As long time Marriott business travelers, we had a wonderful hotel experience at the Bangkok Marriott Resort and Spa. The resort sits on the bank of the river – very much an oasis from the bustle of the city. Lots of trees and flowers – and a little of a jungle feel. We got a fabulous corner room – and it had a huge balcony. The staff was all wonderful – friendly and attentive probably even more so than expected.
Beds were very comfy, pillows were great, and the temp was easy to control in the room. Our room had 2 twin beds, but they were much wider than a normal twin. Showers had good water pressure, but the temperature was a little difficult to maintain during your shower. Bottled water and fruit was provided in the room and was restocked regularly. We were welcomed with flower garlands, and little flowers were often left in the room at turndown. Rooms and Bathrooms were nice and decent sized in the junior suite. The balcony was huge – on the corner rooms, the balcony wrapped around 2 sides of the room. Safes, hair dryers and ironing boards were provided in the room. In room coffee was ok, although like much of Asia was instant. 2-3 kinds of tea were also available. We asked for extra bottled water a couple of times and housekeeping remembered and provided this each day.
As platinum Marriott members, we were given access to the Executive Lounge – which sits right off the lobby. Staff service there was wonderful, regardless of time of day. I’ve said that before on other reviews, but the service here was beyond wonderful! VERY friendly, helpful, professional. You definitely felt like a welcomed guest. The General Manager also made stops by the lounge to speak with the guests. They took our photo on check in – which is probably why all of the lounge staff and managers were able to address us by name. Definitely a nice touch! There was coffee, tea, water and snacks were available throughout the day. Daily deluxe breakfast was available 6:00-10:30am in the lounge or full breakfast buffet was available (and included) in the Market restaurant during the same times. Afternoon tea was served in the lounge from 2-4 daily. Complementary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served from 4:30 to 7:30 pm. Cocktails were very good (and strong), but sometimes a little slow in coming. There is a list of local specialty drinks available. We really liked the Mango-tini, the Opal-tini and the drink called Another One. In some hotels, the evening snacks could serve as a substitute for dinner --- this was definitely one of those places. They had salads, sandwiches, hot items, fruits, and desserts. Each night had a different theme – the traditional Thai night was our favorite. Alcohol was available at other times, but was billed to the room. Desserts and fruits were served later in the evening. One hour free internet daily (wired or wireless) was provided to platinum guests daily, as well as local phone calls, complimentary laundry for 5 items per stay, 1 fax and a 15% discount on spa services. The staff there was also able to take care of our check in and checkout. The lounge was fairly busy during happy hour. They noted that smart casual attire was required in the lounge after 4PM, but we never saw this enforced.
Breakfast in the Market restaurant
Buffet breakfast in the restaurant was wonderful! You had the option of sitting indoors or out, and we thoroughly enjoyed the outdoor option. There was a fresh juice/smoothie station, eggs to order, meats, veggies, local options, fruits, cheeses, cereals, yogurts and a waffle / pancake / crepe station with ice cream! All of the items were very well labeled, so you knew what you were trying (if you wanted to know). One of the days, one of the options for your omelet was a curried chicken --- it was wonderful! Service was good, although coffee refills were a bit slow. I think this was one of our favorite breakfast experiences the entire trip!
This place does some amazing sweets! It’s definitely worth trying out!
Manohra Dinner Cruise
There is a nightly dinner cruise offered at the Marriott. We really wanted to do this. Couple of warnings --- it fills up fast – so if you want to do, you need to book at least a day in advance, if not two. It still goes out if it rains, but you loose some of the atmosphere if the plastic windows are down trying to help you stay dry. When it rained the day we finally got a reservation, the concierge was able to help us cancel with no penalty. It’s 1990 Baht / person. http://www.manohracruises.com/
The property is down the river from most of the sights in Bangkok. There is a river shuttle that takes you back and forth to one of the main ferry piers. Shuttles run about every 20-30 minutes all day and are very relaxing at the end of a hectic day. The cool towels on board were a nice touch. There are lots of fish in the river near the dock --- they are fun to watch while you are waiting for your shuttle.From the airport, it’s easy to get a cab, but we had issues communicating our destination to the driver and ended up with 2 hours and double the fare. Going back, the ride with tip was about 500 baht and took 30 minutes or so.
Right across the driveway from the Marriott was a shopping center. From reading prior reviews, I expected this to be a bit of a hike – literally, it is across the driveway! There were multiple ATMS, souvenir vendors where you can bargain, restaurants, a McDonalds, a Dairy Queen (just in case the sweet tooth hits), massage places, jewelry, a tailor, a drugstore, and pretty much anything else you want. There’s even a Starbucks if you are picky with your coffee. Prices are much cheaper than you’d find in the hotel, but more than you’d pay if you get away from the Marriott (the tailor especially). Souvenir stands were on par, if not a little cheaper than we found around the city. We paid 800 Baht each for 90 minute Thai massages or you could have done 60 minutes for 500. If you’ve never gotten a Thai massage, it’s worth it! They do lots of stretching, but the massage isn’t very deep – and don’t be surprised if your masseuse climbs on the table with you!
Overall, service was top notch. Everyone you saw spoke to you and was very friendly. We were always greeted with a smile and a hello in Thai. English was VERY common in the hotel, but people appreciated if you at least tried to say hello Thai. Housekeeping was great, and kept us stocked with bottled water. Room was serviced twice a day. Front desk was always happy to exchange money for smaller Thai bills – which was really helpful on the days that we had many small entrance fees and such.
We took some time to enjoy the pool at the hotel and it was wonderful! Really nice, tropical looking area. The staff will bring you drinking water while you are enjoying the pool. Happy hour around the pool from 4 to 6, and all drinks are then ½ price. Once in a while, you might get lucky and see a water monitor nearby. One note: the wooden pool chairs are heavy, and the back of the chair fits right on the bottom section. Be very careful if you are adjusting the height of the chair --- it’s very easy to smash a finger and the chairs are heavy enough that it really hurts! If you’re lucky, you might encounter one of the resident water monitors hanging out near the pool.
Donations at Check Out
The hotel sponsors an “End Hunger Learn Better Fund” to help the children of Thailand. Your room will automatically be charged 40 baht per night for this cause unless you request otherwise. I didn’t have a problem with it, but it was something I wasn’t aware of before we went. I’d seen a comment about a similar program at the JW in Phuket, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise.
Hotel was a great choice. It’s out of the center of Bangkok, but allows you to escape the feel of a purely business hotel, which is VERY nice when you are on holiday. I’d definitely go back when in the area and would consider returning just for this hotel!
I stayed at this hotel a few years ago, as well as the JW downtown and I agree with everything Kim said. The riverfront location is very nice and quiet - away from the hustle/bustle of downtown. My only caution is that if you need to "commute" to downtown regularly, the water taxi might become a drag. The first few times it's pretty cool, but we found that after a while it was an extra hour out of our day (about 30 minutes each way if you count waiting and riding time) which we wish we had to do other things.