137 Pillars Bangkok (Small Luxury Hotel)

Old Feb 2, 2020, 7:24 am
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137 Pillars Bangkok (Small Luxury Hotel)

137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok

Map| 2 Reviews | 50% Recommended

137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok

59/1 Sukhumvit Soi 39 Klongton-Nua, Wattana Bangkok, TH 10110

137 Pillars Bangkok (Small Luxury Hotel) (62 Photos)

137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok

When Hyatt announced a partnership with Small Luxury Hotels, out of curiosity I read about the SLH choices in Bangkok and learned about 137 Pillars.  Since then it’s been on my radar screen to try it at some point but the price level is significantly in excess of the top hotel in each of the 4 hotel chains where we normally stay at: Park Hyatt, Waldorf Astoria, St.Regis, and Banyan Tree.  That said, 137P is an all-suites property so prices must be compared to booking a suite outright at the big hotel chains and when doing so the price difference is not as big as it appears to be at first glance.  I thought if I was to try 137P, what better time to stay there than when most hotels in Bangkok are full which is during Chinese New Year, because I would be unlikely to receive a generous room upgrade at the big chains so no upgrade at 137P would not be any worse, and if I want to avoid the big crowds in big hotels not to mention subpar service due to overworked staff, I could take refuge in the much smaller 137P during that time of the year.  I was not disappointed with and I will certainly return.  

Location

The location of 137P is not the best and a bit away from the city center (Park Hyatt / Grand Hyatt for example).  It is a 15-minute walk from 137P to Phrom Phong BTS station but to mitigate the location issue, 137P offers a free shuttle bus to the EmQuartier shopping mall which is next to BTS.  

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Room

I booked the entry level room which is the Sukhothai suite and unsurprisingly by the time we checked in, the hotel was fully booked according to both Hyatt.com and SLH.com so I did not expect any upgrade despite having dual elite status with Hyatt and SLH’s loyalty programs.  To my surprise they upgraded us to the Ayutthaya suite which is moderately larger than the Sukhothai suite (95 square meters vs 70 square meters).  In fact we ended up seeing two versions of the Ayutthaya suite; the room we had the first night had a much larger living room but only one bathroom therefore no second toilet.  That room was in the corner of the top floor (32nd).  The layout of the building on that floor is such that all rooms are on the same side and on the opposite side the wall had windows on the full length of the corridor so the drawback was that during the day the sun was beaming in there and the short walk from the elevator to the room was very hot.  Fortunately the AC worked great in the room itself.  The advantage of only having rooms on one side of the corridor and being at the end of the hallway is that there was never any foot traffic in the hallway outside our room; in any event there were only 5 rooms on our floor so very quiet anyway.

The quality of the hardware is on par with luxury hotels in Bangkok and the room was beautifully decorated except perhaps the zig zag pattern on the carpet which is not my favorite.  In that regard I prefer the hardwood floors at St.Regis and Waldorf Astoria.  Overall the room quality is a notch above St.Regis, definitely above Park Hyatt, and perhaps comparable to Waldorf Astoria which is a newer construction, minus some of the little details such as the curtains and blinds which are controlled by an electronic panel at WA but not at 137P.  Also 137P has a Toto toilet with heated seats and the lid which automatically lifts up when you walk into the toilet enclosure so that’s better than what StR and PH have to offer, but the WA toilet is marginally better with more features such as auto flush.  The one advantage that 137P has over other hotels we tried in Bangkok is the terrace which is a nice place to relax and enjoy the view in the evening, although perhaps less so during the heat of the afternoon.  I have read a comment before about someone complaining of low water pressure in the shower – it was not my experience.  Water pressure was fine in both rooms we had.  

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I noticed that there was no mouthwash in the bathroom which would be an easy fix to offer a more complete amenity set.  Interestingly the amenities were in a hand-made bag which was designed by autistic children; the bag itself is available for purchase with the proceeds going to a charity fund.  Regarding soap, shampoo and body wash, I realize it’s a matter of personal preference but at 137P they had Harnn brand products which were available in dispensers rather than small bottles.  They were ok but not my favorite, I personally prefer Salvatore Ferragamo from Waldorf Astoria.

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Wifi reception in our first room was intermittent and due to the same root problem, TV reception was on and off as well.  A technician came to the room and was unable to quickly fix the issue so we were offered to move to another room which was somewhat surprising if the hotel was full.  As mentioned above the second room was the same type (Ayutthaya Suite) but it had a powder room off the entrance so it was more convenient for a couple, at the expense of having less space in the living room; the overall size was the same.  The powder room was quite long and far bigger than most hotel’s powder rooms, however the toilet there was standard rather than a Toto toilet which was only in the main bathroom.  Due to the different layout of the room, the shower was adjoining the bedroom and you could either pull the blinds down for privacy or open them to have natural lighting in the shower.  

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The hallway on the floor of our second room (24th floor) had rooms on both sides so no windows and no heat problem although it was a bit dark.  

 

Dining

Guests in the suites (not residences) have access to the Baan Borneo Club on the 26th floor.  Despite high occupancy in the hotel, every time we went there it was quiet relative to traditional club lounges of hotel chains - there is no comparison possible.  As you get off the elevator on one side is the Louie’s Tiffin Grill restaurant which is used for breakfast by guests in the residences; without going inside it seemed crowded and fairly loud, and by contrast the Baan Borneo Club was a peace haven and we had the whole place to ourselves one morning.  I thought by having both LTG and the Club on the same floor is almost a tease to guests in the residences.  

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I have seen lots of great breakfasts in Bangkok and the one at Waldorf Astoria is at the top of my list but in some ways 137P can be seen as even better.  First of all the views from the club are great, the atmosphere and décor are nice, and having a quiet and cozy place is important to us; none of the other luxury hotels in Bangkok have anything near this experience, especially not StR with the chaotic breakfast restaurant.  How 137P distinguishes itself is not only with the venue, but also with the extensive a la carte menu to go along the small buffet.  No other hotel we have been to in Bangkok has so many a la carte menu choices – Park Hyatt can hold its own but there are even more options at 137P.  You can order as many items from the menu as desired from 6-11am and I thought there were several attractive choices such as a crab omelette, wagyu steak, salmon fillet with miso soup (Japanese breakfast), etc.  At the buffet there were also sushis, pastries, fruits, veggies and salads, and not just boring salads, for example one morning they had squid salad, shrimp salad, mozzarella and tomatoes, etc.  To cap it off they also have free flow mimosas and Cava available for a truly luxury breakfast.  None of the top hotels we have stayed at in Bangkok have free-flow bubbly for breakfast now that Athenee has cut it from the Club Lounge.  In a lower hotel category, Le Meridien is the only other hotel that I know which still has sparkling wine for breakfast (for Platinum guests and above) among the main hotel chains.  One more note about breakfast and how 137P distinguishes itself from the competition: if you happen to miss breakfast in the morning, you can still go to the Club any time from 11am to 11pm and order one item from the a la carte breakfast menu.  How awesome is that – it reminds me of the all-day breakfast at Park Hyatt Tokyo, the only difference being that breakfast at 137P must be in the Club, not room service.

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Afternoon tea is available in the Club from 2-5pm with a selection of scones, sandwiches, desserts, and soft drinks.  

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Happy hour 5-7pm is on par with Athenee and Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit (Luxury Collection) for drinks quality, but definitely better than Athenee for the venue due to the privacy at 137P.  For comparison purposes, St.Regis only gives one drink per person per day during happy hour (Platinum or above), Waldorf Astoria only gives 1000 THB food & beverage credit to Diamond guests, and Park Hyatt has one hour free-flow drinks rather than 2 hours.  Banyan Tree has a lounge with 2 hours but lower quality drinks and that place is loud and busy, therefore 137P easily tops them all in that regard.  Regarding food it’s not a traditional lounge however – only nuts and crackers for happy hour.

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As an alternative to the Borneo Club for happy hour, we could also get drinks in the Jack Bain bar a couple of floors above.  The bar is fairly small and only has a few tables and chairs inside, and there are also some extra seats outside the bar in an area overlooking the main pool.

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We ordered room service a couple of times.  The menu is not very extensive but food was good. 

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Service

Service was great during our stay and in my experience the butler service was even better than at StR.  First of all there seemed to be more staff available relative to the number of guests, and with the hotel being so small it felt like all staff could quickly know all guests in the hotel so it felt more personal.  In addition there was a phone available in the room for guests to take out of the hotel during the stay.  You can call anywhere in the world with the phone and it also has an internet connection which can be convenient for some folks – no need to buy a SIM card at the airport.  In addition you have the butler on speed dial programmed in the phone plus a chat feature with the butler so it feels like any time you need help the butler is always there to assist even when not on the hotel premises.  

Having to change rooms after settling in our first room was probably a fail on behalf of the hotel and some hotels would probably upgrade to a better room type as compensation, but with high occupancy I am not sure it was possible anyway.  All I can say is that the move was handled well.  A few other notes regarding service, one positive is that you get housekeeping done twice a day at 137P which is a nice perk.  On the downside however, there is no laundry or pressing benefit which pales in comparison to StR giving 4 free pieces of laundry per day for a couple.  I think 137P could possibly provide something in that regard if they wanted to up their game.  Another minor item which would be an easy fix is during breakfast staff did not replace cutlery when we ordered a new dish.

To provide a complete assessment of service at 137P I would probably need to return a few times and see how they handle repeat guests.  I have stayed a few times at WA and StR during special occasions such as birthdays; this is not something that I can compare with 137P yet.

Pool

The main swimming pool on the 27th floor is quite nice to begin with and has plenty of chairs either in the shade or in the sun, depending on preferences.  

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However the crown jewel of this hotel is the infinity pool on the rooftop which has fantastic views of the city and is not accessible to residence guests so it’s very private.  I am usually not much of a fan of swimming pools in big cities such as Bangkok and I would rather use the pool in beach destinations such as Phuket or Koh Samui (if in Thailand), but I made an exception with 137P.  Icing on the cake is that the pool is open 24/7 which almost no hotel in Bangkok has, besides the W hotel among those that I am aware of.  Near the roof-top pool there are also a couple of cabanas with views of the city and some greenery for people who do not want to stay in the sun.  

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Gym

The gym is quite small and lacks weight machines but since it’s a small hotel I guess a large gym should not be expected.  They have boxing equipment so in that regard it can be compared to St.Regis’ gym.  You can also have a trainer upon request which is another upscale service perk.

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Wifi

Wifi in the second room worked ok without interruptions, but speeds were perhaps not the best in town; I measured around 8-15 Mbps.

 

Overall

Overall 137 Pillars is a great hotel which I might not have tried without the partnership between Hyatt and SLH.   It ended up being a great discovery – very private / peaceful club, excellent a la carte breakfast, generous happy hour relative to other luxury hotels from major hotel chains, arguably one of the nicest roof-top pools open 24/7 to boot, all of this with a spacious and upscale suite with nice decor.  Last but not least the butler team works with a limited number of guests due to the size of the hotel, which paves the way to provide superior personal service.  I can highly recommend this hotel regardless of Hyatt elite status or not – it’s one of the very few independent properties in a major city that I would book despite competition from big hotel chains who are generous with suite upgrades.  

137 Pillars Bangkok (Small Luxury Hotel)

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Old Feb 2, 2020, 7:38 am
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This is a hotel that definitely keeps to the Luxury end of SLH and one of the few that would be considered ultra luxury.

Their pool is the best infinity pool in Bangkok and maybe even top pool overall?
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Last edited by Aventine; Feb 2, 2020 at 9:16 am
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Old Feb 2, 2020, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Aventine
This is a hotel that definitely keeps to the Luxury end of SLH and one of the few that would be considered ultra luxury.

Their pool is the best infinity pool in Bangkok and maybe even top pool overall?
Right, indeed this one deserves both the "small" part and the "luxury" part of the name, and in fact the small contributes to the luxury as well in a city shock-full of very large hotels especially the chain hotels which are those that I know. On that note, I forgot one point regarding service. In my experience one of the best times for a butler to connect with guests is during breakfast and that is well done some resorts for example StR Bora Bora or StR Maldives, but not as much in big city hotels such as StR Bangkok where I never saw our butler in the restaurant in the morning. At 137P I suspect staff in the Club communicates with butlers downstairs to inform them who has arrived for breakfast because the butler came to greet us and either take our order and/or serve us what we ordered, before giving way to staff in the Club for the rest of the breakfast. It was a nice way to keep the service personal and stay in touch with guests without being overbearing.

Regarding the pool, of all those I have seen in Bangkok yes I would rank 137P #1 overall. I have yet to see Sofitel SO's pool (which I will visit in a few months) which looks nice based on pictures but I think due to overall privacy and how quiet it is, 137P will most likely remain #1 . However if there is one aspect where others might not rate 137P as well is that unlike the pool at StR BKK which has many small trees and plants to give a nice atmosphere to the pool side, the roof top pool at 137P can feel a bit "naked" as the plants are only on the cabana side, not right by the pool. That said the StR pool is busier and does not have the views that 137P has so my personal favorite is 137P, let alone the fact that 24/7 is a big feature for me when getting into Bangkok jet lagged, nothing beats a swim at 3am.
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Old Feb 3, 2020, 2:40 pm
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Thanks for this! They have FOUR chairs for the entire pool??

Saw the shuttle at EmQuartier last week but whenever I looked at the rates 137P was around 7k and honestly for that I stay at Park Hyatt.
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Old Feb 3, 2020, 6:49 pm
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Originally Posted by skywalkerLAX
Thanks for this! They have FOUR chairs for the entire pool??

Saw the shuttle at EmQuartier last week but whenever I looked at the rates 137P was around 7k and honestly for that I stay at Park Hyatt.
Yes 4 chairs for the roof top pool if you don't count the cabanas which are not immediately besides the pool. Plenty of chairs in the main pool however and that's where the bulk people go (they stay in residences though).

Regarding rates, think again! If you saw 7k THB then it was most likely the residences, not the suites. So you would not have access to the roof top pool, no Club / happy hour either, and your breakfast won't be nearly as good as if you book the suites. The suites are far more expensive than 7k THB.

Suites used to be 16.5k THB on hyatt.com and recently the price has been trending up to 18k THB or so. As usual, it's cheaper on SLH.com, but in this particular case you can pay even less if you book straight with the hotel rather than SLH.com so cash prices on Hyatt.com have a double premium embedded; in most cases it will be best to book straight with the hotel unless you really need the Hyatt night credits. Or book with Hyatt points - 25k pts is not that bad and only marginally more than PH at 20k pts. I saw rates as low as 12k THB for the suites at 137P if you book by multiples of 3 nights and that price level is comparable to booking a suite outright at PH, except that you don't earn night credits or points, and in my situation I reach elite status at both Hyatt and SLH without needing more credits so I don't mind booking direct, and in high occupancy PH can be more expensive than this. As an extra perk if you book direct at 137P, check out time is guaranteed 24 hrs so check-in at 8pm and you will have check-out 8pm guaranteed. If you book with Hyatt or SLH then it's 2pm check-out.

It's in part due to this price level that almost everything was quiet and exclusive, it contributes to the roof top pool not being crowded, even with only 4 chairs. I was there in a period of high occupancy, went there on two different afternoons. One we were alone, the other there was only one other woman.
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Old Feb 3, 2020, 7:43 pm
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Please explain the difference between suites and residences. Are the residences part of SLH/Hyatt or not? I'm confused by the breakfast offering because IME residences typically denote either particularly large suites with kitchens or condominiums/serviced extended stay apartments in a separate area of an hotel.
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Old Feb 3, 2020, 9:54 pm
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Originally Posted by escape4
Regarding rates, think again! If you saw 7k THB then it was most likely the residences, not the suites. So you would not have access to the roof top pool, no Club / happy hour either, and your breakfast won't be nearly as good as if you book the suites. The suites are far more expensive than 7k THB.

Suites used to be 16.5k THB on hyatt.com and recently the price has been trending up to 18k THB or so. As usual, it's cheaper on SLH.com, but in this particular case you can pay even less if you book straight with the hotel rather than SLH.com so cash prices on Hyatt.com have a double premium embedded; in most cases it will be best to book straight with the hotel unless you really need the Hyatt night credits. Or book with Hyatt points - 25k pts is not that bad and only marginally more than PH at 20k pts. I saw rates as low as 12k THB for the suites at 137P if you book by multiples of 3 nights and that price level is comparable to booking a suite outright at PH, except that you don't earn night credits or points, and in my situation I reach elite status at both Hyatt and SLH without needing more credits so I don't mind booking direct, and in high occupancy PH can be more expensive than this. As an extra perk if you book direct at 137P, check out time is guaranteed 24 hrs so check-in at 8pm and you will have check-out 8pm guaranteed. If you book with Hyatt or SLH then it's 2pm check-out.
Somewhat sad to say, those rates don't shock me at all. Completely in line with the better suites at W/A, StR, even SGS. And don't even ask me what I paid for dinner at the Rib Room last trip (not recommended). Bangkok has become quite pricey at the higher end.
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 3:01 am
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Originally Posted by escape4
Yes 4 chairs for the roof top pool if you don't count the cabanas which are not immediately besides the pool. Plenty of chairs in the main pool however and that's where the bulk people go (they stay in residences though).

Regarding rates, think again! If you saw 7k THB then it was most likely the residences, not the suites. So you would not have access to the roof top pool, no Club / happy hour either, and your breakfast won't be nearly as good as if you book the suites. The suites are far more expensive than 7k THB.

Suites used to be 16.5k THB on hyatt.com and recently the price has been trending up to 18k THB or so. As usual, it's cheaper on SLH.com, but in this particular case you can pay even less if you book straight with the hotel rather than SLH.com so cash prices on Hyatt.com have a double premium embedded; in most cases it will be best to book straight with the hotel unless you really need the Hyatt night credits. Or book with Hyatt points - 25k pts is not that bad and only marginally more than PH at 20k pts. ...
That's insane and I'll never be paying more than 8000 THB all in for Bangkok. Simply not going to happen. I can stay at the GH or another 5* hotel such as SGS for 4000 THB and apply a suite upgrade. YMMV

Points booking seems to be the sweet spot then at 137P. Then again... 25k in Bangkok? For 30k I book Park Hyatt Tokyo.
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 7:50 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
Please explain the difference between suites and residences. Are the residences part of SLH/Hyatt or not? I'm confused by the breakfast offering because IME residences typically denote either particularly large suites with kitchens or condominiums/serviced extended stay apartments in a separate area of an hotel.
I did not stay in the residences so pardon my partially (un)informed opinion but this is my understanding:

- Residences are not part of either Hyatt or SLH
- I would guess residences either have rates including / excluding breakfast or those guests must pay for their breakfast if they choose to go to the restaurant, but either way they are not allowed to go to the Borneo Club which is where guests of the suites have their breakfast, therefore keeping the place exclusive.
- Similarly residence guests cannot go to the Club for afternoon tea and happy hour
- Residence guests only have access to the main pool, not the roof top pool
- Residence guests do not have the 24 hour butler service
- The residences have a kitchen indeed, but the entry level residence (studio) is significantly smaller (40-45 sq m) than the entry level suite (70 sq m).
- Without having seen the residences, I think the quality of the finishes is not as high (based on comments I read, and pictures)
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by skywalkerLAX
That's insane and I'll never be paying more than 8000 THB all in for Bangkok. Simply not going to happen. I can stay at the GH or another 5* hotel such as SGS for 4000 THB and apply a suite upgrade. YMMV

Points booking seems to be the sweet spot then at 137P. Then again... 25k in Bangkok? For 30k I book Park Hyatt Tokyo.
If someone rarely books a suite then indeed 137P being an all-suites property then it's unlikely to be a good fit. However as Kacee mentioned, if you book a suite at WA, StR, PH, etc. then I do not think 137P pricing is out of line for the market. Yes you could book the entry level room at GH/PH and use a suite upgrade, but Hyatt is the program which is more the exception than the rule in that the suite upgrade is confirmed at time of booking, whereas at SGS it would not. In addition at PH you will end up in the standard suite, whereas 137P has shown willingness to upgrade too, so you end up in a premium suite rather than a standard suite. Last but not least given how small 137P is and how many butlers are there, as much as PH has improved service recently you cannot get as personal service there as 137P, not even close. And if you stay at PH when the hotel is quite full then you end up in crowded places, the pool, restaurant, etc. At 137P the exclusivity has a price I guess.

Regarding the comparison with PH Tokyo, I am often reluctant to compare hotels in different cities, but for what it's worth yes I agree with you that 30k at PH Tokyo is probably a better use of points than 25k at 137P. However once again it's not entirely an apples to apples comparison, as much as I like PH Tokyo, for that price you don't have a guaranteed suite and the service level is not on par with 137P either due to staff count relative to guest count. Breakfast is significantly inferior at PHT vs 137P as well, due to its lack of extensive a la carte menu and no bubbly.
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 8:16 am
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Originally Posted by escape4
If someone rarely books a suite then indeed 137P being an all-suites property then it's unlikely to be a good fit. However as Kacee mentioned, if you book a suite at WA, StR, PH, etc. then I do not think 137P pricing is out of line for the market.
Yes, booking base room is fine if you're satisfied with the base level suite. But if you want, for example, Caroline Astor at StR, Corner Suite at W/A, or one of the specialty suites at SGS, you're going to have to pay minimum of 12k THB per night to have any realistic shot at the upgrade to a suite that retails (and sells) for >20k per night.
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee
Yes, booking base room is fine if you're satisfied with the base level suite. But if you want, for example, Caroline Astor at StR, Corner Suite at W/A, or one of the specialty suites at SGS, you're going to have to pay minimum of 12k THB per night to have any realistic shot at the upgrade to a suite that retails (and sells) for >20k per night.
My last 3 stays at SGS I got the Rajah Suite every single time and just booked the base level room. So much for having a fair shot.
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 6:03 pm
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Originally Posted by skywalkerLAX
My last 3 stays at SGS I got the Rajah Suite every single time and just booked the base level room. So much for having a fair shot.
Wow, I have subpar success rate receiving the standard suite at SGS when booking the entry level room, I would never dream of a mammoth upgrade from entry level to Rajah. And three stays in a row! Good for you, you have better luck than I do at this property!

Out of curiosity, how many nights were these three stays?

If you have good success rate on premium suite upgrades, and when not successful, you don't mind all that much having a non-suite, then I could see why 137P is probably not for you.
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Old Feb 12, 2020, 10:03 pm
  #14  
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25k pts per night was a good deal but now going up to 30k pts per night as of March 22. Book in the next few weeks if you want to try this property with points.
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Old Apr 4, 2021, 3:42 am
  #15  
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137 Pillars Bangkok = Less Attractive Due to Covid Cutbacks

137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok

Map| 2 Reviews | 50% Recommended

137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok

59/1 Sukhumvit Soi 39 Klongton-Nua, Wattana Bangkok, TH 10110

137 Pillars Bangkok = Less Attractive Due to Covid Cutbacks (13 Photos)

137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok

Last time I stayed at 137 Pillars Bangkok was before covid and quite a bit has changed since then so I thought I would provide a quick update.  Unfortunately service levels have been cut back, the breakfast which used to be the best in the city has been downgraded, and with the opening of several new luxury options in Bangkok such as Rosewood, Capella, and Four Seasons, the competition has increased.  Some people will compare to Park Hyatt because of the SLH-Hyatt tie-up and I would note that PH has been improving service & breakfast, not to mention that the points redemption at 137P was scheduled to go up from 25k pts to 30k pts when it was put on ice due to covid so I would not be surprised if it gets done and becomes even more expensive relative to PH at 20k pts.  Bottom line several changes are going in the wrong direction for 137P and while this hotel still has some great features, it is becoming a less attractive option than in the past.  

Room

Given the cutbacks mentioned above, the hotel could upgrade more liberally than the strict 1-category upgrade rule to offset some of the negative changes, but unfortunately they did not.  I booked the entry level suite (Sukhothai Suite) and received the same upgrade to the Ayutthaya Suite as in the past.  The room types above are the Thonburi Suites and the Rattanakosin Suites; if they do not upgrade a returning guest to the higher room types in times of low occupancy when only three rooms are occupied in the entire hotel, it’s hard to imagine under which circumstances it would ever happen. 

The room was pretty much the same and nothing notable had changed.  We had a couple of nice welcome surprises in the room which was definitely a nice touch. 

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Dining

Breakfast used to be absolutely fantastic at 137P but now the Baan Borneo Club is temporarily closed for renovations so we had the choice of having breakfast on the ground floor at the Bangkok Trading Post restaurant or as in-room dining.  The menu no longer had luxury options such as steak & eggs, crab omelets, seafood salad, or sushi.  The free-flow sparkling wine is also a thing of the past unfortunately.  The current a la carte menu is not bad, but I can no longer claim that 137P is the best breakfast in Bangkok, in fact based on our stay at Park Hyatt a couple weeks ago that one clearly beats 137P, as do some others such as Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Capella, Sukhothai, Waldorf Astoria, etc.

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When 137P informed me about the closure of the Club and that happy hour would be served at the swimming pool on the 27th floor, I expressed my concern about the venue which is shared with guests of the residences, therefore not as private as what the Club used to be.  As an alternative they suggested happy hour near the roof top pool on the 35th floor which is for guests of the suites only.  It turned out to be a completely private happy hour in a great venue overlooking the city, a perfect peace haven despite our stay overlapping the weekend when hotels tend to be busier at the moment.  Our butler came by regularly for refills or we could just call using the phone near the pool because there was no other staff (or guests) on the roof.  

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Pool

The swimming pool is still open 24 hours per day and one of the strong points of the hotel.  I went there on three different afternoons and twice I was all alone so it beats having a private plunge pool at Capella, Rosewood, or Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit.  

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Service

Service is very good at this hotel, that said, I noticed some cutbacks.  First off they no longer provide the mobile phone with internet and direct chat access with the butler which I personally do not need but I am sure it was useful for some guests.  Also not having the Club open limited the interaction with the butler and our breakfast was served by different staff on different mornings which also reduced the personal aspect.  On Saturday evening we came back to the hotel at 7:30pm and there was no door man - not a big deal, but I do not recall other ultra-luxury hotels in Bangkok having the front door unmanned and it never happened at 137P in the past.  Also some of the breakfast orders were bungled for example salmon was supposed to come with rice but they forgot, and they also brought noodle soup without condiments which is normally not a miscue that hotels in Thailand make.  All of these are admittedly minor issues but 137P’s competitors set the bar quite high so some missteps stand out.

Overall

I booked at 137P for a stay during the weekend specifically to avoid the large crowds at some other 5-star hotels which have staycation promotions and my objective was met with flying colors with the in-room breakfast, the fantastic private happy hour, and the pool which was almost entirely for my personal use only.  However some cutbacks were a bit disappointing and with the increase in new hotel openings which will compete for travellers’ attention, I am not sure things are looking up for 137P.  

137 Pillars Bangkok = Less Attractive Due to Covid Cutbacks

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