14, 16 Sukhumvit Soi 11
On our latest visit to Bangkok, for a change we booked ourselves in at a serviced apartment building in our usual haunt of Soi 11 on Sukhumvit Road. Kay was doubtful about being able to manage the stairs at our favourite home from home, Domino. Besides, we’d been impressed by our stay at Fraser Place in Kuala Lumpur and thought a serviced apartment rather than a hotel room might be a bit of a treat.
We booked a deluxe suite, smoking room, which was located in Tower II. (There are three towers; Towers I and II are on the east side of the street, Tower III on the west.) The size of accommodation was as we expected and plenty big enough for the two of us for a three-day stay. But the standard of furniture and furnishings was hit-and-miss, to say the least. We’d heard that Tower II had been renovated; the evidence from our room suggested they’d missed a bit.
The bedroom was pretty nice, with a comfortable bed – even if it was rather smaller than the king-size bed the website mentions – and plenty of cupboard and wardrobe space. A wall-mounted flat screen television was a nice touch.
The living room was OK. The telly was a fair bit bigger than the one in the bedroom. But the furniture was wood finished with black gloss, which looked rather heavy and made the room a bit depressing. There were not many power points available, so we were forced to unplug the standard lamp and table lamp to plug in our computers. Kay managed fine with her WiFi connection; Dave got an excellent signal but only patchy data transfer whenever Kay was online.
The kitchen, too, was OK at best. The fridge-freezer was large, but the fridge compartment didn’t work properly. At first we assumed it was because the power hadn’t been on; then we thought that maybe we hadn’t turned the temperature down enough. But by the second morning it was clear that it just wasn’t up to the task, and at that stage it wasn’t worth the hassle of getting housekeeping to fix it or bring a replacement. Even though it was unseasonably cold in Bangkok, our beers never made it below tepid.
We did at least manage to make ourselves tea in the mornings, once we’d figured out how to operate the water heater (the typical East Asian mini-urn with an electric pump to dispense the water). There was no hot water in the sink, but we managed to do the washing-up by heating water in a saucepan on the two-plate electric hob. Just as well we had that option; the tableware wasn’t as clean as it might have been.
The bathroom was awful. The toilet had a big crack which had been inexpertly mended and the bath was old and a bit grotty looking. Plus the shower was located inside the bath and had a three-panel screen rather than a curtain. The first panel of the screen, at the tap end, was fixed rather than sliding, which made it nigh on impossible to reach the taps to run a bath without clambering into the bath to do it.
Service was patchy. Checking in and out seemed to take a lot longer than they do at most places of a similar standard; and on our final departure the doorman virtually ignored us until Kay had to start struggling with the door with a bag in one hand and a walking-stick in the other. But towels and bottled water arrived promptly when we asked for them; the porters dealt with our luggage efficiently on arrival and departure; and we got a late check-out with no fuss.
We braved breakfast on the second day. It was pretty mediocre, offering a wide range of cuisines (Chinese, Indian, Thai, Western, halal) without really giving much choice in any of them. Bizarrely, one of the dishes available was shepherd’s pie.
Overall rating: 2 out of 5
The location is very convenient but we doubt if we would stay here again unless we could be sure of a better bathroom at the very least.