Friday, August 10, 2012

MY SLEEPS - BANGKOK THAILAND

After my not so nice experience with the Frangipani Fine Arts Hotel in Phnom Penh, I decided that I will always write out my personal review after staying in Hotels. 

I have been wandering around Bangkok for years, staying at Hotels. Being happy for some time. Then, typically when management changes, it was time to move. In the past 10 years, I have had sleeps at the Regency Park, Rembrandt, Windsor Suites, Grand President, Royal Benja, Citadines Sukhumvit Soi 8 and the Adelphi Suites also in Soi 8. The Adelphi Suites was the best of them all so far. Really outstanding!

Since all these hotels were in Sukhumvit road, I had to find a new one for my recent visit. Friends stayed around Lumpini, so I booked myself into the nearest hotel, which turned out to be the Pinnacle Lumpinee. Not the best hotel but the best price-wise at the location I needed to be. Reviews on the reservation sites are up and down the entire scale and I guess it really depends what people expect. 

For the amount I paid for my room, I feel almost like I should not complain about anything. It was so far the cheapest Hotel I have ever had. But the room was clean, on a high floor as I requested and non-smoking. 

The Hotel had free WiFi, which at times worked slow, but most of the time it was acceptable on all levels - Cafe, Lobby, Pool and in my room. Breakfast was also included in the price, which made it a really good offer. 

The hotel is located near Lumpinee MRT station and was thus well connected. Some people wrote negative reviews about the Soi (small street) it is located in, but I found it to be not better or worse of other Soi's I had been in. There is definitely much less hassling from street vendors than in Sukhumvit Soi's. 

The room was comfortably large. My large suite case fits in and that is my personal measurement :-) The bed was large and hard, just like I want it. Ample space for storage (drawers and hangers) around the room, with a desk and chair for my laptop to work on. A table and chair in addition added optional seating opportunities. The TV had several English-speaking channels and movie channels, though I usually do not care about that. The safety box is solidly mounted to the wall and well lit, so one can actually read the instructions on how to operate it. 


2 bottles of water are given for free and with the exception of one time I did get those every day. Additionally there is a water boiler (though that did not really work well) and free coffee and tea is offered. 

Bathroom was clean and the amenities were refilled each day. Towels were large and soft. Shampoo and body wash were available through dispensers on the wall in the shower, but I actually believe most people prefer their own brands. Nothing to complain about, other than the really long time it took for the hot water to come up to my room on the 12th floor. Some days I had to turn the water on and go back to bed for 15 minutes. 

Cleaning of the room happened at all times of the day, but in general, rather late. Ranging from 10am to 3:30 pm. I had to call once to get the room cleaned when I returned from an all day trip. The housekeeping staff seemed very stressed and told me she had to clean several floors today, but she was very friendly. 

The pool area on the roof is acceptable, though nothing spectacular. The sauna I did not use and the fitness room is not really up to date. One of the machines I wanted to use felt like it would collapse. But there were people in there using it daily. 

The lobby is large and has lots of comfy seating areas, two PC stations for free and is also wireless. The staff is "neutral". One can walk into the Hotel without being greeted by anyone while it is a give and take. If I greeted the staff they would also be polite. No complaints there. 

There is a travel office next to the entrance, where we booked a trip with a limo to Ayutthaya. The price was negotiable and I did get a price for an all day trip which was much lower than taxi's offer it and lower than a trip I had 10 years ago. The driver was reliable and safe and did not drink alcohol when we had breaks (not unusual). I made it very clear that I would not do any shopping trip and I would not stop at places which are known as tourist traps, but that I would tell the driver where I wanted to go and stop. Worked perfectly OK. I had to tell him a few times where to turn but in general it seemed that he would have driven us to the same or similar temples and sights around Ayutthaya. 


The breakfast was surprisingly good. I did not expect much, but it was a rather large buffet with lots of options as well as a cook who prepared fresh eggs upon request. Even different kinds of bread (whole wheat) were available. The tea....well, lets not really call it tea! It was a pot of hot water with two tea bags in it, which soaked for however long it took to being used up :-)  But again, given the price of the hotel, I cannot expect to drink Phu Er Tea from China. 

The only thing I disliked where the place mats on which the silverware was placed on. They were white cotton material and looked like they needed to be thrown out, or replaced with on-way place mats. The staff of the restaurant was actually the most friendly one of the Hotel, but again, more neutral than in other hotels. 


The view seems to be an important matter for the Hotel, since my room was the same as the rooms on the lower floors (standard) but with a better view. Hence it is more expensive and called "deluxe". I like views, so I booked deluxe. It is also more quiet than the rooms on the lower levels (street noise). 

All in all it was an acceptable stay. No thrills included at this price, but clean and without any major interruptions. Of course one can always end up in a higher class hotel with a special promotion but for long-term planning and booking this hotel is an acceptable and inexpensive choice.  

Update from the airport after checking out: A friend who stayed at the same hotel this time called me after he checked out and warned me that the Hotel would be playing the "minibar card" upon check-out. So I was prepared, which I always am, and surely they tried to charge me stuff from the minibar as well. That would be one of the few minus points I have for this hotel. Just leaves a bad taste when you see that it seems to be a running game they try to play with every guest.


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