REVIEW: Four Points Sheraton Bangkok Sukhumvit 15
A few days ago I posted about my Egyptair business class trip between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. That flight and this hotel stay were part of a larger Southeast Asia itinerary that saw me spending time in Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia before heading back home to Chicago. My stay at the Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok was for the duration of my short stay in Thailand.
One of my favorite things about Bangkok is the wealth of quality hotels on offer for relatively inexpensive prices. I had quite a few options during my short trip, but I eventually settled on this property because it offered what I viewed as a generously low price ($88 per night) with what appeared to be a solid product from the pictures and reviews I had read online. Being a mid-tier elite in Starwood’s loyalty program also meant I’d collect a few extra Starpoints with my stay, so overall the cost/benefit scheme seemed to be working in my favor.
Location & Check-In
I arrived at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) at around 11 PM. I was quite exhausted since I had started my day in Siem Reap, Cambodia and had made my way to Bangkok through Kuala Lumpur, adding up to approximately 14 hours of flying and transit time. Knowing I’d likely be quite tired, I had emailed the hotel ahead of time to see if I could arrange for a car to pick up at the airport and whisk me – hassle-free – to a comfy bed. Despite contacting the hotel two weeks prior to my arrival in Bangkok, I never got a confirmation or acknowledgment from them regarding the request. Normally I’d follow up in this type of situation, but Bangkok is an very easy airport to snag a taxi at, so I decided to try my luck and see if anyone was waiting for me when I exited the arrivals hall. If not, I’d simply hop in a standard cab with little trouble.
The day of my arrival in Bangkok, I was hopeful the hotel would come through for me. Disheveled, exhausted, and perhaps a bit smelly, I nabbed my luggage off the carousel and wandered out into the arrivals hall. I scanned the crowd of people holding placards to see if my name was among them, or even if someone was holding a sign for the Four Points Sheraton.
Nada. Nothing. Nyet. Goose eggs.
No big deal really, though it was a bit annoying. I should have taken the initiative to follow up on the request but as I stated there’s no real risk of being stranded at the airport when arriving at BKK. As predicted, I dashed out to the taxi queue and was on the road to the hotel’s location in the Sukhumvit neighborhood in less than 5 minutes.
The hotel’s location is interesting. Typically when I’ve stayed in Bangkok I’ve chosen hotels closer to the Chao Praya river, but this property is located further from the river and in a busy commercial district. One of the nice selling points of this property is that it’s located within walking distance of three train stations – two for the BTS (Asok and Nana stations) and one for the MRT (Sukhumvit station). This made accessing the city through public transit quite easy during my stay. Tuk tuk and cab rides are never very difficult to secure or expensive though, so if you decide you want to avoid the public you can navigate from this hotel quite easily and without denting your wallet too heavily. The Westin Grande property is located just around the corner in addition to a wealth of restaurants, street vendors, and shopping malls.
The neighborhood is lively, there’s plenty to buy and eat, and getting to other interesting parts of the city is easy to do. The location for this property was definitely a big plus during my stay.
Service and Staff
I’ve already given some detail on the service failure I experienced related to the car booking through the hotel. I do take part ownership of that failure though, so won’t hold it as a grudge too heavily during this review. That being said, the service I received from the staff at this hotel was phenomenal.
As soon as my taxi pulled up to the property I pretty much had hotel staff crawling across the hood of the car to help me. Someone had my luggage out of the trunk before I had finished paying the driver. Another gentleman shook my hand as I exited the taxi and let me know he was going to be escorting me to check-in. Typically I like to keep my luggage with me at all times since I travel fairly light but there really wasn’t anything I could do about it at that point. The Thai gentleman did indeed walk me to the check-in desk, making small talk about why I had decided to come to Thailand and whether or not this was my first visit to Bangkok.
Check-in was fast and friendly, with the agent taking the time to walk me through the elite benefits I would receive while staying at this property. This is something I greatly appreciate since I’m relatively new to holding hotel status and often times different properties provide the benefits (free wifi, breakfast, etc.) in slightly different ways. I really like being told directly how I can expect to use the benefits while on site rather then floundering in the wind and making phone calls to the concierge or front desk to clarify things.
I ended up needing to order room service during my stay, and the staff member who delivered my food was exceedingly polite and friendly. Almost to a fault. I say that because while I was awaiting the delivery of my food I received a phone call from the room service staff telling me that my food had arrived and that the staff member that had brought it to my room had been waiting outside my door for a few minutes unsure as to whether he should knock since I still had my “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging on the door handle. Contrast that with some hotels where those door hangers have absolutely no meaning or power in stopping hotel staff from attempting to enter your room.
When I checked out of the hotel to head back to the airport and catch my Egyptair flight to Kuala Lumpur, the same gentleman who had escorted me during my check-in process greeted me in the lobby and made the same small talk about my stay at the hotel and in Bangkok. They flagged down a taxi and loaded it up with my luggage while I was checking out at the front desk, so I had nothing left to do or wait for when I had my zero balance bill in hand except walk out to the waiting car and speed off to the airport.
Four Points by Sheraton properties are generally nice to stay at, thought they tend to lack the more luxurious appointments you’d find at other Starwood properties like the Sheraton or Westin. Having paid just $88 USD a night for the room, I wasn’t expecting much to be honest, so I’m quite happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of furnishings and overall design of the room during my stay.
The set up for this room was essentially the same as almost every other entry level room at a major hotel chain: short entrance hallway with a closet near the door, bathroom entrance across from the closet, and open plan bedroom/office space directly at the end of the hallway.
The entrance hallway was tiled, which was a nice touch in the Bangkok heat. The light wood and wallpaper gave the room a contemporary, modern feeling compared to the bare bones aesthetic I typically feel at Four Points properties. Between the closet and the luggage rack was a minibar which featured some Western and local offerings. Nice that they offered me a condom. Safety first and all….
Many hotel rooms nowadays seem to feature bathrooms with a glass panel facing the bedroom. Some folks seem to like it, others seem to hate it, and almost everyone agrees it’s awkward to share a room with someone that lets them see you drop a deuce or lather your nethers should you forget to close the blinds. Since I typically travel alone, I don’t mind the architectural oddity. The Four Points BKK bathroom features a bit of a modification on this feature – instead of a glass wall it has a sliding wooden door that separates the two sections of the room. This allows the room to have an open-ish floor plan while still providing maximum privacy once someone decides to use the facilities. A smart upgrade to keep the room feeling open yet useable.
The rest of the bathroom was also quite nice. Polished metal, frosted glass, and light wood fixtures continued to be featured throughout. The sink was quite large and modern, which means it functioned well when washing your hands and brush your teeth but wouldn’t be ideal if one is looking to fill the basin for some reason. The hotel provides a scale (visible in the bottom left corner of the photo below) for your use. The room also features a separate shower stall from the bath tub. The water pressure was fantastic and the heat consistent. No problems getting clean my entire stay at this property. The sweat and grim one accumulates when in Bangkok was blasted off in seconds.
The bed in the living space was surprisingly comfortable. I tend to find Four Points properties feature firmer beds than your average Starwood property, but this bed was very soft. I struggle with some back issues, so I tend to enjoy a firm bed – it works a bit better for my needs. Folks who enjoy a downy experience when they hop into a hotel bed will be quite pleased with this property, though.
The hotel certainly provides enough pillows for a single traveler, and the detail on the walls behind the bed were a nice touch. I admit that in the picture it looks a bit cheesy but when you’re in the room and taking a look around, it feels very “put together”.
Across from the bed was a long desk that featured the flat screen television, in room phone, and assorted odds and ends that one typically finds on a hotel desk. The chair provided by the hotel was a bit too firm for my taste and allowed the user to lean a bit too far back for my comfort. I attempted to work at the desk when I first arrived only to feel like I was about to slam into the floor every time I leaned back in the chair. I did most of my computer work in the bed after my first day. The television wasn’t used during this stay but it did feature the always interesting “Web TV” capability you find at some hotels. The wifi provided by the hotel was spotty, but when it was working the speed was quite fast.
Next to the bed and near the window was the standard “sitting area” you can find in most hotel rooms. The chair was comfortable enough but a bit too stiff for me to considering lounging in. As noted above, I spent the majority of my leisure time in the room laying in the bed. On the side table next to the chair was a small welcome gift from the General Manager.
The bag contained several cookies (which tasted like coconut even though coconut was not listed as an ingredient) which were insanely delicious. The note addressed me by name and welcome me to the property. It was a nice gesture by the hotel and the cookies definitely helped me settle into the room after a long day of travel.
I was very impressed with the quality of product I received for my $88/night at this property. It’s definitely an upgrade over what you’d traditionally receive in the US at a Four Points by Sheraton hotel. The quality of service and furnishings provided in a standard room made my monetary investment worthwhile. I almost felt like I got more value out of my stay than I had paid for, and that’s always a good thing in my book. Top notch service with only a minor issue at the beginning of the stay.
Excellent location for dining and keeping yourself entertained. Access to public transit is quite easy and distance to most tourist hot spots is short and inexpensive by cab or tuk tuk.
Staff displays standard Thai customer service, which is to say extremely attentive and friendly. All my face to face interactions with staff at the hotel were positive.
The relatively low price for the hotel compared to the quality of product provided makes it an excellent value.
Hotel failed to confirm my request for pick up from the airport and did not delivery on the service.
Chairs provided in the room were uncomfortable for various reasons making the bed the only decent location to work.