Could use some first hand experiences for these three Marriott properties in Bangkok.
Planning a 3 nighter in preparation for some onward travel in Myanmar.
I have read a number of 'mixed' reviews (good and bad) on the web about all of them.
Hate to waste my Marriott Rewards points on a bad or even average experience.
As a Lifetime Platinum, I generally received exceptional service at all properties, however, it would be great to hear from some community members with current experiences.
Thank you in advance!
HI Omegaet, been traveling to BKK at least once a month since 2011, so i believe my input can benefit you.
JW is the oldest of the bunch, built in 1997 and near a sleazy area of BKK. So avoid JW if you have family concerns, etc.
Marriott Sukhumvit was built in 2013 and is the most modern Marriott in BKK, got an awesome rooftop bar to chill, away from sleazy areas of BKK. It is 10 min walk from Thonglor BTS (overhead rail system).
REnaissance is nearest to the "Heart of BKK" where all the shopping malls, famous places of worship (e.g. Ewaran shrine), etc. are, hotel built in 2008 and 3 min walk to Chitlom BTS station.
CHeers and enjoy BKK.
Thank you DannyGoh, sounds like you have provided the type of information I needed. I really like JWs whenever possible, but the Marriott Sukhumvit may better meet my needs.
One other question, since you are a regular visitor to BKK:
What is you preferred choice for airport transfers?
Thanks again for your assistance.
If you travel light, Airport Railway Transit Link from Suvarnabhumi Airport (assuming you land there) to major areas of BKK is cost effective and fast.
The traffic jams in BKK (yes, jams even on the highways) are a challenge. The weather makes it worse.
But if you have lots of luggage, a taxi (make sure you get one that agrees to take you based on metered rates) is good from the airport taxi stands.
Problem with ARL is that it's infrequent and that the stop you'll go to ends up in the worst part of Bangkok traffic and you'll have to find a taxi to finish your trip. I've been to Bangkok over 200 times. Never use ARL. And if you're traveling with a family, buying several individual tickets negates the cost savings over a taxi or car.
ARL is very popular with backpackers and budget travelers.
The taxi queue is fairly well organized. But for an extra roughly $10-15 you can get an airport car. Nicer car, no waiting in line, fare includes highway tolls, no arguing about the meter, etc. Well worth it, IMO.
I've stayed at the JW on Sukhumvit at least 50 times. It's my favorite in Bangkok. I absolutely love the gym and spa. Hot jacuzzi, ice cold water bath, steam room and sauna all together.
The Marriott (not JW) farther down Sukhumvit is much newer. Not as nice as the JW but definitely a good hotel. It's the cheapest of your 3 options.
The Renaissance is also new. Never been inside of it but I've heard great things about it. Best part is the location. 5 minute or less walk to the major shopping areas. (Hi So shopping, not the markets). It's closer than the other 2 you mention to the Sky Train which you can use to get to other tourist areas.
Biggest downside to the Renaissance is that whenever anyone in Bangkok wants to protest anything, that's the intersection they block first.
I Have stayed at JW 4-5 times or so. It is correct as one said above, that the area could be considered sleazy, but if you like a beer at a local venue there are many bars (and other stuff...) at Nana plaza nearby and on the 'soi's. At night one side of the Main Street is converted to a market place (turist trap) where you can buy cheap DVDs, CDs, souvenirs, clothing etc. it can be a fun experience if you arent used to stuff like that - working distance from JW. Compared to US prices the JW is very cheap.
COncerning transportation Taxis are faily cheap. i cannot remember how much I paid for a cab from the airport to the hotel but do some research in advance. As soon as you get through the baggage claim area you will be surrounded by locals who offers 'cheap' transportation. Dont do it! And never give them money!! Worst case is that you agree on a price with them, they arrange a taxi for you but then suddenly the driver wants more because the person you talked to didn't share what you paid Him. If possible ask for a metered fare. Always!
if you want to see the reclining Buddha, Kings palace and other things you can take the train (or walk if you like walking) to the canal and hop on a boat taxi. They run on a schedule and now suddenly transportation becomes an experience because you see Bangkok from the water While avoiding the crazy traffic.
klbe - thanks for taking the time to respond. I'm not one to shy away from observing (not participating in) a bit of "local sleaze." Such can often add to the travel experience.
We may just arrange for a private car to transport us from the airport to the hotel, since we will have been flying for an extended period and probably will be in no frame of mind for 'touts' or taxi scams.
The boat taxi sounds like a good idea.
Thanks again for your suggestions.
As far as transportation from the airport there are 2 good choices. One is AOT (Airports Of Thailand). They have a desk next to baggage claim, before customs. Another desk just as you leave customs. They are respectable and honest. And you get a decent care (like a Camry) instead of a "luck of the draw" taxi. Rates are around $30 US and that includes the highway tolls.
The other good option (the one I use) is to reserve a limo service before you arrive. This is a link to the one I use.
You can reserve a good car. Reserve a great car. You can also reserve a golf cart to take you from the gate to Immigration. You can arrange for Fast Path visa service (they pass you through the VIP visa section, far shorter lines). You can arrange luggage service. Etc. Kind of a smorgasbord, pick and choose what you want. Pay by CC before you arrive and they will be waiting for you.
Ah, john_thai - the limo service is a true "gold nugget" for us. We have pass through Suvarnabhumi Airport. as transit passengers, twice before and observed the absurd immigration lines.....so the golf cart and VIP Fast Path service may very well be our choice. I think we have already agreed to reserve a vehicle before we arrive and this website looks reasonable.
We recently returned from our latest Asia journey.
I wanted to take a moment to thank you again for the tip on using
It was great to see the young lady with our names on a sign when I stumbled off Thai Airways at 5:00am local time (having flown Miami-Lisbon-Copenhagen-Bangkok). The golf cart and prority Immigration service was amazing...before we realized it, we were comfortably seated in a very clean Camry and headed to the JW Marriott (which incidently already had our space available on the 17th).
After a rather elaborate breakfast in the Executive Lounge, we retired to our upgraded executive suite and was pleased to see our luggage was already in place. The service staff in the lounge was amazing throughout the four nights we were in residence.
Glad to see someone else enjoy it as much as I do. JWM in BKK is my favorite hotel. Besides the great service and the lounge I like the spa that is connected to the gym. They've got a hot water jacuzzi that is about 1/2 degree below what it takes to boil your skin off. I love it.
As far as the meet and great, besides being a great service it is kind of neat to see you name on the sign right as you get off the plane. Great for the ego. Hey, look everybody, I'm somebody.
john_thai.....one other tidbit. I managed to rip a sizable tear in a pair of bush pants I was going to wear during the next phase of our journey to Myanmar. I asked one of lovely young ladies in the Executive Lounge if I could have the hotel repair them. She said of course, however, if I would walk around the corner to Nana Plaza there was a sidewalk tailor who would repair the pants for substantial less than what the hotel would charge. She was correct. I dropped the pants with the tailor, who had a active sidewalk business with a modern sewing machine, walked across the street and had a cup of coffee and they were better than new when I returned....he had reinforced both knees with inside patches of matching material. The entire transaction cost 100THB!
We actually utilized the meet & greet twice.....and it saved our bacon the second time. We had a connecting flight from Mandalay thru Bangkok and onward to Hanoi. We were an hour late arriving Bangkok, with approximately 30 mins 'til the Hanoi departure. The greeter was freaking out and driving the cart like an F1 car...weaving in and out of oncoming passengers. Somehow, he managed to get us checked in (Vietnam Airlines wants to double check all information) and delivered to the departure gate about 7 minutes before boarding.
Another comment on sleaze near JW. That is the Nana Plaza area. Yes, it's there. Yes, it's a 2 minute walk from the hotel. No, you won't see it unless you go looking for it. IMO it's a great place for people watching. Old, fat, drunk white men falling in love with 19 year old Thai beauties. And that is from an old, fat white man married to a Thai beauty (who has celebrated her 19th birthday every year for a couple of decades or more).
Omegaet -> instead of wine you should get a Mekong 'Whiskey'! If I knew you I would have told you to get one on me (like when I tell europeans to get an unsweet ice tea in Texas...).
also don't have too many if you go to Nana Plaza - you may end up in the wrong place. I have for example been to a bar with a rotating scene where 20 girls (I know there were twenty because they had numbers...) were dancing at a time until the bell rang and another team came on. is that sleazy? I have just learnt a new word. Sleazy. It's awesome. Anyway... That is what it is, and you can find that 'if you look for it'. What you cannot find when looking, is the women's bathroom in some bars... I will not say anymore - you do the math. That's an experience too... Especially if you gotta pee which might be the case after a few beers. I still have nightmares about going to such a bathroom which apparently also is used by employees.
klbe, thanks for the suggestion, but I don't do well with Mekong Whiskey....it's sugar based and I get a headache from sugar based spirits (no rum). I tried a couple up in Chiang Mai and Thaton and didn't wake up feeling too good. I'm sure we will check out a couple of places and maybe we'll stumble into the one with the carousel of talent.
Yes, I am aware of the wide range of speciality talent in several of the establishments in Nana Plaza and the lack of need for women's facilities.
Appreciate the 'heads up.'