Having been to Bangkok multiple times, I always try and spread my stays across different parts of the city to get the most out of the experience. Having done riverfront properties numerous times alongside staying on Sathorn Road, we thought we’d try a property in the more boisterous downtown area of Bangkok, deciding on the Sofitel Sukhumvit.
Part of the Accor Group, the Sofitel Sukhumvit is a fairly standard 5-star business hotel, offering the typical luxuries one would expect from a hotel of this caliber across most of Southeast Asia. Our stay coincided with the busy holiday period, so we figured we’d stay in of the club rooms, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The Hotel was running at full capacity, playing host to every kind of traveller imaginable.
On arrival we were directed to the guest elevators to take us up to the 31st floor, where private check-in facilities are available to guests staying on club floors. Our guestroom was a corner room, which had ample physical space and great views, but suffered from poor storage and inadequate lighting in the bathrooms.The lounge itself offered a quiet space to unwind over drinks and canapés during cocktail hour, and being able to take breakfast here in the much calmer surroundings of the clubhouse made a world of difference. We did try breakfast one morning in the main hall just to have a basis of comparison, but it felt chaotic and the service was a little understaffed.
Our stay wasn’t without issues. Housekeeping didn’t do a particularly good job with replenishing in-room toiletries, and we had to leave daily notes as a reminder of how we wanted the room serviced. Our experience at L’Appart – the onsite fine dining French restaurant was pretty awful. More than once the valet team attempted to overcharge us when arranging car services to take us around the city. We’ve seen this happen countless times in this part of the world, yet didn’t think it would be so blatantly practiced at a 5-star hotel of repute.
This is a tough one as I really liked the hard product the Sofitel Sukhumvit has to offer, and the experience we had staying in a club-level guestroom made all the difference. I don’t think I’ll be inclined to stay in this part of the city again though, as it’s completely overrun with tourists and there just doesn’t seem to be any respite from the chaos of Bangkok. With riverfront properties, there’s always a serene calm that eventually settles in, and the added benefit of the river breezes was something I missed this time around. A good business hotel and handy if you need to be based in Sukhumvit.
Hotel – 8/10
Experience – 5/10