Marriott Marquis Bangkok Queen's Park = Stands Out in Positive and Negative Ways

100   Recommended

M Club
August 19, 2018 by
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M Club

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M Club

I stayed in a Marriott-family hotel in Bangkok for the first time with a 5-night stay in Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park.  In general, every hotel has strengths and weaknesses and the MM Bangkok is no exception but I thought both were quite salient at this property.  I paid less than 3k++ THB per night and it was not even a LNF rate, it was a regular rate. I rarely see rates below 3k THB for full service hotels in Bangkok which have a lounge so MM joins the group of Royal Orchid Sheraton, Courtyard, and Millenium Hilton in that respect.  At that price it’s very tough to argue that it’s not good value for the money if you have elite status and lounge access.

Location

First off, the location.  If I visit a city for the first time I would give more importance about location, but in Bangkok it’s not the case so I was not bothered by the location of the MM and in fact if the price of a hotel in Bangkok is lower due to a less than convenient location, then it will be a good fit for me. However I would note for the benefit of readers that the location probably not ideal for some travelers.  The hotel is not that close to a BTS station: it’s about a 10 minute walk to Phrom Phong station.  I don’t mind the walk at all but some will not want to walk this far in the heat.  At least the hotel offers a shuttle to BTS, which I did not use.  Bottom line, many other hotels are in more convenient locations.

Platinum Upgrade

One of the reasons I waited so long before trying a Marriott hotel in Bangkok is that I am perfectly happy with the choices offered by other chains such as Starwood, Hyatt, and Hilton.  I like to mix things up however so it was always on my radar screen to try Marriott, but I thought it would be best if I waited until August 2018 in order to maximize my Marriott status and perks during my stay.  With Ambassador status at Starwood I am always treated well everywhere, so until Starwood was combined with Marriott, my status was only Plat50 at Marriott, so why not wait until my Ambassador status is valid on both sides of the fence?  Well turns out I jumped the gun because I booked a pre-paid rate for mid-August and later on the launch date was announced to be August 18thwhich was a few days after my check-in date.  I don’t know if my stay would have been better with Ambassador status, but I have to say I noticed clear differences in how I was treated compared to Starwood, particularly in terms of room upgrades although it won’t entirely be a fair comparison with Starwood until I try Marriott with AMB status.  I will elaborate a bit more about my personal experience regarding the upgrade than I normally would because it’s still early days in the merger and many folks are curious how suite upgrades will be handled at Marriott relative to Starwood.  When I was in the taxi on the way to the hotel I checked on Marriott.com and I saw there were M-suites available so given the comments in this thread about how generous MM is for Platinum suite upgrades, I was confident I would get a suite.  However once I arrived at the hotel I was told I was upgraded to a Club room so I was surprised, I asked if there were suites available, and I was told the suites were fully booked.  I checked online again and it was true: the last suites must had gone in the few minutes before I arrived at the hotel.  I wonder what they would have done if I had arrived earlier?  I cannot tell for sure, but I suspect many other people had a higher priority for suites than myself, for example regular guests of the hotel, or Plats75+, or Plats50 who were paying a higher rate than I was. So I ended up being the one without an upgrade, which is understandable.  However I would note that at Royal Orchid Sheraton I always get a suite upgrade, and at Le Meridien and Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit the hotels are more proactive about suite upgrades and very apologetic when the hotel is full and offer me to move in the middle of my stay without me asking.  They leave Platinum guests feeling like they really want to please customers and are truly sorry when they cannot give a suite upgrade.  My experience at MM was different: if I did not ask about the suite they were not going to comment on it at check-in, and when I asked they said maybe I could change rooms after 2 days.  Then 2 days later I asked again and they said sorry suites full tonight but will check tomorrow and get back to me.  Unlike at check-in, that time on Marriott.com there were still M suites available but marked “almost sold out”.  I did not argue.  Then the next day, I saw online that once again there were M suites available, but nobody contacted me.  I did not want to bother asking for a third time.  The last morning during breakfast in the lounge, someone from staff came to ask me if I wanted to move to the suite because it was ready for me the day before!?  I said nobody contacted me so I was not aware that we could change rooms, and that there was only one day left to my stay so not that big a deal but that it would be interesting nonetheless to see the room and compare.  So fortunately they partially redeemed themselves at the very end. As a final note on this subject, I would mention that a few days before arrival they sent me a welcome e-mail, to which I responded saying I was looking forward to my stay and that I was a frequent guest at Starwood properties in Bangkok and I wanted to try a new hotel to compare.  If they had wanted to go out of their way to give me excellent treatment, they had the opportunity because I informed them that I was a regular with Starwood in Bangkok, but they did not take that opportunity, which is different than how some other hotels in Bangkok handle customers (I have Grand Hyatt in mind). That’s not to say that they treated me badly, but honestly if I was some random Platinum guest coming to Bangkok for the first and last time, I am not sure my stay would have been any different except for the upgrade the last night.  This is in contrast with my experience with other hotels in Bangkok where I sometimes have friendly conversations with staff or management about what competitors are doing and news about the local hotel market.    

Room

The MM hotel was fully renovated and reopened in 2016 so the regular rooms are very modern, although on the small side.  The design reminded me of the renovated rooms at Millenium Hilton with the decorative panels on the walls – I wonder if it was the same designer who worked on both hotels.  Unfortunately the walls seem to be quite thin and soundproofing is lacking. We could hear very well the frequent banging of closing doors in the hallway and we could even feel some light shaking in the room when doors closed.  We could also hear people in the room next to us even when they were talking with a normal voice rather than shouting.  If someone is sensitive to noise, you may not enjoy your stay depending if the room next to you is occupied or not.  The bathroom is very nicely done and in my opinion is the best part of the room. The shower is of a good size and has excellent water pressure.  The quality of materials in the bathroom is very good, unlike some parts of the rest of the room, for example the closets are cheap fake wood, similar to what I saw in the new rooms at Millenium Hilton.  

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After moving to the suite, my conclusion was that if I had that room for the entire stay I would feel differently about the hotel.  The bathroom in the regular room is already quite good, but in the suite it’s noticeably better and one of the best bathroom suites I have seen in town.  The bedroom / living room partition is via a sliding door.  Our suite was in a corner of the building so we did not share a wall with a neighbor in the bedroom.  We only shared a wall in the living room but any noise there would be mitigated if you close the door between the bedroom and living room so we were not disturbed at all during the last night.  

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Dining

As mentioned in my opening comments, the hotel’s strengths and weaknesses are more striking than in most hotels so now moving on to the biggest positive of this hotel – the Club Lounge.  It is one of the largest lounges I have seen in Bangkok with good spacing between tables so it does not feel cramped.  There are also several tables available outside on the terrace which will please many guests from Northern climates.  Food quality is far above average and I would rank this lounge second behind Athenee based on those I have seen in the city, ahead of ROS, Westin, Millenium Hilton, Conrad, Hilton Sukhumvit, and Grand Hyatt.  Given the price I paid, I can safely say that MM punches above its weight for the lounge.  Upon arrival I saw in the Platinum welcome letter that they serve “light lunch” between noon and 2pm so I thought it must be some sandwiches and veggies. I was pleasantly surprised: the chef station is open even for lunch and you get a quality choice of three dishes which changed every day.  During my stay I remember seeing salmon, sea bass, beef curry, pad krapao moo, dal makhani with rice, fried noodles with seafood, western dishes such as veal sausage, etc.  It was restaurant food quality rather than buffet style, and even the presentation was good with the chef caring to make the dish look nice with decorative features. On top of the hot dishes there were cold salads available which also changed every day, for example chick pea salad, pasta salad, grilled vegetable salad, etc.  There were tortilla wraps, sandwiches, vegetables, as many fruits as during breakfast, a soup, and a few desserts.  Many guests might not care about lunch in the lounge because they are either out exploring the city or working.  In our situation we do value the lunch because on occasion we might be jet lagged and miss breakfast so lunch is convenient, or we might just be resting in the afternoon inside the hotel if we are tired after having a busy morning out.  To be honest, lunch at MM stands out in a major way because I have not seen such a complete offering anywhere else mid day.  MM puts many hotel lounges to shame: the lunch is even better than several competitors’s lounge during happy hour, let alone the fact that in some hotel lounges you get nothing at all during the afternoon.  In the evening happy hour is nice as well, and in the same vein breakfast is as good as I have seen a lounge breakfast except for the Athenee hotel.  The only problem about breakfast is that MM stands out at other end of the spectrum versus the competition by not offering breakfast in the restaurant to Platinum guests.  An excellent lounge breakfast does not beat the choice and spread of a restaurant breakfast that you get at most competitors with Starwood, Hyatt and Hilton.  I don’t recall any of these chain hotels not offering free breakfast in the restaurant for guests with status except for the ROS for a brief period before it was reinstated.  Back to happy hour, I found the drinks at MM to be decent.  There was Prosecco, a limited choice of cocktails was offered, along with two choices of red wine and two choices of white wine.  If you have a sweet tooth I would note that even though most of the food is available 5:30pm-7:30pm, you can still have desserts until 9:30pm which is better than other hotels where they often remove everything once happy hour is over.  Also drinks finish at 8:30pm so you have three hours which is more generous than many other hotels who are limited to 2 hours.  Despite the lounge being large, it turns out it really needs to be that large because it was very full every night we were there, to the point where several couples who did not know each other had to sit at the same table (table for 4) due to lack of space.  So great food, but not an exclusive and private feeling, in fact a lesser experience than in other hotels.

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Service

Regarding service, I thought it was inferior to my experience at other Bangkok hotels.  The suite upgrade situation is one example, but there were a few other minor slip-ups. Generally speaking the MM hotel is more impersonal but to be honest, it’s more difficult to give great service in a hotel of this size than in a smaller hotel with fewer guests.  

Gym

The gym is large and feels airy with lots of space between equipment.  The machines were all fairly new and in good condition.  

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Overall

In conclusion, I appreciate having the MM available going forward on top of the Starwood options. It is interesting to see such a hotel with very strong points (modern room, great lounge offerings, very competitive price) but also with glaring weaknesses (soundproofing, location, lack of Platinum breakfast in the restaurant).  The easiest comparison to Starwood hotels would be those with a lounge: MM is in a nice spot offering a more modern hotel than ROS, but a cheaper alternative to the Athenee hotel.  If I compare MM to Westin, the MM is cheaper, more modern, although in a lesser location.  Having choices at our disposal based on our personal preference is a good thing.  

 

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