Hotel Review: Earth Room at the SO Sofitel Bangkok
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For my 10th trip to Bangkok, I decided to try out something a little different. Having stayed mainly at Starwood properties like the Royal Orchid Sheraton, the W Bangkok and the Aloft Bangkok, I wanted to check out a different property.
I had been hearing a lot about the SO Sofitel Bangkok, an AccorHotels property that was designed by Christian Lacroix and had rooms themed around four of the five the traditional Asian elements — earth, water, metal and wood. I was intrigued and thought it would be the perfect place to spend a few nights during my visit to the Thai capital.
I found a rate on Hotels.com for 5,760 THB ($176) per night for a SO Cozy room. This room rate allowed me a choice of the wood, metal or earth themes, complimentary minibar access (snacks and nonalcoholic beverages) and free breakfast. I paid using my Chase Sapphire Reserve card so I could get 3x Ultimate Rewards points on my stay thanks to the card's bonus on travel and dining expenses.
The SO Sofitel is a member of the AccorHotels loyalty program, which includes brands like Raffles, Pullman, Swissotel and Fairmont, starting in 2018. In any case, because I booked my rate on Hotels.com to snag my low rate, I didn't earn any points directly with AccorHotels. However, once I book ten nights on Hotels.com, I'll get one free, so I was able to advance towards that. Now that I know I'll be staying at the SO Sofitel in the future, I'll definitely book directly through the hotel to ensure I earn Accor points for my next stay.
The SO Sofitel was on the corner of busy Sathorn Road, right next to Lumpini Park and the Lumpini transit stop. Although the location wasn't great for those who plan to get around the city by car (the traffic was insane in this area), it was ideal for those who planned to walk, take the underground train or catch motorcycle taxis, which zip through traffic.
I loved being able to walk to the Sala Daeng neighborhood for street food and stroll through the park to get to other areas of the city. The hotel was right in the middle of all the madness that is Bangkok, but its park-side location provided quiet relief from the city's hectic pace.
I arrived at the hotel jet-lagged and exhausted after a long Uber ride in rush-hour traffic from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). But I couldn't have had a more pleasant welcome, immediately greeted by friendly staff and scents of chocolate and coffee as I entered the lobby (the Chocolab store and KOF coffeeshop were on the ground floor).
I was escorted up to the ninth-floor lobby, which was artfully decorated with velvet chairs and sofas, intricate but modern chandeliers and tasteful holiday decorations. Light streamed in through the large windows, which offered glorious views of Lumpini Park and the Bangkok skyline.
I sat on one of the velvet couches and waited a moment. The staff came to check me in, allowing me to relax and enjoy a bamboo-and-lemongrass welcome drink as they showed me photos of the room themes on an iPad.
I selected earth, attracted to the bold blue colors and soft, circular lines. Although check-in time was technically 2:00pm, they prepared my room almost immediately, and I was able to access it by the time I finished my drink.
I headed to the second elevator bank, as there were two sets of elevators. The first one was for shared spaces like the pool, restaurant and spa, and the second, which required keycards to use, for room access.
After stepping out of the elevators on the 21st floor, I was immediately attracted to the bright blue walls.
The blue didn't stop at the hallways: Room 2113 was painted bright blue. When I walked in, there was a large mirror and four spacious closets to my right, which housed the safe, ironing board, iron, slippers and plenty of storage and hanging space. To the left was the open-concept bathroom, which was eye-catching and made me smile — the black-and-white checkered floor, rounded corners and giant freestanding tub were beyond stylish and fun.
I wanted to dive into the tub that moment, but restrained myself, as a staff member was explaining the room to me.
The rainfall shower and toilet both had separate, closed areas, which made those sections more private. As the hotel was striving to be as eco-friendly as possible, all the amenities came in pump bottles and smelled delightfully of lemongrass. The sink had an enormous mirror and all sorts of extras like toothpaste, combs and shaving cream, set away in his-and-her drawers.
An island with a coffeemaker, cups and mugs, electric kettle and mini-fridge was set between the bathroom and closets. The minibar came with several bottles of water, sparkling water, juices and snacks, which were all complimentary.
A huge, rounded set of sliding doors separated the bathroom, closets and kitchen from the bedroom.
The blue walls had prehistoric-style drawings (the staff told me the earth-themed rooms were inspired by caves), but with a modern touch. There weren't any sharp corners or angles in the room, either. The bed was large and extremely comfortable, and I slept like a baby both nights I was there.
There were two bedside tables, each with an outlet (one side had two outlets) where you could plug in a US- or European-style plug.
A large, comfortable armchair and small table were beside the floor-to-ceiling windows, offering bright views of the Bangkok skyline, though my room wasn't facing the park.
There was also a desk with fun extras like a ruler and Scotch tape — you never know when you might want to scrapbook, after all!
The flat-screen TV came with a keyboard with which I could find out the Wi-Fi code, listen to music, watch TV and more.
I loved that there were curtains that went along with the room theme, but what I loved even more was the large blackout shade that allowed me to sleep in darkness at any hour of the day or night. As I was suffering from jet lag, this made my rest infinitely better.
The lighting in the room was bright, with several ceiling lights, cool mirror lights, lamps and bedside reading lights. The only drawback was that I couldn't seem to find a master switch, and had to run around turning everything off at night one by one.
The walls were far from soundproof. When I came back to the room at about 9:00pm on the first night, I noticed that a ninth-floor meeting room was hosting a large event, but didn't think much of it until I returned to my room and could still hear the music blasting, clear as day, in my room. I figured it was still pretty early, though I was destroyed from jet lag and wanted to go to bed immediately. I called down to the front desk to ask what time the party was expected to end, and they immediately offered to move me quieter, upgraded room with a park view on the other side of the hotel. I accepted.
Room 2408 was exactly the same except for two things: an absolutely stunning park view and an Illy machine (score).
The staff couldn't have been more helpful or kind when I inquired about the noise, and throughout my stay the staff continued to be just as helpful.
The room was really amazing, because I found it to be not only practical, with things like extra outlets, a coffeemaker and blackout shades, but also special, thanks to its unique design concept. It was relaxing to be surrounded by blue, and the giant bathtub was a luxury I wished I had at home.
Food and Beverage
You could order food and snacks at the pool. The menu, which came printed on a pillow, listed a variety of Thai and Western food.
I ordered green curry, and, though it wasn't amazing, it hit the spot after a long, hard morning of relaxation.
Breakfast was included in my room rate, and the Red Oven restaurant, which was on the seventh floor, was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The breakfast buffet was excellent, with all sorts of Asian and Western options like noodles and rice, an egg station, plenty of pastries and hot foods and fresh fruit. Everything I ate was delicious.
Several different fruit smoothies were available to order, and there was even an ice-cream bar with 10 flavors. The space was fun too, with high ceilings and, of course, those epic views of Bangkok and beyond.
The SO Sofitel is known for its epic pool parties, and although I wasn't there for one of them, I was able to hang out at the infinity pool for a while, and it was impressive. Its location on the 10th floor overlooked the park, and it almost seemed as if the pool were melting into the trees, with Bangkok's glimmering skyline in the background.
Large sofas, tables and lounge chairs were available, some actually inside the water. The only negative was that loungers and the pool, blocked by the nearby buildings, got almost no sun.
The hotel, however, created a solution: a solarium on the other side of the hotel, which was sunny most of the day. With about 15 loungers on a grassy area, neither the views nor the ambience were as nice as being poolside, but at least an option was provided for sun seekers.
The gym overlooked the pool and was equipped with weights and cardio equipment.
There was also a hair salon, locker rooms, steam room and sauna.
The hotel also put on a tour where you could check out each of the different rooms. The tour was for guests only and had to be reserved at the front desk. Mine started at 5:00pm and went for about 45 minutes. First, we started by seeing a water-themed room, which was covered in gray and black.
The metal-themed rooms were white and very angular, especially compared to my rounded room.
The wood rooms reminded me a little of a Park Hyatt property, beige and discreet. Of course, actual wood was present, especially in the bathrooms.
With the hotel tour, I also got to check out the spa. Each of the treatment rooms was named for different rivers in Thailand, and there were real trees in the spa, which contributed toward a serene and earthy ambience.
The tour also took me up to the pool at night, all lit up in green, and the rooftop bar at sunset, which was gorgeous.
Bangkok is a city full of rooftop bars, and this one was right up there with the best of them, with a DJ, extreme views and a stylish vibe. It had two different levels, one for cocktails and dining and the other for drinks and dancing.
To the Point
I've found my hotel in Bangkok, and I may never stay elsewhere! The SO Sofitel was chic but wasn't so trendy that it was no longer comfortable or practical. There was a room style for everyone, and this was a loyalty program I plan to explore more in the future.
Throughout my stay, I noticed couples, families and groups of friends. I was traveling alone and also felt comfortable. Despite the small hiccup with the room noise, the staff handled it with ease, and I will definitely be returning.
Images courtesy of the author.