Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit is located walking distance from Terminal 21, which is a fantastic location given it’s at the interchange of Asoke BTS station and Sukhumvit MRT station. This provides quick access to the heart of town and also to many other new places of interests that popped up in the last few years.
When I first arrived at the hotel in the late afternoon, I was shocked at how busy and crowded the lobby was. It so happens that there was an event going on, so many of the attendees were simply loitering around lobby.
Despite that, I got to a check-in agent almost immediately. Check-in was painfully slow, and what made it even more irritating was that many other guests interrupted my check-in process with questions that rightfully belonged to the concierge’s domain (Are there any indian restaurants nearby? How do I get to this place?) and while the check-in agents dealt with these questions professionally, I was pretty much annoyed through no fault of the check-in staff.
The hotel had rooms running all the way to the 26th floor, while mine was on the 16th.
I had booked myself a deluxe room, the smallest of the 7 room and suite categories available. There are larger rooms available in the hotel, as well as executive club floor rooms from the 22nd to 26th floor, but I didn’t check that out on this trip.
If you decide to pamper yourself by just going up one category to the premium deluxe room, you will get the same room, but at a higher floor and it comes with six free minibar items each day, plus one free cocktail (redeemable at the bar) and three pieces of free laundry items per stay. Not too bad for an upgrade, if you ask me!
When I first got to the room, I couldn’t work the light switch. For some reason, the card reader that activates the room power supply couldn’t read my card on the first few tries, and I managed to get it to work only after a very frustrating couple of minutes.
The room, as with many Bangkok hotels, was very spacious. At 38 square metres, the room comfortably held a king sized bed, an armchair on the side with a coffee table, a dining table and a sizeable bathroom.
The bathroom, as with many other contemporary hotel bathrooms today, boasted see-through glass panels around the bathtub. The one big plus was that if you were travelling alone, you won’t miss out on the exciting shows on Thai television.
There was also a separate shower stall right across from the bathtub, as well as a large vanity and a separate toilet stall so if you are travelling with a partner, you don’t have to worry about taking a dump in full view of your room mate.
Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit uses Bigelow amenities, consistent with the other Pullman properties around the world.
There are also some aspects of the rooms that I didn’t quite like. For the first time in many trips, I forgot to bring a power adapter. While you could possibly ring up housekeeping to borrow one, what really irked me was the lack of international sockets available in the room. There was only one single international socket on the work desk, while the bedside sockets were all fit for local appliances. Given that the hotel is in a prime location for international visitors, I would have imagine that having international sockets would have been a standard fit out.
Another thing that really bugged me was the confusing electrical switches in the room. While there was a master switch by the side of my bed, it really doesn’t control all the lights in the room – all the lamps, and the toilet lights, had to be individually switched off. To make things worse, the position of the switches were not intuitive too, so you had to fiddle around before finding the right one.
Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit is a full service hotel, offering a restaurant, bar, spa, swimming pool and fitness centre.
The fitness centre, while not expansive, packs a punch. Fairly spacious, it has ample equipment, including cardio machines, cable machines and also a full rack of dumbbells for those who love working with free weights.
The swimming pool, however, was pretty tiny. It is a reduced lap pool, and I reckon only a handful of swimmers could get some serious laps done before it becomes too crowded. There were however ample deck chairs available for a good tan provided you get good weather. I unfortunately had to put up with rather crappy weather when I was there.
For people who love a good soak or steam, you’ll be happy to know that the changing rooms are very solid, boasting a jacuzzi, a steam room and a sauna. At the time I took a look there was no one using the facilities, so I figure that they may not be well utilised. A note though: the jacuzzi in the changing room is in full view of everyone else using the dressing tables, so you might feel a little awkward if you prefer some privacy.
The in-hotel spa, the Antidot spa, offers a range of treatments at what I’d call standard hotel pricing. Their signature offering is the Siam Reviver, an aromatherapy type of massage going for THB3,400 for 90 minutes, or THB 4,300 for 2 hours. There are also regular offers going on from time to time, so be sure to check that out.
The restaurant – Atelier
Breakfast is served at the Atelier restaurant on level 2, the hotel’s anchor restaurant for all-day dining.
There was a good spread of offerings for breakfast, ranging from local dishes to the standard western breakfast. A couple of live cooking stations, including an egg station and a noodle station, was also available if you prefer cooked to order items.
What was certainly interesting was a pretty extensive Japanese selection, including Japanese curry rice, sushi pieces and miso soup. I had a bit of the Japanese rice which was surprisingly on point, so it’s worth going for that if you are in a mood for something more substantial for breakfast.
The noodle station also offered up some interesting items, including a spinach noodle which was green in colour. Honestly I couldn’t really taste the difference from regular noodles.
For those who love a tipple to go with your first meal of the day, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s a do-it-yourself Bloody Mary cocktail corner. With the entire bottle of vodka on display, fill free to go crazy with your cocktail. This alone is probably worth the price of your breakfast.
If you didn’t get breakfast with your room, you can always pre-purchase breakfast when you check in for about THB380++, which is still pretty much a deal.
Apart from Atelier, Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit also features several watering holes, including Vino Tapas, a cosy tapas bar, as well a deli at the lobby for the quick bites and coffee kicks.
One unique offering by the hotel is the Backyard by Pullman, an outdoor bar that features barbeque food along with your favourite booze every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Of course, given that Bangkok is relatively warm most of the year, this is an option you should check out during the cooler months of November to January.
The Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit is what I feel an undiscovered gem: near enough to the heart of action and yet packs pretty much many things into a hotel. Even though it’s considered a four star property similar to Crowne Plaza, in terms of amenities it definitely stands out.
The hotel is also fully equipped, with enough food and beverage outlets and recreational facilities for you to hang around in the hotel all day round.
What is truly excellent is the central location. Right at the junction of Asoke BTS station and Sukhumvit MRT station, the hotel is well-placed for the traveller who wants to check out all corners of Bangkok, whether is it the cafes along Sukhumvit area, or to the night markets, or heading into the city.
The only weakness lies in my experience with the fittings, judging from my tussle with the lights in the room. This is incredibly simple to get right, but also sometimes easiest to overlook. Of course, this is an easy one to conquer, returning visitors will sure be used to it, or the hotel could simply upgrade the electricals into a better system.