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Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit
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Reviewed 26 December 2012

Having read some of the less flattering reviews, I booked with a tad of apprehension. But I was going to stay in Bangkok for 8 nights and I thought staying four nights in a row in one hotel is enough.

So my review would be based on my comparison with the other hotel - Novotel on Siam Square.

To be fair, I decided to book both hotels way ahead of my trip and took the trouble to write to the hotels about my requirements. And to write a fairer comparison, I would book rooms on the executive floor in both hotels so that I can make a better comparison.

Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit was the second hotel I stayed in during my recent trip ( check in : 6th December and check-out: 10th December) to Bangkok.

When I emailed the hotel to make my requests known (I booked two rooms on the executive floor and would like both rooms to be on the same wing of the hotel so that I can monitor my children more easily), I was given the sickening "subjected to availability" excuse.

I mean, if I had made the request a week prior to my arrival, I would understand that my request would be subjected to availability. But Sofitel is 5-star hotel in a building with more than 30-storey and I do not think there is a differentiation between guests with club benefits and those without since I was given a room on the 22nd storey and there was no such thing as an executive floor as far as the rooms are concerned.

To summarise my adventure, I was eventually assured that my rooms would be on the same floor. This was done after a frustrating exchange of emails. My request was one that was not over-demanding. And Sofitel was certainly not short of rooms. So, I pray that such requests can be met with minimal restrictions and resistance.

The Standard Room (Luxury Club Millesime)
===================================

My children stayed in a normal room with an extra bed thrown in FOC for my daughter. The room was standard size but it came with a good TV set, a Bose sound system and a DVD player.

There wasn't a lot of space to move around with the extra bed. It has a small sofa near the window.


Toilet
====

Comes with a tub and a separate shower. The blinds in the toilet was a tad difficult to handle unless you step into the bath tub.

The Suite
========

The suite I was given (upgraded to) was the Opera Suite. It is spacious, well-appointed with two large windows offering you a great view of Bangkok city.

The bed was firm and it makes one happy just staying in the room. (*)

The Toilet
========

A generous-sized bath tub with a standing shower (separate) with a small LCD TV in the rest room for complete relaxation.

There are two doors to separate the bedroom from the toilet so that the bedroom can remain sufficiently chilled while the toilet seats stay a a temperature that does not shock you when you sit on it.

The Club Lounge (Millesime Club)
===========================

Located on the 31st storey, the club exudes an air of exclusiveness. Pity there aren't too many tables and chairs to house that many guests and the low tables mean one has to either hold one's plate while eating or bend at an awkward angle while enjoying the afternoon tea or evening cocktail.

For those staying in the smaller 'luxury' rooms, the club becomes the main obvious venue to entertain one's guests or just to chat. With the really limited furniture, other guests like me who do not go to the lounge punctually at 5 p.m. will have to squeeze five people onto a beautiful sofa that should only seat two.

One evening, just before 11 p.m. when the lounge closes, my wife and I went to the Millesime Club for some coke. Knowing very well, that the staff need to travel home, we offered to take our coke back to our suite which was obviously more comfortable and private than the lounge (see *) but we were informed that it was not possible. No drink from the lounge, even opened and half-consumed can be taken back to the rooms. Oh, such draconian ruling and so rigid!

I know a rule is a rule. But where is the common sense? This is a luxury hotel. Not a hostel for school-going children.

We gulped down our coke and made a hasty trip down the elevator to our room on the 22nd floor.

Fortunately not every staff member is so fake behind the smiles and "sawadee"s.

HITS
====

Ms Kewalin L., the Club Receptionist, really helped make our stay at Soffitel Bangkok Sukhumvit a really pleasant experience.

We were indeed fortunate that she was the one who showed us to our two rooms and she was patient in explaining the use of the coffee machine and our club benefits.

Whenever we went up to the Millesime Club, we hoped to see her there. When we asked for directions to visit Asiatique on evening, she took the initiative to pass us a map and briefly but clearly explained how we could reach our destination. And when we asked for two bottles of water to take back to our suite for consumption the next day, she gave it to us without rules and regulations. She is in the hospitality business, no doubt, and she should be given the due recognition.

My wife told me that I needed to specially highlight Miss Kewalin L. The other receptionists should take a leaf from her especially the one who insisted that my half drunk coke should only be consumed in the Club. :)

MISSES
======

On two consecutive mornings, 8th (Saturday) and 9th(Sunday), we turned on the "Make-Up" room lights for both rooms before we went down for breakfast. It was at around 9 a.m. local time.

As I was going to Chatuchak Weekend market with one of my children, the other members stayed behind and shopped at the nearby Terminal 21.

Imagine my shock when both rooms were still not done up upon my return from the market in the evening at 5-6 p.m. We had to call the receptionist to get our rooms done up.

This happened again on Sunday.

A good hotel with a good repute cannot afford to have a team that is lax when it comes to making up the rooms. Without a fresh supply of towels and bathroom amenities such as shampoo and shower gel, how are guests going to enjoy Bangkok when they spend the whole day waiting for the rooms to get done up and supplies replenished? Due to this repeated bad incident, it marred my experience and hence my stay at the hotel.

When the DVD player did not work in Room 2215, a lady came to our aid within minutes. She tried and tried but failed to get the DVD to work. Then she summoned a technician who came within minutes and he tried and tried too. Then they both left and returned and tried again. Apparently, one cable behind the DVD player had come lose. This was not a big issue but it took really long. It is a minor setback, I would say.

WIFI in Room 2215 was passable with occasional lose connection but there was absolutely no signal in Room 2208. Fortunately I bought a tourist SIM from DTAC. I am not sure if the wifi is as fast as it was being touted because I could not even verify it.

Promise
======

I received an email from the Hotel prior to my stay at the Sofitel to welcome me. That's a nice touch.

Upon checking my email the morning after checking in (Dec 7th), I received yet another email. This time, it was from the Director of rooms.

As the hotel was aware that my daughter would be celebrating her 11th birthday while in Bangkok, imagine my daughter's surprise when a specially-made cake by a chef in the hotel was greeted her when she entered her room. The hotel has informed me that a cake would be presented to my daughter and it kept its promise.

My children's room was indeed located on the same floor and same wing though our two rooms were pretty far apart. To this, I would like to tell Sofitel I understand it is subjected to availability. I think the hotel guests are reasonable people too.

Sofitel is brand that I would trust. On the whole, I think Sofitel is reliable. Some of the club receptionists need extra training.

A few days upon my return, I received an email from the hotel again. This time for feedback. I think Sofitel is really serious about making the hotel our home away from home. Keep it up!

Breakfast
========

We had breakfast on 4 of our 5 mornings at restaurant and once in the Millesime Club. I think the service at the restaurant was pretty good - plates were cleared fairly quickly and we were served coffee and tea. We did not have to wait for our tables and the spread was reasonable with freshly-squeezed fruit juice and a good variety to boot.

As for taste, it is only so-so. I expect Thai food to taste slightly better. But it is good in the way that I keep some space for better food in the Yaowarat area.

The breakfast experience at the Club pales in comparison with that in the restaurant downstairs.

Environment
==========

Both the Nana and Asoke BTS stations are a fair walk away. I was caught in the rain while walking towards the BTS station and back.

Those staying in the hotel without club benefits might wish to take note that there is no 7-11 nearby (I did not see any) though McDonald's is about two blocks way towards the Asoke BTS station.

There are lots of street stalls located right outside the hotel to its right and left and many of these stalls display adult toys and graphic DVD covers. After all, this is the Soi Cowboy/Nana area so it should be part of the deal. The great news is that the hotel has managed to keep the segment right outside its facade free from these stall holders. The stalls add colour and life to the ambience, some would say.

Single males travelling alone would be pleased to note that there are lots of street walkers right outside the hotel but families travelling with children may wish to take this as either part of their education about the real world out there or think of a hotel in an area that is not as seedy.

Finally, because I have made prior requests, my rooms were ready when I checked in at noon. I was ushered to the club for checking in. Both my checking in and checking out process were smooth and they add up to my experience with Sofitel.

(The Grand Sukumvit used to be called the Sofitel a few years ago and I was driven to that hotel by a taxi driver after my stay at Novotel on Siam Square).

Would I go back to Sofitel? Probably.

Room Tip: Get a suite if you like the extra space. After a day of walking/shopping, one would like to return to an oasis of peace. The suite
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank prestontan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
William J, General Manager at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, responded to this reviewResponded 1 April 2014

Dear prestontain,

We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to send us your feedback. It is through feedback such as yours that we are able to maintain the quality of our service.

It was a pleasure to read how much you have enjoyed the well-designed room, the MyBed concept (which provides a good night sleep to all our guests) and the special birthday cake for your daughter. Your kind words have been passed on to our ambassadors who made your stay a memorable one. This will certainly motivate them and us all to keep up the good work.

We certainly take your comments into account and have been passed to the responsible manager to prevent any future occurance.

We hope you will give us the opportunity of welcoming you again in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit.

Sincerely,

William Haandrikman
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2012

Sofitel Bangkok Sukumvit is well located with BTS Nana and Asoke within walking distance. Good shopping centres are nearby. The room is well furnished and spacious. Breakfast is well provided with a very good spread. Staff are pleasant and helpful. Will not hesitate to recommend to friends and those looking for a good stay in a conducive environment.

Room Tip: Room on 18 floor was more than satisfactory with a little morning sun. Otherwise nothing to complain.
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Singaporean108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SofitelSukhumvit, Manager at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, responded to this reviewResponded 28 December 2012

Dear Singaporean108,

Thank you very much for your positive feedback.

I am glad that you have thoroughly enjoyed your stay.

We all looking forward to welcoming you back to Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit sometime soon.

Sincerely,

Manasnarth BOONYONG (Ms)
Guest Experience & Quality Manager
Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2012

I stayed at this nice hotel last week with my family for 3 nights. The property is of course brand new and very tastefully decorated. We got a really nice room /suite on a high floor with a nice view. The breakfast was excellent...they had great healthy choices. The gym was very well equipped but not so well lit. Staff and quality of service could be improved. They were trying to be helpful most times but were a bit disorganised. For e.g I could never find the concierge, although someone else helped us . The front desk was thinly staffed and I found them a bit stressed all the time. Overall great property and I would certainly come back and I hope to see the staff well settled , smiling, at ease with serving guests next time.

Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
Thank Saravanan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SofitelSukhumvit, Manager at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, responded to this reviewResponded 28 December 2012

Dear Saravanan M,

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback following your stay at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit.

We are very concerned that you did not receive the exemplary service you deserve and that you found our staffs stressed all the time.

We appreciate your sharing your concerns, and we promise to give you our excellent service with genuine smile.

Sincerely,

Manasnarth BOONYONG (Ms)
Guest Experience & Quality Manager
Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2012

Located downtown Bangkok, the Sofitel offers the best of the french hospitality art, combined with the legendary Thai hospitality and service. Perfect to take a walk at the bsy streets around; you will also find all the comodities within the building.

Room Tip: Please check the sunset over Bangkok, at the rooftop lounge terrace. Amazing
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank JustJeff81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SofitelSukhumvit, Manager at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, responded to this reviewResponded 28 December 2012

Dear JustJeff81,

Thank you for taking time to provide us with feedback following your recent stay at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit.

We are happy to know you enjoyed our concept of French art de vivre associated with Thai hospitality and service.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back very soon to our property.

Sincerely,

Manasnarth BOONYONG (Ms)
Guest Experience & Quality Manager
Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 December 2012

I happened to walk in to have a look at this new hotel. Saw the promotion for wines and thought it was really good value to try some selected wines. Had checked with the staff a few times to make sure that my understanding of the promotion was right... wine at one and same special price per glass regardless of choice of wine selected. The answer was always a 'yes'.
While enjoying the wine, (i think) a supervisor walked past and asked if everything was alright. She was pleasant then.

When i got the bill later, i was taken aback by everything being charged according to the menu. The staff concerned insisted that she had been cleared from the onset of what she had communicated to me. Ultimately, it was her words against mine. She called for the supervisor to intervene. I explained myself once again.

The supervisor was not friendly. She simply said that she would charge based on one and the same price and walked off. It was not about paying for it. It was the lousy feeling that one received as a customer... as if i was there to rip the hotel off!

Well, it was the first and the last time that i would be in there. I had wondered if it was my casual attire as i was in a polo shirt and cargo shorts. But i had noticed the other guests were rather casual too.

My overall experience in this hotel was negative. Been in Thailand a number of times. I would say services in independent restaurants outside were much better. I did feel the staff were rather inattentive and snobbish.

Misleading promotions or those that the staff cannot convey unambiguously to the guests should be avoided.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Service
1  Thank Weng_Aow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SofitelSukhumvit, Manager at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, responded to this reviewResponded 28 December 2012

Dear Soluxe_Inn_Mackenzie,

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience at the lobby bar of the hotel.
I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies.

At Sofitel, we strive to provide a superior service experience for every customer; therefore your feedback is very important to us. Please rest assured that we are taking the appropriate measures to address the problem and prevent future occurrence.

We appreciate your sharing your concerns, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

Sincerely,

Manasnarth BOONYONG (Ms)
Guest Experience & Quality Manager
Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit

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