For a short, one-night stop-over in Bangkok with my parents, I was looking for a hotel that is conveniently located for a quick shopping or dining trip by foot or BTS and also show cased traditional Thai hospitality at its best. Compared to my usual mid-scale or budget hotel choices in Bangkok, I wanted something a little nicer and chose the Pathumwan Princess which I had stayed at once before and enjoyed.
Location: The Pathumwan Princess has one of the best spots for the repeat visitor to Bangkok: It’s attached to the MBK mall with direct access to the National Stadium BTS station and via elevated walkways to multiple malls (Discovery, Siam Center, Paragon, Central World and on and on) as well as the Siam BTS station. With that, you have easy access to both airports by train/bus as well as many tourist destinations within a few stops!
Service: Our visit (booked via hotels.com) didn’t start out well: On arrival at the regular check-in time, the front desk staff informed us that they had moved us to another (much less convenient and not as nice) hotel “due to Chinese New Year”. I stayed calm, but made it very, very clear that that was not an acceptable answer, given that we had booked well in advance, I was with my parents, it was a special trip and we were only there for about 16h! He responded with a curt “Sorry, I will take a look”, after which much typing on the computer ensued. After waiting for 15min I followed up that we were well past the check-in time, had been waiting a while and, by the way, it was not due to “Chinese New Year”, but the fact that they chose to overbook their rooms! At that point, miraculously, he found two rooms (one available now, one in a few hours) and upgraded both of us free of charge to a suite! The fact that they chose to rather walk customers than upgrade them to available rooms, make us wait this long and require follow-up to get it down is rather poor customer service for a hotel of this price class in Thailand! To top it off, on departure, the bell staff wanted to talk us into a fixed fee taxi, even though their own key cards advise guests to never accept anything but a metered fare! It’s concerning as I had a similar service issues on my previous stay, so this seems to be more of a management issue than an exception.
Room: Fortunately, the upgraded room made up for the inconvenience! The two rooms were massive – my parents room a proper suite, with separate living/work room and bed room, my room a single, huge room with separate work, living and sleeping areas. In both cases the bathrooms were also huge, bigger than most hotel rooms in Bangkok, featuring separate shower and tub, dual vanity and in my case, a separate toilet cubicle. The closet space was also generous, so you could store enough clothes for a few weeks! The decor was light woods and colors in my suite, dark woods and colors in my parents room (which I preferred). The decor was very modern, and surprisingly had few of the typical Thai design touches I remembered from my previous stay. Both rooms had the expected TV (2 of them, 42in), safe (laptop size), kettle, alarm clock and hair dryer, all of them in good working order. An added touch of luxury was a capsule-style coffee maker – a pleasant upgrade from the instant coffee usually found in Thai hotels – as well as a Bose Sound Deck.
Amenities: One of the stand out amenities at the Pathumwan Princess is the pool and fitness center. The Olympic Club is one of the nicest, largest and most popular fitness centers in Bangkok, with locals paying steep membership fees! As a hotel quest, you have free access, which is a great perk. You also get access to a large and beautiful pool on the same floor as the gym, with a jacuzzi and plenty of comfortable loungers to relax in the sun! The PP also has a business center, which unbelievably in 2015 charged more than $1 per page to print boarding passes, continuing the poor service theme! There are multiple restaurants at the property, which we didn’t try – with so many good food choices in Bangkok, I prefer to go out!
Overall, the Pathumwan Princess offers some great rooms in an enviable location, with the unique perk of the Olympic Club – all for a price that is significantly lower than comparable offers from the big US chains. With that comes unfortunately poor service that is hard to understand when even budget hotels in Thailand manage to deliver exceptionally friendly and professional service! If you are willing to look past that, you can have a great stay. Just remember to stay calm and patient when you run into issues – I sure hope the management gets their act together, this beautiful hotel deserves better staff and service!