W Bangkok, Thailand [Master Thread]

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Old Jan 22, 19, 10:25 pm
  #421  
 
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It depends on what you are looking for, I suppose. I really like the hard product and design of the rooms, I find them extremely comfortable. I don't value drinks at a lounge nor drinks at the bar since I rarely drink - two drink tickets would last me a week long stay, easily. I like the quieter location, the concierge has always been excellent, the service has always been excellent, and the room quality is very high. I also enjoy the gym there, but don't spend time at the pool. I was comped a meal at the House on Sathorn the year before last and really enjoyed the food, but mostly enjoyed the experience in the courtyard with Pla Suchaya singing along with an acoustic guitar. They don't have that night anymore, however, and I did not have time to enjoy a meal there during my stay last year.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 7:34 pm
  #422  
 
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
Racking my brain trying to think of something.... Two drinks per stay compared to unlimited drinks daily during designated late afternoon/early evening hours at other properties. Suite upgrades which are unlikely at best. Don't get me started. How is this hotel not at or near the bottom of higher end (4+ star) Marriott hotels in Bangkok for PLT guests?
I have not stayed there for a couple of years as my location has changed and I dont go through Bangkok very often now. I have stayed at the W a couple of times and both were very pleasant. The breakfast is good and I enjoy the ambiance. I was upgraded to a Jnr suite once and used SNAs for a Marvelous suite another time. Both rooms were very comfortable. I was given the two drink vouchers and a half price drink offer. It is not generous but I am not a big drinker however the cocktails at the bar are very spectacular and at half price beat anything you will get at that price elsewhere. My wife took a lot of photos drinking these drinks. At the time I stayed which was once in January and once in April I was paying 3300 baht on a BRG. at that price I was pretty happy with the value I received and would stay again if the value is there. Then again I have stayed at all the old SPG properties except the LMS and the only stay I did not like was one at the 4P.
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Old Jan 23, 19, 11:58 pm
  #423  
 
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Originally Posted by eccentricfusion View Post
It depends on what you are looking for, I suppose. I really like the hard product and design of the rooms, I find them extremely comfortable.
SGS is by far my SPG hotel of choice, followed by W because of the room hardware (Studio Suite is their standard Plat upgrade) and 24 hour pool. Elite benefits are scare, breakfast is in lieu of points and the location isnít the best, but I really liked the layout of the Studio Suite and I always miss the bathroom (bathroom with a view is a big plus in my books) whenever Iím staying at SGS.
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Old May 13, 19, 9:54 pm
  #424  
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W Bangkok = Enjoyed the Studio Suite

W Bangkok

1 Review | 100% Recommended

W Bangkok

106 North Sathorn Road, Silom Bangrak Bangkok, TH 10500

W Bangkok = Enjoyed the Studio Suite (27 Photos)

W Bangkok

I have resisted for a quite a while before trying W Bangkok and I chose other properties repeatedly, in part because of reports of subpar Platinum treatment particularly in the SPG days. I was not in a rush to try W given reports of lack of upgrades and only one drink per person per stay as the Platinum benefit, compared to other properties which tend to be more generous including hotels with a lounge and/or free flow drinks for happy hour. However I have been pleased with my stays at other W hotels in the last few months so I wanted to at least give it a shot myself if the price was right.  I found a Best Rate Guarantee for less than 3.4k THB so at the price I was willing to live with potentially disappointing Marriott Ambassador treatment, for the benefit of trying a new hotel and see with my own eyes.  

Room

I booked the entry level room and several days before my arrival I saw online that I had been pre-upgraded to the spectacular room, and then a couple days before my arrival a further upgrade to the studio suite. Earlier reports in this thread that upgrades are unlikely might be a thing of the past, at least for me it was done proactively without me asking for anything which is always appreciated. 

Despite the lack of happy hour, I can see why W has its fans because the room is the strength of the hotel in my opinion.  The hotel opened 7 years ago and unlike many hotels in Bangkok built with shoddy construction materials and cutting corners, this one is withstanding the test of time quite well so far.  It is obvious that they have spent money on quality for example the thick entry door to ensure good soundproofing.  It is better than hotels renovated or newly built in the last 12 months which I have seen recently.  The studio suite is lovely and so simple in design: one large open room when you enter (= bedroom) and one large room behind it (= bathroom).  The bedroom is very bright thanks to the windows on the entire length of the room.  There is a very wide working desk where you can spread yourself around and not be missing any space, in addition to an L-shaped sofa.  Because the bathroom is right behind the bedroom, it is equally long as the bedroom, if not longer, due to the angle of the wall (not a rectangle). At the end of the bathroom is a huge walk-in shower with a large bath tub in the same area without a separation, and once again a window on the entire outside wall.  The inside wall is fully covered by a mirror all the way from the windows to the end of the toilet enclosure.  Amenities were the standard Bliss products for W hotels.  

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The purple glass wall besides the bed gives a nice flair to the room, along with the decorative keychain boxing gloves on the bed which are the trademark of this hotel; by the way you can buy small souvenir boxing gloves marked W Bangkok at reception.  

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It was refreshing to have a unique and attractive room which differs from the standard looking rooms found in many other hotels. Except for those who really need a separate living room (standard suite, not junior suite) and perhaps 1.5 bath, this room is just fine because it’s large enough (64 sq m) and no space is wasted anywhere so very comfortable and not cramped.  If there is one minor negative about the room it is that with so much being windows, mirrors, and glass in this room, they should have done something different for the toilet door because you can see a bit through it; it is a dark tinted sliding glass door.  It looks nice and it’s all fine for a solo traveler, but some couples might think it’s not ideal.    

The tech features were better than I expected for a hotel which is a few years old.  The electronic panel by the bedside controls air conditioning, lighting, the do not disturb sign, and an alarm.  There is also a Bose sound system and international power plugs on both sides of the bed.  

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Finally, I had a few dessert-kind welcome gifts and a written note waiting for me in the room upon arrival.  

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Dining

I chose breakfast as my amenity instead of points. The buffet is fine, and a first time visitor in Bangkok might be impressed but if we compare with other hotels roughly in that price range in the city, it’s ok but not top of the line.  Just within Starwood legacy hotels, in my opinion St.Regis, Athenee, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Le Meridien, and perhaps also Westin all have a better breakfast so W is no better than 5th on that list, not counting Marriott hotels although if those have a lounge then breakfast is usually not free in the restaurant for Platinums so it would not be an apples to apples comparison.  The weaknesses of the W breakfast are that fruits are just a bit more than what you could find in a North American hotel, whereas local competitors in Bangkok would have more local choices such as mangoes, pomelo, passion fruit, etc.  Yogurt and cereals were slim pickings as well, for example no homemade granola, or anything that stands out.  There was no fried rice at W; some hotels have luxury versions with protein such as crab or seafood fried rice.  At W, it was only baked rice with herbs.  On the positive side, breakfast has an Indian / Middle East station which was good, and the best for me was the choice of special salads which were different every morning and tasted great.  The restaurant has a bit of a busy layout with many tables close to each other, but at least when I was there it was not overly crowded.  

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As mentioned above, happy hour is more stingy than what almost every other Marriott family hotel offers to elite guests: only one drink per person per stay.  I had drinks at House on Sathorn which is an interesting venue for a hotel restaurant because it’s the old Russian Embassy, immediately adjacent to the hotel (you have to step outside the hotel and walk a few meters).  Coupons are valid for drinks that cost up to 450 THB. Dinner was excellent and I loved the Hokkaido scallops.  The portion was fairly small but the dish was very well prepared.  Prices are on the high side for Bangkok standards but this is a high end restaurant in a unique building, and also Marriott members get 20% discount so with the free drinks it turned out to be a reasonable final bill.  

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Pool

The swimming pool looks nice although a bit small and not many chairs with shadow – most are directly exposed to the sun.  There are a limited number of cabanas which can partially protect from the sun in addition to some umbrellas.  The unique feature of this hotel is that the pool is open 24/7 so it is a fun experience to go for a swim at 3am when being jet lagged during a warm Bangkok night.

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Gym

The gym is right next to the pool and is of a decent size, including eight or more weight machines which I find to be above average.   

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Woobar

The bar near reception looks good; I had a couple of snacks and a freshly prepared juice over there.

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Service

In my opinion service at W is better than other hotels in this price range, especially if we compare to hotels which are perhaps more business oriented and more sober.  I found staff at W to be more friendly and more chatty than the norm, which is entirely suitable for a W.  

Overall

Overall I think the hotel has enough strong features that it possibly can afford to be less generous with Platinum/Titanium/Ambassador benefits, to a certain point.  No happy hour and no room upgrade would probably not cut it for me, however I can live with the lack of happy hour if I can get decent room upgrades when available to match the competition, and they scored on that point, plus the fact that I really liked the room.  Not everybody wants a lounge and not everybody wants to drink at the hotel during happy hour so people that value a different kind of design for their hotel room will find that W can meet or exceed their expectations.  Marriott does not really need another hotel with nice standard rooms and a lounge because there are already quite a few good ones of those, but W definitely has a niche that adds something different to the Marriott alternatives in Bangkok.  W used to be almost always in the price range 4.5-5.5k THB but now I sometimes see rates below 4k even without BRG which is more competitive than in the past. Depending on the nature of my future trips I will return to W and I am more positive about this property than before I tried it.  

W Bangkok = Enjoyed the Studio Suite

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Old May 14, 19, 1:00 am
  #425  
 
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Good review, fairly accurately captures all the things I think are good about the W (the bathroom in the Studio Suites and House on Sathorn being two of the biggest ones for me).
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Old May 14, 19, 2:56 am
  #426  
 
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
Overall Overall I think the hotel has enough strong features that it possibly can afford to be less generous with Platinum/Titanium/Ambassador benefits, to a certain point. No happy hour and no room upgrade would probably not cut it for me, however I can live with the lack of happy hour if I can get decent room upgrades when available to match the competition, and they scored on that point, plus the fact that I really liked the room.
I am consistently unlucky at this property with upgrades - I stayed maybe 20-30 nights total in 2017 and 2018, and probably 10 in 2019, 1-3 nights each stay, and I was upgraded to a suite only 3 times. Usually a higher floor spectacular room is provided. The House of Sathorn and Woo Bar are great (they make a really good Long Island Iced Tea), but unless I'm on business only (the location is perfect for my office), I tend to select somewhere else if I want the elite benefits, good pool etc. Notably during my last stay the room was very tired too, carpets were badly stained. The room service food is usually good (Caesar salad and avocado toast in particular) and the spa is very quiet. I agree that the soundproofing is excellent, and for the right price, it is a good enough hotel.
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Old May 14, 19, 3:48 am
  #427  
 
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By the way, the 'electronic panels' by the bed are actually iPads, you used to be able to move them but not sure if either i) the hotel wanted to hide the fact that they were not the latest generation of iPad or ii) too many were being stolen as recently the weird white box appeared around them!
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Old May 14, 19, 5:28 am
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Originally Posted by lost_in_translation View Post
By the way, the 'electronic panels' by the bed are actually iPads, you used to be able to move them but not sure if either i) the hotel wanted to hide the fact that they were not the latest generation of iPad or ii) too many were being stolen as recently the weird white box appeared around them!
I recalled them being Lenovo or Samsung, but not Apple...?
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Old May 14, 19, 5:35 am
  #429  
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Originally Posted by EGW1 View Post
I am consistently unlucky at this property with upgrades - I stayed maybe 20-30 nights total in 2017 and 2018, and probably 10 in 2019, 1-3 nights each stay, and I was upgraded to a suite only 3 times. Usually a higher floor spectacular room is provided. Notably during my last stay the room was very tired too, carpets were badly stained.
When you are not upgraded, have you checked if suites were available online? In other words, they could have upgraded you, but they decided not to? Or suites were just fully booked? I can believe the lack of upgrades in 2017-2018 as it was documented by others in this thread and was one of the reasons preventing me from staying at W in the past. However I am more disturbed by your poor track record in 2019. I thought Ambassador upgrades were improving recently.

My room at W was not pristine but it was not tired and I thought it was in excellent condition for a 7 year old hotel. No staining, unlike my suite at St.Regis earlier during the same week.
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Old May 14, 19, 5:47 am
  #430  
 
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
When you are not upgraded, have you checked if suites were available online? In other words, they could have upgraded you, but they decided not to? Or suites were just fully booked? I can believe the lack of upgrades in 2017-2018 as it was documented by others in this thread and was one of the reasons preventing me from staying at W in the past. However I am more disturbed by your poor track record in 2019. I thought Ambassador upgrades were improving recently.

My room at W was not pristine but it was not tired and I thought it was in excellent condition for a 7 year old hotel. No staining, unlike my suite at St.Regis earlier during the same week.
None in 2019, there was an apology once for only having smoking suites. I have given up on suites at this property, as they just never give them, even when requested at check-in - they especially will not give anything above a studio suite even where there is availability in my experience (i.e. studio suites sold out but other suites available). My room was pretty badly stained on the carpets, but they did apologise and arrange a room move no problem.
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Old May 14, 19, 5:53 am
  #431  
 
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My understanding is this property will basically upgrade to Studio Suites if available but is reluctant to upgrade above this. The rate they charge for Studio Suites is pretty reasonable (slightly more than a Cool Corner Room) therefore they are frequently fully booked just like SGS suites or given out already to other status guests. I'm not sure if they prioritize by level within upgrade eligible guests or not (i.e. not sure if Ambassador is more likely to get one than Titanium than Platinum). Given how much I like the room, I typically just book a Studio Suite these days and have done with it.

My upgrade record is not great here either despite quite a few stays (less than EGW1, though). Back next weekend again and will report back. I wonder if they lost some data in the SPG change over like St. Regis did.
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Old May 14, 19, 6:07 am
  #432  
 
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Originally Posted by EGW1 View Post
I recalled them being Lenovo or Samsung, but not Apple...?
Sorry, yes, I think rather than Apple they are a more generic tablet brand (I think they are black?), getting confused with Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho in my head which I often stay at before / after.
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Old May 14, 19, 6:20 am
  #433  
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Indeed I noticed that booking a studio suite outright was not a lot more expensive than booking the basic room so my upgrade was appreciated, but its cash value was not as high as what some other hotels give. It makes it tempting to just book the studio suite. However I am wondering if doing so will preclude an upgrade to a higher category room?

If I had not been upgraded to a suite I would be less tempted to return soon given alternatives in the city. Sounds like I got somewhat lucky...
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Old May 14, 19, 8:18 am
  #434  
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
It makes it tempting to just book the studio suite. However I am wondering if doing so will preclude an upgrade to a higher category room?
I can't speak to this property, but my experience at several other Bangkok properties (SGS, StR) is that booking a suite is a door-opener to getting an upgrade to one of the better suites.
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Old May 14, 19, 8:39 am
  #435  
 
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
When you are not upgraded, have you checked if suites were available online? In other words, they could have upgraded you, but they decided not to? Or suites were just fully booked? I can believe the lack of upgrades in 2017-2018 as it was documented by others in this thread and was one of the reasons preventing me from staying at W in the past. However I am more disturbed by your poor track record in 2019. I thought Ambassador upgrades were improving recently.

My room at W was not pristine but it was not tired and I thought it was in excellent condition for a 7 year old hotel. No staining, unlike my suite at St.Regis earlier during the same week.
I believe the switch to Bonvoy wont make a property change their "habit".
It wont suddenly make "stingy" property become more generous but then it also wont make great property become "bonvoyed"
Unless Marriott corporate somehow receive complaints and act accordingly.

Sometimes I don't understand with property reluctance to upgrade first time elites and repeat elites.
I dont think the cost saving from not having to do housekeeping on more spacious suites worth the chance that the elites / repeat elites move their stay to another hotel.
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