BKK. The HI location is much better than the Indra, IMO.

Rizzuto
Are you still on a round-the-world jaunt?

Carol
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 07:10 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,894
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We stayed at the IC three weeks ago - you can't beat the location. We were on a club floor which provides a great view of the city. It is a good hotel but not in the league of the Penn where we also stayed and which we prefer over any other hotel in Bangkok.
Craig is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 07:10 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good to hear your report, rizzuto. I have always felt like the river area was cooler, and I think the air is a better than along Sukhumvit.

I know Bob loves the Marriott, but it's too far from things for me too. Rather like commuting to the suburbs. In Seattle, there are a couple of nearby islands that require a ferry ride to/from downtown Seattle. People who love it on the islands say they love the ferry ride, much like Bob likes the boat ride to/from the Marriott. But there are plenty of people who move to one of the islands and quickly move back because the it's too inconvenient for them... rather like you moving to the Pen.
Kathie is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 08:21 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,353
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rob, you are a troublemaker! It's not that I was denigrating the Marriott -- it's a perfectly nice hotel, but I just can't imagine why anyone would want to stay there.

Carol, I'm back in Boston for a while, though technically I'm in the middle of a RTW trip that began in Stockholm. I'll complete the trip in August, stopping in Kenya and Paris on the way back to Stockholm.

I have indeed stayed at the IC on multiple occasions, and it's an excellent choice: decent rooms, good service, and a location that's absolutely perfect for shopping and getting around town. I do also like the Hyatt: the furnishings there seem to be a bit nicer and more contemporary, and the pool and spa are superb.
DonTopaz is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 08:41 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,746
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
rizzuto-Could you please tell me what routing you used for your around the world ticket, what airline you used, and how long you have to complete the itinerary. This is something I might be interested in doing in the future. Thanks.
shelleyk is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 08:58 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,353
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
shellyk, my RTW ticket started in Stockholm and then went to Berlin, Bangkok, Kunming, then skipped to Hong Kong and continued to Tokyo, Boston, Paris, Nairobi, and back to Stockholm. The rules differ depending on which alliance you use, but virtually all RTW tickets are valid for 1 year from the date that you begin your trip.

I used the Star Alliance carriers (United, Lufthansa, SAS, Swiss, ANA). Anyone considering a RTW should absolutely read up about the various alliances on www.flyertalk.com.
DonTopaz is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 09:42 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 13,518
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rizzuto...When in the world did you start this trip? I remember you,Isis and S.O., and I meeting at Face, in Bangkok, in either Dec 2005 or Jan 2006.
Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 09:54 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,051
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
guen---he was captured in africa and it took him a year to break loose...he was to be roasted on a spit but he worked his way loose....like a true fodorite he just jumped on another plane and sped off to his next destination
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 10:06 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,051
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
while reading your report i said---"upgrade to a suite for free....they never do that...."...now i know why....i also know that suite...horid...right above the marketplace every nite and early morning breakfast too...that is why it was free....it was NO upgrade...

we still love the marriott and as has been said we love the boat ride and do not find it in the least inconvenient...i still maintain that staying at ROS is equally distant from the skytrain, but now at least after all these years they have finally added their own boat back on the river, but it does not run as often as the marriott's i don't believe....i would however like being next to the river city center

as a repeat visitor they have never offered me a free upgrade as i do not think it is in their business plan...that was not an upgrade...noise and all...

the marriott is a solid 4* hotel and the penn and most of the others you mention are 5*, imo...

we have always said that we feel the marriott is an oasis and we still feel that way...

we too love the penn....the pool is the only negetive we can think of...its nice and it looks nice as you have said but it is odd....not that deep, narrow, etc....recently they have added stairs for entrance and exit from the pool....in the past they only had odd built-in steps at the side of the pool and it was very awkward to get in and out for both large people (me) and more normal ones (everyone else)....

the penn rooms are excellent and among the most comfortable in the world...

don--thanks for trying the marriott...sorry you got a bum room
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 11:32 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,664
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don-first things first, no penalty to anyone who disparages something that Bob loves (Crosscheck: this is a hint).

When we looked at the Pen, I had the same thoughts about the pool. It did not appear that it would be relaxing, too small and cramped.

The boat from the ROS takes about 5 minutes less than the Marriott boat to get to the BTS. The difference is that there are many places that are walkable from the ROS. In truth, the M is spiffier, so between the two 4 stars, it's a balance of convenience v. ambiance.

Points are deducted from Robemac for using a word like temerity when making fun of Bob. Writing to one's audience is essential. Poly Sylabic was a girl Bob kknew in High School.
Gpanda is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 01:37 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 271
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
MOI a troublemaker! Surely you jest.

robmac is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 04:04 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,664
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mais oui, monsieur. Vous estes un provacateur.
Gpanda is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 04:17 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,051
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
well at least he types correctly in french...

i have never been at the penn pool with many people....ok they clear out when i come....it is really a large area if you think about it....too bad the ROS can't afford a nice pool of its own instead of a leased one from a 3rd world country and on practically in their lobby...
rhkkmk is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 04:23 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think it's lovely of the Portuguese to provide a pool for the visiting dignitaries...
Kathie is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 04:25 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
oh, perhaps someone wasn't treated as a dignitary at the ROS? Je suis desolee.

lol
Kathie is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 05:03 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 6,664
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Did anyone notice that Bob just identified Portugal as a "third world country"? Do they teach geography in Needham? What are the first two worlds in Bob's alternate universe? My memory is that his Needhamness actually liked the ROS pool. Back to the original post, the Pen pool is not as good as that of either the ROS or the M.
Gpanda is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2007, 05:48 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,274
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
(any non-regular posters reading this would think we're all crazy. perhaps they would be right.)
Kathie is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:27 AM.