Stayed at the Sukhothai over 3 days to catch up on some work. I've stayed there before about 3 years or so ago. Given that I've stayed at the Shangri-La, Oriental and Peninsula over the past 1.5 years, my comparison will be based on these hotels.
1) It is an intimate hotel with a serene, low-leveled approach which is quite restful in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. This contrasts very nicely with high-rise luxury hotel competitors like Banyan Tree, Metropolitan and Peninsula. The place I hear is based on the luxury chain Aman resort design. It shows.
2) An authentic use of local arts, crafts and materials is proudly displayed. If you like your hotels with the standard lux fare and appearance (a key point for chains like 4 seasons so you can feel familiar in any city), then Sukhothai isn't for you. If, like me, you like your hotels to have a touch of local flavour and a hushed plush feel, the Sukhothai is the best for a city hotel out of the river region.
3) Service was generally good. Housekeeping was efficient and little touches like petit fours for an afternoon tea and fresh fruits were available daily. It isn't Oriental standard by far but still 5 star Thai, which is saying a lot.
4) The security checks, now mandatory in Bangkok, were performed with the minimal of interruption but still seriously enough to make you feel relatively secure. The Oriental's is a little too burly for my tastes.
5) Location is great for work. Right on the financial district, it's great for business.
1) The hotel is starting to show its age. The tables and chairs are chipped and despite the upgraded B & O TVs, the cupboards and beds are getting long in the tooth.
2) Service is still great but slipping. The previously spectactular attention to detail and personal touches are almost all gone. Staff no longer greet you warmly, they no longer take note of how you like to place your toiletries or if you use more shampoo or conditioner (they used to and provided extra bottles of either automatically). They are still great by world standards but in Bangkok, you have to compare to the others like Oriental and Pen which have upped their game.
3)The location is great for business but not for much else. Most taxis seem reluctant to come to the hotel and waiting for a cab at the lobby or to return to the hotel seems to be a minor problem with many drivers now extracting exorbitant beyond meter prices ala Oriental style. Unsure if it is due to the depressed economy or the location where they feel they can't easily pick up another customer after dropping you off.
4) The hotel has a fly/mosquito problem. Electrical insect repellents are present in all the rooms but this frankly is little comfort. I think more effort to put anti-larvae treatment in the many ponds/pools around the hotel would be more comforting. I got stung, twice.
All in all, the Sukhothai is still one of the leading hotels but it appears to be resting a fair bit on its laurels. For my money, I'd stay at the Pen and pay the cab fare to my business meetings if in Bangkok for business. If there for leisure, well, you ought to stick to the river area or downtown near the shopping district like at the Grand Hyatt Erawan (old but locale can't be beat).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- COLONNADE, all-day dining restaurant features live cooking stations, Carving Trolley and a wide selection of Western and Asian favorites. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Sukhothai Bangkok Hotel Bangkok
- Sukhothai Hotel Bangkok
- Bangkok Sukhothai Hotel