Le Méridien Angkor

We visited Siem Reap, Cambodia at the end of September for the second anniversary of our first wedding, and we stayed at the Le Méridien Angkor for two nights.

There are many Khmer-style artworks scattered around the hotel
There are many Khmer-style artworks scattered around the hotel

To get to the hotel from the airport, we booked transportation with the hotel. The distance between the two is about 5.7mi/9.1km, and the cost was $15. We also selected this hotel because it’s the nearest to the ticket office for Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and the other Temples of Angkor. If you want to go to the center of Siem Reap, you can take a tuk tuk which will cost $3 and takes about 10 minutes.

Le Méridien Siem Reap check-in
Le Méridien Siem Reap check-in

When we arrived at the hotel, the building looked small, but Siem Reap doesn’t have many skyscrapers, so a massive structure would be a visual sore thumb. The hotel is actually quite large and spread out over three floors. The lobby has very high ceilings and colorful lime and magenta sofas.

Le Méridien Angkor lobby
Le Méridien Angkor lobby

While we were waiting to check-in, we were given cold towels and mango & mint juice.

Le Méridien Siem Reap welcome drinks
Le Méridien Siem Reap welcome drinks

SPG Platinum members are also given a free gift, either 500 SPG points or two local handmade scarves. I opted for the Cambodian scarves.

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Our Deluxe Family Room was located on 3F, and it was very spacious.

Le Méridien Siem Reap living room
Le Méridien Siem Reap living room
Le Méridien Siem Reap living room
Le Méridien Siem Reap welcome fruit, and a postcard from the manager

When you entered, there was a powder room on the right.

Le Méridien Siem Reap Family Suite powder room
Le Méridien Siem Reap powder room

The next section had the fridge, minibar, coffee, tea, etc next to a desk. The sitting area had a sofa, two armchairs, a tv, and DVD player.

Le Méridien Siem Reap living room - desk and tea/coffee making facilities
Le Méridien Siem Reap living room – desk and tea/coffee making facilities
Le Méridien Siem Reap living room
Le Méridien Siem Reap living room

The bedroom was furnished with a very comfortable bed, armchair, and tv.

Le Méridien Siem Reap bedroom
Le Méridien Siem Reap bedroom

A short hallway led to a walk-in closet and the bathroom with a separate shower and tub. Overall, the room was pleasing and very comfortable.

Le Méridien Siem Reap bathroom
Le Méridien Siem Reap bathroom

Since it was almost happy hour, we freshened up and headed to the ground floor to enjoy our SPG cocktails in Naga Bar. A variety of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks are available from 16:30 – 18:30. The lemongrass-tini was an interesting mix of local flavors and Sombai.

Naga Bar
Naga Bar
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Naga Bar happy hour cocktail menu
Evening cocktails at Naga Bar
Evening cocktails at Naga Bar

The food selection was okay, though not as tasty as the canapes at the Le Méridien Bangkok or as varied as the ones at Westin Grande Sukhuvmit, for example. They had calamari, mini-pizzas, olives, etc. It’s fine for a snack, but if you want something more substantial the full menu is available.

After a few drinks, we headed back to the room where we find the housekeeper busy decorating the room for us. I guess he didn’t expect us to come back so early! But the double hearts made with rose petals and the anniversary cake were a lovely and romantic touch.

Anniversary cake!
Anniversary cake
Our hearts are forever entwined, or something
Our hearts are forever entwined, or something

The next morning, we had breakfast in the Festive Season restaurant.

Corridoor to Festive Season
Corridor to Festive Season

The setup is nice and the food selection can please everyone. Fresh fruit, bread, yogurt, bacon, rice, cereal, noodles, juice, coffee, tea, etc.

The restaurant will also prepare a Grab & Go picnic lunch or lunch box if you plan on spending all day visiting Angkor Wat and the other temples. If only we’d known this before we spent all day sightseeing and wondering where to have lunch!

We almost missed our last evening of happy hour because we were so tired, but we rallied for the cause and enjoyed one last cocktail. However, we decided to skip the canapés since they were a bit meh on this evening. Instead, we had dinner at a French restaurant in Siem Reap called L’Annexe. The chef is actually from France, so the food is authentic and tasty. It was nice to be able to enjoy a lovely meal that didn’t break the bank.

Our last day in Siem Reap was short and a bit rainy, so we explored the hotel and had a body scrub at the spa. The outdoor pool was amazing. The size makes it easy to avoid people if you’re looking for a quiet place to relax.

Le Méridien Angkor grounds
Le Méridien Angkor grounds
Le Méridien Angkor grounds
Le Méridien Angkor swimming pool
Le Méridien Angkor pool
Le Méridien Angkor pool

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The gym and spa are in the building next to the pool.

Le Méridien Angkor gym
Le Méridien Angkor gym

The spa is a nice, tranquil setting. We really enjoyed our orange body scrub.

Le Méridien Angkor spa
Le Méridien Angkor spa
Le Méridien Angkor spa
Le Méridien Angkor spa

The only downside was the room wasn’t cleaned thoroughly before we arrived. I know this because when I went to wash off the salt, I was greeted by a pair of those tiny disposable underwear in the shower. The person before me didn’t feel the need to dispose of them in the trashcan located next to the shower and the staff didn’t clean and sanitize the shower after the last guest.

The spa “scandal” was the only downside of the entire weekend. So despite that, I’d definitely stay at the Le Méridien again. The staff are very friendly and helpful, and the laid back nature of the hotel are perfectly suited for Siem Reap.

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This is a SPG category two hotel, so it can be a great use of Starpoints: a free night costs just 3000-4000 points. Paid rates start at about 95 USD.

Le Méridien Bangkok Review

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To celebrate wedding anniversary 1.3, we stayed at Le Méridien Bangkok for one night. The hotel is about 31km/19mi from Suvarnabhumi Airport and 27km/16mi from Don Mueang Airport. If you want to take the metro, the nearest MRT station is Sam Yan. If you prefer the BTS, go to Sala Daeng station.

As we strolled through the doors, I immediately noticed the décor. It’s quite different from the Westin and the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, but it totally suits the vibe of this particular Le Méridien. It’s modern and very stylish.

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And then there’s the “dotted dog”. These dog sculptures are scattered throughout the hotel, and while it may seem strange, they fit in nicely with the atmosphere.

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At the check-in counter, we were given a cool towel and a shot glass of cold yoghurt. It was tasty, but I’m still searching for the hotel that gives you a shot of tequila on arrival. 😉 We were also given the choice between 500 Starpoints or a candle as a welcome gift.

SPG Platinum benefits
SPG Platinum benefits

As we head up to our room, I noticed more unique furnishings. This hallway reminded me of the Hall of Faces from Game of Thrones; it was very mysterious, but it flows with the rest of the hotel.

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A girl has SPG Points

We were upgraded to an Avantec Suite on 21F, and it was lovely. As you enter, there’s an entranceway with a bookshelf that acts as a room divider.

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Next to the shelf is an office desk with lots of outlets and a phone. Also, in this main room is a sofa, window seat, tv, and a large picture window with a view of a temple.

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The bedroom has three more large windows, so the natural light was fantastic. (There are blackout curtains as well.) There’s another tv, a chair, and a very comfortable king-sized bed.

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The bathroom was sizeable as well. The tub was quite roomy, and there are double sinks.

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The toilet has its own space. The shower was my favorite feature, though. Two separate shower heads and a bench for leg-shaving or whatever else you want to do in a shower that large.

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There were many nice artistic touches and small sculptures scattered around the room.

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The only downside of a room this large was the very small closet. We only stayed for one night, so it wasn’t a problem. If you don’t pack light, then most of your belongings will have to stay in the suitcase.

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Before we went to the bar to enjoy the free SPG Platinum happy hour cocktails, room service delivered a chocolate cake for our anniversary! This was a great and unexpected surprise. I just hope they don’t get suspicious when we start celebrating all three anniversaries at various SPG properties! We really were married three times, and we DO celebrate all three anniversaries!

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Downstairs on 4F we had drinks at Bamboo Chic Bar. And each one was amazing! You basically get anything on the menu plus a selection of appetizers during the “Creative Hour” from 17:30 to 19:30.

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While we were toasting, the hotel manager stopped by our table for a chat. Mr. Carl Volschenk was very friendly and he gave us a few restaurant recommendations since we’re fairly new to Bangkok.

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The next morning, we had breakfast in Latest Recipe, which is another SPG Platinum benefit. The restaurant has lots of natural light and although it was crowded, it wasn’t hectic. There’s a nice selection of fresh fruits, pastries, yogurt, breakfast meats, noodles, and ice cream. The buffet has a little of everything, but it’s not a massive spread. The waitstaff will bring coffee and tea to the table; juice is self-serve.

After breakfast, we explored the hotel. The facilities are all very nice. The pool is on 6F and it is a bit small, but it’s a good bit of privacy for Bangkok.

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This is a Category 4 SPG property, so free nights cost 10,000 Starpoints; we used Cash & Points which cost 5,000 points plus 75 USD. Paid rates start at about 4000 THB (115 USD) if you book in advance.

If you’re looking for something to see and do near the hotel, then the Patpong Night Market is a short three minute walk away.

 

Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Bangkok review

We stayed at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit in Bangkok for four nights. To clarify the name of the hotel, this isn’t a “Sheraton”, rather it’s a Luxury Collection hotel which is one of Starwood’s 11 brands. This hotel is literally across the street from the Westin Grande Sukhumvit. And it was just as fabulous!

We entered from 1F, where the skywalk directly leads to the BTS Asok station. This is also where you’d enter if you arrive by taxi. The lobby is located on this level.

Direct access to hotel from the BTS Skytrain
Direct access to hotel from the BTS Skytrain
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Looking down from the skywalk to the second entrance on the ground floor

The check-in was smooth, the associate welcomed us to the hotel and explained the SPG Platinum benefits. She apologized that a suite wasn’t available and said they would continue looking for a suite for us during our stay. Although we were not upgraded to a suite during the stay, we were amused to receive daily letters to let us know they were trying to book us into a suite. However, the standard rooms are of excellent quality. The associate also confirmed that we could checkout at 16:00.

Benefits for SPG Platinum guests
Benefits for SPG Platinum guests

Our bags were swiftly brought to our room on 23F. The room was larger than the room at the Westin. There was an entranceway, so you aren’t immediately confronted by the bed or the bathroom.

View into room from entranceway
View into room from entranceway

The bathroom was large with a separate shower and bathtub. The shower had enough space to shave your legs if you’re flexible. Otherwise, have a soak in the big tub. The toiletries were by Thann and included shower gel, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, bath salts, and bar soap, as well as a razor and toothbrush.

Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit bathroom
Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit bathroom
Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit bathroom
Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit bathroom
There is a separate walk-in closet
There is a separate walk-in closet

The towels were soft and fluffy, and three face towels were available. (Not all hotels have face towels, but all seem to have hand towels. Why is this important? Because you can’t wash your face with a hand towel. Yes, there is a difference. Yes, I have had many conversations explaining this difference.)

Moving on…

The bed was just as comfortable as the one at the Westin, but it wasn’t as big. However, there was a pillow menu in case you need a firmer or softer one.

Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit bed
Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit bed

We were given fruit each day, and the bottles of water were restocked while the room was being cleaned and in the evening for the turn down service.

The TV had a good selection of channels – BBC, CNN, HBO, Discovery, RT, etc.

There was also a desk and an armchair with a footrest.

As SPG Platinum members, we can enjoy free cocktails and snacks in three locations in the hotel: the Sala, the Living Room, and the Library.

The first evening we visited the Sala located next to the pool. The setting was very relaxing, and I wasn’t bitten by a single mosquito! There are many regular tables and loungers, and you’ll feel like you’re not in the city but in a more tropical setting with all of the plants and flowers surrounding the pool.

Happy Hour menu
Happy Hour menu
Enjoying a cocktail
Enjoying a cocktail
Poolside seats
Poolside seats
There's a swimming pool hidden in there somewhere
There’s a swimming pool hidden in there somewhere

In all three locations, the complimentary beverages are available from 18:00 – 20:00. If you order anything outside of those hours, you can get a 30% discount.

Another place to enjoy SPG perks is the Library. There are sofas as well as tables. This is a good place to sit if you need to do some work and you don’t want to be cooped up in your room.

The Library
The Library
The Library
The Library

Coffee and tea are available upon request, and peanuts, shredded coconut, rice crackers, and another savory snack that I could never identify are available. At 18:00, canapés are served and happy hour begins. Since I was still sipping on my coffee, the waitress suggested an espresso martini to help with the transition from work to play. Brilliant idea!

Happy hour canapes
Happy hour canapes

And she showed me how they create their cold brew coffee fusion concoction. It looked like a fancy chemistry set, but if it makes good coffee, then I’m in favor of it!

Cold brew coffee chemistry set
Cold brew coffee chemistry set

Next to the Library is the Living Room with large comfy sofas and tables to make it feel like home and huge windows so you can see the BTS and city speed by. This is a nice spot to unwind if you don’t want to sit by the pool.

The Living Room
The Living Room
Evening cocktails in the Living Room
From the Living Room, you can see the skywalk connecting to the BTS
From the Living Room, you can see the skywalk connecting to the BTS

The jazz band takes the stage at 21:00. If you stay to hear the music, please note that after 21:00, there is a dress code: “no shorts, no sports wear, as well as no singlet’s and closed shoes for men”. On Friday evening, we stayed for the jazz, and just before 21:00, the waitress reminded the Mister that he would need to change clothes if he wished to stay for the music.

By night, the Living Room transforms into a jazz venue
By night, the Living Room transforms into a jazz venue

As an SPG Platinum guest, there are three places you can have breakfast: the Italian restaurant at Rossini’s, the main buffet at Orchid Cafe, and the pool restaurant Sala.

Entrance to Rossini's
Entrance to Rossini’s

The first morning during our stay, we had breakfast at Rossini’s. On offer is a partial buffet and any many made-to-order dish like sausages, eggs, steak, etc. The buffet has a variety of bread, jams, fruit, cheese, and Asian options like noodles and dumplings. The food was really tasty and the atmosphere is pleasant. If you’re looking for a quieter way to start your morning, then this is a good place.

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Made-to-order choices at Rossini’s
Rossini's
Rossini’s seating. The restaurant was a lot quieter than Orchid Cafe.
Made to order eggs at Rossini's
Made to order eggs at Rossini’s
Fresh fruit at Rossini's
Fresh fruit at Rossini’s

The buffet in Orchid Café was vast, so even the pickiest of eaters will find something here. Breakfast staples like bacon, eggs, and sausages are available along with baked beans, noodles, naan, fresh fruit, pancakes, sushi, pastries, cereal, cold cuts, cheese….most corners of the globe were represented. Everything tasted good, the only complaint was the sad French toast; it was a bit hard. But that’s hardly a complaint with the other options available.

Breakfast at the Orchid Cafe
Breakfast at the Orchid Cafe
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Buffet spread at Orchid cafe
Fresh fruits
Fresh fruits
Breakfast pastries
Breakfast pastries
Breakfast
Breakfast

Breakfast is also served in Sala from 7:00 – 11:00. We didn’t have breakfast here during our stay, but I scoped it out and it’s similar to the buffet in Orchid Cafe, just a lot smaller.

The décor of the hotel is more opulent than the Westin with sweeping staircases and large furniture, but it doesn’t feel stuffy or uninviting. One afternoon we returned to the room while it was being serviced, so I explored the hotel. The second floor had most of the meeting rooms, but since an event was happening, I couldn’t see much of the area. BarSu and Dine in the Dark (DID) are located on the ground floor, as well as a street level entrance/exit.

Dine in the Dark is a “sensory” restaurant where diners feast on their meals in complete and total darkness. No watches, no phones, or anything that can emit light. All of the servers are visually impaired, and for each guest, the hotel makes a donation to the Foundation for the Blind in Thailand.

Dine in the Dark
Dine in the Dark

The spa, fitness center, and swimming pool are located on level three.

Stairway to heaven?
Good location for a musical number
Artwork
Artwork
Corridoor
Corridor

And one more perk for SPG Platinum members – complimentary washing/pressing service. You’re allowed two articles of clothing per guest per day, so four items daily if there are two people sharing.

Paid rates at the hotel vary, with prepaid rates typically starting around 4,724 THB/night (US$136/night), increasing to 5,500 THB or more at busy periods. As a Category 5 SPG property, a free night can be booked for 12,000 Starpoints, or you can use Cash & Points for 6,000 points plus US$110 , though there’s normally only Cash & Points availability for weekend stays.

Verdict: we had a fabulous time. The staff were super-friendly, especially the ladies in the Library and the Living Room. If you’re looking for a great location in the heart of Bangkok, then I recommend the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit.

Staff in the Living Room
Staff in the Living Room
They also take great selfies
They also take great selfies
Welcome
Since it was my husband’s birthday, they gave him a complimentary birthday cake!

The Westin Grande Sukhumvit Bangkok review

Starwood have 10 hotels in Bangkok, from eight different SPG brands. I recently stayed in a number of hotels, starting with the centrally located Westin Grande Sukhumvit.

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We arrived at the Westin around 22:30 on a Monday. The doorman escorted us to the lobby on 7F, so we could check-in.

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Lobby on 7F

But we were whisked to 24F where SPG Platinum members check-in. We were given a hot towel and the world’s sweetest glass of orange juice. The associate explained all of the perks and benefits for Platinum members, as well as the Executive Lounge availability.

Our room was on 23F. It was quite spacious with a king size bed, chaise lounge, a desk, flat screen TV with a good selection of channels, and a DVD player.

Door to the room
Door to the room
Room interior for a standard room on the Executive floor.
Room interior for a standard room on the Executive floor.

The bathroom has a separate tub and shower.

And a big mirror
And a big mirror

The shower has a rainfall shower head as well as a handheld shower head. And if you want to shave your legs, you’ll have to use the tub.

Shower
Shower

Complimentary water was located throughout the room as well as a plate of fruit, including the best fruit in the world, mango.

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Blackout curtains and a Heavenly bed….Zzzzzzzz.

I loved this bed. If you want to purchase your own Heavenly bed, go here.

Heavenly beds in Thailand are manufactured by Slumberland, and they are very comfortable!
Heavenly beds in Thailand are manufactured by Slumberland, and they are very comfortable!

Complimentary room items included a coffee machine, kettle, tea, water, and fruit as well as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, bath crystals, toothbrush, razor, nail file, thread, bathrobe, and very comfortable slippers.

As SPG Platinum members we could have breakfast in the lounge or in the all-day dining restaurant, Seasonal Tastes.

Seasonal Tastes set up for breakfast
Seasonal Tastes set up for breakfast

Seasonal Tastes offers a wide variety of Asian and Western breakfast options like pancakes, sushi, made-to-order eggs, noodles, pastries, dim sum, bacon, and ice cream. Yes, ice cream. The ice cream artisans are next to the ladies who make the wheat germ and apple juice concoction. So, have both in order to experience a more balanced diet.

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Coffee and tea are available as well as multiple fresh juice and smoothie blends. During our eight day stay, Seasonal Tastes ranged from quiet to really busy. The weekend was, of course, busier than the weekdays. (The Executive lounge breakfast selection is much smaller, so if you’re looking for a quiet place to enjoy your morning cup, then go here.)

Here are a selection of photos from breakfast:

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You're encouraged to sleep late on Saturday!
You’re encouraged to sleep late on Saturday!

Throughout the day, sweet and savory snacks and nonalcoholic beverages are available in the Executive Lounge. At 17:30 each day, a more extensive selection of food is brought out. The food was different each day we visited the lounge. However, we didn’t go to the lounge every evening during our stay. Typical options include cheese, fruit, soup, canapés, and dessert, and there is always at least one vegetarian canapé. Wine and basic spirits are also available until 19:30.

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The staff in the Executive Lounge are predominantly female, extremely helpful, and they remember your name and room number. And that’s not an easy task since the husband kept forgetting our room number and tried to enter the wrong room many times.

How were they helpful? Next to the bed is a device that operates all of the lights and the air conditioning; it’s also a clock. Our device was only partially illuminated, so it was difficult to tell the time and figure out the temperature. I mentioned this to the staff at the lounge, and the issue was addressed right away. Despite the smallness of this problem, they left us a personalized note and a few chocolates for the inconvenience.

Another perk we utilized was the free pressing service. Any three items can be pressed free of charge during the stay. The items can be returned the same day or the next morning. If you have more items to launder, then for an additional charge, laundry and pressing services are available, and the room had an iron and ironing board.

The Westin is about 25km from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Depending on the time of day and traffic conditions, the time it takes to reach the hotel will vary. If you prefer to take public transportation, then you can take the Airport Express, and then the Skytrain to Asok station, or the MRT to Sukhumvit station, both of which are only steps away from the hotel.

You can see the Skytrain from the hotel. Asok station is steps away.
You can see the Skytrain from the hotel. Asok station is very close.

The hotel provides a shuttle service but since it costs 2200THB from the airport or 4000 THB return, a taxi would be a significantly cheaper option.

To access guest floors and the Executive Lounge, you will need a keycard. Altitude, the private event space on 25F, the gym, pool, and spa do not require card access.

Amenities: The pool, gym, spa, hair & nail salon, and the business center are located on 8F. The pool was large enough to swim laps, and there were plenty of sunloungers and towels. There’s also a poolside bar.

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The pool is large enough to swim laps.
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Poolside bar and loungers

WiFi was fast and complimentary for Platinum members, and you can connect up to 5 devices in your room.

Elevators: There are two sets of elevators. From the ground floor, you can only go to 7F. To reach guest floors, the pool, gym, etc use the elevators opposite the check-in area.

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Hotel layout

As well as Seasonal Tastes, other food and drink options in the hotel include the Japanese restaurant Kisso, lobby bar Zest, pool bar, and Altitude which is mainly used for private events.

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Overall, we were very pleased with our stay. From the music in the halls and elevator to the friendly staff, everything was superb. (Good elevator music is important.) I now want my own Heavenly bed and I wish I had a pair of those slippers. They actually fit my size 11 feet!

Paid rates at the hotel vary, but by booking ahead you can find rates as low as 3500 THB/night (US$100/night) which for a hotel of this calibre is a steal. Booking last-minute, rates are in the 4500-5000 baht range (US$127-142). As a Category 4 SPG property, a free night can be booked for 10,000 Starpoints, or you can use Cash & Points for 5,000 points plus 75 USD.

After checking out of the Westin, we headed across the street to the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, part of the Luxury Collection. Could the Sheraton outdo the Westin?