I usually like to come to Bangkok for regular breaks due to the vibrant atmosphere coupled with the wonderful culture and very friendly and genuine people....and wonderful restaurants! In the past I've normally stayed at newer more modern and trendy hotels, but as nice and comfortable as they were, they were often cold and less inviting and where everything was too perfect that you were afraid to touch anything. The Swissotel was not like that at all. Although slightly dated, it's been nevertheless been maintained very well. The hotel has this down to earth luxury feel to it, that's invitingly warm, cozy, and welcoming.
I booked the executive floor room, and was very glad I did. The rooms were clean, well maintained, and very comfortable. The amenities were plenty, and if there was anything you needed you just had to call for service. I guess the only complaint about the room would be that it faced the river and there'd be boats making pick ups and drop offs early in the morning, and the roaring engines were a bit of an annoyance. Otherwise, the rooms were pretty good sized and had everything I needed.
What I truly loved about this hotel was the pool area. It's a free form pool with surrounding lush tropical greenery and landscaping that made it feel like an established and exclusive country club resort. on the other side of the pool area from the hotel is a "clubhouse" which houses the spa, changing room, gym, squash courts, etc....and even a tennis court. The gym is very well equipped with pretty everything you need for a complete workout whether it's for cardio, free weight and machine workouts. What was great is that there are TV screens while using the treadmills, steppers, bikes, etc., and they all face a very pretty green tropical garden. I also tried the massages here and everyone was so helpful and friendly and made sure we were prepared with the right attire (provided), and the masseuse were excellent. I think the massages were pretty good, but I was so relaxed halfway that I actually fell asleep! Oh, I guess the only complaint I would have about the pool is that, one day I was sitting by the pool relaxing in the sun, I decided it was so warm that a jump in the pool would be so refreshing. Unfortunately, the pool water was pretty warm, so that killed any refreshing relief from the heat I was expecting.
I did get to try the restaurants. The buffet dinner spread was awesome! So much of everything, and so delicious too! The all-you-can eat dim sum at the Chinese restaurant was attached to the buffet dining area, but seemed little known. Just as well as I prefer the place to not be so crowded. I must say that the dim sum was much better than I expected! Delicious! I also got to try the Japanese restaurant one night. Beautiful serene evening view of the greenery around the pool area, and the sashimi was as fresh as I've ever eaten before. Excellent! I also got a chance to try the bakery cafe just outside the hotel entrance. Absolutely wonderful place just to relax for lunch. They have a huge selection of wonderful pastries, sandwiches, and cakes, etc. I tried their special promotion sandwich and wow, it was one of the best sandwiches I've ever had! It was mainly because of the french loaf bread that was so moist on the inside and had just the right textured crust....not too hard. Too bad I was on a diet or I would've eaten there everyday....but I had to resist the temptation of ordering a pastry because of this. However, a local friend of mine who's familiar with the bakery cafe told me that this was a well known place among locals and expats and everything was absolutely delicious here!....and not expensive AT ALL! To compare, at another hotel I stayed, a Caesar Chicken wrap was 450 baht ++. Here, a delicious chicken sandwich with the freshly baked bread cost only 95 baht++! So worth it! And after certain later hours the pastries are discounted from 25%-50% off!
The Executive Lounge was also fantastic. Nicely decorated, comfortable, and manned by a very nice, polite, and friendly team of smiling hotel staff. There is always an excellent selection of snacks and drinks, and most of all, a nice peaceful and private place to have my breakfast away from the crowd. Sure, the selection will be limited compared to the main dining are off the lobby area, but I don't eat that much for breakfast anyway, so what they had at the executive lounge was more than deliciously sufficient for me. And yes, they also have an egg station here.
I also tried out the lobby lounge one evening. A great place just to relax, have a drink from the bar, and listen to a couple sing some really nice tunes. I enjoyed just sitting there and soaking all that in as I wound down for the evening. The piano player and singer were very nice and friendly, and even sat down with me during their intermission to chat. They were very friendly people.
The Ploenchit BTS is also about a 7-8 minute walk from the hotel which is a bit more than I'm used to as I usually just step out of the hotel and the station's there. However, with all the many more pluses about this hotel, that's pretty minor. The great thing about this hotel's location is that it's close enough to the busy Sukhumvit area, but far away from the noise and hustle and bustle typically found in the downtown area.
I didn't seem to be able to find any place close by to buy extra big bottles of water. The hotel provided 2 bottles a day, but I like to drink more particularly in hot weather. I'm not sure if there are any other 7/11s closer by, but I went out the back way through a narrow residential street to Soi Chidlom and found a 7/11 across the road to the left, and it wasn't really that far....maybe a less than 10 minute walk.
All in all I really enjoyed my stay at the Swissotel. It just felt so cosy, comfortable, and especially had that "at home" comfort and atmosphere I truly appreciated. Will definitely stay here again next time.
If you are sensitive to noise then it's probably preferable to choose a room facing the pool, or...
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