You know the minute you land in Bangkok that you're not in Kansas anymore. After going through customs, just say "Silver-Gold Hotel?" to an airport official and they will show you where to wait whilst they contact the hotel to pick you up [I learned that from someone here at Trip Advisor]. The van arrives, your bags are whisked on board, grab a seat and hold on as you fly over the speed bumps and potholes. It's not a long ride, but it gets you out of the airport culture and into Thailand. (Get some Baht before you leave the airport so you can tip the driver.)
The drivers & receptionists at the hotel are wonderful, speak little English (pick up a Thai phrasebook before you leave home), and keep incredible hours. The US flights typically arrive and leave in the wee hours. Upon my bleary-eyed arrival, they were so gracious (did the wai see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRtsCuVqxtQ) and offered me fresh fingerling bananas from a personal bunch they were snacking on.
The rooms are ample, spotless, have hot running water & ac, with a little balcony to dry clothes in the air when it's not the rainy season. They give you 2 bottles of water (room temp on the tray) for free and you pay for water if you take from bottles in the fridge. The person who escorts you to your room explains this and how to work the ac with the remote. There's a TV & phone as well in the room. When I arrived, they also had the train ticket I had purchased online but had delivered to the hotel.
In the warm, January morning light, birds were singing and some kittens playing outside in the outdoor area near the spirit house, amongst trees, a fountain and flowers where breakfast is served. Had a hearty breakfast with an unexpected gourmet presentation. The hotel dining area is a little oasis by the parking lot where the market sets up. On my return trip, I visited the market and found plenty of venders of all sorts including food stands for supper. Also had a good massage at the place adjacent to the hotel.
At the hotel, I arranged for a day-tour of Bangkok before catching the train to Chiang Mai at the close of the following day. The receptionist and I had about 4 words of English/Thai in common between us, but somehow the next morning, there was a driver with a brochure and a smile (no English). He pointed to where we were going and we were off.
Given jet-lag, Bangkok traffic, and not knowing my way around, I never would have been able to see the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn), Wat Pho (The Reclining Buddha) and make my train (at the historic station downtown) on time without help. Dropping me off, the driver would point to his watch we'd arrange a meeting time (presumably at the same spot). I didn't have his name or cell number, I relied solely on his connection with the Silver-Gold.
One pick-up, I was turned around (each of the historic sites above are huge and it's easy to not know which road you were on), and emerged more than a block away from the pick-up destination. A cab driver I didn't know approached me, asked if I was going to the train station. "How did you know?" I asked. He said, "Your driver asked me to talk to you because he doesn't speak English." Turned out my driver was delayed; we connected, all was well, and I made my train with time to spare. But it's this kind of personal connection that makes Thailand wonderful and it's all part of the experience at Silver-Gold.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC