I decided to spend a few nights at the brand new – circa two weeks old – W Hotel Bangkok. I love W Hotels and since I’ve stayed at almost every Starwood property in Bangkok (haven’t been to the 4points yet) I just had to check this out.
I arrived after 5 nights in Khao Lak, Thailand at the Le Meridien. I was hot, sweaty, sunburned and covered in bug spray. I should have arrived at the hotel around 4pm, but due to a late flight and ridiculous traffic it was closer to 5pm when I arrived. The hotel was preparing for an event that night and the hotel driveway (not sure that’s the best word for it) was lit up and looking spectacular. I was greeted by two bellman who helped with my luggage and escorted me into the hotel. Once inside I was greeted by the Director of Rooms and the W Insider. After a quick check in the W Insider escorted me to my room on the 11th floor.
Pictured below: The W Christmas Tree – so modern and cool – I had to take a photo since it won’t be around much longer!
As we arrived to the room, she said she had taken the liberty of setting up the room and turning on the a/c and hoped I didn’t mind. Nope, I didn’t mind at all and was thrilled the air was cool. As she started to explain the feature of the room, something caught my eye. It looked like there was a Starbucks Cool Lime Refresher sitting on the desk next to two mini-cupcakes. Was it a mirage? How in the world could the W Bangkok have known that I love and I mean LOVE the Cool Lime Refresher. It wasn’t a mirage, it was real. The W Insider ran over to Starbucks before I arrived and got me one! WOW. The hotel staff took care of every little detail down to ensuring I had my favorite drink on arrival. It was great and so were the cupcakes (there were also little candies and some shots of something I couldn’t quite identify, but tasted a little like a non-alcoholic mojito.) My Starwood Ambassador (a benefit you get after 100 nights) and the hotel had arranged for the special treats.
A about an hour after I got into my room there was a knock at the door. The Assistant General Manger wanted to introduce herself and welcome me to the hotel. She handed me a card and said she knew it was a little early, but wanted to wish me happy birthday. Inside the card was a lovely note and a Starbucks gift card. What a great extra touch.
While I was out at dinner they did turn-down service in my room and I returned to find yet another note welcoming me and wishing me a relaxing stay.
I was in a Wonderful Room that had huge rounded floor-to-ceiling glass windows with spectacular views of the city and the pool! The room is modern and trendy while functional and comfortable. There was a king-sized W bed adorned with two giant boxing glove pillows, a comfortable chair that swiveled so you could see the TV or the view, a very large working desk with tons of outlets and a really bright light.
The room had one of the most fun “mini-bars” I’ve ever seen. It was stocked full of classic candy in addition to traditional snacks and drinks.
The bathroom is separated from the room by an opaque purple wall and curtain. While you can see through to the bathtub, you can’t see into the shower at all and the gold curtain draws closed so that you can’t see into the toilet either. So you have a little more privacy than some Ws. The bathtub was awesome and the shower had both a waterfall shower head and traditional shower head. The water pressure is great in the shower too.
Everything in the room is controlled by this tablet. From the do not disturb ‘sign’ to the lights, A/C, alarm clock and more, everything you need is just one touch away.
There are several places to eat in the hotel. The Kitchen Table is the hotel’s full service restaurant. I ate at the Kitchen Table on the night I arrived. The menu is very modern and creative, but if you’re not into spicy food, leaves you limited choices. I ended up ordering a pasta and seafood dish. The chef came out of the kitchen to discuss a food allergy I have (tomato!) and asked if he could change the sauce since the sauce on the menu used tomatoes. I appreciated that very much and told him to use whatever sauce he thought worked best. The dish was good, but isn’t something I’d rush back to order again. The hotel, and restaurant, having only been open two weeks will need to continue to work on service in the restaurant. While it wasn’t bad service, it was very slow.
The Kitchen Pantry is a take-away style counter where you can purchase a sandwich, snacks, desserts and drinks and eat them on communal style tables in front of the pantry or take back to your room or whatever. At the pool, you can order from a menu of lighter foods and full drink menu. The service at the pool is excellent and I had lunch there one day. The Khao Pad (chicken fried rice) was delicious – the best meal I had at the hotel, and the cheapest at the hotel (with sparkling water I paid about $12.) In the hotel lobby you’ll find the WooBar, the hotel’s full-service bar. It’s chic and stylish and serves up great drinks.
The hotel also offers 24-hour room service and the menu is expansive (I actually preferred the room service menu to the Kitchen Table menu.)
As I mentioned above, the pool is great. Not only is the service really good, but you would really never know you’re sitting 6 floors up from one of the busiest streets in Bangkok. The pool area can become extremely hot especially because the sun reflects off all of the skyscrapers. I melted after about an hour out there and suggested that the hotel have cold towels (like the Le Meridien Bangkok or St Regis Bangkok) so guests can cool off a little. Next to the pool is the fitness center.
In front of the hotel is the old Russian Embassy, or the Heritage Building, which is being renovated and turned into suites, a restaurant and shops. It is set to open in March 2013 and I’m sure will be a great addition. I look forward to seeing what restaurant opens there.
The Whatever Whenever Team, the hotel concierges, are very willing to assist with any request – seriously, whatever whenever. I noticed the a panel next to the TV which would allow me to connect my computer or iPad to the TV. I didn’t have my cords with me, so I called Whatever Whenever and asked if they had any. About 5 minutes later there was a knock at my door and they had cords for me to borrow.
With the introduction of the W Hotel Bangkok the city is also being introduced to Bliss products. I’ve looked long and hard in Bangkok for Bliss products and this is the first time I’ve ever found them! I love the products so much that I actually gave some away on my blog earlier this week.
The hotel is located close to Silom, but feels a little isolated and is surrounded by many office buildings. There is a BTS station about 1 block (or less) from the hotel which makes it easy to get around – if you like the BTS. Getting a taxi is a little challenging during rush hour and traffic around the hotel is a nightmare (of course, there’s nothing the hotel can do about that.) The other challenge is that because the hotel is so new, many taxi drivers aren’t familiar with it – so make sure you take a hotel address card with you (the bellman always have them on-hand) and even with an address card, make sure your driver knows where he’s going. I had one driver who took me to the JW Marriott insisting that was the hotel I wanted.
I really like the W Bangkok and they’re off to a great start. I look forward to seeing what the hotel does with the Heritage Building and would love to see a suite (suites in the main building open February 1 2013.) The W is a great addition to the Starwood brand for Bangkok and another fun choice.
Pictured below: signature wall in the elevator bay – it lights up in very neat patters which was hard to capture w/a camera.