Review: Grand Hyatt Bangkok

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I had arranged meet-and-greet and golf cart pickup at the gate for my arriving flight from Hong Kong with the hotel. No one was there. Once I cleared immigration and passport control I found the hotel representative in the arrivals hall, let him know what happened, and he promised to call ahead to the hotel so that they could be prepared to address it on my arrival.

Then it was out to the car and on to the hotel. After a 35 minute drive we pulled up to the Grand Hyatt, and a hotel representative met me and brought me straight up to my confirmed suite.

Since she didn’t raise the snafu at the airport, I asked her about it and she didn’t seem to know anything had happened but she promised to get back to me.

I had confirmed a suite at booking, and received what I had booked. The room was fine and functional but not super modern in design or ultra-large. It was more like two base level rooms together, made to look larger with a whole lot of mirrors.

Here’s the living room, where we checked in:

There are more mirrors in the upper left quadrant of the living room photo:

A coffee maker was in the room, as well as welcome snacks and a bowl of fruit.

Oddly — shortly after check-in more replacement welcome fruit and snacks were delivered to the room as well.

Off the living room, in the entryway, was a small bathroom.

Through the living room was the bedroom.

Off the bedroom was first the closet area:

And then the bathroom, which was lovely, and I always like dual sinks. The only drawback was that the shower room leaked water onto the bathroom floor each time I used it. It wasn’t a flood of water, so I didn’t follow up with the hotel over it.

Toileteries were June Jacobs, as is Grand Hyatt standard.

After a transpacific flight, a connecting flight, and finding myself at the hotel in the early afternoon I followed my usual practice for adjusting to the local time. I gave myself the luxury of a couple hours’ nap. It’s long enough that I’m able to stay up through the evening but not so long that I won’t be able to go to sleep later that night.

When I woke up I caught up on email for a bit, and then headed up to the club lounge.

When you enter the lounge you’re shown to a table, though of course feel free to let them know where you’d like to sit. They’ll offer you a drink at that time, but feel free to also get your own drinks throughout the evening. I found that service in the lounge was hit-or-miss if you’re looking for someone to come back over and assist you. It’s not nearly as polished as at the Grand Hyatt Singapore.

The lounge has significant offerings both in the evening and at breakfast. There’s plenty of salads, savory items, and desserts laid out and there’s a hot station with a window behind which chefs are preparing the evening’s items. They prepare cooked-to-order items in the morning there as well.

That evening in the club lounge, as I was leaving, a staff member raised the airport meet-and-greet snafu, and told me that:

  • They outsource these things, and the company that does it wasn’t able to make it to my flight in time
  • And that company would be willing to give me complimentary departure service when we left Bangkok.

I let her know that wasn’t acceptable. I didn’t want any sort of departure service. I expected the service, offered and arranged by the hotel, to actually show up. And being ‘unable to make it’ to my flight in time wasn’t ok under normal circumstances and in this case my flight was even delayed.

She promised to speak with a manager and get back with me.

I ate one meal in a hotel venue outside of the club lounge during the stay. In the basement there are several shops.

There’s a spot for noodles that’s reasonably priced (cheap by world standards, expensive for Bangkok) and quite good.

I made one visit to the spa for an excellent treatment, and also visited the pool one late morning before heading out and about.

A couple of days into the stay I realized that the hotel staff never followed up with me on the arrival glitch, so I decided to send an email replying to the original confirmation for the meet-and-greet service. They got back to and offered complimentary meet and greet on arrival for my next visit. I thought, If they don’t even follow up to sort out mistakes, why would I come back?

The next day the Director of Rooms followed up with me. She offered complimentary car service back to the airport and removed spa charges from the bill. She met me on departure, and offered to get in touch with the Grand Hyatt Singapore where I was headed next to make sure everything was properly in order there.

Ironically, I had a free airport pickup by the Grand Hyatt Singapore scheduled, because on my last visit there I had scheduled one and they hadn’t shown up (they confirmed it, but failed to enter it in their system). Her jaw nearly hit the floor…


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Just curious, but what was the reason (deciding factor or factors) that you booked this hotel? Purely status with Hyatt? Rate/points? The location isn’t anything really special-I was just down the street over at the Conrad and also observed hit and miss service in the E.L.

    As much as I’m interested in trying out some of the better Hyatt hotels via Ultimate Rewards, I have no status with them, unlike Hilton (Diamond) and Marriott (Gold), so the benefits with these brands are decidedly more attractive.

  2. I’ve stayed at this Hyatt and the St Regis which is two blocks away. I felt the St Regis was much more appealing…decor, service, room size, breakfast…than the Grand Hyatt with both in a similar price range. Both hotels have access to the BTS system just outside the hotel which I find invaluable for getting around Bangkok.

  3. I dont get all the details and emphasis on the hotels. When I travel I’d rather explore then stay in the hotel.

  4. I had a staycation there a couple of weeks ago and I must say there are way too many mirrors in the room. One of my friends smacked into one of the wall of mirrors (no one was drunk). I don’t understand why there is a wall of mirrors in front and to the sides of both toilets; I don’t want to see my self pee or you know.

  5. I completely side with Gary on this one. A four star hotel makes a promise, it doesn’t keep it, it needs to take a little shakedown. That’s why people pay the premium for a better property… for BETTER service.

  6. I’m confused as to why you would need a meet and greet service in Hong Kong. What’s the point as it’s such an easy and quick airport to go thru.

  7. @Vicky not hong kong, bangkok — and i mentioned in the previous post that i used it because i had hurt my foot and didn’t want the long walk on it.

  8. @matthewsf – I’ve stayed at the Conrad before, haven’t ever stayed at the Hyatt. Hyatt Diamond, confirmed suite, made the overall deal for me better. and i was curious, felt like i wanted to round out the properties i’ve been to in bangkok.

  9. I’ve stayed at the Grand Hyatt Erawan many times while traveling to BKK and have always found both the service and the rooms to be excellent for the price.

    The Renaissance just around the corner or the IC across the street, also offer the same great views, same great location and excellent service if the Hyatt doesn’t meet your needs.

    The Conrad isn’t in the best location unless you work for GE or the Embassy with the closest BTS station quite a walk. The Hilton across the river is a PITA location wise.

  10. We stayed at the GHE two times and we’re very happy with the service and location. We liked our suites–one using an upgrade cert, the other complimentary as it was a one night stay in same trip. Staff addressed us by name and four staff including the director of rooms came to see us off on departure.Room service was great and inexpensive; the only negative was that the suites needed upgrading but that process was in the works when we stayed in March 2013.

  11. Stayed there two years ago. My expectations were high but not in the stratosphere. My experience was over the top! Had Diamond Suite Upgrade confirmed but when they checked me in, I was further upgraded to a large apartment – double door entry, you name it. Most opulent and beautiful room we have ever been in. We unpacked and as I walked to bring toiletries into the bathroom, I had a drop of water fall on me. Looked up to see some moisture coming from an AC vent. Finished up and as we left the hotel, stopped at the front desk to ask them to have maintenance check it out.

    Arrived back and it was not only fixed, there were flowers, food and a ridiculous note from the manager abjectly apologizing and saying he hoped I would not let it ruin my vacation!

    We found the lounge to be just wonderful. Mentioned I had some dietary restrictions (modified kosher) and they made sure we always had plenty to eat.

    It was an extraordinary experience in an amazing city and country.

  12. I’d like Gary to compare contrast his favorite Hyatt hotel in an Asian city to one of the world class hotels in the city — e.g., in Bangkok the Peninsula or MO.

  13. The best way to have meet and greet service is to fly Thai Airways First Class, then you don’t even need to walk the “one mile ” to the Immigration !

  14. Hyatt diamond, & can say for sure that this hotel plays far too many games with rates. Not allowing a diamond suite upgrade to be applied to a corporate rate with the excuse that no suites are available, even though they were available on web site & also when I booked rack rate & asked to apply them. Many other examples but I’ll leave it there. Won’t stay at this hotel even as a diamond. They do not fit in as a hyatt. They are known for gaming rates. You’ll have a nice experience if you pay higher rates. I know of many others who have had similar experiences here & now avoid the hotel as well.

  15. Those macarons, are they any good in BKK? I saw them throughout SE Asia and I just couldn’t bring myself to try them outside France or even EU for that matter.

  16. @Ken McClure I’ve had some great ones in Singapore, I didn’t try these, and I was heading to Paris shortly thereafter. Nothing tops Pierre Herme…

  17. I haven’t travelled much internationally but I enjoy reading about it and dreaming of that someday when I will. Thanks for that!

  18. @m, we have stayed at this Grand Hyatt Erawan for 30+ nights all on either corporate rates or award nights and only one night was spent it in a regular room (my first time ever in a Hyatt when I won the 2009 The Big Welcome Sweepstakes). We have had suites on award nights and access to club lounge with amazing service to boot.

    @Julie, with good credit, you can start with the Chase Hyatt Visa card for two comped nights at any Hyatt worldwide.

    @JR, it all depends on what you like to do: both great for sight seeing and shopping but the riverside location of the Millennium Hilton makes it more “romantic”. The GHE has always been the better property in terms of service and luxury.

  19. @scott, ur words r bit harsh but very true. People who enjoy make smthing out of nothing in order to get what they think they r entitled r one of the worst kind travelers out there. Hope majority readers here can take view this post as what sho b avoided when traveling instead of trying to copy these kind of free loader tactics.

  20. Gary, how did you deal with the traffic problem in Bangkok? I love the city but found it so frustrating having to sit in traffic most of the time.

  21. @tamminh – The key to avoiding Bangkok’s hellacious traffic is the public metros, either the above or below ground ones. They’re super easy to use, dirt cheap, efficient, and the locals are great about sharing such a cramped space. Just know that you’ll need coins only, though you can usually make change with one of the booth attendants.

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