This is the first All Seasons by Accor hotels that I'm staying in and reviewing. I must say it has surpassed any expectation I've of it! Coming out of Westin Sukhumvit (a 5* hotel, you know, it's Westin! Review coming soon...) and checking into a "budget" (presumably 3*) hotel can be a daunting experience. But, it is NOT and that's the best news of the day!
I've no idea what All Seasons hotels are like, except that it's one of Accor's many brands. It's actually in the same category with Ibis (on Accor's website) and I had stayed in Ibis when in Europe. They are clean and affordable so I've a little idea of how All Seasons might be like (esp. since i've also been in many budget business hotels in China; mostly chains by local entrepreneurs who have listed these companies on Nasdaq!). I saw the many All Seasons in Bangkok and decided to try one of its newest (if I remember correctly, there are no All Seasons in US yet, most are found in Europe and Australia). From the pictures online, it looks great and knowing the quality of furniture in Thailand, I know it's not going to be bad. The only concern is location (as you well know, if you had been to Bkk, the traffic here can be horrendous!). I spotted on the website All Seasons Victory Monument and the site said it's only 2 mins walk from a BTS train (station is not Victory Monument but one stop north of it). I know this would be it! After checking out the price (with tax included, it's only THB 1200 a night!). That's just very tempting offer, isn't it? A mere US$40 (everything inclusive, SC+taxes which amounted to 17% & a buffet breakfast)!
These days, 5* hotels are overcharging its customers. Hotels like All Seasons will capture quite a bit of business from the gap between prices and services. So, before we get on to what's wrong with 5* hotels, let's dwell on what is right with All Seasons.
Location It's not on Sukhumvit or Silom or Sathorn. Where it is is north of Siam, about 4 stations away and tucked in a quiet neighborhood. I like it because there aren't so many vendors and people loitering around it like those hotels on Sukhumvit. Traffic is less and you don't see prostitutes around either although I can't vouched for other guests who might bring them back. On the neighborhood though, it's quiet and clean. There's a 7-11 store around where one can get SIM cards to call home or friends in the city.
[Phone cards are usually 99b with stored value of 33b. You may want to get a top up amount of 60b which would allows you to use the SIM card for a period of 1 month.]
Services I don't know about other All Seasons, this one in Bangkok is on par where services are concerned with those in Westin. Granted, their exposure and training may not be all encompassing but their attitudes are what I'm concerned with. The Thai has great attitude when it comes to the hospitality industry. This makes it such an advantage to the industry as a whole. On my first night here, I was made to feel welcome and at home.
Check-In I check-in in this particular hotel twice. The first time was perfect, albeit a little slow. The next night, I decided to switch hotel (just for the sake of checking out another on in Sathorn area, embassy strip, which was a little older but from the website, things look perfect. I found out otherwise after a night there). I came back on my 4th night in Bangkok (my first was at Westin).
During my 2nd time checking into this hotel, the new staff is not good in English. I found out in my first night that on the odd number rows of rooms, it's facing a construction site. I didn't want that even though it didn't disrupt my sleep (it's probably because it was a weekend night and they don't work on Sunday!). I specifically told her to give me a room not facing the construction site. I'm now assuming she didn't understand the word "construction" or she didn't know which room faces what! Anyway, it's just a minor problem and after getting to the room I had managed to get it changed quite quickly (assuming the bellboy tells her what the problem was after I pointed out to him the construction site!).
Another strange thing about check-in process in this hotel is this. I reserved under two reservation for my 4th and 5th night. Same hotel but 2 different online bookings as there is a special on the Monday night. During check-in, I told the staff that I'd be staying in the hotel for 2 nights in the same room. Normally, in other hotels, you can either pay everything upfront or pay everything later. In this case though, they made me pay every morning instead. They don't even want to take authorization. Everything is settled daily. Not the usual practices in most foreign hotels.
Lobby Lobby is nice spacious and bright with a wine bar around it where you can order something to chill off. It's a nice color theme and I do love the look of it. Drinks are reasonably priced and delicious!
I didn't see any group tours around the few days I was there and I hope it stays that way too. Most are independent travelers from Europe and Hong Kong. Didn't see any Americans either. Understandable since they are usually found in Starwood hotels or Marriott and Holiday Inn chains of hotels. This one belongs to Accor so the Europeans are most familiar with it.
Rooms Bed is king sized and very comfortable. I love the fact that it makes full use of spaces and the floor is not carpeted which translates to better upkeeping. Bathroom is much bigger than most budget hotels and nicely decorated. No toothbrush provided unless you ask housekeeping for it.
No CNN but Fox News is available.
Rooms are equipped with mini-bars and safety deposit boxes. Mini bar items are reasonably priced and laundry facilities are available.
Facilities This hotel has some of the best facilities with swimming pools and exercise rooms. I was surprised but I suspected it'll upgrade itself to a 4* hotel when it has a stable occupancy rate.
Restaurant I was impressed with the food quality of this particular hotel. The Thai food is even better than some of those in-town restaurants like Cabbages & Condoms. I love it so much so I had spent almost all my meals here! In addition, the prices are reasonable and if on extended stay, I'd have consider making this my home! Love the curries (130-140 thai baht) and fresh Mango, Lychee and Strawberry juices (90 baht) here! Tom Yum Goong is excellent too. Stay clear of the noodles though.
Just one tiny tip, if there are many people and they have not been served and you're very hungry, try eating somewhere else. Service is a little slow at night (I suspect there's only one chef in the night!).
Prices Value for money. Couldn't ask for better! If one intends to eat in a lot and stay here for an extended period of time, Accor does provide further discounts with its Accor Advantage Plus Program.