JW Marriott Bangkok
4 Sukhumvit Road, Soi 2
The JW Marriott in Bangkok is one of the top hotels in Bangkok for both business travelers and tourists. This hotel is exactly what you would expect of a JW Marriott. From the moment you pull up in the driveway, you will receive great service with a big smile. It is clear that this hotel has high standards, and the staff clearly has no problem meeting those.
The hotel is located right on busy Sukhumvit Road in the business district. It provides easy access to anything you could possibly need including banks, restaurants, shopping and nightlife. For you shopaholics, some of Bangkok’s top malls and markets are minutes away, easily accessible by a cheap taxi ride, a short walk, or a 1-2 stop Skytrain ride. For you night owls looking to walk on the wild side, the famous Soi Cowboy alley is only a 15 minute walk away, or you could easily walk around the corner to the Nana Plaza Entertainment Center, another area packed with hostess and go-go bars. For something a bit tamer, try two traditional pubs close to the hotel. Bully’s Pub is right next door, or The Game is just a few blocks down Sukhumvit Road. I enjoyed a few pints at both places, but The Game offers a nice outdoor perch above the sidewalk which is great for people watching. There are also tons of restaurants all within a 10-15 minute walk from the hotel that will appeal to all palettes (try Soi 11). For jaunts a bit further out like a visit to the Grand Palace, the BTS Skytrain is about a 2 ½ block walk from the hotel – a great option when Bangkok’s infamous traffic creates a gridlock.
As a Platinum Elite guest, I was offered points or room service with a choice of different sandwiches with a glass of red or white wine. Feeling in the mood for a snack after a long day of travel, I chose room service. Within 30 minutes of arrival in my room, the hotel sent two complimentary spicy Thai chicken wrap sandwiches with two glasses of white wine for me and my travel companion. The food was delicious and much welcomed, especially because we were on New York time and not yet ready for bed yet at 1AM.
The JW Marriott Bangkok has one of the best executive lounges that I’ve enjoyed to date. Located on the 16th floor of the hotel, you’ll find sweeping views of Bangkok’s skyline from this lounge. Although it is not a 24-hour lounge, it is opened with a full staff each day, including weekends, from 6:00 AM to midnight. You will find a concierge staff at the entrance to the lounge that can help you with anything from room key issues to sightseeing suggestions. Inside the lounge, you’ll find a wait staff that is eager to serve you. Not only will they walk around ensuring your coffee cup or wine glass never goes empty during breakfast and happy hour, they will engage you in conversation and will try to get to know you. It is a very pleasurable experience in the lounge, and you can tell guests really enjoy their time there. During the evening Happy Hour (from 4:30-8:30), you’ll find a packed house where guests will spend the entire four hours in the lounge mingling with the staff and other guests. No one appears to be in a hurry to leave the lounge in the evening.
The lounge is quite large offering plenty of comfortable and practical seating space both indoors and outside. Most of the time, guests do not use the outdoor seating because it is simply too hot and steamy. However, once the sun goes down, and it cools off a bit, you’ll see more guests taking advantage of the outdoor seating area. It makes for a great option to enjoy complimentary cocktails while surrounded by the twinkling lights of Bangkok’s skyscrapers with the sounds of the chaotic city below you.
This lounge also has one of the largest food offerings for breakfast and happy hour that I’ve come across in quite some time. What makes this hotel lounge unique from other lounges I’ve been to is the live cooking station. Some hotels advertise a “chef’s station” as part of their lounge offerings but it turns out to be a small portable hot plate allowing the chef to make one small appetizer of the day (#disappointing). At the JW Marriott Bangkok, you’ll find a true work station where each day for breakfast and happy hour, the chefs are front and center cooking up delightful dishes, with some made-to-order options, too.
There are also two ovens in the food area where the staff ensures there are always warm fresh baked options for guests to help themselves to all day long. For breakfast, you’ll find warm croissants and other breakfast pastries; for afternoon tea, try a warm quiche; and for dinner, you’ll find some appetizers like cocktail wieners.
Breakfast: There’s nothing like enjoying a made-to-order omelette, warm croissants from the oven, and cappuccinos from an Italian-coffee machine while taking in the beautiful city views of Bangkok. Breakfast offerings include a variety of fresh fruits, salads, cheese and meats, traditional western breakfast items like bacon and sausage as well as made-to-order eggs, and a few Asian items such as dim sum, noodles, and boiled seafood rice. You also have your choice of cereals and breads for a quick continental breakfast along with fresh breakfast pastries and croissants that are baked right in front of you.
Afternoon Tea: Finger sandwiches, warm quiches, pastries, cookies and dried fruit are offered in the late afternoon hours (3:00-5:00). However, you can always find the finger sandwiches in the mini-fridge of the lounge or the cookies and dried fruit on the shelf for a quick bite to hold you over before your next meal! The tomato and cheese were my favorite for a midday snack after enjoying the steam room and plunge pool and before heading out for some sightseeing.
Happy Hour: Each night, complimentary cocktails, including beer and wine, are available in a four hour window between 4:30 and 8:30. A variety of hot food as well as salads, cheeses and desserts are also available (6:00 – 8:00), with each night being a different theme offering related cuisine options (Japanese theme night was great with fresh sushi!)
The options go beyond two hot fried appetizers that most hotel lounges provide. Instead, you’ll find options like fish cakes, sushi, and sliders. It’s easy to find yourself substituting the lounge happy hour for your dinner.
The standard rooms are on the small end, but modern, clean, and comfortable. Checking in after midnight, this was the only room available. I was told that I could have a complimentary upgrade to a deluxe room as a Platinum Elite guest for the rest of my stay with one becoming available the next morning by 9:30AM. The deluxe room was much bigger, including a bigger bathroom; it also had a sitting area with a full size sofa. Overall, both rooms were comfortable, but it was nice to have the extra space in the deluxe room because I was sharing the room with a friend.
The bed was very soft and comfortable and not the usual hard bed one finds when staying in a hotel in Asia. You’ll also find a quite a few English movie channels in addition to the typical English news channels, so I was always able to find something entertaining to watch each night before going to sleep.
The hotel offers a large gym with plenty of cardio machines and a lot of weight machines. Early morning tends to be the most crowded with guests getting a work out in before business hours or before hitting the streets for some sightseeing.
One of the nice things about this gym is that it offers both a steam room and a sauna as well as a cold plunge pool providing for the ultimate relaxation. There is a small pool outside the spa and gym, but being an urban pool, there is very little breeze making it too hot to enjoy. The staff tries to make the pool more bearable by occasionally bringing you out a cold jasmine smelling washcloth, but with the steamy Bangkok weather, you may prefer to wait until you get to one of Thailand’s islands in the south to have a pool day.
RESTAURANTS AND ROOM SERVICE
I ordered room service on three occasions, and each time, the food arrived timely and tasted absolutely delicious. I stuck to sandwiches and a margherita pizza. On average, the price was about $15 for one sandwich and a side of fries after taxes and service charges.
Although I did not have a chance to eat at the on-site restaurants, their steakhouse (New York Steakhouse) came highly recommended to me by friends and colleagues who spend significant time in Bangkok on business. The hotel also has a large buffet restaurant, the Marriott Café, that is once again highly recommended and popular in Bangkok. I walked through it on my last night as they were getting ready to open, and the food and dessert offerings looked plentiful, diverse, and very appetizing. They also have a bottomless glass of wine option with dinner. I regretted that I did not get a chance to try this restaurant, but it will be on my list for a future visit.
You’ll also find the Bangkok Baking Company at the JW Marriott where you can enjoy a fabulous dessert and coffee in the evening or grab a gourmet sandwich to go.
This hotel is not only comfortable because of the excellent condition of the hotel, but memorable because of the excellent service from the staff. After my 5 night stay, I was very sad to leave. Saying good-bye to the wonderful executive lounge staff, the hotel manager, and the concierge staff was like leaving old friends. I can’t wait to return to the hotel … a hotel that has high standards and offers everything you could possibly want or need for a perfect hotel stay.
©2014, Tripping Blonde.