Le Meridien Bangkok

Prologue

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In 1972, Air France established Le Meridien in Paris as a “home away from home” for its customers. Several years and ownership changes later, the brand had gradually seen its star decline as newer rivals emerged. Now under the umbrella of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, a rejuvenated Le Meridien has evolved to target creative minds through chic design enriched by contemporary art. We visit the Le Meridien Bangkok, one of the first properties to sport the new identity when it opened in 2009, to find out more.

 

Location / Accessibility

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Footsteps away from the Patpong and entertainment district on Surawong Road, the Le Meridien Bangkok seems out of place for a 5-star property given the neighbourhood’s reputation. The location offers a first-hand glimpse into the Thai capital’s colourful nightlife, whilst remaining close enough to the business districts of Sathorn and Silom. The BTS Skytrain and Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) networks mean the rest of the city is a convenient train ride away.

 

Arrival Experience

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Pulling into the driveway of the Le Meridien Bangkok, the hotel’s art and design focus comes to view in the form of the large illuminated I-Jud dog by local sculptor Wasinburee Supanichvoraparch and the striking ‘Man with Poodle’ door art by famed photographer Ralph Gibson shielding the calm confines of the Creative Hub from the noise of the neighbourhood.

 

A porter immediately approached to assist with our luggage and walk us to the reception desk, where we were warmly welcomed by the front desk team on duty which did well to ensure a smooth and relaxed check-in. Handing over our documents, the manager engaged us in conversation while the agents processed the registration formalities and personally walked us to the elevators, making for an especially personalized experience.

 

Guestrooms

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We were assigned a Vista room on the 16th floor per our booked room type and requests for a non-smoking high floor. This is one of several floors dedicated for members of the Starwood Preferred Guest programme and away from the traffic noise of the street below. Our room was conveniently located by the lift lobby, usually affected by a higher instance of people movement but posed no problems given the good noise insulation.

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Like most Bangkok hotels, our room was large with plenty of space for single/double occupancy. In the center was a large Super-king sized bed flanked on each side by shelving on which the light and automated blind controls were located. We found the bed to be extremely comfortable and of the desired firmness, but the pillows were too soft like most Starwood hotels we have stayed in. A daybed on the side served as an alternative for lounging and reading, being bathed in natural light from the floor-to-ceiling window.

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To enhance the feeling of space, the hotel’s designers created an open-plan bathroom where one could relax and view the television from the standalone bathtub or slide the doors shut for more privacy. The separate toilet and shower stall laid out side-by-side also maximized the internal space, with the latter offering a rainforest shower bath experience with good water pressure and temperature. We like how black marble was used to add to the chic design identity of the hotel and ample lighting meant that the space did not look dark.

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In-room entertainment was largely via the flatscreen television, which we felt could have been of a bigger size given the space in the room. Pay-per-view movies and cable television were available to guests, with the option of a VGA connectivity for personal devices. Connectivity was an area that we felt could be better as the room lacked USB ports and also bedside electrical outlets which are essentials for the modern business traveller. Internet was also chargeable, although the Wi-Fi was largely fast and stable.

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As with most Thai hotels, coffee-/tea-making facilities accompanied a very comprehensive minibar.

 

Dining

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With Bangkok’s reputation as a food paradise, dining offerings from hotels are often against stiff competition against local establishments and Le Meridien Bangkok is no exception. We felt this was a pity as the property offered an impressive array of food and beverage

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We found the selection at Latest Recipe, the hotel’s all-day dining venue, to be very good. Staple items and favorites were available each day, as well as specialty foods ranging from roasts and seafood to local curries and glass noodles rotated to ensure variety.

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Food quality was excellent on the whole, but we would like to single out the coffee for mention. Le Meridien has partnered Illy Caffe for quality coffee solutions and the results speak for themselves. The coffee we had during our stay there was easily the best we’ve tasted in a long time, with quality beans and careful preparation from the staff.

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The coffee culture here extends to the Latitude 13 bar by the hotel entrance, where guests are treated to a complimentary Illy coffee daily throughout their stay. For alcoholic indulgences, Bamboo Chic bar offers decent drinks and food items.

 

Facilities

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The Le Meridien Bangkok’s 4 Atelier meeting rooms accommodate small- to medium-sized groups, while its pillar-less Grand Atelier ballroom is a popular venue with the locals for wedding celebrations.

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Recreation facilities include a well-equipped fitness center and the outdoor Plunge swimming pool and sun deck. Together with the hotel’s spa, these were situated on the 6th floor ensuring it was high enough from the street below yet remaining easily accessible from the public spaces.

 

Off-property, guests enjoy complimentary access with their keycard to the Thailand Creative and Design Center as part of the brand’s signature Unlock Art programme.

 

Service / Staff

The staff at Le Meridien Bangkok were excellent in every way during our stay. A friendly greeting was always present wherever we went and no request was deemed too daunting. These were always performed with dedication and a smile, with a genuine sense of disappointment when it could not be fulfilled (often due to circumstances beyond the hotel’s control).

 

Verdict

We found the Le Meridien Bangkok an excellent hotel for business and leisure travellers. The chic design and hardware make for a comfortable stay, but the differentiating point from many other hotels we have stayed in is the strong service culture of the associates, true to the original intentions of being a “home away from home”.

 

Le Meridien Bangkok

40/5 Surawong Road,

Bangrak,

Bangkok 10500, Thailand

+66 2 232 8888

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