For our third stay in Bangkok I chose this hotel upon its brand’s name only. I know the Banyan Tree reputation and straight after a 4-night stay at the BT Phuket I wanted to test the BT Bangkok. Well, good choice but only thanks to the Presidential Suite I booked because common areas and general service quality is not at the same level than Phuket…
When booking Presidential Suite you receive lot of complimentary amenities and services, this is not bad : roundtrip airport transfer, laundry for 6 pieces per day, access to Banyan Tree Club lounge and some other few things. The suite in itself is very large, divided in 2 storeys with a panoramic views over North Bangkok through the glass dome in the main room at first level. At second level you have a small relaxation area, the bedroom and the bathroom with hydromassage bath and steam shower. All in a modern style with domotic ; there is no soul in this suite but it is still very convenient.
Usually I don’t like SPAs in “building” hotels but this one is very nice with lot of treatment rooms in a cosy zone and a fitness center + outdoor pool in a more common area of the hotel. I have been lucky and I enjoyed a 3-hour signature treatment – I guess it was the Royal Banyan treatment – and it was perfect. Therapists are gods and the treatment room somewhere between 40s and 50s floors just amazing. If possible, I recommand to stay in a higher hotel category close to the river (Peninsula, Mandarin or Shangri-la) and go here just for the SPA ; actually I read many articles saying that this SPA was the best of Bangkok.
Except for the SPA zone, public areas are not impressive at Banyan Tree Bangkok. The building itself was the tallest of the city at the opening but now it looks dated and too fit among lot of skyscrapers. Even corridors, lifts, the restaurant and the lobby are quite basics. Everything is globally harmonious but definitely not 5-star. Luxury is more than just a good design.
By the way the location is convenient with direct access to a night market and 15 minutes walking distance to the next skytrain station. To enter the building you must go through another business building and then you arrive at the lobby ; once again, this is not luxury.
Want to feel like a famous rock star ? Book this Presidential Suite at least one night during your next stay in Bangkok. Avoid my negative comments about public areas and service quality and be concentrated on this suite: huge, panoramic, duplex and jacuzzi are the key words to remember !
The loft-spirit of this suite is very pleasant with its stairs in the middle of main room facing the glass dome visible far away from the city when you look at the 39th floor of the building. Like BT Phuket you can find lot of domotic and up-to-date equipments, especially in the bathroom and living-room. Moreover additional complimentary services are top notch like complimentary laundry and access to Banyan Tree Club lounge where you can find free drinks and snack.
We only tested the restaurant for breakfast: large buffet with many cookers available to prepare your preferred morning dish but nothing exceptional. Just the standard for this kind of property, no more, while I would like more… Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to try the Vertigo restaurant at the top floor in the air with stunning views ; reviews globally say that it’s good, impressive but not worth the 200 USD/person menu.
Level of exigency
THE negative point in this hotel… Why Banyan Tree Phuket is so high and BT Bangkok so low ? The lack of service’s quality is quite strange and hard to analyze. It’s exactly as if it was a “hotel school” with students as concierges… How can it be possible in such a renown property ? I don’t know. Of course everyone is polite and smily, but at the moment you make a request it goes wrong: they say yes which means no and your demand will never be taken into account. I let you imagine the situation when you don’t want to pay the bill at check-out because they ask money for something complimentary present in your package… Under-qualified people are the enemy of luxury.
Stay from February 29th to March 2nd 2012
The Banyan Tree Bangkok is a 61-storey property opened in 2002, composed of 327 rooms and suites. For our stay we opted for the unique Presidential Suite, a double-storey suite with a glass dome under an “early bird” package at 700 USD/night.