Bangkok Escape: The St. Regis Bangkok
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During a layover on a six-day jaunt around the world, I found myself with two nights in Bangkok, Thailand. Bangkok is a city with lots of luxury hotels bookable on points, and we've already reviewed the Park Hyatt, W Bangkok and Waldorf Astoria. Though TPG himself reviewed The St. Regis Bangkok way back in 2013, I wanted to see how the property has fared in the last six years.
Having just arrived in Bangkok on Swiss first class, I was already on cloud nine, and I was hoping that my stay wouldn’t bring me back down to earth. Luckily, I stayed high on cloud nine, as I was really impressed with the hotel, particularly my suite upgrade and the incredible service.
The St. Regis brand belongs to the Marriott Bonvoy program, allowing you to redeem Bonvoy points for award stays at this hotel. This St. Regis is a Category 5 hotel, so award nights cost 35,000 points. When seasonal award pricing is introduced later this year, the price will jump to 40,000 points during peak season and drops to 30,000 points during the off-season. As a Category 5 hotel, The St. Regis is a great place to use your annual free-night certificates (worth up to 35,000 points) from your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card or Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card.
For those looking to book on points, The St. Regis releases lots of rooms for redemption, so you shouldn’t have a problem securing a redemption. But don’t jump to redeeming your points before checking the room rates.
In a sprawling metropolis known for its low hotel rates, you can often find The St. Regis for $180 a night, so you may want to consider saving your points for a more aspirational points redemption down the line.
Plus, by booking with cash, there’s opportunity to unlock further value.
If you have The Platinum Card® from American Express, you can book The St. Regis through the Fine Hotels & Resorts program. By booking through this program, the room rate will include valuable extras, like free breakfast for two, early check-in, guaranteed 4pm late checkout and dinner for two once during your stay.
If you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can book The St. Regis through the Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection. If you choose to book through the Chase portal, you’ll get similar perks to FHR, but your special amenity will be a $100 food-and-beverage credit to be used during your stay. While the late checkout is not guaranteed with LHRC, the $100 food credit is definitely more flexible than a free dinner at the hotel.
Lastly, this hotel really knows how to take care of its elite members. There are suite upgrades aplenty (I even got one as a Gold!), promised late checkouts are honored and there are often food-and-beverage and laundry discounts for Bonvoy elites.
During my stay, Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador elites got 20% off food and beverage, Golds got 15%, and Silvers and regular members got 10% off. And best of all, when booking through Amex's FHR or Chase’s LHRC, you can double-dip your elite benefits with the credit card perks!
The St. Regis is in the upscale Ratchaprasong district, just down the road from the Grand Hyatt and Waldorf Astoria. The surrounding area is filled with luxury malls like Siam Paragon and tourist attractions like the Jim Thompson House.
While the hotel may not be in the best location if you're looking to explore the attractions near the Chao Phraya River (like the Grand Palace), I quite liked the convenience of the hotel being attached to the Ratchadamri BTS Skytrain station. It made getting around a breeze.
Although I was well-rested from my Swiss first-class experience, I eagerly awaited my arrival after sitting in terrible traffic from the Bangkok Airport (BKK). The hotel’s airy entrance was on the ground floor, along with the concierge desks, an Italian restaurant called Jojo’s and one of Zuma’s Southeast Asian outposts.
The bellmen were always great about opening both double doors. When I arrived, they offered to help with my bags no less than three times and then escorted me to the 12th-floor reception.
I was treated to a scented cold towel and lemongrass tea when I took a seat at the check-in desk. Since I was checking in around noon (three hours before published check-in time), the front-desk agent couldn’t yet assign me a room. Nonetheless, his tone was apologetic, and his service was professional.
He explained the benefits of my LHRC booking and perks that I’d receive as a Gold member. He promised to work on a suite upgrade while I waited for the published check-in time.
I took a seat at the lobby bar and caught up on work. About an hour and half later, the front-desk manager brought over keys to a Metropolitan Suite.
I knew I was in for a treat when there was lots of space between the hallway doors of my suite and the room adjacent to it. Although the 1,000-square-foot suite was advertised as a junior suite, it was more like a true one-bedroom suite, since the living room was separated from the bedroom with a closing door.
The small entranceway to Room 2011 led to a larger living room with a desk and circular dining table.
There was also a half bathroom and closet in the hallway between the entrance and the living room.
The impressive minibar and Nespresso machine were in the chest of drawers below the living-room TV.
The stately bedroom featured a large, plush king bed with delicately soft linens that helped cure some of my jet lag. The TV was between the two closets, where you could find robes, plenty of hangers and the safe.
Each nightstand had a power outlet and light switches that were easy to use.
The rectangular bathroom was separate from the bedroom with sliding wood doors. The highlight of the bathroom was the deep soaking tub and rainfall shower. The toilet was separated from the rest of the bathroom by a door.
Couples will appreciate the large dual vanity, and the forgetful traveler will appreciate the fully stocked amenity drawer with things like dental and shaving kits.
I was surprised to see Elemis toiletries (throwing it back to British Airways First Class) as opposed to The St. Regis brand standard, Remède. Maybe suites get different toiletries? Either way, I didn’t love the Elemis products.
Overall, the room was great. I was thrilled to receive a suite upgrade on account of my Gold status and LHRC booking.
The only downside to the room was the view. There wasn’t much to see out the windows other than the neighboring buildings.
Food and Beverage
Bangkok has great food, and this hotel was no exception. The hotel operated two restaurants, Viu and Jojo, and there was also an outsourced Zuma on property. Viu was the hotel’s all-day buffet restaurant.
Breakfast was included in my booking and was served daily from 6am to 11am. The buffet was impressively expansive, covering cuisines from all across the world.
There was a sushi bar, multiple Asian stations, a bread room (love at first sight for a carb lover like me), cook-to-order station, assorted fruits, juice bar and much more.
Oftentimes, there’s a tradeoff in hotel breakfast buffets between quantity and quality, but I was thrilled with both at Viu. Everything I tasted was fresh and delicious.
Jojo was the hotel’s Italian restaurant, where I dined on my first night. I really liked the restaurant’s design, especially the high ceilings, and found the food to be excellent.
I was served a refreshing amuse-bouche when I sat down.
My appetizer of minestrone soup (450 baht, or $15) was served with a piping-hot baguette.
I definitely wasn't feeling adventurous, as I had a delicious margarita pizza (410 baht or $13) for my main course.
Even though I didn't order dessert, I was thanked for my loyalty!
The hotel also had a few bars, like The St. Regis Bar, The Drawing Room and Decanter. I didn’t have a chance to check any of them out, but if the food was any indication, the drinks were probably great too. The only thing missing was a dedicated Thai restaurant.
I don’t usually expect much in the way of amenities at a city hotel, so I was impressed with the assortment of things to do at this hotel. The majority of the hotel’s amenities were on the 15th floor. There you’d find an outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, gym and spa.
The outdoor pool blended right into the surroundings with the lush vegetation. The pool was quite warm and luxurious and provided a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of the city streets below.
There were multiple chaise loungers by the pool, as well as couches under an overhang for a rainy day. The hotel managed to provide free water and sunscreen without charging a destination fee.
The hotel’s gym was well equipped with Technogym equipment, featuring two treadmills, one rower, two recumbent bikes and two ellipticals, as well as weight machines, dumbbells and a free weights area. The gym tended to get pretty crowded -- I waited over 15 minutes for a treadmill both mornings.
In addition to the standard exercise equipment, the gym also featured a new Muay Thai boxing rink, where you could practice your punches with a staffed trainer.
The last amenity on the 15th floor was the hotel’s Elemis spa. I couldn’t bring myself to pay well over 4,500 baht ($145) for a one-hour massage in Bangkok, considering that I could go across the street and pay much less. Even if you don’t get a massage, you’ll have free access to the gender-specific relaxation areas.
The bilevel relaxation areas featured multiple loungers, a hot-and-cold plunge pool, foot massage, hydrotherapy showers and a steam room.
Service throughout my stay was flawless. The staff seemed genuinely excited to be working at The St. Regis, and I was greeted with a traditional Thai wai every time I interacted with a staff member.
There wasn’t a request or question that went unanswered. I had asked the concierge about securing a reservation at a particular restaurant, and they kept me in the loop throughout the entire process. Whenever I passed by the concierge desk on the ground floor, the chief concierge asked about my plans and touched base on his progress trying to get me a reservation.
St. Regis hotels are known for their signature butler service, which includes complimentary tea or coffee any time of the day, packing assistance and daily garment pressing. I only partook in the last benefit and was thrilled to see that the hotel offered the choice of laundry service (for up to three garments daily) or pressing. Those are the small things that matter to a weary traveler.
The St. Regis Bangkok is one of the preeminent five-star points hotels in Bangkok. With dignified hotel rooms, extensive food choices, refined amenities and personalized service, you won’t be disappointed with your stay.
Plus, if you’ve got Marriott Bonvoy elite status and book your stay through FHR or LHRC, the red carpet will be waiting for you.
All photos by the author.
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