Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit – A Review By Punam Mohandas
The Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, the Southeast Asia flagship for the Sofitel Luxury Hotels, quite literally lives up to its claim of “sophisticated luxury.” This French chain hotel brings alive the concept of French savoir-faire in its day-to-day operations, not the least of which is exhibited by the suave and charming general manager Christophe LM Caron, who makes an effort to meet as many guests as he can in the course of the day.
Entering the lobby, one is greeted by an arch-like structure, which is reminiscent of the Arc d’ Triomphe in Paris, although this one is built using the shape of rice grains, thus ably marrying French elegance with Thai culture. Indeed, the rice motif can be seen all through the hotel. Further, there are beautiful rock climbing sculptures outside the coffee shop and on most of the floors, that are quite stunning in their simplicity.
What I particularly liked about the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit is that there are separate group check-in desks as also a separate check-in for guests on the club floors, making the arrival process completely discreet and hassle-free. The check-in on the Club floor is understated and efficient.
The unrushed feel continues. The 345- key Sofitel has four elevators servicing each floor. Really wide corridors lead to the rooms giving you an impression of space well before you’ve entered the large, well-appointed rooms. Quite needless to mention that there is wifi throughout the hotel.
Room categories are defined as Luxury and Club Millesime, while the suites include the Prestige and Opera, with the Imperial being the Presidential Suite. All Luxury rooms use L’ Occitane bathroom products and offer a most comprehensive pillow menu, apart from the usual in-room facilities. Club Millesime rooms are one very high step up, with Hermes bathroom amenities, Bose home theatre systems and espresso machines in the rooms – in short, everything to make your stay as luxurious as possible. Guests on this floor can also avail of complimentary local calls, boardroom use and an all-day lounge with refreshments and snacks.
Prestige suites have a cosy living room space additional to the bedroom, while the Opera is more lavishly appointed, with larger living room as also bathroom area. The bathrooms in the latter come with Jacuzzis and two washbasins that are not a conjoined common space as in most hotels but rather, are separate units. The Imperial is luxury redefined in the heart of a busy metropolis like Bangkok, with an outside Jacuzzi on the rooftop, small kitchenette, understated Thai artefacts that scream richness by their very simplicity, and all the usual trimmings that come with a Presidential suite.
F&B outlets at the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit include two pool bars; the lobby lounge bar Le Bar de l’ Hotel with a DJ and live performances; a Cheese Room with 30-types of imported cheese where you can have lunch at just THB 995 nett per head; the very chic and French-sounding patisserie Le Macaron with indoor as well as alfresco seating; Voila!the hotel’s signature all-day dining restaurant with a Parisian-style rotisserie, wood fire oven open to display and concept live cooking stations, and the exclusive L’Appart, with classic Parisian interiors and a state-of-the-art open kitchen. This champagne bar and restaurant is on the rooftop, thus giving out over the panoramic Bangkok skyline as you enjoy little French nibbles. L’Appart is also used for sophisticated soirees and is popular for luxury product launch events.
Recreational options include Le Spa with seven treatment rooms, two that come with their personal Jacuzzi. The spa uses L’Occitane products, indeed, prides itself that its USP is to present the treatment menu in a manner akin to a French gourmet restaurant menu so that guests can combine treatments with oils, face packs, music, room fragrances and even, pillows, as per choice. The gym, aptly enough named So Fit which is also a pun on the hotel name, is open 24-hours and provides the latest equipment, moreover, all steppers come with TV monitors where you can play ipods, check your emails, surf the internet and so on, all during your usual work-out.
Conference facilities provide 12 meeting rooms including a ballroom with natural light that can take 800 pax cocktail style and can be partitioned into three sections to provide smaller space. There is also a very elegant library that can be utilised for cosier meetings. An extremely thoughtful aspect is to have four separate elevators from the car park leading directly to the ballroom, thus avoiding congestion in the lobby during functions.
Now, to service. The little I experienced, F&B is without fault. Housekeeping service is unobtrusive and near-perfect. There are plenty of mineral water bottles scattered around the room, leaving you no reason to order more. Every basic request is anticipated and catered for. Turndown service, where many hotels falter, is impeccable; your clothes are folded neatly and left where you placed them, however, bathroom amenities are not replenished and this is an area that needs looking into. Another area that strikes a discordant note in otherwise seamless proceedings is front office, where the staff can be unaccountably rude and leave one waiting for almost ten minutes for service to be rendered.
The Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit is most conveniently located on Nana, about 5-6 minutes walk from BTS Nana and in proximity to the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre and of course, premier shopping malls such as Siam Paragon, Central World, Terminal 21 and more.
Most major airlines fly into Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. From there, you can take a taxi to soi Nana on Sukhumvit (THB300 plus THB50 airport surcharge) or else take the air conditioned bus into town that stops at a lot of places. The Skytrain BTS connection (THB45) from the airport is only until Phaya Thai station; not an advisable option if you have a lot of luggage.
SOFITEL BANGKOK SUKHUMVIT
Tel: +66 21269999
Fax: +66 21269998