Our time in Bali was preciously short, and after five days that passed in the blink of an eye, we were off to Bangkok via a particularly turbulent four-hour flight on Thai Lion Air. The Uber ride from Don Muang Airport to the JW Marriott Bangkok took about 30 minutes, and was the first time I’d ever had an Uber driver with his own personal wifi hotspot – God bless you, Ksanapong!
We had a quick two-night stay here at the JW Marriott, which is located along Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok’s main thoroughfare. It’s a little far from the major tourist sites, but the area is known for being a nightlife and entertainment hotspot, with the lively Patpong night market just a few steps away.
The hotel’s lobby is aesthetically pleasing, but not as grandiose as some other JW Marriotts around the world. The other thing that jumped out to me upon stepping into the lobby was an all-too-familiar scent, which I recognized from my stay at the JW Marriott Hong Kong last year.
It turns out that JW Marriott properties do indeed have a signature scent to them – it's known as "Subtle Sophistication" (of course that's what it's called). You can actually purchase candles and diffusers on the Curated by JW website to make your home smell like a JW Marriott, if that's something you think you'd enjoy.
The check-in process was pleasant and efficient. As I sipped my welcome drink, I was informed that I’d been upgraded to a Premier Executive room, which was located on one of three newly renovated floors of the hotel. As a Marriott Gold Elite member, I also had access to the Club Lounge, as well as – much to my delight – two pieces of complimentary laundry per day. That was an excellent perk that I hadn’t encountered at any other Marriott property before.
We headed up to the 10th floor, where we had been assigned Room 1051. The renovations on floors 8 to 10 were brand new, with the final touches having just been completed in the past couple of months.
The first thing we noticed as we stepped into our room was just how small it was! There was barely enough room for a king-sized bed, while the table and couch were squeezed into a tight corner.
The fact that there was only one chair for the table, with the couch playing the role of the other chair, speaks volumes about the tightness of the room.
An equally tight corner of the room housed the minibar. While the size of the room didn’t pose any significant problems, it did mean that once we had unpacked our stuff we often had to maneuver carefully in order to avoid tripping over things.
On the plus side, the room featured some cool artwork and decor that complemented the modern finishes quite nicely.
The space constraints were only amplified in the bathroom, which was otherwise very stylish.
You could barely sit down on the toilet without your knees hitting the glass walls of the shower. I said previously that the small size of the bedroom didn't pose any real issues, but the bathroom certainly suffered from some major design flaws.
I appreciate that space is at a premium in a busy city like Bangkok, but in my opinion this room could’ve really done with using a shower/tub combo instead of a separate shower and bathtub.
The room had decent views of the surrounding skyline, as well as the hotel’s swimming pool. We didn’t spend much time at the hotel during our short stay, so unfortunately I never got around to checking out the rooftop pool.
We spent most of the limited time we did have at the hotel up in the 16th floor Club Lounge. To get there, you first have to walk through the 16th floor hallway, which looks incredibly dated. The hotel renovations can’t be completed soon enough, in my opinion.
There’s a Club Lounge reception desk, which isn’t something you find at every hotel. The receptionist will verify your access, and you can also bring your laundry here in order to make use of the free two-piece laundry services you enjoy as a Gold Elite member. Typically, laundry gets returned to your room the following day, though if you’re departing the hotel it’ll be given back to you in the evening.
I’d say the Club Lounge is the most outstanding part of the hotel. Its interiors are bright and snazzy, and most of the lounge is filled with a large seating area.
What I loved about the Club Lounge is that the designers clearly had a purpose in mind. The whole place kind of feels like the inside of a mansion, and there’s nothing that demonstrates this better than the buffet area, which is decorated like a fancy kitchen straight out of a home decor magazine.
In the back there’s a relaxation area with couches and a TV, which has an “old money clubhouse” kind of vibe. I really enjoyed spending some time back here while whipping up a few blog posts. Adjacent to it is the business centre, where PCs and printers are available to facilitate your productivity.
We had breakfast in the lounge on one of the mornings. As is the norm in Asia, the breakfast spread was extensive, but what I loved about this one in particular was the presentation of the items, which takes full advantage of the open kitchen design and the modern furniture motif of the lounge.
There’s also individual “stations” where the kitchen staff prepare eggs for you on demand.
Last but not least, the Club Lounge also features an outdoor rooftop patio, which is an excellent spot to enjoy your breakfast.
While my stay here at the JW Marriott Bangkok wasn't particularly memorable, the Club Lounge did leave a great impression on me. I would've loved to spend a little more time enjoying the ambience, but alas there was no time for breakfast on our second morning at the hotel, since we were off to Suvarnabhumi Airport in the wee hours of the morning for our flight to Ko Samui.
The JW Marriott Bangkok definitely gets some things right. The newly completed renovations are on-point in terms of aesthetics, reinforcing the quality of the hotel’s Club Lounge and making it one of the best hotel lounges I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. But the small size of the Premier Executive room as well as the dated appearance of the rest of the hotel left quite a lot to be desired.
Overall, I’d venture to say that once the hotel’s renovations are fully complete, this ought to be a very attractive place to stay, especially for a mid-tier Category 6 property within the Marriott Rewards program where a free night can be had for only 30,000 points.