I visited Thailand in February-March 2012 and stayed for a total of 9 days. I spent the first 3 nights in Bangkok, then went on to stay 3 nights in Pattaya and returned to Bangkok for another 2 nights. Both my stays in Bangkok were at the Lotus Sukhumvit Hotel. Overall, I’d give the hotel a 8/10 rating.
As the hotel is under the Accor group management and as I’m entitled to special corporate rates at Accor properties worldwide, I got a really good deal with the room rate.
I did the wisest thing by simply taking a taxi direct to the hotel from the Suvarnabhoomi Intl Airport. My advice is, don’t waste your time & energy looking for cheaper options. The taxis are pretty cheap themselves! They go strictly by the meter and put a small extra charge for a journey starting at the airport. For the 1+ hour ride (thanks to heavy traffic on the expressway in the late afternoon) to the hotel, I paid just about THB 300.00, which is pretty reasonable.
On my last day, for returning to the airport, I took a taxi from the hotel to the Makkasan station (insist on a metered taxi and avoid taking the hotel’s ‘limousine’ rip-off; it will cost you less than THB 70.00). Here, I took the airport express train going straight to the Suvarnabhoomi airport in about half-an-hour and costing only THB 90.00.
For this hotel, its location just off the ever-popular Sukhumvit Road is a winner!
It’s just a few meters into the Soi 33, which in itself is a pretty bustling and self-sufficient neighborhood. All around the hotel, there are several restaurants, supermarkets, coffee shops, an ultra-modern shopping mall (Emporium), massage centers & go-go bars… everything that you would look for in Bangkok … within 5-10 minutes’ walking distance.
Only 5 minutes’ walk away from the hotel along the Sukhumvit Road, there’s Phrom Phong skytrain station, which makes getting around the city so convenient & cheap! The skytrain extends up to Siam (where the super-famous MBK shopping center is) and also connects to a couple of MRT stations (e.g. Asoke), from where you can take subway trains for longer journeys.
Even for exploring the (in)famous nightlife of the Sukhumvit area, this hotel proved to be ideally located. The night I went visiting the Soi Cowboy, I remember, I simply walked all the way there (about 15 minutes’ walk). And also to visit the Soi Nana (located further down the Sukhumvit Road), I simply took the skytrain to the Nana station.
As you turn into Soi 33, there’s a 7/11 in the corner, which proved very convenient. Even better, just out of the Soi 33 and turning left to go towards the Phrom Phong skytrain station, there’s a fabulous supermarket (forgot its name) only a minute’s walk away. It’s open 24 hours and stocks not only groceries & wines but also lovely sandwiches & bakery products etc.
The whole Sukhumvit Road is filled with restaurants, fast food places, beer bars and several makeshift street-side eateries. Just opposite the hotel there are 2 Italian restaurants and although they have the ‘fine-dine’ look, taking a pizza to-go from one of them wasn’t expensive at all. Also, if you walk around the hotel’s surroundings, there are several simple Chinese, Japanese & Indian eateries, which are pretty cheap but clean.
If you walk 5 minutes to the Phrom Phong skytrain station and take the pedestrian bridge across the Sukhumvit Road to the other side, you can directly enter the Emporium shopping mall, which is really chic. They have such a wonderful food court, where you get literally a world of cuisines to choose from.
I had booked my room with breakfast included. The breakfast buffet was served in the main restaurant of the hotel (Coco’s Café) and was quite a generous spread. As the hotel is highly patronized by Japanese businessmen, there was a good selection of Japanese items (e.g. Miso soup, Japanese rice & fish dishes and even sushi freshly made early in the morning). But they also served a good variety of items for the Westerners (sausages, breads, eggs, hash browns, some nice cakes etc). And of course, there was the live omelet station, where the chef would prepare the omelet as per your instructions.
The staff members at the restaurant were a funny mix. There was this Thai lady (seemed to be the restaurant manager, as she was always wearing a black jacket), who was super smiley and talkative. But the rest of the staff working there looked pretty grim while they served. Their understanding of English also looked really poor.
I never dined at this restaurant other than for breakfast, nor did I try any other outlet within the hotel. But there seemed to be a popular cake & pastry shop in the lobby level, frequented by some college kids from the vicinity.
I had a bit of a tiff with the reception immediately after I arrived and that left a sour taste in my mouth till the end. The beaming smiles of the Thai people and their exceptionally polite way of greeting/thanking their guests with folded hands are quite legendary. However you have to experience it yourself to know, how quickly these can disappear and be replaced by an unbelievable sulk, the moment there’s a clash of interests.
I had made my booking online through the Accor group’s official website (www.accorhotels.com). As per options provided during the booking process, I had specifically booked a standard, queen-bed, non-smoking room and the same was confirmed by the website.
However on reaching the hotel, the front desk manager informed me that there was no queen-sized bed available in the standard room category and that I would have to accept a twin-bed room. I refused, showed him a printout of my confirmation and insisted that I get the same. This guy, who had so far been quite polite & smiley (it’s a highly trained & rehearsed performance, as I’ve realized by now), suddenly changed his colours and turned pretty grumpy. Finally, after disappearing into the back-office for a few minutes and (apparently) talking to some superiors, he came out telling me that the hotel had decided to upgrade me to a suite. His whole attitude was as if he was doing me a huge favour, so I had to remind him in a ‘polite but firm’ manner that I had never asked for an upgrade, I didn’t even need a suite, I’d be perfectly happy to have a standard room but necessarily with the options that had been confirmed to me. From this moment onward, he decided to give me a cold shoulder and till the end of my stay, he never faced up to me whenever I passed by or stopped by at the reception. He’d actually pretend to not have seen me at all and assigned some junior staff to speak to me. So immature!
I had a run-in with this guy once more on my final day in Thailand. My flight was around 8:00 PM, so I wanted to leave the hotel for the airport around 4:00 PM. I requested the reception for a late check-out at 4:00 PM (reminding them that I had stayed for a total of 5 nights at the hotel and also that I’m an Accor AClub member). Of course, they were very happy to tell me that they could not offer me a late check-out, as the hotel was fully booked. They agreed to extend the room to a maximum of 2:00 PM (2 extra hours). Silently, I accepted this but requested for the use of the showers facility in the fitness center just before leaving the hotel. To my horror, I was told, “of course you can use it, Sir. But it will be an extra charge”.
I’ve spent my working life in the tourism & hospitality industry and I know it’s standard practice worldwide that hotels, even after guests have checked out, allow them free use of health club facilities for showering/changing before they head for the airport. But here, the reception staff seemed to have ‘blacklisted’ me as a ‘difficult customer’ and therefore were looking for every opportunity to act difficult with me in return. Finally, after a lot of arguing, they did allow me a free use of the showers & changing rooms.
I wanted to do some sightseeing in Bangkok, as this was my first time in Thailand, so I approached the Concierge on duty. This one turned out to be a very pleasant, approachable young man called Jacky and he was pretty forthcoming with information. I booked 2 sightseeing tours through him and made him promise a hundred times that I’d be picked up from and dropped back at the hotel before & after the tours. He also booked a door-to-door private transfer for me to go to Pattaya 3 days later, at a reasonable rate.
As described above, for my first stay of 3 nights, I’d received an upgrade to a 1-bedroom suite. It was quite big… too big for my comfort, actually. But it was perfectly equipped. All the usual necessities and even an in-room safe (which I always insist on having), 2 complimentary mineral water bottles & tea/coffee making facilities (replenished daily). Bathrobe & bath slippers were also provided. (Perhaps because it was a suite), there was a 32-inch flat-screen TV with quite a mediocre choice of channels. No good views though, as this room overlooked a neighbouring tower.
Bathroom was quite nice, too, with all the amenities (incl. shaving kit, toothbrush set, shampoo, conditioner, soap, hairdryer etc) provided. Toilet was OK; the plumbing was pretty functional.
In my second stay of 2 nights, I finally (almost) got the kind of room I’d actually booked: a standard room with queen-sized bed, although the only room available in that category was a smoking room, which I absolutely didn’t want. But instead to refusing it outright, I first went to check out the room, found that it wasn’t stinking at all and accepted it. The view from this room was much better. It overlooked the city area and the little park across the Sukhumvit Road. In this room, there was an old-fashioned CRT TV.
Can you imagine a 220 rooms, 20-storeys tall hotel building with only 1 functioning lift? Well that’s what I had during my stay. Out of the total 4 lifts in the hotel, 1 serves only the floors up to the restaurant level (floor # 7). From the remaining 3 lifts, 2 were closed for maintenance throughout my stay. So there was only 1 lift left for the whole hotel to use in those very busy times. I sometimes had to wait up to 10 minutes for the lift to show up and even then, it could be too full to step in. Quite an inconvenience!
Also at the time I stayed here, the hotel had some major renovation work going on in the higher floors, so from 9:00 AM till 5:00 PM, you could hear constant hammering, drilling noises even in the lower floors. Forget about sleeping in late during your holidays!
I shouldn't forget to mention here, the hotel VERY VERY VERY DESPERATELY needs to change its carpets in all floors. All over the hotel, the carpet had that musty, dusty smell, which I was OK with, but it's not for those who are sensitive to these things!
Although the hotel has a swimming pool & gym in the same floor as the restaurant, I didn’t use either of them.
AROUND THE HOTEL:
At the corner of Soi 22 (coming out from the hotel, turn right onto Sukhumvit Road and walk for about 5 minutes), I found a very nice, efficient & cheap laundry service. Clothes (incl. undergarments) were perfectly washed, pressed & perfumed and delivered on the next day for as low as 20-30 Baht a piece. So obviously, I didn’t use the hotel’s expensive laundry service.
I wanted to get a new pair of glasses made for myself while in Thailand, which I knew would be much cheaper than getting them in Dubai. So I set out in search of a good optical shop near the hotel. There were plenty of them, but finally there was this really nice one I found (between Soi 29 & 31, on the main Sukhumvit Road), called V. Siam Optical (www.siamoptic.com). Here, I met this amazingly nice & friendly optometrist – Mr. Supat Janyunupwp. Not only did he have a very polite, comforting manner when dealing with customers, he also very patiently explained what the best options for me would be and didn’t charge an extravagant amount for the finished product. What’s more, he delivered my perfectly crafted new glasses within 2 days.
Another great thing about the hotel’s location was the abundance of massage centers offering either genuine Thai massages or even ‘full-service’ options. Soi 33 was filled with these massage places and also a few Japanese karaoke bars (since there are loads of Japanese expats living in the Sukhumvit area), which I believe also double up as pickup bars. The hotel itself is listed as ‘guest friendly’, i.e. hotel customers are free to pickup ‘companions’ from bars or off the street and bring them back to their rooms without any objection from the hotel. I didn’t take advantage of this facility myself, though. In Soi 35 (just a 2 minutes’ walk from the hotel), I found a really nice massage place and became quite a regular there throughout my stay. An hour-long, relaxing, soothing foot massage for only THB 300.00 here was such a steal!
MORE SHOPPING TIPS:
If you’re looking for designer labels and big brands, Emporium Mall is just 10 minutes’ walk away from the hotel. It’s a swanky, multi-storey shopping mall with plenty of eating options as well.
I regretted visiting that overhyped shopping center called MBK (next to Siam skytrain station). Not only do they sell really overpriced items there, but also there’s nothing so great about it. Even the prices at their food court didn’t make much sense.
But I was fortunate enough to have a free Saturday in Bangkok, so I did the best possible thing: I visited the famed weekend market in Chatchup Park. This is a place which is like, you have to see it to believe it. It’s an enormous open-air market with thousands of sheds serving as shops selling almost everything imaginable… clothes, shoes, accessories, souvenirs, furnishing & decorative items, food… you name it and you got it. I spent almost the whole day here and still I don’t think I saw more than 30% of this vast market. (Very easy to reach by public transport: take the skytrain from Phrom Phong to Asoke and then change over to MRT and travel direct to Chatchup Park. You emerge right next to the market).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bangkok Hotel Lotus Sukhumvit (Managed by Accor Hotels) is a 4 star Hotel that is ideal for business trips and holidays alike. With 224 comfortable and spacious rooms, the Hotel features an outdoor swimming pool and toddler's pool, fully equipped gymnasium with sauna, a spa with a variety of treatments as well as a beauty salon and tailors shop. This hotel is the best One-Stop located hotel. The Hotel is strategically located in one of Bangkok's most prime location and district. Located at Sukhumvit Soi 33, it is only a moment's walk from PhromPhong BTS station, and is close to the Em District (Emporium & Emquartier Shopping Centres). Benjasiri Park is another landmark which graces the district. There are also many local street markets and places of entertainment with a vibrant night life surrounding the area as well. Guest can easily travel to popular locations within Bangkok, such as Siam Square, Asoke, MBK, Terminal 21 and Bumrungrad International Hospital with a 10 minute BTS ride from Prom Phong BTS Station. The Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre is only 1 km away, while the hotel is only 10 minutes from the expressway and 30 minutes from the airport. The hotel offers free WIFI Internet access in every guestroom ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Orbitz, Hotels.com, Booking.com, ACCOR, Agoda, Travelocity, Ctrip TA, Expedia, Asiatravel.com Holdings, Priceline, TripOnline SA, Hotwire, Cancelon, Cheap Tickets and HotelQuickly so you can book your Bangkok Hotel Lotus Sukhumvit 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:
- Accor Lotus Bangkok
- Novotel Lotus Bangkok
- Novotel Bangkok
- Bangkok Novotel