Where to stay in Bangkok – JW Marriott
As the flagship brand for the Marriott chain, there’s a solid expectation when checking into a JW Marriott.
When we were deciding where to stay in Bangkok, a deal from the Luxury Escapes coupon site seemed a decent option, including a private pick-up from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, a banquet at the hotel’s Man Ho restaurant and executive lounge access.
Everything started well. The car pick-up was fine and the check-in at the front desk (we arrived too late for the lounge our first time) was great. Our bags were taken to the room and we were recommended the hotel’s Manhattan Bar on the second floor for a relaxing drink.
The staff here were also brilliant, and very adept at making cocktails. A couple of very good Cosmopolitans and gin martinis later, we trundled off to our room. Outside of happy hour, where there’s a 2-for-1 offer, the cocktails are quite expensive but nonetheless excellent.
The room itself was perfectly functional, if a bit dated looking. Dominated by the king-sized bed, there was an odd long bench on one side. The room also included a lounge chair and a desk.
There were two areas for cupboards. The closet was OK, although it failed my personal test of a hanging rail high enough to stop my dress hems from crumpling on the floor. The other cupboard contained a bar fridge and tea and coffee items but no kettle. On top was a somewhat stylish urn accompanied by a rather odd note …
The bathroom was very old and a bit tired looking. The separate shower was pretty small. The range of toiletries offered are the JW Marriott’s standard brand. Amenities include a shaver, comb, toothbrushes and mouthwash.
And so we tried to sleep. We were at the front of the building overlooking Sukhumvit, which is always busy with traffic. The Bangkok Sky Train is also on a raised platform above the road and the noise from the trains was a bit disconcerting. Noise insulation between rooms was fairly good but the windows didn’t mask any of the sounds from the street, which was unfortunate given roadworks took place our second night and we were treated to jackhammering in the early hours of the morning.
Up to the executive lounge the next morning, we were a little underwhelmed by the selection on offer, particularly the lack of any decent bread for toast. Generally when you have lounge access you can opt to go to breakfast in the main restaurant but we were told that wasn’t on offer for us.
The lounge itself is quite a decent size, dominated by large windows down one side and an outdoor patio (with smoking and non-smoking sections) on the other.
We were entitled to breakfast, “high tea” and evening cocktails and canapes. The high tea was virtually non existent – a few scones and pastries warming in an open oven but nothing near what we’ve been offered for afternoon tea in other Asian hotels.
Evening drinks were limited to beers, red and white wine and a selection of spirits. Unlike the Marriott Sukhumvit, where we’ve stayed previously, there was no cocktail service. The food was also a let down. We’d seen the chefs prep in the open kitchen in the lead up to happy hour but the food, when it was served, was cold. Most odd.
The staff in the lounge tried very hard and were unfailingly pleasant. At breakfast we requested double espressos with hot milk on the side and the manager of the lounge smiled and said: ‘a macchiato’. She then proceeded to make a very acceptable one – especially given it was from just an automatic coffee machine.
We did avail ourselves of two free pieces of laundry per day and the results were perfect – that’s a real bonus for travellers.
Floor six is home to a spa (with prices that weren’t too over the top, especially if you go in non-peak times), an incredibly well resourced gym and a very lovely pool, with plenty of lounge chairs in shady spaces.
The rule of thumb when taking up a coupon offer is if you’d return to pay full price. Based on this experience at the JW Marriott Bangkok, that’s a definite no. Generally your travel budget buys you a lot in terms of five-star hotel experiences in this amazing city, but this one didn’t really deliver.
JW Marriott Bangkok
4 Sukhumvit Road, Soi 2