Which Sheraton in Bangkok?

Old Apr 27th, 2005, 06:18 AM
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Which Sheraton in Bangkok?

I have Starwood points for my 3 nights in Bangkok (before going to Phuket). I have narrowed down the Starwood hotels to two that I think would be special...the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit and the Sheraton Royal Orchid on the river. I have read so many more stellar reviews about the Grande Sukhumvit (it's one of their Luxury Collection properties) but the Sheraton Royal Orchid on the river seems like a much better location. The reviews of the Royal Orchid make me think it's less special of a hotel, more convention oriented and maybe even a big dated...any input on which one I should book? We've never been to Thailand, this would be our first trip and we want to sightsee and enjoy all aspects of this bustling city but be able to come back to our oasis every night. I am looking for something special and since we have enough points this would be a free stay. Any input?
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 06:28 AM
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i am torn with my answer as i always prefer river locations and especially for people who have never been to bkk before....BUT the orchid is old, non-descript and not all that great in my opinion...others will disagree so you will have to choose...two advantages to it are its pool area in the portugese embassy next door and its river location...other than that your inferences listed above are all true...

the sheraton grande is in a good city location and is quite nice and much much newer than the orchid...newer is generally better in bkk...being on sukhumvit is good for shopping, eating and entertainment and the skytrain is close by...the sky train is a 15 minute walk from the orchid or a public boat ride or using another hotels boat as the sheraton no longer has boats...

after many years of looking at the orchid we tried it last year in a suite and i was not really pleased with it...it is dated and the hotel itself could have been in des moines, iowa for all its thai charm, or lack of it....

so it is a hard decision...the river is nice, but the grande is a better hotel imo
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 06:42 AM
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I've stayed at many hotels in Bangkok and gave the Royal Orchid Sheraton a try for one night last August 2004 and honestly...hated it.I had bad plumbing and the room was clostophobically small...in caoparison to my standard room at the Four Seasons. Plus, the place just looked worn.I agree with rhkkhm on this one. I had a standard room, but got a tour of the Towers...the more expensive rooms and found them small and dark and, in my opinion, way over priced. I couldn't wait until my 24 hours were up and I could go back to the Four Seasons where I usually stay. But there are some in this forum who love it. We are all very passionate about our hotels in Bangkok. Happy Travels!
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 06:50 AM
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Well, I'm one of those people who love the Royal Orchid (and yes, it too is part of the luxury collection). It is an older property, after all, I've been staying there on all of my Bangkok visits for the last 20 some years. The location is ideal, in my view, right on the river, right next to River City, next to a water taxi pier, walking distance to several well-reviewed restaurants. It has a wonderful Mandara spa. As Bob notes, it's pool area on the grounds of the Portuguese Embassy is lovely.

It is an older property, but all of the rooms have been refurbished in the last year. Bob stayed in one of the suites that had not yet been re-done. (I have to admit that I prefered the old decor in the Towers area - the beautiful hand-carved teak and silk wall coverings. They've now gone contemporary.)

I would agree that if you stay in the regular part of the hotel the rooms are pretty ordinary. I always stay in the Towers (actually, in a Towers Suite)which has the benefits of full breakfast every day (in the Club or in the restaurant), cocktails and canapes every evening, and free laundry service. In addtion, the service in the Towers is personalized, with lots of staff to help you out.

I just don't like the hotel locations away from the river. To me, those locations could be in any large city. Being on the river is Bangkok.

If you've read abou Bangkok hotels on this board, you already know we're a pretty opinionated bunch. We all have our own favorites.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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I stayed at the ROS using points last year. If you do decide to stay there, you can get a Towers room (with lounge access and other amenities) by using more points than a standard award. I forget how many extra points it takes (either 1,000 or 2,000 per night), but I think it is well worth the extra points to get the Towers room.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 07:45 AM
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Wow! Thanks for the quick responses. I think I will stay at the Sheraton Grande since it does sound like a much nicer property and I want this trip to be special, not just ordinary. I am one of those people that doesn't think a hotel is a place where you just go to sleep at night. For me, a hotel sets the mood for my vacation. When I travel, I want those details to be better than I am used to, the bed has to be better than home, the linens need to be more luxurious than home, the food has to be better than usual. I have found that it doesn't always mean you pay more to get these special extras. Thanks again.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 08:13 AM
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I think the Grande is your best bet. I've been in the lobby of both hotels. Royal is older, Grande is more... um.. "GRAND" in my opinion.

Carol
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 08:53 AM
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I haven't stayed at either but have been in both and hands down I'd pick the Towers room of the Royal Orchid. I'm someone who does not believe "old" is bad if it's been refurbished. And what makes a hotel special in Bangkok is the service and the river. I suspect the service is about the same at both but only one has the river.

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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 09:55 AM
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i kn ew my comment about "old"/ "new" might be misinturpreted as soon as i typed it...its just that most newer hotels have all the bells and whistles that thailand tourists have come to love....the older places still have a place for charm and relaxed elegance, like at the oriental and four seasons....its just that for first time travelers the new snazzy places are over the top often and lots of fun....things we generally don't get at under $200 in the west....

the grande wiil suit you well, but promise us that you will spend some time on the river on a cruise or more especially on the regular choa payra express boats....its the heart of this city....take a klong tour and see the real river life...you get the boats most easily from taskim pier...
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 10:33 AM
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I agree that a first-timer should take time to see/be on the river. I always enjoy a klong tour. There is a little stand at Taksin skytrain station, just as you prepare to go down the stairs at the river end. I've booked a tour there and enjoyed it a lot. Very easy to do.

There have been a number of BKK trips where I did not get near the river at all! It just depends on how busy I get with my shopping (smile)... which is done at Siam/WTC and vicinity, not on the river.

Carol
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 10:48 AM
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I do promise rhkkmik that I will spend time by the river and enjoy that part of Bangkok. I also realized that it makes more sense, I think, to not use my Starwood points for my 3 nights because I can actually get a Starwood special deal I saw on their website. You pay for 2 nights, and get 1 night free...each night is $120 so for @$250 I can get three nights at the hotel and save the points for a more expensive property. This sure beats the prices I recently paid on my Spring Break vacation to Italy!
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 11:09 AM
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It costs 1500 extra points to stay in the Towers at the ROS. The Grande is a better appointed hotel. The river is the heart of BKK. Waking up each morning to see the river come alive with the ferries and the rice barges is super. I note that your last post indicated that you might not use Starwood points. With this as a thought, you could stay at the Oriental or the Peninsula, exquisite hotels on the river. The best of both worlds. I'm too cheap, but it's a typical cost/benefit analysis. If are going to stay at a Sheraton, why not both. Two at the Grande and one on the river (Towers for Kathie). You can tell us which you like best. We always stay in the ROS.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 11:49 AM
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Bob-- I guess my problem is I can't stand all the bells and whistles because they strike me as so American and so lacking in warmth. I MUCH prefer older hotels or small boutique hotels whether in Bangkok or anywhere else in the world. I know others feel differently.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 12:35 PM
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Maggy
I just returned Thursday from Italy and Switzerland. The prices there are soooo much higher than you pay for 5 star in BKK!! It's like comparing apples and palm trees! If it were me, I'd do the 3-night stay at the Grande for $250. You'll earn more points toward a more expensive property next time!

How did you enjoy Italy?

Carol
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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Carol,

I absolutely loved Italy! We go quite often but it has become so expensive with the U.S. dollar. We were there when the Pope died, actually we were in St. Peter's Square when it was announced, and it was an incredibly moving historical place to be.

What made me start thinking about Thailand was the glorious report my friend (who had just returned from a 12 day trip to Bangkok and Phuket) gave me. She came back beaming with excitement saying she wanted to move to Thailand! So...I'm not difficult to convince to try a place I've never been to before...I've travelled extensively but in Asia have only been to Beijing.
Anyway, thanks to all for their comments...I have to stay in Bangkok one last night after we return from Phuket so I can actually stay at both!
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 06:28 PM
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that sounds like a good plan...also wise to pay now and earn more points for use at more expensive hotels later, like in europe or usa...i often do that...same thing with airline miles...i live on the east coast and when i see someone using miles to go to florida i just scratch my head and say what a poor use of hard earned miles...go figure...

good deal on the 3 for 2....there are some of those on phuket as well...
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 05:32 AM
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I'm with you Bob. I have a friend who just used 30,000 miles for a $198 ticket. I just used 90,000 for business class on Thai which is worth around $7,000. Seems like a no brainer to me.
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 06:28 AM
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We only use miles for upgrades or business/first class tickets. We just cleaned out our United MP accounts using 180,000 miles to purchase two business class JFK-BKK on Thai Air for next February. This was worth doing even after paying $125 ($.01/mile + $25 transaction fee) to transfer 10,000 miles from one account to the other.
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 09:19 AM
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Craig
Hubby and son and I always use our UA miles to upgrade to business class. If you use them for a free ticket, you don't get the miles you are flying on that trip. For my money, it's worth it to pay for the economy ticket and then use 60k miles to get a seat in the upper deck!

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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 09:37 AM
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I'm one for using frequent flyer miles for free tickets.I just cashed in 60,000 miles and paid $19.45 (taxes)for L.A.-Bk (on United) for August. Then I've bought a ticket( on Thai Air) to BK for Dec/Jan. I fly in Economy class...except for back in the days of Pan Am when I had over 300,000 frequent flyer miles and would sometimes fly in Business and First Class for free.I personally would rather have a free ticket and then spend the saved money on other things. I don't find Economy class that bad.Heck, I'm so happy to be on vacation until nothing much else matters at that point!Just get me on the plane....the plane...the plane...the plane...Boss...as little Tattoo used to say!Ha...HA...HA... Happy Travels!
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