We landed in Bangkok at 7:30 am on Sunday the 25th of June 2017 and pretty much hit the ground running. There was no containing our excitement. My sister landed at a different airport (DMK), so we decided to meet up with her at our hotel, Hilton Sukhumvit, as we wanted to rid ourselves of our luggage and also lock away our valuables such as passports and excess money.
As we pulled up to Hilton Sukhumvit, I worried that I may have chosen a less than ideal location. It was not on the main road, but rather in a big alley that branched out (which is called a soi in Bangkok). To add to the heart-sinkage, there was a construction site right across the hotel.
In only a couple of days though, I realized that we couldn’t have hoped for a better location for our hotel. Hilton Sukhumvit is a 2 minute walk away from the Phrom Phong Skytrain station, and the train network in Bangkok is quite well connected. On that short, 2 minute walk, you’ll walk past nearly 6 “family-friendly” massage parlours and plenty of restaurants (no pork-free ones though).
The one massage parlour we ended up trying was the one that you see as soon as you take the stairs down from the Phrom Phong station, and it seemed to be the “fanciest” one too. We loved it so much that we ended up gong there every.single.day. It was called Lek Massage.
Lobby and Check-in:
A first glance into the lobby at Hilton Sukhumvit consoled me a bit. With the exception of some of the pleather upholstry giving away from some of the chairs in the lobby lounge, it seemed like a nice, clean hotel. The reception staff were extremely warm and welcoming, and I felt like I had already gotten my first taste of Thai hospitality and may have chosen wisely after all. Welcome drink dispensers with some juices helped us quench our thirst. I was very amused by the plump sculptures of a man and woman in the lobby, similar versions of which were also at the pool, and mini versions in the rooms. Body positivity for the win?
Since we got to the hotel significantly earlier than the standard check-in time of 2pm, we were asked to wait in the Club Lounge while our suite was prepped. Here, I used the ladies room to freshen up, and it was oddly the most dimly lit ladies room I have ever been to. It was too dark for me to even apply my eye-liner. The Club Lounge itself was very spacious and cosy. One could choose to sit on a table with chairs, or on the couches. Plenty of papers and magazines were readily available, as was a well-stocked buffet of food. for a club lounge, the variety was huge.
We had breakfast at the Club Lounge on our second day in Bangkok. the selection was small for someone who is halal-conscious, but sufficient. We were disappointed by the fact that we couldn’t even have eggs, because they were using the same pans whether you choose to keep your omelette vegetarian or add bacon to the omelettes, and we weren’t in the mood for poached eggs unless they were Benedict. My suggestion to the team would be to have a separate pan over there for the halal-food seekers. Nevertheless, we still had plenty of options like cereal, fresh fruits, muffins and croissants to choose from.
We were checked into the junior suite for the first 3 days, because my sister was joining us too and we needed an extra bed. The suite was spacious enough for the 3 of us, with enough room for our luggage, as well as for us to sit and chill. the bed was extremely comfortable and the sheets were very clean.
I was extremely put off by the dated pleather couch, as well as the big bold smudge on the marble coffee table, left by what I presume was the previous guest’s beer bottle? What was baffling was that it was right next to the box of “welcome macarons”, so I wonder how housekeeping missed it.
The view wasn’t the best either, but, the bed was clean, soft, and comfortable. That’s what matters the most, especially when you’re in a new city which you plan on exploring all day and want to come back mostly just to sleep.
The bathroom was extremely clean and spacious too. The only downside to it was the lack of a shower-bidet, which we (especially as Muslims) are quite used to. All the toiletries one would desire were waiting for us, with the exception of a loofah, which I actually fail to see at any hotel in the Far East. The shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion were all by Peter Thomas Roth, which is quite possibly my favorite part about staying at any Hilton. I especially loved how the shower gel smelled like mandarins, which is a refreshing change from the generic aqua-scented hotel toiletries.
It took some technical understanding to figure out the shower, but then again I’m not the smartest cookie in the box. Once I did though, the water pressure was just perfect after a long day of exploring, and the temperature scale pleased all of us.
After spending the first day at Chatuchak Weekend Market and getting foot massages, we returned to the hotel around 7pm, and my sister and I decided to go for a swim. This was one of the most enjoyable swims we have had in a very long time, because it was just what we needed at the end of the long day. The pool was smaller than I imagined it to be, but still big enough. The humidity we dealt with all day made the swim even more refreshing. From the pool, we could see some of Bangkok’s skyline, as well as the nearest malls (Em Quartier, and Emporium), and decided that’s where we will go for dinner. It was the perfect swim and exactly what my sister and I needed to reunite over.
The night was still young by the time we were done with our swim, so after a quick shower we decided to head out again and look for some Thai food for dinner! Since Em Quartier was just a 2-5 minute walk away from us, we just crossed over to it, and had many delicious options to pick from at their Food Hall. Over the next few days, we discovered that only a couple of BTS stations away, are malls like Terminal 21, Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Discovery, MBC and so much more!
Em Quartier Mall
We were initially supposed to stay at Hilton Sukhumvit for only 3 days, and then move to Koh Samui, but we were so comfortable here that we ended up extending our stay here to a total of 5 days. The first 3 days were comped, as a media collaboration, but we paid for the additional 2 days and have no complaints. The price was reasonable, the rooms clean and comfortable, and location ideal. My husband says that he would like to stay at Hilton Sukhumvit again, even on our future visits to Bangkok.
On our last day, I went to have breakfast at Scalini, I was overcome with regret for not having come here every single day. The variety of breakfast items was far greater than that at the Club Lounge, and there were more pork-free options as well, including regional favorites like Kway Teow! I enjoyed lots of papaya, pancakes, guava, and green tea.
When we extended our stay at Hilton Sukhumvit, we moved out of the Junior suite that we were initially in, and moved into a Deluxe Room instead, because my sister had already gone back and we no longer needed the extra bed. Suffice to say, we were still very comfortable.
Thank you, Hilton Sukhumvit, for a pleasant location to experience Bangkok from for the very first time!