One of the major banes whenever i visited Bangkok in the past was that hotels i booked were generally too far from BTS or MRT stations and given the horrendous and so-not-improving traffic condition on the roads, it's less of a distress to stay near a transportation system that's not affected by jams.
My research, mainly based on agoda.com and hotels.com, brought me to various hotels and i eventually cast my vote (and $$$) for Park Plaza Hotel, a 4-star accommodation near Asok BTS and Sukhumvit MRT.
To be honest, i wasn't impressed with the reception and thought the overall feel was more 3-star rather than 4-star; nevertheless, the warm welcome by the hotel reception in good and most importantly understandable English somewhat allayed my fear.
Waiting area appeared to be from another hotel altogether; boutique-like with splashes of neon green and bright red that were glaring yet comforting to the eyes.
Thinking these were plastics and we were still waiting for the reception to assign a room to us, i proceeded to take a few to juggle; only to realise they were real fruits!!!!
For those who wish to check email, search the world wide web for things to do and eat in Bangkok via a computer screen on a high speed LAN can do so comfortably via the Macintosh computers hidden conspicuously next to the waiting area.
Second level was the restaurant where those who purchase room+breakfast combo can have their early morning meal. As usual, i chose room with no breakfast; why subject yourself to one place when there are so many cheap and affordable options available outside the hotel?!
Got our room card and even though in reality i did dump all my luggage in the room first; for the smooth flow of content for this post, i shall bring you to the 15th H2O floor instead where the gym and pool reside.
Sidetrack a bit - no 13th floor which is considered as bad luck in the Thai context; guess this is similar to the number 4 that is associated with death among the Chinese. According to the hotel staff, the removal of the 13th floor in a building is a common practice in Thailand; the floor still remains but instead of 13, it becomes 14.
Technically, the 24-hour pool and gym are not serviced by lift as you need to walk up a nicely carpeted emergency staircase to access them on the rooftop. Pool wasn't huge yet sufficient for that much-needed dip in the midst of incredibly hot weather!
Since this trip was planned to be "relaxation" focused, i used the pool on an almost daily basis; usually after a short session in the gym. The two best times to have the pool solely for you and your group are in the early morning and at night.
Gym was air-conditioned, small with a weights section, two treadmills and one step machine. I was actually anticipating a multi-station gym machine as i honestly suck in running and jogging long distance. Strangely, i have absolutely no issue with long distance window-shopping.
View from the gym - Terminal 21 shopping mall was so bloody near right?! I timed and once you step off exit 4 of Asok BTS station, the walk to park plaza hotel is only about 2 minutes!
Now, coming to the fifth floor where our allocated room was; the lingering aroma of lemongrass hit my nose as soon as i exited from the lift. The short corridor was brightly lit due to the windows on each end and for those who have been following my reviews on overseas accommodation, i dislike staying in hotels with dark corridors.
Don't bother looking for your room number on the door because there isn't any! To ensure you get into the correct room, do look out for the room number on the carpeted floor right in front of the door.
Our 32 square meter room with a king sized bed and parquet flooring! Personally, i prefer parquet over carpet flooring as the latter can be extremely dirty!
Those housekeepers can work wonders with just a normal sized towel. I unravelled the elephant and failed miserably in putting it back again!
There's a study table and the complimentary in-room WiFi was easily the best i have encountered so far in hotels on overseas trips. For those who forget to bring their international adapters; fret not as the sockets are all 3-pin!
City view from the window! There's a big 7-11 store right across the road but with never ending fast moving motor vehicles traversing both sides of the road, i didn't even dare to walk across.
Just realised i didn't take a picture of the television as i took quite a number for the bed which was just too comfy; sleeping in wasn't a problem even though i sure wish hotels can provision for bolsters (aka dutch wife)!
The other side of the room with once again see through glass separating washroom from the bedroom; hotel operators shouldn't be too obsessed to include this in every darn hotel as not everyone travels as a couple! Thankfully, i can still draw the blinds to protect my privacy.
Two glass bottles of water were provided for free on a daily basis; however, i would have very much preferred them in less eco-friendly plastic bottles for ease of carriage. Have you noticed the above box already?
Essentially a cabinet, it was one filled with surprises! There was an inbuilt fridge, instant kettle, coffee cups, wine glasses etc. Snacks and drinks were included and chargeable at exorbitant rates for those who were too lazy to buy them at a fraction of prices from the supermarket at Terminal 21.
I couldn't find the wardrobe!
Here's it is; there's a safe, hangers, slippers, bathrobes and extra pillows! Usually i would rummage for one thing in the wardrobe; the plastic laundry bags for my dirty clothes!
Bathroom with the essentials (which included the hair dryer, a necessity for my mum). No bathtub even though i am as pleased with the rainfall shower! I am the type who would go for shower rather than bathtub.
To see the bible and a book on Buddhist teachings in a hotel room can be unnerving for those who are sensitive of the paranormal; to be frank, nothing happened in the five nights i spent in Park Plaza Hotel. On a related note, do check out the ten taboos to note when staying in a hotel.
Overall, i had an fantastic stay in Park Plaza Hotel and strongly recommended it for those who would like to stay at a decent hotel near a BTS and MRT yet don't have paid exorbitant prices.
Staffs were friendly and at the same time patient in answering some of my stupid questions. Even the doorman took pride in his work and would rush over to open the glass doors for us when he saw us returning from the streets.
How to Get to Hotel from Asok BTS
Take exit 4 of Asok BTS and once you get to the foot of the staircase, turn right and just walk along the road. Those looking to change their Sing dollars to Thai baht would be happy to know that Asok Money Exchange along the way offers one of the better conversion rates!
Within two minutes of walk, you should see the towering building of Park Plaza Hotel! By the way, those looking for a longer circuit kind of jog would be pleased to know that there's a park right beside the hotel.
We paid S$438.40 for five nights stay in a superior room
(doesn't include breakfast)