Review: an exceptionally large suite at The Athenee Hotel, Bangkok (Marriott Bonvoy)
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This is our review of The Athenee Hotel, Bangkok.
A few months ago, I travelled to Thailand for a family holiday. Whilst transiting in Bangkok, The Athenee offered to put me up for a night so I could take a look at the hotel. Now that the Thai borders are very much open with no requirement for testing prior to travel, I thought it was the right time to publish it.
Whilst British Airways will not resume Bangkok flights until at least April 2023, there is a good alternative route available on Avios via Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways is also a good route if you are paying cash, with a return Business Class trip from the UK earning 560 British Airways Executive Club tier points due to the aircraft change in Doha.
When I was arranging the stay, I was pleased to discover that The Athenee is part of Marriott Bonvoy’s Luxury Collection. My expectations for Luxury Collection hotels are high – I’ve had some great stays recently and it is fast becoming my preferred brand. However, my visit to The Athenee far surpassed my expectations as you will see.
Huge thanks to Ross and the team at The Athenee for organising my visit and for accommodating my family too. The hotel website is here.
Where is The Athenee Hotel, Bangkok?
The Athenee is situated in the grounds of a former royal palace on Bangkok’s Wireless Road, an area known for embassies and high-end living. It’s very central with stations for both the MRT subway and the skytrain (BTS) close by and plenty of restaurants and shopping malls nearby. Lumphini Park is a short walk away, and is a lovely spot to wander round at sunset and people-watch.
The approach to the hotel from the road is leafy and slightly set back from a busy central Bangkok highway, so the impressive magnitude of the Athenee’s entrance is almost a surprise when you arrive. The lobby was huge and very open, with a curved double staircase rising above an open, airy gathering space filled with sofas and comfortable chairs.
There are several check-in desks, so multiple guests can be dealt with, which was very helpful. Despite the fact that we were looking rather dishevelled after a hellish day travelling from the southern islands in stormy weather, The Athenee’s staff were incredibly warm and welcoming. After checking us in, a porter took our bags and a concierge took us to our room. Which is where the real surprise took place .…
Unbeknownst to myself and my husband, we’d been upgraded to the Vimarn Siam suite. I’ve put room in inverted commas, because there were in fact eight rooms in this 190 sqm suite.
I know this isn’t very helpful to anyone planning to book a standard room, but we got what we got. My stay was only a few hours and, with a baby in tow, it wasn’t practical to do a full room tour.
The entrance hall of the suite opens onto a sitting room, featuring some beautiful artifacts and paintings on the walls. There’s a large TV and also a decent sized desk with a chic but supportive chair to work from, which makes a huge difference if you had to work from your hotel room for any length of time.
It was a lovely spot to relax and the staff had put out some delicious welcome treats, including a first for us all at HfP – a HfP branded macaron. Being the good employee I am, I felt it my duty to eat this and can confirm it was delicious.
To the right of the entrance hall is a large dining room, with a large table, big enough to comfortably sit 10. A small kitchen with a dedicated entrance from outside of the suite sits opposite the dining table with various facilities including a coffee machine, a hot water urn, huge fridge and microwave. Whilst useful, the kitchen was quite functional in appearance and perhaps more likely to be used by caterers or staff than by the guests themselves.
The sitting and dining rooms are flanked by two bedrooms – the master bedroom occupies the front of the suite, with a second bedroom at the opposite end.
The design of the suite is inspired by the summer palace of King Rama V, the late 19th Century ruler credited with the modernisation of Siam. There are colonial style influences in the white panelling, enhanced by beautiful Thai fabrics, dark woods and intricate carvings.
The centrepiece of the master bedroom is a beautiful four poster bed that pairs a dark wood bedframe with perfect white linen. Floor to ceiling windows take up two walls, but are softened by heavy curtains and carved wood panels, making the room cosy but retaining a feeling of space and airiness.
Facing the bed is a large TV and there is a small seating area behind the bed, with views out over the city. There’s also a writing desk, complete with antique rotary telephone (I didn’t try the phone so I’m not sure if it was functional or ornamental, but it looked great).
The bed itself was very comfortable large King, with super-soft Frette linens. I initially thought it would be difficult to charge my phone next to the bed as it sits in the middle of the room and therefore not near a socket. However, I soon found an outlet behind the headboard of the bed, hidden enough so as not to upset the aesthetics of the room but there none the less.
The staff had set up a lovely baby cot for our daughter which looked very comfy and they had kindly left a set of toiletries especially for babies, which I thought was a delightful touch.
The second bedroom was a twin, with two single beds, although they look more like small doubles to me. Although we didn’t sleep in the beds, they looked equally comfortable to the master bed.
I appreciated that whilst the suite flooring was dark polished wood, all the beds in the suite were on plush rugs, so when you got out of bed you had a nice soft surface to step out onto. Seemingly a small detail, but it’s this sort of thinking that elevates a lovely room into a luxurious stay.
Both bedrooms had an en-suite and a third washroom was situated opposite the dining room.
The twin bedroom en-suite had a nice deep bath, separate shower and his-and-her sinks, along with a full array of toiletries.
However, the master bathroom really stole the show. A roll-top bathtub took centre-stage, which had been filled and scattered with rose petals for our arrival. There were two separate sinks with their own toiletries and towels. One end of the bathroom had a separate dressing area section with cupboards and drawers, along with a vanity table and mirror and there were separate enclosed shower and toilet rooms.
The two sinks had plenty of space and each had its own array of THANN toiletries, a Thai aromatherapy-based skincare brand, which all smelt lovely. I loved the neat display box the toiletries were displayed in.
Like the bedlinen, the towels were incredibly soft and there was a plentiful supply of them. Here’s where I must make an apology to the hotel. On arrival at our room, after puzzling over the strong aroma of coffee that seemed to be following us about, I discovered that a bag of coffee we had bought as a gift had exploded over the entirety of my suitcase contents and required an emergency sort out (we were flying home the next day). We tidied up as much as we could and told housekeeping what had happened, but a few towels got used in the clear up process and I hope they weren’t ruined!
Dining at the Athenee
There are eight dining options at the hotel including: The House of Smooth Curry for Thai cuisine, a Cantonese restaurant (The Silk Road), a French haute cuisine restaurant called The Allium and a vibrant Japanese Kaiseki restaurant – Kintsugi Bangkok by Jeff Ramsey.
One of the impacts of Coffeegate was that instead of enjoying a leisurely evening drink in one of the hotel bars, I spent the evening rinsing coffee granules from my clothes, so unfortunately I didn’t get to enjoy the beautiful drinking and dining options at The Athenee in the way I had planned.
I had intended to have a drink at the Glaz Bar, situated in the vast lobby of the hotel as it looked rather glamourous and buzzy. I also thought The View casual dining restaurant that overlooked the pool looked lovely too.
We ended up ordering room service but in some ways this suited us best as after taking one look at our beautiful suite, we were reluctant to leave!
There was a good range of food on offer including burgers, Thai curries, salads and steak. My husband ordered the burger and I had a salmon dish.
Both were neatly presented and delicious. I particularly liked the tarragon sauce that accompanied the salmon. Note: the salmon portion looks tiny but the plate was very big so it was more than enough.
Breakfast at The Athenee
Breakfast was served buffet-style in the Rain Tree Café, a large restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel. There was an excellent array to choose from and it was pleasantly spread out so there were no bottlenecks or queues.
You could have everything from freshly cooked pancakes to noodles, curries, eggs and bacon and various fish options.
I liked the neat presentation of cereals and baked goods and it should be noted how very tidy and clean all the areas were, despite it being a busy morning.
I loved the fresh smoothie station, where your choice of fruit or vegetables was blended up into a smoothie on the spot.
The standard of food was high and everything seemed very fresh. It was clearly busy, but staff were very helpful, quickly seating us and providing children’s plates and cutlery for our daughter which is something that impressed me – it is still the only hotel I’ve stayed at so far that proactively did this.
Other hotel facilities
The Athenee has a fantastic outdoor pool on the fourth floor rooftop, with trees and vegetation surrounding it to give it a ‘tropical oasis’ feel. It was fairly busy with kids when I went to visit so I’ve had to use the hotel’s own photography, but the pictures are pretty true to life.
There’s a good gym with a decent number of treadmills, bikes and so on, and a nice view over the pool. There’s also a spa with seven treatment rooms and a focus on using local products.
The Athenee, Bangkok is a well-located and excellent option for a stay in Bangkok, particularly if you have Marriott Bonvoy status or are looking to earn Marriott Bonvoy points. We were lucky enough to experience one of the best rooms in the hotel, which made for a truly unforgettable stay, but regardless, I’d still recommend The Athenee. Excellent service, beautiful grounds and a breathtaking lobby make it a hotel well worth its five-star status
If you are looking to splurge on an exceptional room, the Vimarn Siam suite should fit the bill very nicely. A stay in the Vimarn Siam suite costs from £1,837 per night – clearly not cheap, but if you want to start or finish a honeymoon or other special trip in style then this is worth considering.
A redemption in a standard room is from 31,000 points per night or £120 which is good value, even for Bangkok, given the quality of the facilities.
The hotel website is here.
Thank you so much to all the staff at The Athenee for making me so welcome and for such an unforgettable stay – it’s easily the most impressive suite we’ve ever covered on HfP over the last decade.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (June 2023)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
Marriott Bonvoy American Express
20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points (worth 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (10,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)