Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok = Excellent Hotel Creeping Up in Price vs Competition

100   Recommended

Grand Suite
July 16, 2018 by
Share
Save
Liked:
Location
 
Service
 
Food
 
Amenities
 
Room
 

{{ oRightNav.heading }}


Save

Share

Grand Suite

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

Stats
Room
Grand Suite

I stayed for a week at Grand Hyatt Erawan back in June 2016 and enjoyed my stay, but for a variety of reasons I ended up not coming back until two years later and instead chose to book elsewhere in all of my 25+ stays in Bangkok during this period as I mentioned earlier in this thread. At the recommendation of @MikeFromTokyo, I contacted the hotel and told them that I am interested in returning but that competition in Bangkok is fierce and that often found their rates to be somewhat uncompetitive.  I gave them my views of the pluses and minuses of other hotels and how they compare to GHE, for example some Starwood hotels like Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Athenee, which are the two that I would consider to be their most direct competitors from Starwood.  They responded with a thank you for my feedback and offered me a rate of 5400++ THB for my upcoming 5-night stay where I was already holding a flexible reservation at a Marriott competitor.  At first glance that does not seem to be a screaming deal if I compare with what rates normally are for GHE, but since my trip was right around the corner and not a booking months in advance at a discounted rate, and since GHE seemed quite full for my dates, 5400 THB was indeed far lower than what I could get on my own on the Hyatt website.  I responded that I appreciated receiving an offer at a time of high occupancy and asked if I would be likely to end up in the entry level room since it looked like I would not be able to use a Globalist Suite Upgrade Award for my stay with the hotel being nearly full.  They responded that they would take care of upgrading me to a suite even though I could not see suites available on Hyatt.com.  Once again, a very nice gesture and I felt they wanted me back. I cancelled my points redemption at Marriott and saved my points for another day.  

My travel to Bangkok ended up being disrupted by typhoon Maria in Taiwan and I arrived in Bangkok one day later than scheduled. Even though the cancellation deadline had passed, they changed my reservation from 5 nights to 4 nights without any hiccup.  That validated my choice of staying at GHE rather than using points at Marriott because I would have “lost” the 5thnight free benefit when staying on points over there.

 

Location

I am fairly location-agnostic when staying in Bangkok because I am there frequently.  If I visit a city for the first time and my stay is short, I am often willing to pay a premium price for a prime location, but it is not the case in Bangkok for me. The GHE hotel is in one of the best spots in the city, if not the best spot.  You are right at the intersection of the two BTS lines and within short walking distance of 3 stations.  So regardless in which direction you want to go, it’s convenient.  In my mind it’s a very strong point of the hotel although perhaps not an ideal fit for my personal needs because I would rather pay extra for something other than location, if in Bangkok.  But other travelers would find the location convenient.

Room

The GHE is not a new and modern hotel.  I was not wowed the first time around and it was the same this time as well.  That said, the suite is built to a decent standard and generally in good condition. Technological features have been added over the years, such as the lighting controls by the bedside.  There are also several international power plugs available, including near the bed too.  They provide a mobile phone for free that you can bring with you while exploring the city and have wifi at all times.  The phone also includes free unlimited calls to a bunch of countries such as Singapore, UK, USA, Japan, China, Germany, India, etc.  While this is of limited use to me since I have my own Thailand SIM card, it is definitely a nice perk for many visitors.  The suite has a half bath near the entrance of the room; I always find having an extra toilet to be convenient.  However counter space is non-existent in the powder room because the sink is simply a large bowl.  The living room is of a good size and separated from the bedroom with a door. The main bathroom is functional and has a rain shower in addition to a bathtub.  As a minor note, the black design on the beige floor tiles in the bathroom is slowly coming off so you see these little pieces in random places on the floor every now and then.  The bed was very comfortable and air conditioning strong; we had good sleep.  Bottom line, the room is not “wow” but it’s hard to find major faults to it.  

20180712_033244.jpg20180712_033352.jpg20180712_033427.jpg20180712_033445.jpg20180712_033501.jpg20180712_033515.jpg20180712_033542.jpg20180712_033600.jpg

Dining

Most Grand Hyatts do not provide free breakfast to Globalists in the restaurant – it is limited to the lounge.  Not in Bangkok.  I found the breakfast in the restaurant to be quite good.  I enjoyed the fruit selection which included pomelo and passion fruit.  GHE had crab meat fried rice a couple of mornings and crab noodle soup another morning. It is not everywhere that we find crab dishes for breakfast.  They had a good selection of freshly squeezed juices including some specialty ones, for example I had their beetroot, carrot, apple, ginger and basil juice which was a bit spicy.  Another morning I had a pineapple, cucumber, spinach, and mint juice.  There was a choice of Indian food which changed every day, and some cold salads such as a couscous salad with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds.  Nevertheless competition is tough in Bangkok and despite all of that I must say that the breakfast at Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit and Athenee hotels are still a notch above GHE.  At Athenee the choice is wider than GHE and they equally have high quality offerings, plus the breakfast in the lounge at Athenee is also second to none in terms of a lounge breakfast.  I did not have breakfast in the GHE lounge but I stopped by one morning to check it out and I could see that the selection was fairly weak.  As much as I sometimes like a quiet lounge breakfast rather than a busy restaurant breakfast, I would not do it in GHE.  I would also note that you can get free flow Prosecco for breakfast at Athenee but not at GHE.  At SGS as a Platinum you can have a la carte breakfast in Rossini in a quiet setting (in addition to the buffet at Orchid Café), so you get an extra option that GHE does not have, and the buffet at SGS is also a tad better in my humble opinion. While lagging behind Athenee and SGS, I would rank the breakfast at GHE in front of others I have tried in Bangkok including Le Meridien, Royal Orchid Sheraton, Westin, Conrad, Millenium Hilton, Hilton Sukhumvit, and Swissotel, to name a few.  I would note that it is as it should, since the price point at GHE is higher than all these hotels. 

1_20180713_194128.jpg1_20180713_194140.jpg1_20180713_194210.jpg

Happy hour in the lounge was good but not great. There was a choice of two red and two white wines, in addition to Prosecco and spirits.  There is a chef station where I got curry noodles one evening, fish soup another night, and nachos with hot black bean sauce the third night.  They also had other hot items such as chicken satay and spring rolls; but overall hot food is somewhat limited.  Cold options were more varied, such as papaya salad, mango salad, shrimps and chili, sushis, spicy minced duck, etc.  The lounge is fairly large and has a good seating arrangement such that you get decent privacy and is not be overcrowded by other guests sitting too close to you, as can be the case at Conrad for example.  Most seats were taken however so the lounge is fairly busy.  Overall a fine happy hour.  At SGS I enjoy having a drink in the Library and in BarSu, but food wise it’s not a lounge so GHE comes out ahead.  On the other hand GHE is a notch below Athenee in terms of happy hour because Athenee offers more hot food options and 4 hours of drinks rather than only 2 hours at GHE (5:30pm-7:30pm).

1_20180713_024306.jpg1_20180713_024316.jpg1_20180713_024341.jpg

Service

Service in the hotel throughout was excellent.  Already after only one breakfast in the restaurant, staff remembered on day #2 our choice of drinks.  It was the same in the lounge for happy hour.  Housekeeping was done very well; they reorganized our scattered belongings and replenished amenities every day.  The way management handled my feedback with a special rate and showing flexibility, it tells me that they want to please customers and it can be reflected in a large number of subtle ways when you stay there.  As much as I praised the Athenee hotel about F&B above, no hotel is perfect and I did have a service issue there that I documented in the Athenee thread which resulted in me putting them in the penalty box for a few months.  I think GHE edges Athenee in terms of service.

 

Gym

The fitness gym is nice and has lots of relatively new equipment and several weight machines.  One of the downsides is that it can be a bit crowded even in non-peak times for example late morning or mid afternoon.  Interestingly the gym has several tables and chairs at the entrance of the gym which allows socializing between guests during a break from the workout. You can also order healthy drinks in this area.  

20180714_164932.jpg20180714_164953.jpg

Overall

Overall I was pleased with my stay at GHE and it will probably not take 2 years before I return.  However because of Starwood Platinum status extending to Marriott, there are hotels on Marriott’s side that I would like to try in the next few months such as Marriott Soi 57, Marriott Marquis, and Marriott Surawongse, and there is the new Hyatt Regency on Sukhumvit in the pipeline which should open in the next few months.  In addition, as good as GHE is, SGS and Athenee will not fall off my radar screen so rates will need to be competitive for me to return to GHE.  The issue is that if the GHE can fill its rooms with somewhat elevated rates, then great for them and I will pick and choose my stays based on how rates fluctuate depending on dates.  On average, published rates at GHE are in a similar range as SGS and Athenee, but another reason why I have generally found GHE to be less competitive is that I am a user of Best Rate Guarantees at Starwood where I have occasionally been able to knock 25% off my price with BRG, which is in part why I found GHE to be uncompetitive since Hyatt’s BRG is useless relative to Starwood/Marriott.  It might be that with recent changes to Starwood BRG, those become harder to get and then suddenly I am looking at prices for GHE which are more in line.  

For anybody who only has status with Hyatt and not other hotel chains, then GHE is a no brainer.  Within Hyatt, maybe it’s just me, but personally for the same price I would pick GHE over Park Hyatt, and yet PH is usually priced several thousand THB over GHE.  At the lower end, HP is normally not what I am looking for in a market like Bangkok due to the lack of lounge and suite upgrades not being a standard benefit at the Hyatt Place brand.  The new Hyatt Regency might change things but for the moment I can recommend booking at GHE without hesitation.  The one thing that can hold me back from GHE in addition to price would be suite availability.  It is not the easiest hotel to secure a suite upgrade due to its own success and popularity. The thinning of the Globalist ranks might have helped in that regards however, making GHE a more attractive option than it used to be. 

 

1600 Comments

1600 comments and Y review

Hotels you may also be interested in