I landed at BKK around 7:30 AM. Armed with a Fast Track Immigriation Track I was hoping to be at my hotel by before 9. Since I had two suitcases with me, I decided to forgo my preferred mode of transportation in Bangkok (BTS) and take a cab instead. I got to regret it dearly, but later about that.
I followed the signs to the Fast Track line and found three or four lines 15-20 people deep, served by one officer each. Splendid, I thought!
The line took about an hour, and this was when I regretted declining a hot shower on Emirates. An extra hour of sleep didn’t really cut it, and I was still exhausted! But I booked a hotel in the middle of Sukhumvit, so the drive to my hotel shouldn’t be longer than an hour, right? Well, it took over two hours in Bangkok traffic, and I really, really hated myself for taking so much stuff on the trip. Couldn’t have taken more than 40 minutes on BTS.
BTS Skytrain and MRT Metro are the only sane ways to navigate central Bangkok during regular hours. Seriously, forget taxi or Uber (Uber is not ready for the prime time in Bangkok, sorry), just take the metro or BTS wherever you go, if you don’t need an aggravation.
By the way, since I didn’t make it to BTS, I had to change money at one of the booths at the arrival area. It doesn’t make any difference which one, because they all give you the same rate, and it’s a lousy rate. The only good place to change money at BKK is the Kazicorn Bank booth located on the basement level on the way to BTS, as outlined in my post from a year ago.
But since I only needed money to pay for the cab, I took about 600 Bhat just to be safe.
And so, after a horrendous stop-and-go ride to the hotel, I was finally there.
Let me jump ahead and say that I loved everything about this hotel. Everything except that it’s a 15-minute hike to the MRT/BTS stations.
But they offer a free tuk-tuk to the Metro station.
But on the way back, you might have to wait too long for it, and it gets tiring.
But this is a little price to pay for staying at a wonderful and comfortable hotel with fantastic service.
And I’m not kidding about “little price”. I booked it for 28,000 points back in a day when the second night was free. Nowadays, I would stay there again without hesitation, but I would pay cash. In a sub-$80 range, it’s a great choice for an all-suite, central hotel, even in the city where hotels come as cheap as it gets. And did I mention that the people at the hotel were absolutely wonderful, too?
The next pic is a bit overly glamorous, perhaps, but I have a perfect excuse—it ain’t mine. 🙂
As a Gold Club Carlson member, I was upgraded from a studio to a one-bedroom suite at the time of booking (!). I loved the suite. The hotel is tucked away on Soi 13, and I doubt it has any view to talk about even on higher floors, but the suite itself was perfect.
I received a free breakfast, too. Don’t know if they offer it as a Gold benefit or if they extended it to me as a courtesy. I went to Bangkok to attend a TBEX conference, but I never told them. In any case, I don’t ask too many questions when things go my way. 🙂
The breakfast was very good. Not too many items, but there always were a few local dishes, cold cuts, cheeses, vegetables, and—most importantly—the omelet station! I was a happy man.
The hotel has a beautiful rooftop pool, and a Jacuzzi. Unfortunately, the Jacuzzi was closed off during my stay, but the red-tile pool was wonderful, and I could use it at all times, day or night. I have no idea if there are official opening hours, but no one cares. It was shallow, like many roof top pools I’ve been to, but it was long enough for laps.
I once dozed off there late at night. Don’t know how long I slept, but the loungers were very comfortable, it seemed. 🙂
The air-conditioner worked great, and it had a plenty of US-type electrical outlets. That was the case with all the hotels I’ve stayed at during this trip, though. I’ve never needed an adaptor other than on a cruise, even though I packed two.
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