Westin Grande Sukhumvit Bangkok Review

Sukhumvit - Bangkok

WESTIN GRANDE SUKHUMVIT BANGKOK REVIEW

The Westin Grande Sukhumvit Bangkok is, simply put, rather grand. Wrought in timeless contemporary style and slap bang beside Sukhumvit's Skytrain and underground (Asok and Sukhumvit station), this 25-storey hotel offers a lot of five-star bang for your baht.

Stepping past the ground floor's ultra-modern Zen water feature and into the 7th floor lobby, with its splintered colour-morphing glass sculpture and long vistas of gleaming marble, is to be transported into a refined, executive-friendly realm. Highlights of which include the demure earth tones of the 362 rooms and the heady pale-cream romance of the bohemian Vareena Spa.


Location: Few are as practically placed

Oh, and the location. All but the most zealous temple devotee will find it sublime. Shopping, business, transport, dining - few are as practically placed. The Queen Sirikit Convention Centre is ten minutes away by car, and a Robinson's department store next door. There's no excuse to be a hotel hermit. Those that are, though, discover a big city hotel obsessed with small details. Namely a long list of signature products and services, most with gimmicky titles like 'Westin One Call' and 'Westin Service Express'. In fact most are not gimmicks, rather ingenious innovations to make you're stay at the Westin that much richer.

Like the fittingly titled 'Heavenly Bed', with its crisp Egyptian cottons and duvet so downy you feel like you're slumbering on a king-size fluffy cloud (many guests buy one for home). Or 'RunWESTIN' (a scenic three-mile group jog in nearby Benjakitti Park), 'Westin Kids Club' (fun activities, amenities and service for under 13s) and 'Unwind' (an evening piano bar ritual during which executives enjoy complimentary munchies and a free five-minute head massage to a backdrop of live music, dimmed lighting and scented candles). Westin Grande Sukhumvit is part of a global brand that has been fine-tuning its game since starting out in the 1930's - and it shows.

Rooms: Dark, Modern and Plush

Each of the 362 guestrooms is darkly plush with a thin veneer of exoticism. Earth tones, vivacious contemporary furnishings and Thai fabrics set the mood. All come with executive work corners with glass top desk, bedside control panels, an iron and ironing board, high-speed Internet access (ask at reception for prices), satellite and on-demand movie channels.

In 42 square metre 'Deluxe Rooms' the most striking features are the gold velvet chaise longue, taupe fabric walls and curtains, spiral Art Deco lamp, vibrant modern art, and aforementioned 'Heavenly Bed'. Overall, pretty darn swanky. Bathrooms are surprisingly sumptuous, with glossy silver tiles, Art Deco-style dark marble sinks, and seperate bath tub and walk-in shower. Branded jojoba oil toiletries, slippers and a kimono-style robe provide the pampering.

The 31 suites have similar d-cor, but are 70 square metres and have a living room and bedroom. And for those who covet exclusivity, there are three Westin Executive Club floors offering 86 Executive Deluxe rooms and 11 Executive Suites. Both are the same size and layout as Deluxes and Suites, only guests enjoy reams of complimentary benefits: use of the elegant mocha-toned Executive Lounge (complimentary wireless Internet, snacks, and tea or coffee), express service laundry, free local calls and late check-out, among others. There's even, for those self-important moments, a butler on hand (though you have to share him) and a ravishing Presidential Suite with luxuriant settees and a dining room.


 

Eating: Classic Cuisine in a Timeless Setting

Charms here stretch into the realm of cuisine - with superlative results. Whether it be a traditional Greek village salad at all-day 'The Med', an a la carte Chicken Biryani in your room, or pan-fried Kobe beef in Japanese eatery 'Kisso', you are unlikely to be disappointed. The latter is a serial winner of the coveted 'Thailand's Best Restaurant' award, voted for by readers of Thailand Tatler magazine. Sitting on a tatami mat among sticks of ornamental bamboo, while tucking into signature dishes like Lobster teppanyaki or King Crab tempura, it's not hard to see why.

Just as worthy of your patronage is top floor 'Horizons' with its rich turquoise carpets and upholstery, panoramic urban views and hi-tech karaoke (popular with the Japanese contingent). As is 'Zest', a lobby-straddling piano bar of considerable -lan. Come here for warm-up drinks before a night out, to drown in its plush contemporary furnishings while you admire the pulsating colour-changing bar, and sip impeccably crafted cocktails. Try 'Blueberry Zest' - a piquant blend of Absolute vodka, fresh blackberries and sweet vermouth.

On top of a la carte menus, buffets also play big here (Thai, French, Chinese, seafood and Japanese). The tour de force is, far and away, the breakfast: exotic fruits, juices, cold meats, waffles, pancakes, pastries, cooked dishes - all fresh and lovingly laid out. Health freaks will fall for 'Zinger' juice, a blend of carrot, ginger and orange juice - but we left smitten with the compulsive banana smoothies.

Facilities: Repair Your Spirit

Sports enthusiast, spa junkie or all-hours workaholic - everyone's whim is catered for at the Westin. After pressing 'send' on that deal-closing fax in the Business Centre, or closing your annual speech in one of the many opulent conference halls, go sweat away stress in the sauna, steam-room or 24-hour gym (personal trainers, energizing sounds, Reebok-designed workouts/equipment). Then cool off with a few leisurely laps in the outdoor freeform pool, with its swim-up bar, sun loungers and skyscraper backdrop.

Fancy an Italian thermal stone massage? A Green Tea body mask? Or the 'Princess Bath of Flowers', a sensuous soaking amid the softness and scent of flower petals? If these appeal, make time for the bliss-inducing Vareena Spa: a holistic symphony of ravishing Thai furnishings, delicious fragrances and unutterably feel-good treatments, spread across seven gorgeous treatment rooms and a colossal Skyview Suite. Oh, but you're feeling lazy? Don't fret, a fresh addition to the Westin Grande's ever-expanding list of extras is an in-room spa service! Even for a five-star, that's some list.


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