Although one of my favourite hotels in the the world is the Sofitel So Bangkok, I’ve not been back since my first visit. The problem is that there are just too many luxury hotels to try in Bangkok and quite often they can be unbelievably cheap.
Point in case: thanks to my membership of the Hilton Premium Club Thailand (a membership which costs 8,000THB per year to renew – $230 at the time of writing) I was able to secure a room at the Conrad Bangkok for 3,000THB, or slightly less than $100, including breakfast.
I contacted the hotel in advance to let them know that we were planning to arrive early. I told them that we would be at the hotel to drop our bags off at around 9am and would just be happy to have a place to shower quickly before heading into the city. As luck would have it, we were told that a room was already available for us and that we were welcome to head to the executive lounge for breakfast if we wanted.
We had been upgraded to an Executive King room, which is the bare minimum that you can expect here with Honors Diamond status. I wasn’t complaining though as the early check-in was far more valuable to us than a corner room, particularly since we were only here for one night.
The rooms at the Conrad Bangkok are decorated in an elegant Thai style. The tasteful framed prints, abundance of wood and the silk wall panels echo the design of the public spaces. Whilst the overall feel is very classic, our room felt considerably more modern than the room we had at the Peninsula on our last visit to Bangkok.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of stepping off a long flight from a cold country and finding yourself in a hot and humid climate, with an enticing swimming pool at your disposal. There’s also something deeply energising about submerging your body in water, I always come out of the pool a new man, re-invigorated.
As Hilton Diamonds we were upgraded to a room with Executive lounge access for free. Honestly, given how cheap and delicious the food in Bangkok is, I wouldn’t bother paying for access. The food options were all quite tasty but there wasn’t a huge amount on offer and you would definitely struggle to turn this into a meal.
Much like the food, the beverage selection was quite limited and unlike the food, this was really low quality. You’d be better off drinking a bucket of Sangsom and at least having an authentic experience…
We had a quick breakfast in the lounge immediately after checking in. It was absolutely heaving with people and the servers were struggling a bit to cope. The food selection was quite limited and honestly the upside to a lounge breakfast tends to be the peace and quiet, generally this is the trade off you make for a reduced selection of food and drink. Without the peace and quiet the appeal just wasn’t there.
On that basis we decided to try the main buffet instead, the following morning, before check-out. Asian hotel buffets tend to be extravagant affairs with multiple stations representing cuisines from around the globe. The Conrad Bangkok did not let us down…
The service was excellent and despite the limited room upgrade I really felt like the hotel goes above and beyond for Hilton Honors elites. Checking in at 9am and getting two breakfasts on a one night stay, booked on a promotional rate, is pretty damned generous. The variety of snacks in the room was also a nice touch.
The hotel is unmistakably Thai, in much the same way as the Peninsula, whilst feeling a lot more modern in terms of the room decor. The public areas however are a lot more plain and corporate than the Pen and I really missed the beautiful pool overlooking the Chao Praya river.
Location-wise you are very close to the heart of the action, at the Conrad. You are a couple of streets back from Sukhumvit though, which means that it feels relatively tranquil in the immediate vicinity of the hotel.
Overall, fantastic value for money, great service but a little crowded. The club experience at the Sofitel So is head and shoulders above the Executive rooms at the Conrad whilst the Pen has far more impressive service and public facilities. In a city where luxury can be had for so little, the Conrad would not be my first choice but viewed in isolation it is a very decent 5* hotel which can be had for under $150 most of the time…