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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)

stevenshev Jul 6, 07 8:21 pm

Bangkok, First Time, For a Day: Pen or MO?
 
Hello, everyone.

Since you were so great about my Phuket vs. KS thread, I have to come begging for some more advice.

I know there's a Best Hotels in BKK thread, but I think this may get lost. If the mods disagree, I apologize, and please feel free to move this there.

My parents are going to BKK for the first time. I personally think they should stay at the Pen (I booked them the best non-suite room). One of their close friends has told them that they may be better off at the MO, since they only have 24 hours in BKK and it's in a better location.

Advice? Opinions?

Thanks in advance.

francophile Jul 6, 07 8:37 pm

Location: both are on the riverfront (facing each other) but most tourists and business travellers who stay at the Pen say that they need cross the bridge to get to their destination. Guests at the Pen can of course also cross to the "correct" side by taking the complimentary hotel water shuttle that seems to leave every 5 or 10 minutes.

Room: Did you reserve the baclony room for your parents at the Pen That's the best non-suite room. Otherwise, all the other non-suite rooms are the same, just on different floors (with prices rising according to the floor number).

Breakfast buffet: The Pen has a better breakfast buffet. I find it has more variety and better quality.

Overall though, I prefer the MO. I feel it has more charm and personality. The Pen is an outstanding hotel. It is luxurious and efficient. The hardware at the MO may be less refined, but to me it really feels like a special place.

RichardInSF Jul 6, 07 8:42 pm

This is sort of like having to choose between, I dunno, Cartier and Tiffany -- if you can afford it, you won't get bad stuff no matter which one you pick!

Fliar Jul 6, 07 8:52 pm

I agree with RichardInSF - either is great.

The balcony rooms are not preferred by many here (including myself) so bear that in mind.

Also, the MO is a bit more expensive.

UAL747fan Jul 7, 07 3:07 am

We were at the Pen a while ago, but it was an amazing stay. We booked their suite, and got a great deal, as it was their low season, and our kids school vacation time.

As for location, I dont think it is too inconvienient. There is a free boat ride to cross the river. We only went across once. We took a long boat from the hotel down into the residential areas along the river, and to see the giant reclining buddah and the Royal Barges.

We went over to the MO, and I felt it was a little too hectic, it seemed more family oriented, and there was a lot of kids and adults running around.

But, as it is a MO, I dont doubt that you will have a great experience, it is definately an experience that your parents will remember.

P.S. I too agree with RichardSF and Fliar, that they will be happy with either.

Oh, I haven't stayed at the MO, so I'm a little biased toward the Pen.

Plus, the Pen has the new spa that I read (in Travel and Liesure) beats the MO's spa.

Fliar Jul 7, 07 8:03 am

On the Spa - Mrs Fliar, who is a massage-addict, thought that her treatment last month at the Pen was the best she ever had, apart from the one she got at Amandari. She much preferred it over the MO's one.

I had massages at both places too, but I can't tell the difference. To me the best massage is the one done by the prettiest girl ;-)

ps The pool at the Pen is *much* nicer than the small and crowded pool at the MO.

yycworldtraveler Jul 7, 07 9:03 am

Both hotels are fantastic...but have quite different ambiances. The Pen is a more contemporary and relaxed luxury hotel...the MO more 'old style' elegant refined luxury. My parents swear by the MO...my partner and I love the Pen. I would also say the Pen attracts a bit younger crowd than the MO. Either way...you can't go wrong.

MegatopLover Jul 9, 07 1:46 pm


Originally Posted by francophile (Post 8016081)
Room: Did you reserve the baclony room for your parents at the Pen That's the best non-suite room. Otherwise, all the other non-suite rooms are the same, just on different floors (with prices rising according to the floor number).

I can't really compare the two properties, because I stayed at the Pen on my first trip to Bangkok six years ago and have never stayed anywhere else. I'm just back from something like my 15th stay, and the hotel exceeded its own exceptionally strong track record, keeping it firmly my and Mr. Megatop's Favorite Hotel in the World.

I will respectfully disagree with francophile's statement above, though. There are some subtle differences in the non-suite/non-balcony rooms. Some time ago I gave a detailed description of the hotel's layout and my own analysis of which rooms are better than others. I think some folks may have offered their own comments too. The post I'm thinking of was in this forum, so a search for my handle and Peninsula Bangkok will bring it up (along with probably 100 other posts of mine).

Although I'm thoroughly in love with PBK and it very much feels like home to me, one reason I've never stayed at The O is that Mr. Megatop and I were treated rather shabbily (to put it mildly) by the staff there once, six years ago. I vowed never to set foot in the place, and that's a vow I've kept.

JNelson113 Jul 9, 07 5:09 pm

I LOVE the MO and cannot imagine staying anywhere else. It has such charm and history. It may not have all the high-tech extras of the Pen, but the overall ambiance is unmatched.

Pauldublin Jul 9, 07 5:32 pm

megatoplover, I havent stayed at the pen but i have at the Oriental a few times. My partner complains about the 'O' all the time, finds it stuffy and old. I havent had too many problems with it. I just dont want to cross the river !

Can you share your problem with the Oriental? (if you have done already in another thread, apologies).

AlexS Jul 10, 07 1:48 am


Originally Posted by Fliar (Post 8016138)
I agree with RichardInSF - either is great.

The balcony rooms are not preferred by many here (including myself) so bear that in mind.

Also, the MO is a bit more expensive.

I'm young, and since I had heard that the MO can be a bit stuffy, decided to stay at the Pen. It was also cheaper and had free internet ^

I got upgraded to one of the balcony rooms on arrival, and everything during my stay was wonderful. I really didn't want to leave, especially after my last dinner at Thiptara, and I'll definitely stay there again when I go back to BKK.

I didn't go to the MO, but waiting for the hotel ferries, the guests getting on the MO boat definitely seemed to be more "old style" as yycworldtraveler said. The Pen seemed to be a little younger and hipper.

Alex

buzzlightyear Jul 10, 07 2:15 am

Mo
 
the service at MO is in a class of it's own
your parents will thank you for staying here

MegatopLover Jul 10, 07 6:26 am


Originally Posted by Pauldublin (Post 8028794)
megatoplover, I havent stayed at the pen but i have at the Oriental a few times. My partner complains about the 'O' all the time, finds it stuffy and old. I havent had too many problems with it. I just dont want to cross the river !

Can you share your problem with the Oriental? (if you have done already in another thread, apologies).

I know what you and others are saying, but I'm not certain I understand it completely. The entrance to The O is fairly unattractive, crammed into a tight space deep in the soi, as often as not (at least when I pass by) with a tour bus or two and scads of annoying tuktuk drivers milling about. The walk out the soi is okay, but the walk down Charoen Krung Road to the BTS station, or up Charoen Krung to Silom and Suriwongse, isn't particularly pleasant--not particularly bad either, mind you. So to reach the SkyTrain you've got a 5-to-10-minute walk on crowded Bangkok streets or a ride on the hotel shuttle boat. From the Pen, you've got no choice but to take the shuttle boat to the SkyTrain. But the only real difference (during normal operating hours) is the added choice of a ho-hum walk on The O's side-- not a difference that would be determinitive for me. That's for normal daily use. When coming and going at the start and end of your stay, or at late-night times, I recognize that access by taxi or car to and from the Pen is a bit of a hassle since you have to cross Saphan Taksin and negotiate that ridiculous intersection on Sathorn (made all the worse recently thanks to incessant construction). As for the view, I can't speak to the view from The O, but it occurs to me that by being on the "wrong side" of the river, the Pen has a view of the good side, whereas being on the "good side" leaves The O with a view of, well, the Pen. The Pen seems to have the upper hand on that score, but YMMV. In a way, it reminds me of the story of the guy who dines at the Eiffel Tower daily because he thinks it the ugliest structure in all of Paris and being in it is the one place where he doesn't have to look at it-- being on the "wrong side" of the river means you don't have to look at it.

Again, I can't speak to the atmosphere inside The O. But the atmosphere at the Pen, while formal when desired or appropriate, can also have a younger and more modern (I'm reluctant to use the word "hip") feel. At the Pen, you definitely see a very good number of young couples from around Asia and farther afield. You also see quite a number of gay couples. The few weaknesses in service at the Pen (cold front-desk staff, inattentive pool boys) in the past have demonstrably improved over the last two years to a point where, in my experience, they cannot be faulted now. In fact, the changes in front-desk staff, especially, have resulted in dramatic improvements. And, for the record, I'm discounting from this assessment the "special treatment" I know I get as a regular guest, which goes above-and-beyond to a level that I, humbly, never could have imagined a hotel could provide.

I've written about my problem at The O before, but it would probably be hard to find with a search, so I'll just re-post it here. It comes down to a problem I and several friends of mine have experienced at a number of other MO hotels around the world: if you're a guest at the hotel, you get the red carpet treatment, but if you're not, they'd rather not have you around and treat you quite poorly. In my case, this was six years ago and I was quite young at the time (mid-20's). Mr. Megatop and I had a confirmed booking for dinner at La Normandie and, earlier that day wanted to stop in to the concierge desk to have a peak at the menu before going out for shopping. As we came up to the entrance, the doorman physically stood in our way and refused to let us enter the hotel. He would not explain why. I asked several times, in English, what the problem was, and he just waved us away without explanation. I told him that we wanted to go to the concierge desk or front desk to see the menu for La Normandie because we had a reservation for dinner that night. The doorman refused to let us enter and never gave us an explanation of any sort, pretending he did not understand and giving the impression that he couldn't be bothered to deal with us. I asked to see a manager or someone who could explain what was going on. A gentlemen in a suit of some sort (more likely a security manager than a real hotel staff member) came and said that we were not permitted inside the lobby. I asked, again, why. He finally produced from a cabinet underneath an ashtray a laminated form of some sort stating policy that people wearing shorts were not permitted inside the hotel. As if this place were the Grand Palace. Meanwhile, streams of apparently hotel guests are coming out in shorts or milling around the lobby in shorts because, after all, it's August in Bangkok. I told him that now we wanted to cancel our reservation for dinner. He said he would have a hotel staff member come out to talk with us in order to accept the cancelation. I would have none of it and told him that he would have to report the cancelation and that the reason was how rudely he and the doorman had treated us. IIRC, at this point he may have even said we could go inside to the front desk and speak with someone there. I turned to leave. Tehn Mr. Megatop, who had let me endure all of this on my own, stepped forward and very calmly but firmly lit into the security man and the doorman in Thai, telling them that they should not treat foreigners like this and he knows very well they speak English and shouldn't pretend they don't just to get rid of us.

Now, I understand that The O has a dresscode (as does the Peninsula). I have written in support of dresscodes in the past, though always noting that consideration should be given to cultural, climatological, kind of facility, and time-of-day factors. And I understand the desire to create or preserve a certain ambiance, although in this instance it was ineffectual given what guests were wearing. My beef here is not with the dresscode but rather with the staff's rude treatment of us given ostensibly in the interest of the dress code, most specifically the refusal to give an explanation and the feigned ignorance of English. We should not have been treated like that. They decided that we were just another couple of tourists wanting to scope out the hallowed halls. They were wrong, and it cost them a lot, in terms of business and bad word-of-mouth. I will never darken that hotel's door again.

MANCHESTER Jul 10, 07 3:20 pm

I'd pick the MO every time....a true classic with the best service I've ever encountered.

Lunch by the pool & live jazz in the bar in the evening....priceless!

ACfly Aug 19, 07 12:41 pm

having stayed at both the Peninsula and MO, I am now hooked on the MO! I do not feel out of place for being young.

kmklint Aug 19, 07 2:08 pm

I stayed at the Pen and loved it. The spa is amazing and practically brand new. Its very easy to cross the river via the river taxi. The Pen has a nice pool and lots of nice sitting areas/ restuarants right on the river. I agree you probably can't go wrong at either place. I'm 33.

ylwae Aug 19, 07 2:27 pm

I've never stayed at the MO, but the Peninsula suits me just fine--my kind of ambiance. I have been impressed with both the rooms and the public spaces, and like another poster very much enjoy dining at Thiptara. The staff have been pleasant and helpful. I doubt that what's available at the MO is so remarkably different or superior as to warrant a change (from my perspective only).

grumbler Aug 19, 07 2:39 pm


Originally Posted by MegatopLover (Post 8031528)
[snip]
I've written about my problem at The O before, but it would probably be hard to find with a search, so I'll just re-post it here. It comes down to a problem I and several friends of mine have experienced at a number of other MO hotels around the world: if you're a guest at the hotel, you get the red carpet treatment, but if you're not, they'd rather not have you around and treat you quite poorly.

I don't know if it is a pattern, but I have the same issue with the MO NYC - except that its service to guests isn't even that great. I mean, given how much food and beverage from nonresidents contributes to the bottom line, you'd think they would pay more attention. Having said that, I pick the Oriental Bangkok over the Pen every time - I prefer the crowd and the service there (and no, I'm not in my 50s).

Michelin Girl Aug 19, 07 2:53 pm

The Pen is nice if you want rest and luxury. The Oriental is an institution and gives you a flavor of the old Bangkok of the elite. It's unlike any other hotel in these parts, MO or otherwise. The rooms are comfortable enough and I never had a problem with the service here, but it is old and needs refurbishing in some places. Some rooms too can be oddly shaped although that's probably part of the charm. I love the split-level River view rooms in the old wing, which have a sitting room and huge picture windows onto the pool and the river on one level and the bedroom on the upper level. I have always chosen to stay here over the Pen, as it's just such a special hotel in terms of atmosphere and history; although I would probably choose the Pen if I wanted a truly indulgent weekend.

PS: No, I'm not in my 50s. And I've been staying at the Oriental ever since I was in my 20s.

Pauldublin Aug 19, 07 4:38 pm

we stayed again recently with two friends at the oriental (early 30's and mid 30's) . neither of them had stayed at the oriental before. They too found the hotel somewhat stuffy and the whole experience 'old'.

HUGE AL Aug 19, 07 5:56 pm

I might get in trouble for this one, but:

If you're Asian, stay away from the MO. You'll be treated (typically) like crap. The Pen, on the other hand, will always welcome everyone -- as any great hotel should.

If you're White, most places will kiss your butt...ESPECIALLY the MO.

francophile Aug 20, 07 12:03 am


Originally Posted by grumbler (Post 8258641)
I don't know if it is a pattern, but I have the same issue with the MO NYC - except that its service to guests isn't even that great.

I was underwhelmed (actually disappointed) by my experience at Asiate.



Originally Posted by HUGE AL (Post 8259448)
I might get in trouble for this one, but:

If you're Asian, stay away from the MO. You'll be treated (typically) like crap. The Pen, on the other hand, will always welcome everyone -- as any great hotel should.

If you're White, most places will kiss your butt...ESPECIALLY the MO.

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.

Pickles Aug 20, 07 3:47 am


Originally Posted by MegatopLover (Post 8031528)
I've written about my problem at The O before, but it would probably be hard to find with a search, so I'll just re-post it here. It comes down to a problem I and several friends of mine have experienced at a number of other MO hotels around the world: if you're a guest at the hotel, you get the red carpet treatment, but if you're not, they'd rather not have you around and treat you quite poorly. In my case, this was six years ago and I was quite young at the time (mid-20's). Mr. Megatop and I had a confirmed booking for dinner at La Normandie and, earlier that day wanted to stop in to the concierge desk to have a peak at the menu before going out for shopping. As we came up to the entrance, the doorman physically stood in our way and refused to let us enter the hotel. He would not explain why. I asked several times, in English, what the problem was, and he just waved us away without explanation. I told him that we wanted to go to the concierge desk or front desk to see the menu for La Normandie because we had a reservation for dinner that night. The doorman refused to let us enter and never gave us an explanation of any sort, pretending he did not understand and giving the impression that he couldn't be bothered to deal with us. I asked to see a manager or someone who could explain what was going on. A gentlemen in a suit of some sort (more likely a security manager than a real hotel staff member) came and said that we were not permitted inside the lobby. I asked, again, why. He finally produced from a cabinet underneath an ashtray a laminated form of some sort stating policy that people wearing shorts were not permitted inside the hotel. As if this place were the Grand Palace. Meanwhile, streams of apparently hotel guests are coming out in shorts or milling around the lobby in shorts because, after all, it's August in Bangkok. I told him that now we wanted to cancel our reservation for dinner. He said he would have a hotel staff member come out to talk with us in order to accept the cancelation. I would have none of it and told him that he would have to report the cancelation and that the reason was how rudely he and the doorman had treated us. IIRC, at this point he may have even said we could go inside to the front desk and speak with someone there. I turned to leave. Tehn Mr. Megatop, who had let me endure all of this on my own, stepped forward and very calmly but firmly lit into the security man and the doorman in Thai, telling them that they should not treat foreigners like this and he knows very well they speak English and shouldn't pretend they don't just to get rid of us.

Well, that's a passion killer. I've stayed at the MO many times, and I notice that they are very good at scoping out who's "in" and who's "out", no matter what you are dressed like. Once you're "in", you can be wearing a toga and Elton John glasses, and they'll welcome you with open arms. The problem is signaling that you're "in", which I do by usually taking their car from the airport. Once I showed up covered in vomit (literally, Mrs. Pickles got sick on the plane, and decided to unload her concerns on me), and they treated me like the King's grandson. In your case, it seems that you were "in" but they completely dropped the radar on that one, and now you're a brand assassin. Don't blame you.

Parrotfish Aug 20, 07 4:02 am

For a hotel that pretends to be tradition-bound, claiming to cultivate relationships measured in generations, the Oriental should really be, well, for lack of a better word, less obnoxious, particularly to those who are young. I think I was nine when I last stayed there, vowed would never go back, and have kept my word. I don't remember the exact details, but I was a bit lost trying to get back to my room from the pool, and the only place I recognized was the lobby. Needless to say I was not in proper lobby attire, and was scolded by somebody wearing a suit rather than being helped in a discreet manner.

MegatopLover Aug 20, 07 5:46 am


Originally Posted by Pickles (Post 8261042)
... In your case, it seems that you were "in" but they completely dropped the radar on that one, and now you're a brand assassin. Don't blame you.

'Appreciate that. Never heard the term "brand assassin" before, but it's apt.

This example just points up the tremendous risk businesses run in prejudging people and shooing them away. The great service we enjoyed across the river, which subsequently improved with each stay and is now stellar, quickly turned us into lifelong devotees of the Pen. Considering the at least ten years (of increasingly frequent stays, sometimes with friends and family coming along) that will elapse between that first stay and the time I finally buy a place in Bangkok, it's a serious loss for MO.

For the record, however, I'll note that I have had good experiences at the MOSF. I must be part of the "in crowd" there. :rolleyes:

peteropny Aug 20, 07 8:14 am


Originally Posted by MegatopLover (Post 8261272)
This example just points up the tremendous risk businesses run in prejudging people and shooing them away. The great service we enjoyed across the river, which subsequently improved with each stay and is now stellar, quickly turned us into lifelong devotees of the Pen. Considering the at least ten years (of increasingly frequent stays, sometimes with friends and family coming along) that will elapse between that first stay and the time I finally buy a place in Bangkok, it's a serious loss for MO.

Agreed. I've never stayed at these two hotels. But have visited them both - perhaps 7 times or so to the MO. I'm originally Thai and find that Thailand is very class-oriented. During all my visits to the MO (except for the one time that I was staying at Shangri-La with my partner when we just walked over), I arrived in a car with a driver (usually for lunch) and was always warmly greeted - our driver usually also waited in the lobby. On the same trip with my partner, we also took the shuttle boat over to the Pen and felt the staff less welcoming than at the MO. I also agree that if you use public transport, the location makes less of a difference, but if you're not using the public transport, I wouldn't deal with the issue of crossing the bridge constantly.

erik123 Aug 20, 07 10:39 am

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.

MegatopLover Aug 20, 07 12:25 pm


Originally Posted by erik123 (Post 8262723)
IMO - The oriental does not seem to take tour groups...

The tour buses (nice ones, but tour buses all the same) ocassionally jammed into the tight parking area at the end of Soi Oriental indicate otherwise. Not passin' judgment, just sayin' what I've seen.

broadwayboy Aug 20, 07 6:14 pm

I had a similar experience as MegaTopLover at the Oriental back in 1999. We stayed at Pen and decided to hotel hop. We made it to The Oriental but were refused entry. The reason? My 2 friends were wearing shorts and carrying back-packs. I somehow managed to get in (I was wearing long pants) and asked for a brochure at the Front Desk. 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'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.

Kagehitokiri Aug 20, 07 7:31 pm

Sukhothai and FS are also regarded fairly well, but less popular

there have been a few reports from Shangri La Krungthep Wing

and the Metropolitan receives very mixed reviews

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. :)


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