Review: Royal Orchid Sheraton Bangkok

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As we were scheduled to travel on subsequent days, we planned a stop in Bangkok to regroup before heading into the countryside. The plan was that some of us would have two nights in the city, and the rest would only have one, but due to some weather issues and missed connections we all ended up arriving on the same day. So we ended up having about 16 hours in the city.

Which, one night in Bangkok provides plenty of educational opportunities for teenage girls, so that was probably fine.

Based on some recommendations from frequent Bangkok visitors, we decided we wanted to stay by the river. This made more sense when we had two days in the city, but that’s how things go sometimes.

We chose the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers as I had a couple of SPG Platinum suite upgrades slated to expire at the end of the year, and the base rate was only $88+tax a night. The Royal Orchid is a Category 3 property in the Starwood Preferred Guest program, so I could also have spent 7,000 SPG points per room, or 3,500 points + $55 using the SPG Cash & Points rate. Clearly the paid rate was the way to go in this case.

The upgrades cleared soon after booking, and both rooms were confirmed to “Executive River View Suites,” which are described as follows:

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Suite description on SPG.com

“Full buffet breakfast” is also a published feature of the Executive River View Suite, which will be important later.

Interestingly, while most hotels with club lounges offer lounge access to suite guests, the Royal Orchid Sheraton is one of those properties that considers Club rooms to be a separate thing altogether. So there’s no way to upgrade to the Club using instruments (though of course SPG Platinums and holders of the SPG Business Amex have access regardless).

There’s more to life than cubed cheese and dehydrated carrots, so I was fine with this. I figured the larger rooms were going to be more useful than anything else given our short stay, and having lounge access for one room would be just fine given our other plans.

A few days before our stay (well after the suite upgrades had been confirmed, and after the cancellation deadline), I received an email from the VIP & Club Services Leader that included the standard arrival information, along with the following note on lounge access:

“In recognition of your Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum status, we are delighted to extend complimentary access to our Club Lounge for two persons only. Please note, there will be charge for the 3rd person at THB 1,500++/person/day if they would like to join to use the Sheraton Club.”

I replied back a bit incredulous, as I’ve never heard of an SPG hotel not giving lounge access to all registered Platinum room guests (those accessing by virtue of the SPG Amex are limited to two people), particularly when one of those people is a child. But I also don’t generally travel with a group, so I could be wrong there.

The response was polite, but adamant:

“As for platinum benefits, the club lounge access is extended for the member and one guest. Children age 3-12 years old can access to the club complimentary accompanied by adults.

We have noted your preferences as well, and with your suite night award confirmed, a nice Suite River View is provided for you.”

So, whatever. I’m sure there is a rationale for the policy, though it would have been nice for it to be disclosed earlier in the process. Truly not a big deal though, and Bangkok certainly has better culinary options!

Arrival and check-in

The three of us took a taxi from the Bangkok airport, and light traffic meant we were at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers within about 35 minutes. For some reason almost all the photos I took of the lobby and grounds are unusable (which is a damn shame, because I had some fantastic footage of the children’s choir and slutty Mrs. Claus that showed up to sing Christmas carols), but you can get a sense of the style and decor in this one:

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel lobby

There were no queues at the front desk, but once the agent saw my reservation she asked if she could escort me to the Club Lounge for check-in.

This is absolutely a personal side-effect of staying 200+ nights a year in hotels, but I sorta hate lounge check-in. I feel it makes the whole process last much longer than necessary, and I would vastly prefer the six minutes spent walking me up to a lounge be spent actually checking me in. But, hotels seem to think it’s a nice perk, and I certainly appreciate the intention.

The Sheraton Club was on the 27th floor, freshly renovated, and offered expansive views of the city and river.

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge views

The lounge agent offered us towels and water, while her colleague collected our passports. She came back a few minutes later with the rate card for me to sign, and reiterated that only two of us would have access to the club lounge.

We then started what became a hilarious game of “Who’s on first?” for the second room.

“Also, for the second room, you will have to check in downstairs.”
“Pardon?”
“Only your room has lounge access, so the main reception will have to process the reservation.”
“They’re arriving a bit later, do you think you could maybe set everything up and I’ll take care of the paperwork now, so they can just show their passports and get keys on arrival?”
“Unfortunately no. Main reception only.”

Alrighty then.

Of course, when Heather did arrive, the front desk was adamant that I was a platinum member, and thus should be checking in at the lounge. The lounge sent us back to reception. The front desk agent was bewildered at our return, and protested that this was a mistake, and we MUST check in at the lounge.

And this, I learned, is when children make excellent props.

Heather whispered to my nephew, “Hey, show me Tired” and our bouncy toddler changed his limbs to noodles and drooped his head, leaning so heavily against his parents he had to be picked up.

Taking my cue, I turned back to the front desk agent with a “look, it’s been a long day, and the little one is clearly exhausted. Is there any way you can just check us in so we can put him to bed and get some dinner?”

That worked, and three minutes later we had keys.

Royal Orchid Sheraton River View Junior Suite

As mentioned, I used SPG Platinum Suite Night Awards to upgrade both rooms to suites. I assumed both rooms were the same, given that both had been confirmed as Executive Suites.

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So I didn’t photograph Heather’s room, and it wasn’t until the next morning that I realized my room had been downgraded, and were only given a Junior Suite, while she had an actual Executive Suite.

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Executive suite, with bonus sleeping kid, because that’s how family trips go

There wasn’t anything to be done at that point, but it made the cramped suite we were given make a bit more sense. And we still ended up with one room that was larger, which was the main goal to begin with.

So these are pictures of the Junior Suite — the Executive Suite was about 30% larger, and a had a weird half-bath (connected to the main bathroom), but the furnishings were of a similar quality/era. Again, apologies for the photo quality here — I don’t know what was going on with my camera on this day.

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel hallway

The room opened to a living space that was a little over-furnished, but had fabulous floor to ceiling windows with great views.

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel junior suite living room

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel junior suite living room

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel junior suite views

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And a boat!

Off the living room was a bedroom, which had a second desk/vanity area, and another great window:

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel junior suite bedroom

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel junior suite bedroom

The bathroom was off the bedroom, and was decently sized, with a separate tub and shower:

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel junior suite bathroom

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel junior suite bathroom

The room was fine, though it’s always a bit difficult to have the bathroom off the bedroom rather than off the living room. We figured it out, but it would definitely have been nice to have a full suite.

Royal Orchid Sheraton Club Lounge

As mentioned, the lounge was on the 27th floor, with the following listed features:

The Sheraton Club on the 27th Floor operates daily from 6:30am to 10:30pm. The following services and benefits are available to you:

∙ Continental Breakfast served from 07:00am to 10:00am
∙ Afternoon-tea served between 2:00pm to 4:00pm
∙ Pre-dinner cocktails and snacks served between 5:30pm to 8:00pm
∙ Tea, Coffee and non alcoholic beverages served throughout the operating hours
∙ Complimentary internet access from desktop terminals at Sheraton club
∙ Complimentary internet access in room for 24 hrs. per day
∙ Complimentary use for Sheraton club Boardroom 1 hour per day
∙ Complimentary access to Royal Orchid Sheraton health club (located on 1st floor) from 06:00am to 10:00pm

Going back in time a bit, while we waited for the second half of our group to arrive my husband and niece decided to take naps. I’m incapable of napping, so went for a quick swim (the pool temperature was perfect), then stopped by the Club Lounge to have a look at the afternoon tea offerings.

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge

The buffet area was around the corner from where we’d first checked in, and the lounge was quite large.

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge

For the afternoon service they had fresh fruit, miniature lemon merengue pies, and slices of cake, in addition to tea and coffees.

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge afternoon tea

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge afternoon tea

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge afternoon tea

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge afternoon tea

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge afternoon tea

We had other plans for the evening, so I didn’t get a chance to examine the offerings at the cocktail reception. In the morning, my husband and I went up to the Club Lounge to see the breakfast spread.

There was quite a decent selection, with plenty of hot and cold items, both Asian and Western.

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge breakfast

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Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel club lounge breakfast

To continue the ridiculous saga of the Platinum benefits at this hotel, when Heather took her husband and the little one to the restaurant for breakfast, they asked her room number and then refused to seat her, even though she was staying in a room that included restaurant breakfast.

“Platinums must take breakfast in the Club lounge!”

At this point it was just comical, and eventually she convinced them that restaurant breakfast would be perfect, thanks, but holy cow…

The comedy continued at check-out. While everyone else was finalizing their packing I popped up to the lounge to settle our folio.

“I can only process the check-out for one room, for the other you’ll have to go downstairs…”

Which…

“Listen, I appreciate that you are just following instructions, but this is getting more than a little inconvenient. I have two rooms, both under my name, paid for with the same credit card, also in my name. I’d like to check out of them, pay for any charges with that same credit card, and I’d like to do so from a single location in the hotel. Is that something you can help me with, or could you please tell me who can?”

“Let me call the manager.”

So, after waiting 15 minutes for the duty manager, I was successfully able to check out of both rooms. I also mentioned the room mix-up to her (not as a complaint, but just so she was aware from a training/inventory perspective), and she protested that suite upgrades couldn’t be confirmed until check-in.

Which, one, no, and two, both the agent and my reservation described an Executive Suite — we were just given keys to a Junior Suite. She also insisted that the restaurant breakfast was not included for upgrades, which is patently untrue, and seemed generally unaware of how these things work.

But at some point it’s just not worth explaining further.

Bottom line

While inexpensive compared to properties in other major cities, the Royal Orchid Sheraton is not a great deal for Bangkok. The hotel is dated, not well maintained, and the staff doesn’t seem to get the “hospitality” part of the hospitality industry. The communication between the staff was not good, and there are clearly some major training issues at this property.

I know others have had good stays here, and the views were nice, but based on this experience I’d recommend against the property. There are too many other hotel options in Bangkok to settle for this one.

Has anyone else stayed at the Royal Orchid? Did I just catch them on a bad day?

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Comments

  1. WOW. What terrible service!

    I would have made a big fuss and complain on the stupid policy of checking in/out. Give them a terrible survey/review and see if theyll throw some points along the way. Definitely not the way to treat Plats!

  2. Wow, anyone who thinks it’s fine to suggest you go to two different locations to check out of two rooms under the same booking should not be employed in a hotel.

    I know sometimes it’s not worth the fight but I wouldn’t be able to help myself in explaining to a manger how ridiculous their policy is regarding this whole scenario.

    Although to drill staff to not be able to use their own judgments and follow odd strict policy says an awful lot of the hotel management. Bizarre.

  3. @ Jon — Well, technically they were two separate bookings (as they’d originally been for different lengths). But still.

    I also got the impression that the “duty manager” wasn’t someone typically in charge of reservations or the front desk. More like a spa manager who drew the short straw for working that day or something. I didn’t think I’d get anywhere with her, sadly.

  4. @ Calvin — Hah, that’s about as much of a fuss as I ever make! I did leave some very specific feedback on the survey, so we’ll see what happens there.

  5. Bangkok has a staggering array of great hotels. Given this intense competitive field I am a bit shocked that you got such mediocre service. A staff member at my beloved Mandarin Oriental would be sincerely appalled at the idea of contradicting a guest or causing a guest any sort of inconvenience.

    On a side note…

    Tiffany, you are the Carrie Bradshaw of travel bloggers. Your writing style is precise but also wildly entertaining. I hope you’re keeping a travel diary. It may make a great book someday (especially if it includes pics of things like slutty Mrs. Claus.)

  6. As a frequent visitor to Bangkok I can not think of any reason to stay at this hotel given the vast array of options. Of course I understand large family vacations make “easy” and affordable key. Having only walked through the lobby it seems like a soulless corporate behemoth well past it’s prime and about as Thai as the tiki room in the Holiday Inn on 8th Avenue. Staying on the river is way over rated, in my opinion. A bunch of mostly large corporate high-rise hotels. Oh and the mosquitos are worse on the river, but no one ever seems to want to talk about that and I suppose in a hermetically sealed office tower hotel you don’t notice.

    Great trip report totally confirms that the Royal Orchid is a must avoid. My favorite hotel in BKK is the Sukhothai. It’s on 8 acres of insanely beautiful gardens and lily ponds, quiet, elegant and beautifully designed. Classic modern, elegant, understated and very Thai. It’s not a member of a chain, but seriously if you ever want to splurge on a non Hilton, SPG, Hyatt (I also hate the Hyatt in BKK really hideous hotel) you should check it out. King Pool View or The Executive Suites over looking the garden (don’t ever get what they call a city view – as it’s more a driveway view).

    Thanks for this great report sorry your first 24 hours in BKK weren’t as easy as they should have been.

  7. FWIW, I believe it is the official policy that an SPG Platinum gets 2 people’s admission to the club lounge, regardless of how many people are staying in the room. Some hotels may be more generous but I think they were correctly implementing SPG policies there. So that is the one place this hotel was correct, but the rest sounds like a disaster.

    But, training your nephew to be a prop in difficult customer service situations is a definite win. 🙂

  8. @ Bgriff — Yes, I’ve been trying to source the benefit details since then, as it seems others would benefit from knowing the actual rule. I can’t find anything on the SPG site other than “Complimentary health-club, Club-level and Executive-level access.” with no other qualifiers.

    It’s definitely only two people for the Amex benefit, so seems odd that it wouldn’t be described either way!

  9. @ Mark Owen — Having been there, completely agree. The waterfront area was decidedly meh.

    And no need to apologize! I love travel more when it isn’t easy!

  10. Thanks for the review and the comments regarding being on the river. I have 4 days in Bangkok in June and have never been there before. I am deciding between the Conrad and the Hilton Millennium which is on the river (west side). I am leaning toward the Conrad because it seems like a much nicer place for the same price (points stay). But I didn’t know if I was missing something by not being on the river. It appears the views are nicer, but thats about it.

  11. Agreed with some of the prior posters. So many awesome hotels in BKK, that staying at a Sheraton is only explainable if one doesn’t care where one stays. The Sukhothai or Hansar are worlds better (although also way more expensive) and I like staying near the US embassy better anyway. But to each their own.

  12. Stayed there last February on a business trip. Got food poisoning at the breakfast buffet in the restaurant on the first morning. Never again.

  13. “slutty Mrs. Claus” Hmm! that sounds interesting. I have heard of all sorts of Mrs. Claus but never thought there will be a slutty Mrs. Claus. Well, you always learn something new.

  14. @ Tiffany — That property clearly doesn’t “get” spirit vs. letter. Pretty impressive that you were able to keep your cool. Spend time training un-empowered hotel staff on the details of their loyalty programs is something I do quite frequently, with much less chill.

    JRL

  15. How many people were in each room? I tried to book the same hotel for 3 in one room but they have a huge charge for the third person even its two double bed room. Is that the reason for restaurant fuzz? Did you pay extra for the thurd persom?

  16. the property gets a lot of negative reviews on ft and having stayed there, I can understand your issue with their stubbornness with the rules. Interestingly, they designate the rooms being allocated for platinums the day before check-in. I happened to see them working on it first hand on more then one occasion. The junior suites are mediocre but when it was a cat.1 or 2 it was a good value on points during busy periods.

    that being said, I think the lounge upstairs is nicer then they make it out to be on FT….free open bar at night and they kept the drinks coming (and coming!) and you could request them to make a variety of cocktails.

    did you make use of the hotels complimentary boat rides to the skytrain? the boat is beautiful!

  17. @ caveman — ZOMG, it was so bad! Like, to the point where both husbands were blushing, and the 15-year old commented “that’s really not appropriate.”

  18. @ JRL — Hah, thanks! I try to stay pretty calm and patient in these situations; poor training is almost never the fault of the front line, in my experience.

  19. @ Ken — Everyone was registered, so I don’t think that was it. Just miscommunication between the various departments, and a poor sense of the overall guest experience.

  20. Although the separate check in and out makes no sense to me, I can understand the strict enforcement of the lounge policy. Not long ago I had a weekend stay at the Grand Hyatt WDC. They controlled access to the lounge by your keycard with no employee at the entry to verify guests. On the weekend that I was at the hotel, the relatively small lounge was packed well beyond capacity at breakfast time. There was a large group traveling together who had one room on the lounge floor with the majority of the guests on other floors, or maybe other hotels for all I know, who camped out in the lounge for breakfast while planning their day. I complained at checkout that the lounge was too crowded at breakfast. A few days later I received an email from the hotel manager informing me that the hotel had instituted a policy change to prevent a reoccurance. We may or may not agree with where the lines are drawn for the distribution of perks, but once drawn those lines should be strictly enforced for the benefit of all.

  21. So to clarify: you are complaining about the fact that the property did not extent benefits to which guests were not entitled? These were separate bookings, different arrival times and different SPG status?

  22. @Mark Own makes an excellent point. In many cities the nicest places to stay are not necessarily at one of the readily identifiable chain hotels. There are some charming boutique-style establishments, which are true life-style places. Put a bit of time into research; will even make for an unusual review here too! Earning/redeeming hotel points is not everything!

  23. Tiffany, your experience of FART (Friends And Relatives Travel) mirrors my own.

    Does not matter when or where, what status I hold, how many seamless experiences at the same property on multiple stays, etc., when doing FART, the whole thing somehow ALWAYS just falls apart. It does make for a good story but …

    Meanwhile, as others have said, the lack of slutty Mrs. Claus pics is disappointing!

  24. Yep, Bangkok is wayyy too nice and cheap and rife with other great hotels to settle with something this mediocre. If it was in London or Singapore, at exactly the same price, THEN we’d be talking.

  25. OK, sorry if I misunderstood that. I have stayed at the ROS many, many times and never experienced anything like you describe.
    It it a bit frustrating to have to take breakfast in the Lounge( in previous times it was possible to have it in the lobby level restaurant or in Georgio’s ). No longer.
    As for the ‘hospitality’ side of the experience,I have found the staff to be nothing but efficient, responsive and charming.
    This property is one of the great bargains, of many, in Bangkok. They treat platinum members very well ( nothwithstanding your concerns) and upgrade success rate is high.

  26. One thing I didn’t quite get – you spend 200+ nights a year in hotels?! Is that all leisure travel?

  27. @GringoLoco, do your FART trips fall apart because you are trying to extend your perks to others who have not earned and are not entitled to the perks?

  28. Does anyone have a better suggestion for a hotel in Bangkok for 7000 Starpoints ? I know there are several . Which would anyone recommend? Credit , yes December is a good month . Darn , now that will make it even more crowded !
    Skytrain access is better than river view .

  29. Hmm well that sucks. We had a nice stay here last year. I had a family member in tow, first time in bangkok & he wanted to stay on the river. My plat upgrade was executive suite river view. Lounge check-in as well. Evening spread & cocktails were very good quality. River boat was fun. Service was good, if strictly scripted. All in all a very good stay. Rev rate was maybe $100. I did notice that web site description had a few things that came with the exec suite, for example free pressing of one item per day. When I tried to use that, i was told no that’s only if you are paying for the suite, not for a plat upgrade. Which to be fair i have found in several spg props, including st regis. So i think one issue at this prop is suite benefits described on web for rev, vs complementary upgrade.

  30. i have experienced lounge limitations to the Platinum member and 1 guest in a # of SPG locations as well as in Marriott properties with a Platinum lounge and Intercontinental hotels too. one Intercontinental in China wouldn’t let me bring in my colleague who was staying in another room in the hotel, because he was not registered in MY room. I have also booked multiple rooms at SPG properties in my name and seen them let my 2nd room use the lounge, while others enforced more quickly. I booked my wife into ROS under my name/# with both of our names on the reservation but they wouldn’t give her lounge access unless I was there.

  31. @PhxPlt – WGS is in the same category as ROS which is Cat 3 thus require only 7,000 starpoints for redemption. I often stay at those inc Le Meridien (also Cat 3 property). I rate LM highest in terms of quality and service. But it depends what people likes really. Some value riverfront stay more than others. While some might prefer a hotel with proximity to train station and city centre.
    I am yet to try Le Meridien Suvannabhumi which has the biggest suite upgrade amongst all the Starwood properties in Bangkok. Will be staying there next month.

  32. I have stayed at the RO many times but the only reason one would stay there today is price & if one specifically wanted to be at that end of town. Bangkok has changed so much since the RO & its accompanying River City heyday (30 years ago) when all the best hotels were on the river and it was the best location to be as Bangkok life was all about the river. The Skytrain changed all that & with it came all the amazing hotels, shopping malls, activities & a whole different life in Bangkok away from the river. Sadly the RO really needs a complete gut & reno.

    And of course the booming times in the city over the last decade or two has changed the staffing needs which has stretched the economy as more and more hotels, stores etc need trained, english speaking staff, many of whom are struggling to understand the language let alone the subtleties & needs of their guests. It is a city wide issue. Hotel management used to be predominantly expat but rightly, they have continued to be replaced by locals but often without the same level of expertise & sometimes it plays out as per your experience with little knowledge of when flexibility & common sense should be the decision over ‘the rules’.

    In Bangkok hotel choices need to be made on the reason for the visit to the city or where you like to be. Do you want to be on the river or do you prefer a tropical paradise or do you want to be in the heart of the business or shopping district? Its horse for courses & the traffic is now so bad that in my opinion it really does impact on choosing the best location for your stay & I would always want to be walking distance to a skytrain station. As others have mentioned, there are some seriously extraordinary properties in Bangkok today offering every experience possible. Sadly the Royal Orchid ain’t one of them!

  33. Wow that is just amazingly poor service for Thailand. I usually stay at Hyatt Erawan or Shangri La and they absolutely bend over backwards to make sure the guest is happy.

    You were much nicer about their various service fails then I would have been. I hope you absolutely flame this property on TA.

  34. Hi,
    I stayed at the Plaza Athenée Bangkok (Royal Meridien) multiple times.
    I highly recommend it. SPG floors have renovated rooms. BTS station is 5 minute-walk. Major shopping malls (Paragon, Central World) are 10 to 15 min-walk.
    The new Park Hyatt BKK will be across the street from Plaza Athenée

  35. Next time stay at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit . I have stayed at this property over 30 times and you should see the benefits for platinum members.

  36. My wife and I stayed at the Royal Orchid this past April. We had a great experience, so I was a little surprised at the negative review. We only had one room, so didn’t have the issues you had. The hotel could have obviously handled your situation much better.

    We really enjoyed the club lounge. We ate all our breakfasts there and enjoyed the food and service. We also had snacks during the afternoon and were very pleased. And the view was spectacular.

  37. I recommend the Le Meridien Bangkok next time you are in Bangkok.
    It is a hotel more targeted to Business people and does not have the wonderful view of the Chao Praya river but their service is so much nicer and it is a more modern hotel with nicer and modern furnishings.

  38. I have stayed at this property many times over the last ten years and always as a Platinum SPG member,and became a Lifetime SPG Platinum three years ago the first year it was offered.i find yo to be overly critical,demanding and exhibiting the behavior that they expect from Americans who change their plans at the last minute and expect the staff with language barriers in the first place to part the Red Sea and work miracles for you.You tried to find the cheapest hotel and used cash and points and the hell with everyone or anything else I want what I want!!!I could care less that I am in another country on the otherside of the world and I paid peanuts to stay I want royal first class service and everyone to jump to attention because I need help and I need to manipulate the situation and give these people who are only trying to make a honest living a hard time by using props and a kid to exploit my situation.
    It’s prima donna bourgeois treatment toward hard working people working in their own country who only need to speak English at work that give Americans a bad name.Now when I present my American passport at check-in I have to work extra hardtop make them realize that all Americans traveling are not overpriveleged,demanding prima donnas who want five star service at two star prices,especially when they change their plans at the last minute.
    If I choose to stay at the Royal Orchid Sheraton I know that I am getting what I pay for.I have always received excellent service,and don’t come in as an overpriveledged,demanding American who just changed my plans ,my dates and needs all the set rules to be bent for me and my fellow demanding friends and relatives.
    Next time pull your five star tantrum at a truly five star hotel in Bangkok and see how they respond to you and critique it like you did the Royal Orchid Sheraton,i will be waiting and probably waiting because by know you probably realize if you have any decency that you acted like a spoiled entitled brat and you dragged others you were traveling with into it.
    I see spoiled entitled brats every day in New York and the last place I want to see them ,deal with them ,or see them giving people who are the working poor a really hard time is half way around the world in Bangkok.
    I have known most people I deal with in this hotel for over ten years from the valets,bellman, front desk to the people who work in the club,and I go there for the warmth and friendliness that I receive,and not to criticize the rules and the décor.I will definitely be going back,even though I can easily afford the St. Regis which I have stayed at quite a few times since it’s opened,but I am not always looking for top notch luxury sometimes I want to connect with people that I have become friends with over the years.

  39. I agree that Le Meredian Bangkok is the preferable choice to Royal Sheraton. The only perk to the Sheraton is that you can simply walk from its Lobby directly out to River City shopping center. Of course, if you staying at say, the Oriental or others on the Chao Praya, there are boats to take you to the dock for interesting shopping.

  40. Why doesn’t anyone mention the Sofitel So? Gorgeous design, wonderful views and caring staff are the main ingredients there. And the rooftop bar really ticks all the boxes.

  41. @Sam – no, not trying to bend the rules at all, just service failures that ONLY happen when I am traveling with others. I’m pretty laid back with my programs (Diamond in both Hyatt and Hilton, most years qualifying via stays AND nights in both) — but then I’m from the old school earning my status from actually being loyal as opposed to a “hobbyist/hacker” who gets a credit card and/or comped status and then demands the earth, moon, stars, and, when not provided, screams “DYKWIA” at the top of their (internet) lungs.

    @W.Johnson – feel better now? LOL

  42. @ M — SPG has been very adamant that any published benefits of the suite are benefits of the room regardless of how you got in it. So if there are things like car service, butler service, laundry, breakfast, lounge access, whatever, you should get those even if you upgrade.

  43. I understand that bloggers try to maximize points and loyalty status but in Asia there are so many better properties than just SPG, Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott for very cheap rates that I don’t understand why you would stay in a dated Sheraton in Bangkok.

  44. Because they were trying to save money then complained about the service.Trying to get five star benefits at two star prices.

  45. Sadly, Americans are very unadventurous travelers, and go for the American chain hotels as they do not want to feel outside their comfort zone. Or, they are too damn lazy to find something which captures the essence of the country they are visiting, which in fact may provide more luxury than the boring chain hotels. *Foreign* food is another issue too~ how many time have we seen Ben give non-American airlines a lukewarm review of the home country cuisine, which he doesn’t understand, of those airlines? While I almost salivate at those exotic offerings, Ben (and his family) are just, meh. You ain’t in Kansas anymore, Dorothy!
    I guess it’s progress of sorts that most Americans now realise than the once-mighty $US is not a currency you can use exclusively in every situation worldwide.

  46. @W.Johnson and @W.J. is probably the same person. Boy, someone must be having a bad day. As an Asian man who has worked in the hospitality industry in cities such as Bangkok, Manila, Taipei, Shanghai and Hong Kong, I’ve come to find that American guests are not the worst.

    @Tiffany – your review is fair. If I ran my team like they do at the ROS, I’d be ashamed of myself. You can pay 1 star prices and stay at a 1 star hotel, but you still shouldn’t expect to check-in or check-out from different locations if the person ultimately paying for both rooms is the same EXACT person. Lack of flexibility is the kiss of death for any service oriented business especially for the hospitality industry.

    @W.Johnson – just because you enjoyed your experience doesn’t mean others did or that others should. And common sense shouldn’t be a five star benefit. Imagine if you were asked to go from the lobby up to the club lounge and back down just so you can get into a room that you have booked and paid for. As a hotel manager and as a guest, I find that ludicrous at any price level and at any hotel.

  47. Tiffany, can you please provide a link re SPG providing suite benefits as described on web site regardless of how you got the suite? I.e. if through a plat upgrade. Because this happens fairly often. Thank you

  48. Wow, it’s not often that I disagree with an OMAT review, but in this case you must have arrived on a bad day. Although I agree that it’s ridiculous that you were told that they couldn’t handle both rooms at the same time as check-in/out, to me that was inexcusable service.

    I just spent a night there on Saturday, and found it to be a fantastic hotel. I was able to get early check-in (noon) and late check-out (5pm), which was beyond the standard benefits. Additionally, I was on a C&P stay in a traditional room, given the Executive River View Suite as a complementary upgrade.

    I’m not sure if my room had been recently upgraded, but the room wasn’t dated (the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers will forever be my reference as to how terrible a room can be), and the property was in great condition. With the terrace and garden pools, running track, etc., I thought it had a great view. Never saw any mosquitos, or had an issue with the river.

    Staff were also very friendly and helpful, although I did have the same experience of being whisked up the lounge for check-in – however it was the same length of check-in at the desk, with everything already prepared.

    The river boat was a nice touch too – after riding the metro I really enjoyed the cold towel and water. Another bonus for the hotel for those sight-seeing is the one minute walk to the water taxi next door, for a quick jump on the orange line to see the sights.

    It sounds like it would have been a different story if I was travelling with companions in another room, but then again I’ve had similar issues in the US with SPG when I do that on business trips.

  49. Sorry to hear what you had to lump Tiffany – I experienced something similar (although in my case it was for out and out paid rooms, no Suite upgrades or points involved) recently at The Westin Sydney.

    Despite both rooms paid for by me, using my Star Gold status, the hotel downgraded one room (despite that I had paid for a higher grade room), refused to extend Star Gold benefits on the second room, treated us all with shoddy contempt, and gave us food poisoning in the lounge the next morning (I was also amused by the evening service, which consisted of an individually brought platter, consisting of 4 individual centimetre wide bites and a shot glass of soup!).

  50. I’ve stayed at the Shangri-La 3 times over the last 3 years, the last being Thanks Giving week last November. Each time we were given complimentary room upgrades. The hotel, service, and breakfast buffet were great. No complaints what so ever.

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