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-   -   Bangkok, First Time, For a Day: Pen or MO? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxury-hotels-travel/711532-bangkok-first-time-day-pen-mo.html)

Kettering Northants QC Aug 20, 07 10:17 pm


Originally Posted by erik123 (Post 8262723)
IMO - The oriental does not seem to take tour groups, discounts its rooms more discretely, and is more expensive overall - therefore the customers are more the formal/high-level types. I do think it is the hotel in Bkk to beat.

I would suggest most 5* luxury hotels don't get much in the way of bookings from coach tour groups. Most Coach tour groups tend to stop at 3* hotels, occaisionally 4*, and on very rare occaisions a big 5*. I've seen the odd cruise ship group stay at the Royal Orchid Sheraton and Shangri La.

As for the Oriental attracting a more formal / high-level type:
(i) I personally find the atmosphere more formal at The Pen

(ii) In the UK The Oriental is heavilly marketed towards the holiday maker in travel brochures. The travel agent Kuoni I think used to send more people to Thailand than any other UK agent and The Oriental always features heavily in their brochure. Whilst the prices for The Oriental are high, they are really no more expensive than what a UK agent would charge for a very average 3 star hotel in say New York (Virgin is currently advertising the Sheraton Manhatten at 250 a night, 5* start at a whopping 500) and therefore I would suggest your perception that The Oriental's guests are more high level may be a bit off when it comes to European travellers - many of us perceive Thailand as a country where you can upgrade your usual travel standards.

(iii) This may have more to do with how one perceives themselves. I.e. - "If I stay here, the clientelle has to be good"

francophile Aug 20, 07 11:05 pm


Originally Posted by broadwayboy (Post 8265386)
I thought the whole situation bizzare -- they refuse customers to enter their hotel wearing shorts, but just off the lobby, you can practically see the tourists in their dental floss swimsuit mingling at the pool.

I believe the hotel has a policy where only residents are permitted to wear shorts after 6:00pm in public areas of the hotel.

HUGE AL Aug 21, 07 1:47 am


Originally Posted by francophile (Post 8260653)
I've stayted at the Oriental, have had a massage at the spa, and have eaten at Le Normandie, the Verandah, Lord Jim, Sala Rim Nam, and had tea at Authors Lounge. I'm Chinese and I've always been treated like an emperor at the Oriental.

francophile, I'm traveling with you next time (as I'm Asian as well). When I was in the Authors Lounge, I was COMPLETELY ignored and the only tables that got service were the ones with Caucasians at them. OK, perhaps it was me...or so I thought... In walks an elderly Chinese woman who was totally dripping of money. The staff wouldn't even get the poor woman a menu after 20 minutes. I ended up getting one for her. She told me this wasnt' the first time she was treated with such disdain. Unacceptable.

At the Sukhothai, I had a similar experience in that the waitress bowed next to all the Caucasian tables when presenting the bill, but when she went to Asian tables, she handed it ACROSS the table while standing up. Anyone who knows SE Asia knows this is a no-no.

MegatopLover Aug 21, 07 5:54 am


Originally Posted by broadwayboy (Post 8265386)
I had a similar experience as MegaTopLover at the Oriental back in 1999. ...
I've been to BKK 8 to 9 times after that and I have never set foot at The Oriental. Come to think of it, I don't think I ever will.

BTW, not to steer off-topic, but why is it always Pen vs MO? Is Sukhothai not well regarded here at all? I'll be staying there for 2 nights next month.

Vaguely comforting to know I'm not alone. :eek:

As for the Sukhothai question... I think the Pen v. O comparisons are mostly driven by the cross-river rivalry. They are very close in proximity to one another, face each other across the river, and certainly compete head-to-head, even if some of the niches they target may differ. The Sukhothai has a quite different setting, sort of a compound on Sathorn Road. The most consistent comments I've read about the Sukhothai relate to its tranquility-inspiring design blending modern and Thai aspects. Although before-Peninsula days predate my time in Bangkok (and therefore I'm perfectly subject to being corrected), I wonder if the Sukhothai was a principal competitor to the O until the Pen came along. Among a certain set of patrons, mmmmmmmkay???, I've sensed that the older gentlemen go to the Sukhothai while the younger ones (such as myself) favor the Peninsula. FWIW. YMMV.

broadwayboy Aug 21, 07 9:47 am

MTL --
Maybe it's the 'older gentleman' in me :p but for our next trip next month, we're booked at Sukhothai (2 nights) and The Met (1 night).

I've heard mixed reviews about The Met, but after the raves about their toiletries (COMO brand) and pictures of their chic, contemporary rooms, I would have to try it at least once. Hopefully we will have a positive experience!



Originally Posted by MegatopLover (Post 8267515)
Vaguely comforting to know I'm not alone. :eek:

As for the Sukhothai question... I think the Pen v. O comparisons are mostly driven by the cross-river rivalry. They are very close in proximity to one another, face each other across the river, and certainly compete head-to-head, even if some of the niches they target may differ. The Sukhothai has a quite different setting, sort of a compound on Sathorn Road. The most consistent comments I've read about the Sukhothai relate to its tranquility-inspiring design blending modern and Thai aspects. Although before-Peninsula days predate my time in Bangkok (and therefore I'm perfectly subject to being corrected), I wonder if the Sukhothai was a principal competitor to the O until the Pen came along. Among a certain set of patrons, mmmmmmmkay???, I've sensed that the older gentlemen go to the Sukhothai while the younger ones (such as myself) favor the Peninsula. FWIW. YMMV.


TRAVELSIG Aug 21, 07 10:26 am


Originally Posted by broadwayboy (Post 8268721)
MTL --
Maybe it's the 'older gentleman' in me :p but for our next trip next month, we're booked at Sukhothai (2 nights) and The Met (1 night).

I've heard mixed reviews about The Met, but after the raves about their toiletries (COMO brand) and pictures of their chic, contemporary rooms, I would have to try it at least once. Hopefully we will have a positive experience!

The best thing about the Sukhothai is the restaurant, which is great. Really, the FS is probably a better value, especially in the rennovated rooms which are beautiful. The Met, I stayed at twice, and gave up. The toiletries are the best part of the whole hotel. The bar is OK as well, but not worth staying there for. Pool Service is non existent in my experience. And, it can be a hassle to get cabs from time to time at both the Sukhothai and the Met (they are very close to ech other). Give the FS a try- the service is the best in Bangkok (albeit with no view).

erik123 Aug 21, 07 1:06 pm


Originally Posted by Kettering Northants QC (Post 8266493)
I would suggest most 5* luxury hotels don't get much in the way of bookings from coach tour groups. Most Coach tour groups tend to stop at 3* hotels, occaisionally 4*, and on very rare occaisions a big 5*. I've seen the odd cruise ship group stay at the Royal Orchid Sheraton and Shangri La.

You have some good points - but the Pen did discount heavily after it opened and marketed itself to tour groups.

As to hotel prices in New York (low compared to London, Oslo, or Moscow) - MO is always one of the more expensive properties in Bkk so people could select another 5* at a much lower rate (and many still opt for the MO).

Amanjunkie Aug 21, 07 9:46 pm

What does everyone think of the Four Seasons Bangkok? We've been to Bangkok many times, but have never looked at the property. I understand the rooms were refurbished nicely after they changed the management from the Regent. We are staying there in the Rajadamri Suite in a couple of weeks, and don't really know what to expect.

Kagehitokiri Aug 21, 07 11:07 pm


Originally Posted by Amanjunkie (Post 8272799)
What does everyone think of the Four Seasons Bangkok?


Originally Posted by TRAVELSIG (Post 8269009)
...the FS is probably a better value, especially in the rennovated rooms which are beautiful...the service is the best in Bangkok (albeit with no view).

several other regulars, including luxury, agree with that sentiment


Originally Posted by Amanjunkie (Post 8272799)
We are staying there in the Rajadamri Suite

wow, from $775 now. ^ looks like the 2nd largest suite in BKK, right after the Pen.

Amanjunkie Aug 21, 07 11:31 pm


Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri (Post 8273060)
several other regulars, including luxury, agree with that sentiment

wow, from $775 now. ^ looks like the 2nd largest suite in BKK, right after the Pen.

Yes, we love service! That carries more weight with us over most things, though views would have also been nice. For the suite, we got the Executive Business Package which includes club access and with ++ it's a bit more than $1,000, but still an amazing rate for a 3,703 sq.ft room at the Four Seasons. :)

Kagehitokiri Aug 21, 07 11:54 pm

having to pay for club when you book the "Presidential" suite = :rolleyes:

Amanjunkie Aug 22, 07 12:07 am


Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri (Post 8273189)
having to pay for club when you book the "Presidential" suite = :rolleyes:

At this rate, I'm not complaining! :D

francophile Aug 22, 07 12:58 pm


Originally Posted by HUGE AL (Post 8267071)
francophile, I'm traveling with you next time (as I'm Asian as well). When I was in the Authors Lounge, I was COMPLETELY ignored and the only tables that got service were the ones with Caucasians at them. OK, perhaps it was me...or so I thought... In walks an elderly Chinese woman who was totally dripping of money. The staff wouldn't even get the poor woman a menu after 20 minutes. I ended up getting one for her. She told me this wasnt' the first time she was treated with such disdain. Unacceptable.

At the Sukhothai, I had a similar experience in that the waitress bowed next to all the Caucasian tables when presenting the bill, but when she went to Asian tables, she handed it ACROSS the table while standing up. Anyone who knows SE Asia knows this is a no-no.

Your observation is a common of Asians. If you go to the CX board, do a search on "caucasians" and you will find some threads regarding Asians receiving less than stellar service.

Kagehitokiri Aug 22, 07 1:26 pm

yes - i remember reading similar things re service in NH F (although from what i remember it was more a case of ignoring women - whether western or asian - rather than asians)

BUT IMHO service in hotels is much more important to begin with, not to mention delays in F class can only be so long..

iflyfish Aug 22, 07 3:34 pm

I've been to functions at both Pen and MO, never stayed at either one (my company had special rates at Grand Hyatt - I know it's not on the river). I like the Pen atmosphere better from my limited experience.


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