This is an installment in my March 2012 Asia Trip Series which includes: A Birthday Present To Myself: Business Class on the World’s Longest Flight for $2.50, Help Me Plan My Asia Trip Starting With Singapore, Flight Review: Singapore Airlines All Business Class Flight From Newark To Singapore, Hotel Review: Intercontinental Singapore, Video Trip Report: Singapore, Hotel Review: Le Meridien Bangkok Avantec Suite, Video Trip Report: Bangkok, Hotel Review: Le Meridien Angkor, Video Trip Report: Siem Reap, Hotel Review: Intercontinental Phnom Penh, Video Trip Report: Phnom Penh and the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields, Hotel Review: W Hong Kong.
The next stop on my Asian itinerary was basically the polar opposite of tiny, tidy Singapore: Bangkok. I was really excited to get to Thailand for the first time and see “The Venice of the East,” where I decided to take advantage of my Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum status and stay at Le Meridien Bangkok.
I originally made my reservation for a Vista King Room for two nights for a rate of 3,420 Thai Baht ($110 USD) per night. However, I was upgraded to corner Avantec Suite three room categories higher and about twice as large. The rate for the suite would have been 9,420 Thai Baht, or about $310, so I was basically given a $200/night bump thanks to my SPG Platinum status.
My one-bedroom suite was over 800 square feet and on a corner of the building on the 10th floor, so I had awesome views of the city from two walls. The room itself was all black, white and brown, so kind of stark, but very clean and sleek-looking. While it was sleek, it was also a bit impractical – it took me a while to figure out how to open closets and doors. In the bedroom, there was a sort of shelf-counter running along one wall where the 32-inch flatscreen was. Just adjacent to the bedroom was the huge bathroom with a peekaboo window into the bedroom, a deep soaking tub, separate walk-in monster shower with two shower heads and WC and two vanities.
Out in the main area, there was a work desk with two Aeron chairs, and then the little living room area with a couch and a coffee table facing a wall-mounted 42-inch flatscreen. All in all, plenty of space for me.
I took a look at my friend’s Vista King Room (the one I would have had), and it pretty much looked like the bedroom portion of my own suite, and it had a little windowseat that you could sit on while you looked out at the city.
Le Meridien is on Surawong Road in the Silom district of the city, which is nearly across the street from the Patpong night market, which is a hustle of activity at night. Even along Surawong road, there are tons of massage parlors and bars, many of the more seedy variety. The good thing is the hotel is also near a SkyTrain station, so it was easy to get around the city from there. Though to be honest, tuk-tuks are so cheap, that’s how I mostly ended up getting around the city, even though I thought my life was coming to an end on multiple occasions.
Though the hotel has a full-service restaurant, two bars and a lobby cafe, there was simply too much to see, do and explore in the city to stay in for a meal, so we only had breakfast at Tempo in the mornings before heading out to enjoy Bangkok. I thought I would have to choose either the 500 point amenity or breakfast, but the hotel gave me the amenity option and full buffet breakfast daily, which I thought was a great value. Whereas the Intercontinental Singapore made me choose between an upgrade or club access – Le Meridien showered me with benefits which is why I value Starwood Platinum over Intercontinental Royal Ambassador.
The hotel also has a small very modern Zen-style spa with an attached fitness center and a pool where guests can take a dip to cool off from the heat.
Even though Bangkok is a cheap city where you can get a room at the Four Seasons or the Peninsula for as low as $200-300, I thought Le Meridien was a steal at the $110 rate, and the location, while in a bit of a hectic area, was perfect for me because I was looking to dive in head first for my two short days in Bangkok. The hotel is known for treating SPG elites well, so I’d recommend it to anyone with status. The staff and concierge were extremely helpful throughout the stay, so I really don’t have any complaints and would stay there again in a heartbeat.
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