August 19-August 21, 2016
Room Rate: 160 USD
JT: On a recent trip to Thailand, Arun and I both stayed at the St. Regis Bangkok. Though we stayed at the same time, it appears we had notably different experiences. I was in Asia due to a work trip in Kuala Lumpur, so I sent Arun a message asking if he wanted to meet up in Bangkok for the weekend. I had booked a room at the hotel months in advance – around the same time I had booked my ticket to KL. I got lucky with my rate, and got a great deal at the St. Regis of approximately 160 USD.Jump to the Takeaway
I arrived late Friday night, landing in BKK at around 10pm, arriving at the St. Regis at around 11pm. While the entrance to the hotel is on the ground level, with a ground floor restaurant and plenty of seating, the actual lobby to the hotel is on the 5th floor. No room card is necessary to operate the elevators. The doormen opened the doors and I walked on up to the elevators and up to the lobby.
The lobby was stark empty when I got in. The check in desks are located to the left of the elevators, and I found plenty of front desk associates available to help me, despite the late hour.
The check in associate made sure to go through all the perks available to me with my room rate and status (free laundry, butler service, complimentary breakfast) and I made my way up. She asked if I had my luggage ticket from downstairs so she can send for my bags, but she looked confused when I let her know I didn’t have one and all I had was the one piece I had with me. In any case, I made my way up to my room, which is accessed through a second set of elevators, which do require a key card to operate. Do note that your key card only works for your floor, so if you have a friend staying on another floor, be sure to grab an extra key if you need to visit.
JT: My room was fantastic. Located on the 22nd floor, the room overlooked the city and provided a great view of the city.
The room was spacious and looked comfortable from the second I walked in. From the entrance way, I could access the large bathroom, located on the right, or the bedroom and living space, directly in front of me.
Within the entrance way, there were two closets and a space to lay out luggage. The safe was located in one of the closets.
The room (well, my room) was wide and spacious. The king sized bed was wonderfully plush and comfortable. On each side of the bed were international outlets and switches to control the lighting in the room.
The desk, though seemingly standard, came equipped with office supplies, which would be helpful for those traveling for business. (I wonder if I can use this as a selling point for my company on why we should stay at more St. Regis hotels?)
There was a small sitting area and coffee table, where I found a welcome note and treats upon my arrival.
The bathroom was easily my favorite – it came equipped with both a tub and shower, with two sinks and a toilet room. The shower had a rainforest shower option and a handheld shower head. Toiletries in the bathroom were from Elemis. By the sinks were a couple of bottles labeled “drinking water” – the same complimentary water that was scattered throughout the room. In the middle of the sink was a drawer, which housed some basic amenities, a hairdryer, and outlets. The toilet was located in a separate room at the back of the bathroom. Overall, I thought the bathroom was very thoughtfully designed.
AS: So I can’t complain about the room itself – it was well appointed, tastefully decorated and very clean. My room was essentially the same as Joey’s – with one massive exception that very much colored my view of the room and indeed of the stay in general.
AS: I had booked last minute and was given a smoking room in my original booking. I understand that these things happen with bookings made only days before check in, but I called the St Regis Bangkok to try to rectify the situation – to my pleasure the agent obliged almost immediately to move me to a non-smoking room, confirming my choice and making a very seamless process of it all. That however, wasn’t the case when I arrived at check in in Bangkok.
I was told that I had a ‘non smoking room on a smoking floor’ – that didn’t make much sense to me, and then was told that the hotel had close to 100% occupancy for the weekend and they wouldn’t be able to re-accommodate me till the next day. The receptionist was very polite and basically said see the room, and if it isn’t to your liking we can move you on the following day (Saturday).
The room was only non-smoking (on a smoking floor, remember) in that I don’t smoke and hence I didn’t smoke in the room – it reeked of cigarette smoke and I indicated my displeasure for it, which went unacknowledged and unchanged.
JT: On a side note – I did visit Arun’s room an his room was notably narrower than mine. And yes, the smell of smoke was hard to miss. I can’t say I wholly believe that this was a non-smoking room.
AS: Objectively, the room was beautiful. It was done in typical St Regis style – timeless, classy and understated. As Joey mentioned the bathroom was beautiful and the rainforest shower much appreciated.
The smoke smell in the room however, was definitely not.
AS: For me, this was easily the highlight of the stay (given my issues with the room).
Bangkok is widely known as one of the best places for breakfast offerings from hotels – even chains that are traditionally stingy with their early morning set ups do well in this city but the St Regis took it to another level.
JT: The property hosted quite a few dining options – a restaurant and a lounge – Jojo and The Lounge, respectively – on the ground floor, a bar, wine room, and a Japanese restaurant, Auma. The lobby restaurant – Viu – hosted breakfast every morning – which was fantastic.
JT: The breakfast selection was plentiful, covering the spectrum from western dishes to eastern options – from sushi, to made to order eggs, to congee, dim sum, waffles and pastries. I found several refrigerators with milk and what I had hoped was fresh squeezed juice, though this turned out to be concentrated juice or something of the like. The service was friendly and attentive, though I know Arun had some issues placing orders. I loved the variety, but the restaurant was packed every morning – always noisy and bustling. Not sure if it’s always like this or if we came during a busy weekend, but the tone was hardly relaxing.
AS: Full disclosure: breakfast was included in the rate and it was top class. Immediately I was impressed by the sheer set-up, that would be sure to please even the most pickiest of eaters. To suite the Asian palate, Thai dishes and rice based options (congee and other dishes of the like) were on offer as well as continuously topped up dim sum, sushi and other regional condiments to supplement their ample offerings. For those who prefer a more ‘traditional’ Western set up there was the made to order eggs, delivered fresh to your table on cast iron skillets and for those with a sweet tooth there were baskets of European style pastries and favorites such as french toast and cinnamon rolls.
JT: I must point out I was a big fan of the eggs benedict that was served from the egg station. They typically serve the dish with Canadian bacon, but I requested smoked salmon instead, and they kindly obliged.
JT: The bar offered a comfortable space to lounge in, offering tasty drinks and snacks. The service was, as with Viu, attentive, but the drinks were for the most part average, in my opinion. As the St. Regis in New York is the birthplace of the bloody mary, this is a must-order (plus, every location boasts it’s own local version). A good selection of wines are offered, ranging at about $10-15 USD on average, which isn’t too terrible, but I imagine for locals this is more than it’s worth.
One night at the bar, I ordered dessert, which cost about $10 USD. I found it to be underwhelming, and pricey for what it was. Would skip this next time.
AS: A nightcap of St Regis Bloody Mary’s at the bar – a Siam Spice on this occasion – on point, as usual.
JT: A must-not miss is the champagne sabering, which occurs every day at sunset. Since sunset is a bit subjective, Arun and I were both given different times for the event, but either way, we made our way down by 6:30, though the sabering didn’t actually take place until about 7 or so. As we waited, we treated ourselves to some wine – the bar offers a 2 for 1 happy hour from 6pm to 9pm, which is delightfully generous.
On the evening we were there, the sabered bottle was a Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage 2000. We were treated to two glasses, due to the small group that was there.
AS: The champagne sabering is always a nice inclusion on any St Regis stay and I try to partake whenever I stay at the property. This one was no different – the white blazered gentleman was also very accommodating on second servings – always a plus!
AS: I ordered room service on two occasions, one for my arrival dinner which was more Japanese based (sushi, avocado-tuna tartare and a more boring Caesar Salad) – but was not disappointed. Fresh, done well and even what is normally a boring salad was done to perfection in the St Regis style of wrapping the lettuce in bacon with the deliciously rich and savory dressing on the side.
The second order was a couple days later – Thai this time, with pork skewers, a Tom Kha soup (coconut seafood soup) and rice – the soup was the highlight with a surprising abundance of seafood in it – mussels, prawns, fish, squid abound – a probable must for seafood lovers.
JT: Perhaps the most known amenity about the St. Regis brand is the complimentary butler service. With every room is the option to have your butler provide packing and unpacking services to guests, as well as tea and coffee service throughout the day. With the room comes the option of having 4 pieces of clothing laundered per day (though this does not roll over and excludes dry cleaning).
After a long day of sight seeing, a cup of tea was exactly what I needed. The butler brought in my green tea within about 15 minutes of my call and the tea was perfectly steeped – not over-brewed and bitter.
The concierge was, for me, very helpful – very quick to respond to emails, able to provide me plenty of details, and secured a reservation for me to a restaurant (and applied the numerous changes I requested to it thereafter).
Within the property, in addition to the restaurant options, are also a spa and pool. The spa’s pricing was overpriced for Thailand – approximately $100 USD for an hour long massage. I opted to head to a spa elsewhere in the city instead, though it’s nice to know if i was desperate and couldn’t leave, I’d have options.
AS: I have to agree with Joey on the amenities part – the extras such as massages and treatments are overpriced for Thailand, but I suppose that’s to be expected of a St Regis.
The butler service in itself was fantastic, they tried their best and were very courteous – I too ordered tea several times and it was also served with grace – I suppose my one gripe would that be unlike Joey’s experience, I found my service to be a bit on the slow side and taking usually between 25-35 minutes to be served. On the other hand, room service was extremely quick, usually being delivered within the same time frame at about 30 minutes which I found impressive.
One more service I availed of was the hotel’s ample movie collection – I ordered two movies (both Bond films, Spectre and Tomorrow Never Dies – I’m a sucker for the genre) and both were given to me without any sort of fuss and were easy to put into the system and enjoy during some down time in the room.
Make a Green Choice: Yes
Check In: Average -8/10
AS: 8/10 – Your ordinary if not typical St. Regis check in, very polite and an escort to the room. Points taken off for the ‘explanation’ of the smoking situation.
JT: 8/10 – I thought my check-in was perfectly fine until Arun mentioned someone should have collected my luggage from me when I arrived.
Elite Recognition: Average – 8.75/10
AS: 8.5/10 – Fine but I’m not a Plat so I really don’t expect much.
JT: 9/10 – Received the standard plat benefits, but when I
saw smelled Arun’s room, I felt much better about my situation. I did appreciate that my room was larger than average.
Room: Average – 9/10
AS: 8/10 – Again this would have been higher but the smoking situation really ruined it for me. Very nicely appointed room though.
JT: 10/10 – Loved my room, didn’t want to leave.
In-Room Technology & Entertainment: Average – 9/10
AS: 9/10 – Wifi was of course free and fast – I really enjoyed the on demand and DVD entertainment options.
JT: 9/10 – International outlets next to the bed plus the ability to control all room (and bathroom) lights really won me over. Plus pretty fast (free) wifi.
Staff: Average – 8.5/10
AS: 8/10 – All very well intentioned, tried their best but sometimes a bit slow.
JT: 9/10 – I didn’t really have any issues with the staff, but agreed with Arun on this – occasionally a little slow with service, but since I didn’t have any room service issues I don’t think this bothered me as much.
Location: Average – 7/10
AS: 7/10 – The W Bangkok wins out on this one with numerous dining options and things to do just outside the hotel – with the St Regis you needed at least one or two stops on the BTS or a taxi (granted quick taxi) ride to get anywhere of note.
JT: 7/10 – Agreed with Arun on this. Also for some reason, ubers had THE HARDEST time finding where to pull up. It wasn’t actually difficult, but clearly, there is a loss in translation somewhere here.
On-Site Dining: Average – 9/10
AS: 9/10 – One word: excellent.
JT: 9/10 – Loved the food, though would skip dessert at the bar next time.
On-Site Amenities: Average – 9/10
AS: 9/10 – Everything you’d need and more – just price point relative to Bangkok an issue.
JT: 9/10 – Loved all the amenities, though I can’t imagine how insane the pricing must be for a local
Hospitality Services: Average – 8.75/10
AS: 8.5/10 – I can’t complain very much…they couldn’t secure us a couple of reservations but that’s hardly their fault on a busy Sunday for brunch.
JT: 9/10 Didn’t have any issues on this end, the concierge tended to my numerous requests quickly and always provided more information than I had initially requested.
Hotel Appearance: Average 9.5/10
AS: 9/10 – Love the design aesthetic of any St. Regis and this one was no different.
JT: 10/10 – Gorgeous – plus I loved the fresh flowers they refreshed daily.
Overall Rating: 86.5/100 (86.5%) ★★★★★
AS: Overall, I’d have to say there’s not much to complain about here. I suppose apart from the room my other main gripe would be the location, which is probably why on my next trip to Bangkok I’ll be heading back to the W – I also felt more looked after there on my last visit than here on this one to be frank. If I’m completely honest, it wasn’t the best St. Regis stay I’ve ever had – Osaka and Kauai take those batons for me with Singapore and San Francisco as close seconds – but it was a very enjoyable experience and more than decent, especially for its price point.
JT: Overall, I had a fantastic stay. The service, the food, and the tone was fantastic. Would absolutely stay again on my next visit to Bangkok.