I like select service hotels and the Holiday Inn Express hotels are some of my favorite. Many, especially in Asia, are new and they offer modern rooms and a nice breakfast at a reasonable price. After having stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Sathorn and Siam in Bangkok, Thailand, I wanted to try the newest addition on Sukhumvit Soi 11 in Bangkok. See, how it compares and what you can expect.
Location: In Bangkok, a location close to the BTS Skytrain or MRT subway is key to getting around Bangkok quickly and easily and the HIE Sukhumvit is in the least attractive location. It’s a long walk (15 min) along the small alley from the BTS Nana station. By train, it’s about 45-60 minutes to Suvarnabhumi or Don Meuang airport, about the same by taxi, depending on traffic. There are lots of bar and – ahem – entertainment venues along the street, making it a not-so-nice walk. There are plenty of convenience stores and some massage shops along the street.
Service: Service was polite on check-in and check-out, but not quite as attentive and friendly as at the other Holiday Inn properties in the city. My IHG Rewards Club Platinum status was recognized, but there’s not much in terms of benefits and a change to a requested quiet room was not made possible.
Room: The room was modern, clean and of good size, slightly larger than other HIE rooms. In addition to the comfortable queen bed, there was a small sofa and table as a sitting area, a work desk, a luggage rack and closet. The design used a splash of light green to lighten up the design and the light grey-beige wood also helped. There are the standard laptop-size safe, TV and coffee/tea facilities. There are plenty of universal power outlets near the bed and desk, in all the right places and accepting plugs from various countries. The room has dark, overlapping blackout curtains, which made the room completely dark – I like that a lot.
I also liked the slightly angled bathroom wall, making for a wider, more open entrance and the frozen glass wall between bathroom and bedroom, letting in more light to the bathroom while providing privacy. The bathroom was held in beige tiles with a partial glass wall to the shower, allowing water to splash across the bathroom. Soap and shampoo are provided in dispensers and there were dental kits, shower caps and sanitary bags.
The hotel is located on a street corner, so most of the rooms face the street. On the other side of the building is construction, so you can’t escape noise there either. The windows are sound insulated, so while street noise came through in my corner room, it didn’t disturb my sleep.
Overall, the rooms are probably the best of the three Holiday Inn Express in Bangkok, if only by a slim margin. The internet was fast at an average speed of 14.8Mbps, some of the better internet I’ve found at hotels in Thailand!
Amenities/Restaurant: The HIE Sukhumvit is very similar to other HIE hotels in Thailand and elsewhere: You receive a full breakfast, including fresh fruit, yogurt, cereals and pastries as well as some hot dishes. There is coffee and juices as well. It’s all buffet style and both the selection and quality of food were standard for the chain. The breakfast room is next to the lobby and doesn’t feel as much as a cafeteria as I’ve seen at larger properties with free breakfast.
There is a small fitness room on the rooftop of the hotel. You reach it via a staircase and it’s a bit of an odd location. There is cardio equipment and a few free weights , allowing for a basic workout.
The hotel has two Apple computers in the lobby for your use and the front desk can print boarding passes for you!
Conclusion: The Holiday Inn Express Sukhumvit Soi 11 is another fine example of the limited service chain, it offers good value at $52 and I enjoyed my stay. In comparison to the other HIE hotels in Bangkok, the location is slightly further from public transport and the service is not as friendly, but you get a slightly bigger, nicer room. The breakfast and amenities are a wash. And you pretty much get what you pay for – the HIE Sukhumvit is usually slightly less expensive than the one on Sathorn or Siam, so you can pick whatever works best for you! I’d recommend either of them and will likely stay again!