I returned to The Royal Orchid Sheraton after approximately 18 years to find it was still a very impressive hotel. Located on the banks of the bustling Chao Phraya River in the heart of Bangkok it offers a stylish, well-located option with good pools and greenery.
The approach to the hotel is via some interesting small streets. For a better impression, arrive by boat on the river. Attentive doormen and porters staff the entrance driveway. The lobby is suitably impressive and still looks modern, if not cutting edge, despite its age. Our late night check in was handled efficiently once our ears became tuned to the Thai English pronunciation.
Our room was a Junior Suite on the 21st floor. The best feature was the scenic view along the river. A range of boats including Longboats, hotel shuttles, dinner cruisers, barges and ferries kept the view interesting day and night. We could see other hotels dotted along the river including the Millennium Hilton, Mandarin Oriental, Shangri La and The Peninsula. The room had a separate main bedroom and enough space in the lounge area for a child’s bed with room to move. A large flat screen panel in each room provided the usual range of entertainment options. A good-sized safe with a power point to recharge a laptop while stored securely was provided.
The bathroom was a comfortable size, but the glass shower had a gap in the door, which let water out onto the floor. The frustrating absence of any drawers or shelves to place personal items was a problem in the bathroom, we had noticed in many hotels and would like someone to explain why hotel bathrooms seem designed this way.
There were two pools, the first was rectangular, approximately 25m long and 2m deep at one end. This was quite suitable for morning lap swimming. The second pool was a lagoon style family friendly 50m plus pool with wet bar and spa pool. Umbrellas and palm trees provided good shade around the lagoon pool. The nice thing about the greenery around the pool was that it gave the feeling of escaping the busy bustle of Bangkok, it could not however dull the roar of longboats and ferries close by on the river.
The breakfast area was vast and had indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant was well staffed and the food was fresh, inviting and plentiful. I did not dine in the other hotel restaurants but the usual range of casual to expensive was represented.
The concierge provided accurate information but often seemed to need to search extensively to find basic information, such as a map of the Chatachuk Markets (a request they must assist with many times each weekend).
The hotel was within short taxi rides of most attractions in Bangkok. Take the pink-metered taxis, as the drivers seem happier to use the meter. Other taxis will ask for 200% of the metered fee and can be bargained down quickly to 100 – 150% of the metered fee. Once a fee is established the incentive is to reach he destination promptly and directly, so may reduce the risk of the run around to wind the meter up. Beware getting caught in the Bangkok traffic if you use a taxi.
The most efficient and enjoyable mode of transport is by the regular shuttle boats which ferry hotel guests to and from the sky train terminal 8 minutes down river. The sky train or ‘BTS’ is a modern raised railway, which reaches the main shopping and business districts for a 40 baht ticket. Try going next door to the hotel where the River City shopping complex also offers a shuttle boat with a similar route.
If you want to go hotel hopping by the river I suggest floating across the river to the Millennium Hilton, a new tower with a UFO-esque bar perched atop it. The 360 bar offers great views and great cocktails. Try the Mandarin Oriental for high tea in the Author’s Wing for a traditional Colonial style hotel experience.
The Royal Orchid Sheraton is still a good hotel after all these years. It is well located in a main international hotel area and has the benefits of the river for transport and views.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the legendary Chao Phraya River with exquisite views, we offer a pleasant combination of warm Thai hospitality and world-class service in a modern setting just minutes from Bangkok's business districts, entertainment, and attractions.Enjoy the refined style and modern comforts of a relaxing riverside hotel. Take time out at our two pools or book a spa treatment, discover exciting cuisine in our six restaurants and bars, or experience memorable events in 22 unrivaled function rooms.All 726 of our spacious guest rooms and suites boast spectacular panoramic river views. Revel in the warm, calming, and contemporary ambiance of these well-appointed accommodations, featuring subtle Thai style and the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper™ Bed. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel And Towers
- Sheraton Royal Orchid
- Sheraton Bangkok
- Royal Orchid Sheraton Bangkok
- Bangkok Sheraton