- Introduction: Flying All 3 Big Gulf Carrier Airbus A380s in First Class on a Single Trip
- Check-in and Houston Airport Executive Club
- Air France and KLM Lounges
- Emirates First Class, Houston – Dubai
- Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai – B Concourse
- Emirates Airbus A380 First Class, Dubai – Bangkok
Bangkok is city where it’s difficult for me to pick hotels. Most everything is above average. Even the Holiday Inn Bangkok, at Gaysorn Plaza, is attached to the Intercontinental and practically the same hotel.Arguably the best Sheraton in the world is the Grande Sukhumvit. (And it’s better than the adjacent Westin.)
On the other hand there are very few properties that are so good they’re clearly better than all the others. It’s not a city where I stick to Hyatt, either, because while the Grand Hyatt Erawan is fine I don’t find it special. (I am looking forward to the opening of the new Park Hyatt Bangkok, however.)
For my 3 nights the St. Regis Bangkok was pricing at about $180. I figure when I can book the St. Regis for under $200, that’s an easy decision. Suites were about $50 more. Although the hotel is known for being great with suite upgrades, I decided not to just chance it or use a Suite Night Award but to pay for the suite. Long odds, as reported by others, but I hoped for a further upgrade.
And I lucked into a Caroline Astor suite which – while not huge – was lovely.
The room has a great view — something I saw immediately on arrival, because once I walked into the hotel I was escorted up to the room for in-suite check-in.
Now, the hotel’s lobby is grand but reception requires taking an elevator up — and then a different set of elevators to guest rooms.
In-suite check-in is a perk I really love, just drop bags in the room, as long as the hotel staff make it extremely quick and efficient.
View from the Bedroom
There’s nothing nicer after 24 hours of travel than being in the room already without formalities so keeping those to a minimum is appreciated. And I especially loved that the room was available when I arrived before 10am!
The only glitch with the check-in process would reveal itself the next day, however.
They left behind this welcome letter: (click to enlarge)
For the moment there were two things that I appreciated, aside from the room itself. First was being there early, it meant I’d be able to take a short nap and recover from the flight without hindering my ability to adjust to the time. Second was all of the snack items that were in the room as a welcome, I wouldn’t have to leave the room to have a bit of sustenance.
There was liquid in the room, too, but that wasn’t complimentary… although there were a few bottles of water also, and I asked the staff who checked us in to send up several more.
In the entryway to the room was a small bathroom.
Just past that the desk was on the left and the rest of the living room straight ahead.
Walking from the living room to the bedroom area, the bed was to the right and to the left immediately a walk in closet. Just past that the master bathroom.
The bathroom was large, with floor to ceiling glass, and featured Remede products, a St. Regis standard.
In the morning I went down to breakfast. It was an impressive buffet. Seating was only inside, as it had rained, but we were given a table in the front corner of the restaurant so it was relatively quiet (the place was bustling) and by the window.
Crazy, but the thing I was most impressed by? They had yew char kway along with soup.
I realize this is a lot of pictures of food, but breakfast went on and on, across several rooms. It’s important to survey the options here before committing, and also to be sure to make it all the way to the back where the varied Asian options are housed.
I began with some fish and some soup. I was happy.
Now, the hotel used to provide breakfast complimentary to Starwood Platinum members when they first opened. When Starwood moved to breakfast as a Platinum choice benefit (in lieu of check-in bonus points) at hotels where there’s no lounge, the hotel made breakfast a choice as well. I was happy to give up 500 Starpoints for breakfast here for two people!
However there was a bit of confusion because the check-in staff didn’t record my amenity choice. At the end of breakfast I was brought a bill, and I was told that I would receive “15% off as a Starwood Preferred Guest member.”
I explained that breakfast should be complimentary as it was my Platinum check-in amenity. The woman didn’t know what to do. She went away, came back, and told me I would have to accompany her to the front desk to sort it out.
Surely this wasn’t necessary, but I did as she asked. Only there was only one person working the desk, and they were helping another guest. I was asked to wait. And wait. And wait.
So I sat in the lobby with this staff member from the restaurant until someone could help clear this up. After what was probably just 5 minutes but felt like 15 I asked if I couldn’t just sign whatever she needed, she could sort it out without me, and if for some reason they didn’t want to give us the breakfast she’d have my signed bill? That suggestion was returned with a ‘deer in the headlights’ look.
After another few minutes the staff member at the desk freed up. The restaurant staff member explained the situation, they typed into the computer for about 5 seconds, and we were told that of course our breakfast was complimentary and we were on our way.
I still don’t believe that should have been necessary at this caliber of hotel. They know where I’m staying. They have my credit card on file. If I’m really not supposed to have complimentary breakfast they can sort out the confusion later and let me know the resolution. There was no reason to march me to the front desk where I sat awkwardly as though I was trying to get away with something.
That was the only real ‘fail’ of the stay, but it was strangely memorable. Everything else though was close to perfect.
After breakfast I walked around the property to have a sense of the place. Right off of reception is the bar.
The hotel has an extensive fitness center.
And there’s a lovely pool.
I’d return to this property in a heartbeat, because outside of the confusion about breakfast the first morning my stay was pretty much perfect.