Bangkok City Hotel, Bangkok

If looking for hotel to stay in Taiwan was a challenge, looking for a decent hotel to stay in Bangkok was mission impossible! Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit, but it was so tough! I now realised it is a bliss for not having too many choices.

There are so many hotels in Bangkok. Take note here, MANY. Just go to TripAdvisor and search for “hotels in Bangkok” and you’ll understand what I mean.

How do you choose one out of so many? First, you gotta eliminate those that’s out of your budget. Then, you decide the location. Thirdly, look around and see if the hotel is near to any public transportation system. Then, read tons of reviews from the reviewers about the cleanliness and whatnot of the hotel. Finally, you make your own judgement and decision. Seriously, you can’t blame others for misleading/confusing you. Always remember, one man’s food is another man’s poison. What may be bad to others, can well be OK for you. So long as you are comfortable with what you choose.

The mixed reviews on TripAdvisor, didn’t make it easier for us. Melissa and I were headache about those reviews every now and then. This minute we thought we found a good, then we read something bad that freaked us out. We were going round the circle and it was pretty frustrating.

I saw a friend’s photo on Facebook about Citrus Sukhumvit 22, a very modern hotel. Then Melissa’s friend gave us a few suggestions and we short-listed Citin Pratunam too. I personally love Citrus Sukhumvit 22, but Citin Pratunam is slightly cheaper. So, we kind of decided to stay in Citin Pratunam and we planned to book the rooms when the date drew nearer.

Late March, Melissa came and told me one of our mutual friends, Vivian just came back from Bangkok and she stayed in Bangkok City Hotel, which is cheaper. Argh…… Another one to consider. -__- Of course we welcomed the choices, but too many choices made it more difficult to decide. Anyway, we went ahead with Bangkok City Hotel figured that we wouldn’t stay long in the room and a relatively cheap and clean one would do just fine. For a double/twin bedroom, it costs 1190 Baht per room per night, inclusive of breakfast.

The directions on how to reach the hotel, is unclear and confusing. The information provided on the hotel’s website was not very clear and it took us a while in the BTS station to figure out where exactly we should head to. Imagine 6 headless flies dragging their luggage walking here and there in the train station. LOL!!! Now I feel that it was funny. :P

Okay, for the ease of everyone, I’m going to tell you exactly how to go to Bangkok City Hotel, right from the Suvarnabhumi Airport. If you do NOT want to take a taxi from the airport, you can travel to the city by Airport Rail Link and get off at the last station, Phaya Thai. I can’t remember how much it costs, it’s not expensive don’t worry. It’s pretty convenient and comfortable. Again, I can’t remember how long it takes, not more than half an hour definitely. Here’s the link to the BTS’ website.

After you get off at Phaya Thai, purchase a ticket to Ratchathewi station. It is only one station, costs 15 Baht. When you reach Ratchathewi station, please take Exit 3. Exit 3 is the direction to go to reach Bangkok City Hotel. Walk for about 5 minutes until you reach an intersection, turn LEFT at the intersection. Don’t cross the road, just turn left. Walk for another 5 to 8 minutes and you’ll reach Bangkok City Hotel which is on your left.

If you’re up for the “adventure”, you can walk from the hotel to Platinum Mall, about 15 minutes walk. When you come out from the hotel, turn right, the way to go to Ratchathewi station. When you reach the intersection, cross the road and go straight. Walk all the way straight until you see the mall. Basically it’s like walking all the way straight from the hotel. :) I won’t say it’s near, because it was bloody HOT! However, if you do not mind the weather, it’s good to just walk.

All right, back to the hotel. The hotel is still pretty new, less than 2 years. So, you can expect that it is pretty modern and clean. Being Ashley, when I say clean, take my words for it. It is clean. Love the timber floorings in the room, I didn’t have to wear slippers in the room. :) It is pretty spacious with plenty of room for your luggage, especially after days of shopping, you do not have to worry about where to chuck your stuff.

You may want to request for a room at higher floors or a room facing the back of the hotel. The hotel is on the main street, you may get some noise from the traffic if you were at lower floors facing the street. We were staying at 9th floors facing the back of the hotel, totally quiet. :) Only some noises from the corridor if you so happen to have some noisy guests staying on the same floor.

There’s a small bathtub in the bathroom. There is some toiletries, they changed our towels and make up the room everyday. I don’t think they did a good job in cleaning the bathroom though, I could still see hair (my hair lah :P ) here and there in the bathroom. Well, since it was MY hair, I could live with that. As long as it was clean the first moment I stepped in. :) I broke my foundation bottle on the 4th day, the floor was sticky even after I cleaned up, thought they would clean it when they came to make up the room, but they didn’t. Came back at night and the floor was still sticky. -__- Perhaps I should have made mention to the housekeeping.

The TV channels available are rather limited, but well, we ain’t here for TV! So, we didn’t mind some boring shows. In fact, we have watched a very boring movie and a great movie in the hotel at night. Hahahaha. I still remember the titles, Lost In Translation and United 93. :P

The hair-dryer in the bathroom, takes ages to dry my hair. The air is not warm enough, and after 5 minutes of using, the handle becomes very hot.  -__- If you’re someone who relies on hair-dryer to style your hair, just a little note for you that you’ll need more time to do that. Lucky for me I only need my hair to be 80% dry.

The hotel provides FREE wi-fi! WEEEEE!!! How cool is that huh? :D Just get the user ID and password from the front desk and you’re good to go. Please also note that you can only use one ID for one device. If you have multiple devices, you’ll need to get a few ID’s from the front desk then. The speed is pretty fast. Can’t complain. :)

The daily breakfast, is boring. They’re practically the same EVERYDAY. @__@ My taste buds couldn’t seem to agree to the taste of their fried noodles/rice, I was only having some pastries and cooked vegetables every morning. Well, it’s free, what do you expect? Just fill your stomach so that it can get you going until lunch time. If you seriously don’t like the breakfast in the hotel, there are lots of delicious food on the street. Don’t be too sceptical of them, they’re pretty hygienic. Most of all, they’re yummy. :)

Good thing about this hotel is, there are so many restaurants/street food when night falls!!! Along the street towards the hotel, it is so quiet during daytime, but it is so bustling with people and activity at night! We had our dinner there twice! Don’t know which one to go to? Choose the one with a lot of customers. Or, there is one that the tour agent in the hotel told us to go, when you come out from the hotel, walk towards your right, all the way until you reach the end of some GREEN hoarding, the one at the end of it is the famous one. We somehow missed it and went to the wrong one. Anyway, it was good too. :)

There are also some massage centres along the road. We went to the one few doors away from the hotel, costs us only 200 Baht for the foot massage. Do go to the  tour agent in the hotel (located at the lift lobby) and ask for some massage vouchers from another massage centre, you’ll get some discount with the vouchers. :) Our men went for the Thai massage on the 4th day while we women went for shopping.

7-11 convenient store is at the corner of the street (left side of the hotel). In general, the hotel is at a pretty convenient location. TESCO Lotus is also nearby but you’ll need to take a cab. To get a cab in front of  the hotel is very easy, the bell boy is more than happy to haul a cab for you. Just make sure that you insist on going on metre. After 2 days in Bangkok, we’ve learnt the fact that taxi is way cheaper than BTS if you travel with more than 2 persons.

We took a peek at the hotel’s guestbook and we were surprised to see that a lot of guests commented that the lighting in the rooms were too “romantic”. Hahahahaha. I must admit, it is. I find it a lil’ bit difficult to do my make-up and there’s no lights at the entrance/closet area. It didn’t surprise us at all when most of the guests commented that the breakfast was boring. :P

Again, if you’re travelling with a group of people, it is always wiser to take a taxi to your destinations. We hired 2 MPVs from the hotel to send 6 of us to Suvarnabhumi Airport on our last day. It only costs us 800 Baht in total! Comfortable, convenient and cheap! I was so happy that we didn’t have to go through all the hassles with the BTS. It takes about 40 minutes from the hotel to the airport, with some traffic.

Bangkok City Hotel isn’t a bad choice at all. Will definitely go back again, just because it is so near to Platinum Mall and Siam Paragon! Hahahahaha. :P

Looking in from the entrance, closet on the right.

There, there, the bed and my sleeping “beauty”. LOL! He refused to move away when I was taking photo! See the platform at the corner beside the windows? That is enough to put 2 luggage bags! Great convenient for us.

The bathroom. Pretty spacious and most importantly, clean and tidy.

Bangkok City Hotel:

268 Soi Petchburi 10 – 12 Petchburi Road, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

Bangkok Afterthought

Came back from a 5-day trip to Bangkok. It was an impromptu decision. We were supposed to go Redang Island for a trip together, but couldn’t work out the transportation and stuff. Andrew was asking “why not we go Bangkok”. We checked the flight ticket and MAS was having some promotion, the price was pretty reasonable, RM520 per person, return tickets.

We were having difficulties deciding on the hotel to stay. Not because of Bangkok doesn’t have any decent hotel, it is exactly the other way round. Too many good hotels that we got so confused and we weren’t sure which one to go with. Finally, between Citin Pratunam and Bangkok City Hotel, we chose the latter. It is pretty new and looks more trendy, and it is cheap. I’ll leave the hotel review for later.

Been hearing the negative sides of Bangkok city, I was pretty sceptical and worried about the safety and transportation. The moment I was in their skytrain (BTS), I got even more sceptical. When I had to walk under the extremely hot sun for 10 minutes from the BTS to the hotel, I was basically cursing everything under the sun. 10 minutes may sound very near, but try that under the super hot and humid weather lugging all the luggage on the not-so-easy-to-walk-on pavement. Lucky the hotel is good, I would have cursed even more if  the hotel turns out to be otherwise. Lesson learned, don’t believe the “fairy tale” on TripAdvisor when the reviews said “it is near to the BTS with just 10 minutes walk”. For someone who walks fast, 10 minutes is near. For someone who walks moderate, 10 minutes is pretty far. Always, always, always take the weather into consideration.

There’s some similarity between Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. The LRT here and the BTS in Bangkok, they’re not connected to most of the major shopping complex/malls! You reach the station, sometimes you will still have to walk about 5 to 10 minutes! It is another mistake to believe someone that told you, “it’s near, just a 5 to 10 minutes walk”. My goodness…… Seriously, I am not a lazy person, I can walk. However, to walk in such a weather is something I don’t appreciate. They also said that from one shopping mall to another is pretty near, I wonder how they define NEAR. When you are already tired from all the shopping and walking, to walk another 15 minutes to another shopping mall which appears to be “near”, is definitely tiring. Another lesson learned, stick to only 2 malls in one day! Even though it may appear to be near on the map, unless you really have the energy, don’t be too adventurous under such extreme weather.

Another similarity would be the taxi/cab. The taxi drivers will always try their luck to give you excuses of not using metre and charge you a sky-high amount for a very short distance. Never believe in them and always INSIST on going on metre. There are plenty of taxis, don’t have to worry that you can’t get one. We only compromised once for not going with the metre. The taxi fare is unbelievably cheap! If you’re travelling in a group of 3 or more, taxi is definitely cheaper than BTS.

Food is also cheap! For a meal of seafood dinner, we paid 160 Baht to 180 Baht averagely! 100 Baht is about RM10, you do the math. The price of food in the shopping mall isn’t too expensive too. You can easily get a bowl of noodles or some rice with less than 100 Baht! Unlike in major shopping malls in KL, usually you have to spend more than RM10 for one meal.

Shopping is cheap too. They have all these fashion malls offering wholesale prices. A piece of good quality dress only cost 200 Baht! Tell me, where to get it in Malaysia? The quality isn’t too bad at all! There are so many choices too! We could even get T-shirts at 95 Baht a piece!

However, I have this love and hate relationship with Bangkok. If the weather wasn’t this unbearable, I would have pronounced to the whole world that I LOVE Bangkok. Sorry, I can’t say that. Honestly, the weather is the biggest put-off to me. I would think twice if I want to visit Bangkok again. Perhaps in the month of February when it isn’t so hot.

Also, I am someone who fuss a lot over quality. I’ve been very choosy lately when it comes to clothes. When I find something of good quality, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy as long as the price isn’t too steep. However, if the quality couldn’t meet my expectations, I wouldn’t bother looking at the price even if it could be dirt cheap. I only bought 3 dresses in Bangkok, can you believe it?

I didn’t spend a lot in Bangkok, brought around 9900 Baht (RM1000), I still have 500 Baht left. Would have more if I didn’t buy cigarettes in the airport. Friends had been telling me that RM1000 wouldn’t be enough, I’m glad I went ahead with my decision. :P

So, will I be going Bangkok again? Yes, for shopping only!!! I don’t miss other stuff, only miss the cheap prices!!!

Photo taken by Andrew at Damnoen Floating Market.