The metropolis of Bangkok is so expansive that narrowing down choices for where to stay was extremely difficult. Should we stay near Old Town and the touristy attractions? Should we stay in a popular area with bars, restaurants and nightlife? Should we find accommodations nearby a tram stop? Should we stay at a hotel, hostel, inn, condo, etc.?Ultimately, we decided to stay in the Sukhumvit Soi 11 district, which has become a popular area for restaurants, bars and nightlife, thinking it made sense to be in an area with restaurant and shopping options nearby for early morning and evening when we’d likely be back at the hotel. We also wanted to be somewhere within walking distance to a BTS metro stop so that we could easily hop on to visit other areas of town. If I had it to do over again, I might actually choose to stay closer to the old town, touristy area because that was where we wanted to spend most of our time over the bars and nightlife. Grand Swiss Hotel is a contemporary, boutique hotel just off the main road making it convenient, but also quiet. They are located within a 2 minute walk from the BTS Nana Station. Recently renovated, this hotel offered the amenities of an upscale stay, including three restaurants, a workout facility, a rooftop pool, a tour/concierge desk and free wifi. Let’s talk about the first mishap with our stay though…they offer airport transfers as part of their Hotel Services, but it is an additional charge. With a group of 7 flying in from Phi Phi to Bangkok, we needed a passenger van to seat all of us and were told it would be 1,500 baht total. After providing our flight details, we were given instructions on where to meet the driver at the airport. Our flight was basically on time, but our driver was no where to be found. We searched and searched and waited around for 30 minutes or longer before just booking our own taxi van there at the airport. Then it was about a 30 minute drive from the airport to the hotel. Here’s where it gets worse – I complained to the front desk personnel who checked us in, and she informed me that our driver was there, but we were not. Then, she said she would have a conversation with the driver and we may still have to pay the 1,500 baht! Needless to say, I was frustrated. Our stay was not getting off to a good start, especially if this is how they treat guests. I would have been fine had she just apologized for the driver not being there and the delay for our arrival, but instead she made me feel at fault or as if I was lying. Not okay. BUT we never heard another word about it and never had to pay the 1,500 baht for the driver, so it ended up being fine. I just did not like how it was handled. The lobby area is very posh and modern – behind me is the entrance, to the right is the Tour Desk, to the left are stairs to the elevator in the main building and to the left of the check-in counter is Davos – a lounge where you can get drinks and lighter snack fare. Our room was located on the 11th floor – it was comfortable and modern with a brown and gold color scheme. I had read some negative reviews where other guests said the room was very small, but our room felt spacious with ample room for the two of us and all of our belongings. The website lists room types from Premier up to Executive Suite, but I am not sure what room type we booked because the site I booked through listed it as a Double Room Deluxe. Based on the fact that we were on a higher floor and had a decent city view, it may have been an Executive or Executive City View Room. The king size bed was extremely cozy after a long day of walking around the city. Just inside the door were two small closets for hanging clothes. One offered complimentary robes and slippers to use during your stay and the other housed a safe for valuables. I highly recommend booking a hotel room with a safe. We never had anything stolen and never felt concerned, but we always locked things away while we were gone. The shades drawn are hiding a glass window to the shower. That was something very different, but it did make the shower feel larger since it is quite small with the blinds open and you could see the view of the city if you kept your curtains open too. Our first glimpse of the city from our room was at night, but you can see from this distance that it’s a city that never sleeps. Everything is lit up, colorful and vibrant. Okay, back to the room amenities – there is a flat screen tv and an ample sized desk with a bright task lamp. Plenty of plugs are available at the desk and one conveniently located on either side of the bed. Just beside the closets is the wet bar area with snacks and drinks for sale. And condoms…when in Bangkok? I guess?There were two free bottles of water found in the bathroom that we quickly shoved into the mini-fridge so we could carry them around with us later. Tip for Thailand: If there’s complimentary bottled water, take it. Take it and don’t look back. The bathroom was located just inside the room to the left of the door. It was small, but sufficient, modern and clean. Floor to ceiling tile covered the space and a large mirror made it feel bigger as well. The bathroom was stocked with complimentary soaps, shampoo, cotton swabs, nail file, shower cap and waters. The hair dryer was stored away in a closet to keep the counter un-cluttered. The back of the bathroom door also featured a full length mirror which helped with two of us getting ready in the mornings in tight quarters. As I already mentioned, the shower is small, but it had upscale features with it’s rain shower head and modern spray nozzle. That said, our shower flooded the first day we used it because it drained the water too slowly. The flooding issue was quickly fixed that day after a call to the front desk, but we were concerned we were going to flood the room with how quickly it filled up. But this is the view we got to wake up to every morning for four days…
In spite of having a few glitches during our stay, I do have to commend the staff at Grand Swiss for their wonderful customer service. Everyone is extremely friendly and very willing to help you in any way they can – always with a smile on their face. We had another issue late on our first night – Remi accidentally blew a fuse in our room plugging something into an outlet – half of the lights in our room stopped working. He immediately put a call to the Front Desk to let them know and we expected that it would just get fixed the next day, which was no problem for us with how late it was already. We were just ready for bed. But they sent someone out to fix it right away and then they came up to our room to make sure it was working again! I have to admit that attention to our needs definitely impressed me!via
One thing I failed to get pictures of was the bountiful buffet breakfast served at the Grand Swiss each morning in 11th Avenue. We booked a package deal that included breakfast since it was easier and I would definitely recommend that option. There were a ton of breakfast items to select from each morning – they had hot food like eggs and bacon and potatoes; they offered Asian style breakfast items like congee soup and fried rice; they had a bread station with toast, croissants, pastries, and jams; they had an entire salad and fresh fruit bar. We never felt like we could not get plenty to eat each morning for breakfast! Totally worth the small extra charge each night to have the comfort and ease of grabbing breakfast before heading out for the day!We also enjoyed a dinner at the hotel’s rooftop restaurant and bar – 180° Sky Lounge – on our last night in Bangkok. Take the elevator to the 18th floor and you will be greeted by the entrance steps to the lounge. At the top of the stairs is a landing area with a check-in desk to the left. To the right is an open air bar closed off to the rest of the space by an air-locked automatic glass door. Heading around the corner, the space opens up to continue the 180 degree view the sky lounge is known for and provides additional plush seating with a full bar to enjoy it.In the evening, they offer a Happy Hour special with a tapas bar and all you can drink beverages for a set price or for free if you are staying on the club level. While that sounded lovely and the tapas looked delicious, we opted for a full-fledged dinner instead. We were pretty famished from a day of hiking to downtown Bangkok and taking in the Grand Palace in the heat. We found a cushy seat with an ample corner view and made ourselves at home to enjoy the sun go down over the city.The view of the expansive city of Bangkok was pretty spectacular from this vantage point. You can sit and watch as the sky train arrives at and then leaves again from the Nana BTS station all day long. More lotus flowers on the tables as centerpieces – they were everywhere! We had to start out our meal with a few cocktails. On the top left, I had a Singapore Sling and Remi had a Mojito. Then to the right is his Mango Mai Tai and in the back of the picture is my Tom Collins. Very good drinks. If nothing else. I highly recommend the Sky Lounge for a good, strong cocktail. We had to order Crab Rangoon to start – a favorite of mine. They were perfectly crispy and loaded with creamy crab filling. The perfect start to any Asian dinner in my opinion. Also to start, we tried their Honey Bomb Shrimp. I was hoping it would be similar to Bang Bang Shrimp back home. Instead it was perfectly cooked shrimp in a thick honey glaze. Very good, but a tad bit sweet. On the right, I tried the Stir Fry Thai Basil with shrimp and Remi had the Wide Rice Noodles with Gravy. I thought it was interesting how they served stir fry everywhere in Thailand with a fried egg over the rice. The Stir Fry Thai Basil had a pretty good flavor overall and the spicy sauce in the small container on the side added a nice kick to it, but the shrimp was overcooked and I was surprised by the tiny portion in comparison to the giant mound of rice. The Wide Rice Noodle dish was a generous portion loaded with veggies and chicken. The broth was very flavorful and comforting, like a Thai version of chicken noodle soup. Definitely a safe choice, but very very good. As the sun went down and the city got darker, the sky lounge fills with tons of light. We enjoyed the quiet space for a while, sipping our cocktails and watching the sun set over Bangkok. Not a bad way to end our stay in Bangkok! I would highly recommend checking out the Grand Swiss Hotel and their 180° Sky Lounge. We were extremely happy with our hotel choice
Grand Swiss Hotel
155/23-24 Sukhumvit Soi 11,
Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Tel: +66 2 253 2000
Fax: +66 2 253 7044
180° Sky Lounge
This is a “sponsored post.” We received dinner at the 180° Sky Lounge in exchange for this review – but we paid for our hotel stay and part of our drinks. As always, all opinions are our own and we are honest in our reviews. If we don’t like it, we will tell you. Regardless, this blog only recommends products or services we use personally and believe will be good for our readers.
Up Next for our Asian trip posts – Siem Reap, Cambodia!!