Here is the last part of my blog about Bangkok hotels. Sukhumvit is actually a preferred area for me, having flown in and out of the city more frequently than others. Repeat visitors who have gone past the trappings of Siam Square and Silom eventually cuddle up to Sukhumvit for varied reasons. Some find the neighborhood less stressful – traffic notwithstanding – and more diverse in terms of accomodations and dining options. A good majority of yuppies, professionals and expatriates take residence here, since a lot of high-rise condominiums and serviced apartments have mushroomed within the past 5 years or so. The side-by-side cluster of hotels, businesses and residential skyscrapers make this part of the city touristy without being too touristy for comfort.
Sukhumvit is essentially a loooooooong road that stretches all the way to the suburbs outside Bangkok. With this in mind, I will focus more on the upper, middle and lower mid portions with Soi 63 (where you can find the Ekkamai bus station that can bring you to Pattaya and the like) as the cut-off mark. Anything beyond will be inconvenient, particularly if you end up booking a hotel room that is past the last Skytrain station (On Nut) in this direction.
In Sukhumvit, I don’t consider it an ‘in’ thing anymore to stay at large hotels, specifically the ones belonging to global chains like Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Westin Grande Sukhumvit, JW Marriott plus the independently-owned Landmark. I have nothing against these properties. It’s just that there are many noteworthy boutique hotels deserving your Thai baht. But if you’re like my mother who would rather spend her nights in one, then I suggest that you go for the brand-new offerings in this section like Grand Millennium Sukhumvit and the Park Plaza Sukhumvit with its plush, crisp and luxurious digs, not to mention the promotional rates they regularly offer to cut a big share of the tourism pie from the old reliables. Among these choices, you can end up paying at least US$220++ a night (without breakfast) for the cheapest rooms. I am a very patient online searcher, though, so I usually get juicy deals from time to time and cut the price in half with buffet brekkie thrown in for good measure.
Now, before heading up to the mid-range category, let me go to the chic/trendy boutique hotels and serviced residences first because there are a few which deserve to be noted early on. After all, Sukhumvit is the place to go if you like staying in this kind of temporary dwellings. The first group includes S15 Sukhumvit Hotel, The Key Bangkok (at the back of Robinson’s Sukhumvit), Seven Hotel Bangkok, FuramaXclusive Asoke, Dream Hotel, Le Fenix Sukhumvit and Sacha’s Hotel Uno. I can heartily recommend any of these new establishments. Their locations are very easy on the feet as a few of them can even claim proximity to both the skytrain and subway stations. If you’re lucky, you can even get rates below US$100.
But if you go for bigger units where you can lounge in the living room, sleep in a separate (or cubicled) bedroom and do some quick cooking in the kitchenette, then the 2nd group should come in handy. The cheapest and most practical is Citadines Sukhumvit (one in Soi 11 and another in Soi 16) with intelligently-designed studios or 1-BR options priced between US$80-150. There is also Grand Sukhumvit by Accor, plus Grand Mercure Asoke Residence, Fraser Suites Sukhumvit, Emporium Suites and Adelphi Suites. Rates here are between US$125-200. You will never feel cramped here for sure.
Moving on, we highlight traditional hotel accomodation choices in the US$75-100 range, such as Amari Boulevard, Bel-Aire Princess, Majestic Grande Sukhumvit, Novotel Lotus, and St. James Hotel. Not the newest on the block, they nevertheless make up for it by way of providing reliable service, skytrain-friendly locations and clean/useful rooms. These properties are usually the most popular among regular tourists or 3-day business travellers who rely mostly on online reviews and tend to play it safe. I can also add here the budget picks like City Lodge Sukhumvit 9 or 19, Ambassador Hotel, Tai-Pan Hotel and Manhattan. Many visitors go for these if their main objective is just to have a room to stay for a night or two (or three) after a long day of shopping and sightseeing.
In the midst of all these, I can honestly say that you can derive pleasure wherever you stay in Sukhumvit because the street shopping, dining galore and proximity to the skytrain will always keep you in good company. But if I had to simplify my recommendations, here are the key bottomline statements to remember:
1. If you go for classy and luxurious, pick Grand Millennium Sukhumvit.
2. If you want to emphasize on trendy, spacious and functional, Citadines Sukhumvit is it.
3. If you fancy chic, convenient and personalized, Sacha’s Hotel Uno or The Key Bangkok should be on your shortlist.
4. Lastly, if you’d rather stay in a large unit that is attached to a shopping mall, then there’s Emporium Suites to satisfy the on-site craving to shop.
Happy hotel hunting and Khop khun khap!!!
p.s. I will post a short annex to the 3 blogs about Bangkok hotels for accomodations outside the three main areas that are worth checking out.