Like many small, boutique hotels the Aspen Suites seems compelled to exaggerate its status, which is going to lead to disappointed guests, and this is a shame because when reviewed for what it is, not what is claims to be, this is a very nice, upscale two-star tourist hotel that can enjoy a strong position within the Bangkok hotel market.
To not waste time for some, let me dive right into what this hotel is not.
The Aspen Suites is not a business hotel. It is not a luxury hotel. It is not a high-end hotel. It is not an oasis. It is not a four-star hotel, no matter what it self reports to Expedia. You will not feel compelled to lounge around at the hotel rather than go out into the City.
If you were looking for any of the above, stop reading now as you should move on. For others, please allow me to provide what is largely a very positive review.
First, a note on stars and satisfaction ratings. People often confuse hotel rankings with hotels ratings. A hotel can be a four-star hotel and only earn two stars for services, and vice versa. The Aspen is a two star tourist hotel that offers four star service.
To help place it in the hierarchy of hotels, Americans should think of the Aspen as the nicest Red Roof Inn they have ever seen, or perhaps the lowest Holiday Inn Express. It is not, and I truly stress this with no disrespect, even to the level of a Courtyard by Marriott. For Europeans or those familiar with European budget/ boutique hotels, you likely know what to expect. The Aspen compares favorably with an All-Seasons.
The hotel is new, immaculately maintained and yet to show any serious signs of wear and tear. However, it is evident the property was built on a budget. To a former construction worker, the workmanship flaws are evident and everywhere. Drawers that don't properly align, odd sloping tiles, cheap fixtures. The maintenance team will have its challenges as the hotel ages, but for now these do not detract from the experience.
But let's put aside the negatives, and focus on the good.
Location: Not for those with mobility problems, the hotel is set deep on Soi 2, which is perfect for providing enough distance from the nightlife to keep the noise down. A 10-15 minute walk gets you to Sukhumvit, a main street, and then a short walk to the Skytrain.
Breakfast: Tasty and hot, with enough selection to meet most tourist standards. Eggs cooked to order upon request. Don't dally however, because they stop replenishing the buffet at 10am for a 10:30 service stop.
Lunch/ Dinner: A very nice selection of dishes, with a set lunch option. Better yet, the pricing is competitive with local restaurants, something not typically found at a hotel. Everything is standard fare, nothing extravagant, but nothing like that should be expected from a tourist hotel. When you want a nice dinner, you'll eat in at the Aspen, when you want more, you'll go out to a fancy restaurant. It's that simple.
Room: I stayed in a King Grand Deluxe Suit. The room was clean, spacious and the bed firm, but adequate. The bathroom was a bit disappointing. The water pressure was only moderate - unusual for Bangkok - and when the shower head was set to "high" the water mostly just dribbled down the side. The flat panel TV are excellent and the picture quality will vary by satellite strength. I do not recall whether the hotel included any premium channels like HBO. The kitchenette is a nice touch, as is the full-size 'fridge. You won't do any serious cooking (and there were no pots or pans anyway) but you can use the microwave and the storage space. A slight thumbs down on the mini-bar. The hotel marks each item such that it can't be used and then replaced. I don't mind paying a premium for convenience, but if I replace it before the room is serviced then the hotel has not lost anything. The marking of the hotel contributes to an overall feeling of cheapness. However, and this is a big however, the prices are the best I've seen at any hotel other than the Sheraton Hong Kong (which is 7/11 + 10-percent.) At the Aspen you will only pay double the convenience store price, not four or five times. As the nearest 7/11 is 15 minutes walk, you will want to pick up snacks before arriving. The free tethered broadband is a nice touch and its speed was fine.
Property: Clean - can't repeat that enough - well maintained. It's okay. The pool is smallish, but nice and a family with kids could enjoy a refreshing dip. Don't expect to lounge about or have the style of pool experience you would find at a three star or better property.
Staff: Outstanding. Simply outstanding. Very friendly, efficient, good English skills at the front desk.
Value: For July '09, not a great deal. This is a buyer's market in BKK, and for about $30 more than the Aspen is asking you can stay at the five-star Conrad or Plaza Athenee (Aspen = 1800 baht, Athenee = 2800 baht, Conrad = $90). However, if the pricing holds as the other hotels return to normal or high-season pricing, then this hotel should prove very popular.
Conclusion: I recommend this hotel to budget minded tourists of all varieties, provided they plan to get out of the hotel for most days (and shouldn't we all so plan?) Travelers seeking easy access to the nightlife will also enjoy this property, as will backpackers seeking to upgrade their Thailand experience for a few nights. The Aspen is a delightful upscale tourist hotel that I hope proves to be very successful.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aspen Suites Sukhumvit 2 provides 65 spacious rooms and suites designed in a fresh and contemporary style. All of our rooms are brand-new and offer in-room entertainment, LAN and WiFi connections, and a fully-equipped kitchenette. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Orbitz, Booking.com, Travelocity, Priceline, Cheap Tickets, HotelTravel.com, Asiatravel.com Holdings, Odigeo, TripOnline SA, Agoda, Hotels.com, HostelBookers and HostelWorld so you can book your Aspen Suites Bangkok reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Aspen Suites Bangkok Hotel Bangkok
- Aspen Hotel Bangkok
- Bangkok Aspen Hotel