Towering skyscrapers, maze-like weekend markets, temples with shimmering spires and infamous traffic jams. Add to that the friendly locals and you’ve got the most popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia – Bangkok. The city has a little bit of everything. One can witness extremes here, from grit and chaos to luxury and refinement without moving too far in this megacity. I always look forward to visiting this city.
This being said, Bangkok offers great value for tourists – something which it has always been known for. This is where aircon hotel rooms can be had for as little as US$20, and if you move up the chain, a well-appointed suite in a 4-star hotel with kitchen, dining area and sweeping views of Bangkok could be yours for as low as US$150; there’s definitely great value no matter what one’s budget is. Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of being invited in Grande Centre Point Ratchadamri, a property which is at the higher end of the chain, for a night’s stay in one of their rooms. A rundown of how it went after the jump.
Location-wise, the hotel is very strategically placed. Just a five minute walk from Centralworld, the hotel lies very close to the main retail artery of the city. Other malls such as Siam Paragon, Siam Center and MBK are also walkable (around 15 to 20 minutes) but can also be reached by BTS, Bangkok’s mass rail system. For bargain hunters, the wholesale markets of Pratunam can be reached by a 10 to 15 minute walk.
the king-sized bed in my room… one word to describe — plush!
The hotel has a colonial feel which shows even from the lobby. I stayed in their Grand Deluxe room. Given that this is the most basic room category, I was astonished by the size. At 44 sq meters, it is a lot bigger than most hotel rooms, even in Bangkok. And the extra space was certainly well-utilized, with a kitchenette plus a small dining area greeting me as I entered the room.
a closer look at the artwork
The rooms follow the same old-world style of the hotel but goes into greater detail — there’s a traditional Thai artwork by the bed, shutter-type windows that’s reminiscent of late 19th century/early 20th century design and of course, wooden flooring just like they used to have in those days.
there’s a dvd player and a fax machine (the laptop’s mine)
the dining area and kitchenette
Amenities-wise, it is hard to beat. A quick look through the kitchenette drawers reveal a full set of pots and pans, plates, bowls and cutlery. There is also an office desk right by the TV which has a fax machine. And of course, there is the huge flat screen TV. It is a fully functional unit in every sense of the word, and could very well also suit long-stayers (which also comprise a sizable proportion of the hotel’s clientele). The bathroom is also spacious, with separate bath and shower area and the obligatory in-house brand toiletries.
Aside from that, I also managed to get a glimpse of the other rooms in the hotel. Grand Centre Point Ratchadamri has at least 7 different room types, with some specifically geared towards long-stayers.
The grand suite features a separate living and bed space. At 69 sq meters, it is spacious and has enough room to segregate the kitchen. The dining “area” is big enough to seat four people and comes with one bedroom. It’s akin to staying in a luxurious apartment where one does not need to worry about cleaning up.
And then, there’s also the executive suite. At over 150 sq meters, it is humongous with fantastic views of the Bangkok skyline. With plenty of decor and a few other extras, it is the most fanciful room (if you can still even call it that) in the house. The largest of such clocks in at 179 sq meters and comes with three bedrooms.
That’s two of the three bedrooms found in the executive suite.
To complement the fantastic ambiance in the rooms, the facilities are just as plush. The property boasts of a pool, jacuzzi (both indoor and outdoor), a pingpong table, playground, childcare center, library, lounge, spa, movie room and fitness gym. I was certainly spoiled for choice in terms of what to do for r&r and it’s a shame I only stayed for one night!
the pool area
the fitness center has tons of machines and equipment… it’s a fully functional gym on its own
personally, i’d be more than satisfied with the comfort level in my own room… but to add to that, there’s the executive lounge where guests can while the time away and enjoy a cup of tea amidst the colonial style interiors
there’s also an entertainment room for movie buffs… and it comes with a modest collection of dvds!
a hotel with a library… i certainly haven’t seen this before
… and a childcare center as well!
feeling sporty? a game of ping pong may just do the trick
This hotel seems to have everything. Their slogan is “you’ll call it home” and I can’t help but agree. Most facilities that one can expect to need in a living space are available here and clearly, great thought was put in building this seemingly self-contained residence. This is a property that especially suits long-stayers to a T and made me wish I could have stayed longer. But for short-stayers like me, it’s a marvelous stay as well. I had access to all the amenities and creature comforts, albeit for a shorter period of time (due to my 1 night stay) and for the amount they normally charge for the rooms, it’s definitely a steal. It’s similarly priced to other 4-star hotels in the area… but of course, the other hotels don’t have as many amenities and don’t have as spacious, well-appointed rooms.
I certainly won’t mind calling this place home again the next time I’m in Bangkok.
view of the city skyline from one of the rooms
Grande Centre Point Ratchadamri Hotel & Residence
153/2 Soi Mahatlek Luang 1
Tel: +66 2 63063459 (Reservations)