Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok = Improved Lounge and Diamond Upgrades

100   Recommended

King Junior Suite
September 28, 2018 by
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King Junior Suite

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

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Room
King Junior Suite

I did not stay at Hilton Sukhumvit in the last couple of years for various reasons, but this month in order to take advantage of the 2500 Lufthansa miles per stay promo, I split my 2-night stay in Bangkok between Double Tree and Hilton Sukhumvit which allows for easy check-in check-out: the hotels are next to each other.  I am glad I returned to Hilton Sukhumvit after a long hiatus – either it has improved recently, or it is better than what I remembered, or most likely a bit of both.  

Room

First off, the room.  My recollection is that Hilton Sukhumvit was not particularly generous with suite upgrades, and scanning the FT thread it seems that some other Diamonds experienced the same.  For a one-night stay I did not mind if I was not going to have any upgrade at all but I was pleasantly surprised with an upgrade to a junior suite.  Of course it’s not as nice as the full suites I often have at Marriott/Starwood properties but at least a junior suite is better than no upgrade so my desire to stay at Hilton in the future will increase as a result because I will no longer just automatically assume that I won’t get a suite.  The junior suite is nice and built to a higher standard than both the unrenovated and the renovated rooms at Millenium Hilton, in part because they only renovated the bedroom and living room at MH, not the bathrooms.  As you can see in the pictures, the bathroom at Hilton is large and if you open the blinds in the window between the bathroom and the bedroom, it feels even larger and brighter.  The shower is of a good size although the door does not close completely because the bathtub is in the way so there can be minor water leaks.  This being a junior suite, the bedroom is quite large and I enjoyed the extra space.  

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Dining

Perhaps my main surprise for this stay was the choice of food offerings during happy hour 5:30pm – 7:30pm : several kinds of sushis, ham pizza, veggie pizza, gyozas, and a fried noodle dish, which are in addition to salads and various vegetables.  Those choices were enough for a meal and are far superior than what you get at Millenium Hilton, and dare I say, superior to Conrad who recently downgraded food to more fried stuff than I care for.  I suspect happy hour is better at Hilton than it used to be because I remembered it as being a notch below.  Alcohol at Hilton Sukhumvit is a mixed bag: liquor is nice, but wine is limited to one red one white from Australia and it’s “fruit wine” … nothing to write home about.  On this point Conrad wins.  

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The only problem with the executive lounge at Hilton is that it is too small for a hotel of this size.  During happy hour all tables were full and there were even people sitting down and eating in the meeting rooms.  There is a nice triangle-shape terrace outside but once again fairly small. 

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During the evening there were no desserts but there was a good selection of sweets during afternoon tea.  

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Overall

Overall one of the main reasons I did not stay at Hilton Sukhumvit for 3+ years was my perception of a difficult value proposition. The rates are almost never below 3.5k THB and are usually in the range 4.0-4.5k THB so without a suite upgrade there are competitive options on the Marriott / Starwood side who are more liberal on suite upgrades.  In terms of price I have never been able to find a BRG at this hotel which does not help matters.  For comparison purposes, at Millenium Hilton I can sometimes find a rate of 2.7k THB and pay for the discounted Diamond panoramic suite upgrade of 1k THB, so in total it does not cost much more than the basic room at Hilton Sukhumvit and yet I am in their best suite.  I do not know if Hilton Sukhumvit is starting to be more generous now with the recent published Diamond benefits which specifically lists suite upgrades as a benefit, but if so then it makes this hotel more attractive in my book.  The Double Tree is usually about 1k THB cheaper but no lounge and less luxurious rooms, which means for Diamond guests part of the 1k THB extra at Hilton is the benefit of having a lounge; this makes sense for guests who actually intend to use the lounge, marginally less so for people who do not care about the lounge. Bottom line, with an improved lounge and perhaps more generous upgrades going forward, I am moving the hotel up a notch when considering alternatives in the city, and those improvements are necessary to compete with good choices on the Marriott / Starwood side.

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