Swissotel Bangkok = Not Good Value for Elite Status

1   Not Recommended

Junior Suite
May 8, 2018 by
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Junior Suite

Liked:
Location
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Room
Junior Suite

Swissotel Bangkok used to be an easy and cheap way to get 10% of the way towards FPC Platinum; I have made a 1-night stays here in the past in order to qualify to Platinum with 10 stays (as opposed to 30 nights) or in fact 8 stays with the credit card.  I stayed here again this month for one night, this time not to quality for Platinum because the qualification requirements are changing, but rather to get a 2nd Fairmont stay in the first six months of the year to receive a new set of Platinum certs before FPC disappears completely.  I paid 2700++ THB pre-paid a few months in advance.

 

Room

The good news is that I got upgraded for the first time at this property. I booked the basic room (premier king room) and received a junior suite which is a triangle shape room at the end of the hallway.  The room was in good condition.  The living room is separated from the bedroom with a wall and door like a proper suite. The bathroom has a separate shower and bathtub, and good water pressure.  There was a welcome gift for me in the room.  

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I do not know if this is a sign of things to come where Accor will upgrade guests more frequently to suites than what we fear will happen?  It was a positive surprise.  The bad news is that the junior suite is not worth much more than the basic (premier) room in my view.  The basic room is of a decent size (40 sq m), but the junior suite is barely larger (44 sq m) as you can see from the floor plan due to its triangle shape.   

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The bedroom is quite small.  So here the advantage of the junior suite is that you get the separate living area but that’s about it.  Looking at sample dates, the junior suite is about 1800 THB more than the basic room if you book in advance using advanced saver rates.  Executive rooms are about 800 THB more than the basic room, which means at this hotel you pay 800 THB for lounge access, and then the further upgrade to the junior suite is an extra 1000 THB because the junior suite normally comes with lounge access.  Since the upgrade they gave me to the junior suite was without lounge access, that means the upgrade was worth 1000 THB.   The junior suite is barely larger than the basic room, personally it does not seem like good value for someone who would consider paying for it.

Dining

I did not have access to the executive lounge and I did not want it because it was a short stay anyway.  However I asked out of curiosity how much it would cost to eat breakfast in the lounge.  They said it’s 588 THB per person.  So for a couple you pay almost 1200 THB, yet you can pay in advance for an exec room for 800 THB and that gives you happy hour too, not only breakfast.  The 800 THB extra is a decent price for lounge access, but to pay for breakfast for 2 people in the lounge for 1200 THB is clearly a bad deal.  On a positive note, I had breakfast in the restaurant in the past and it was of good quality.  

Location

The Swissotel might be in a good location for people who need to be in the Huai Khwang part of the city.  However most people would rather be in the Sukhumvit area or a hotel by the river.  This hotel is not in either of them so I cannot vote for this hotel based on location.

Overall

Bottom line, there is a lot of hotel competition in Bangkok and based on what you pay and what you get at Swissotel, it seems to make sense only for people who need to be in that part of town, or people who do not have status with any hotel chain.  Yes I got a suite upgrade, but it’s worth no more than 1000 THB in my view, and I am not sure they would give it to me if I had a long stay.  Not only I can get free breakfast at Hilton hotels (Millenium Hilton, Conrad, Hilton Sukhumvit), but I will get lounge access there as well, all of them in a better location, and for a similar price as Swissotel.  The Royal Orchid Sheraton is an older hotel which is a notch below Swissotel in terms of quality, but compared to Swissotel I will get lounge access at Sheraton and a much larger suite upgrade with river view most of the time, also for a similar price.  I could go to Hyatt Place Bangkok for 20-30% cheaper than Swissotel, get a newer property (open about 1 year ago), in Sukhumvit area, get a corner room bigger than at Swissotel, free breakfast and a couple of welcome drinks. Or Meridien for only 20% more expensive than Swissotel, and have good odds of a suite upgrade which is twice as big as Swissotel plus free happy hour drinks in the hotel bar, and free breakfast too.  So I get more bang from my buck at properties which are a bit cheaper, in a similar price range, or slightly more expensive.  

Fairmont Platinum qualification used to be 10 stays, which will be replaced under Accor by 5600 EUR spend to reach Platinum.  Bangkok has cheap hotels (less than 80 EUR per night) so this hotel used to bring me 10% of the way to Platinum and instead will become only 1%-2% of the way to Platinum, and not many Platinum benefits when I stay there.

So unless there is a major change in Accor Platinum benefits, this was likely my last stay at this Swissotel because the value simply is not there for anybody with elite status at more than one hotel chain.  That is unfortunately the conclusion I am reaching for several Fairmont properties due to the Accor acquisition.

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