[Accommodation Review] Swissotel The Stamford (Crest King Suite), Singapore (5 – 7 Aug 22)

Location

Swissotel the Stamford is located in the heart of Singapore, within minutes walk to Marina Square and Civil Districts. The hotel sits on top of the Raffles City Shopping Mall, giving guests the convenience of dining and shopping options. Swissotel the Stamford is very well connected to other parts of Singapore via the MRT subway system, which is located under the Raffles City Shopping Centre. The MRT station is one of the interchanges in the Singapore MRT system, allowing guests to get to anywhere in Singapore via the MRT system. There are also a few bus stops nearby the hotel, giving its guests the additional option of exploring Singapore by bus. There are several attractions within walking distance from Swissotel the Stamford. The Merlion Park is within 10 mins walk from the hotel, and the famed Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay are reachable within 20 mins. The Civil District, the historic centre of Singapore, is also within minutes walk from the hotel.

Facade of Swissôtel The Stamford

The Crest King Suite

Swissotel the Stamford recently opened to guests after being designated as a COVID-19 quarantine facility for inbound visitors. We checked into the Crest King Suite at Swissotel the Stamford. The spacious Crest King Suite is the second highest tiered suite (just one tier below the Presidential Suite), having a total floor area of 87 m². The Crest King Suite uses a wooden and earthy tone in its décor, which brings a sense of calmness and a cosy feel. The furniture in the suite is placed near the walls, maximising the usable space for its guests. Our suite sits on one of the hotel’s top floors, giving us sweeping views of downtown Singapore. The Crest King Suite generally has three rooms – The Living Room, Bedroom and Bathroom.

The main entrance to the Crest King Suite at Swissôtel The Stamford

Powder Room

I like the inclusion of a Powder Room next to the main entrance to the suite. The elongated Powder Room is stylishly fitted with a toilet and a standalone sink. Decked in light brown marble tiles and dark brown fittings, the theme in the Powder Room is consistent with the theme in the Crest King Suite. The reduction of waste that Swissotel the Stamford embraces is also evident in the Powder Room, the usual small bar of soap (usually discarded before the full bar is used) is replaced with liquid hand soap. I find adding body lotion in the Powder Room a tad out of place. I like the fitting of a ledge in the Powder Room that runs the entire length of this space that not only provides space to the hotel to place amenities but also gives guests a place to place small items while using the Powder Room.

Living Room

There is a small corridor fitted with a full-length mirror by the entryway, next to the main entrance to the Crest King Suite. The end of the corridor opens up to the Living Room of the Crest King Suite, occupying about half of the real estate of the suite. The earthy coloured coupled with the predominantly wooden theme, from the flooring to the furniture, in the Living Room makes this space feels very relaxed and cosy. The minibar in the suite is conveniently located near the suite’s entrance, where a fully stocked mini fridge, Nespresso machine, TWG tea bags and a generous supply of bottled water are found. The cups and glasses are neatly stored in the side cabinet at the minibar.

The Living Room of the Crest King Suite from the entryway

Further into the Living Room of the Crest King Suite, next to the minibar, is big shelving that seems to hang from the ceiling. I quite like the design of this shelving, which looks elegant and refined thanks to the gold trimmings used in the metallic parts of the shelf. This shelving, mounted to the suite’s wall, gave us tons of space to place our small items and the snacks we brought for this staycation. I like how the shelving is being served not just as storage space but also as an ornament to spruce up the otherwise bare-looking Living Room. The shelving is sparsely decked with china and books that serve decorative purposes (due to the unreachable height). Yet, some reading materials are placed on the bottom shelf where guests can read to understand more about Singapore.

Shelving in the Crest King Suite at Swissôtel The Stamford

Sitting in the middle of the shelf is a huge 65″ LED smart TV. I thought the size of the TV was perfect for the Living Room. Sitting on the couch watching the numerous local and international channels on the TV is a great time to laze around. The channels on the TV caters to guests of all ages, from cartoon channels for junior guests to sports channel for adult guests. I found the entertainment options on the TV at Swissotel the Stamford is one of the most extensive in the hotels in Singapore.

The large LED TV in the Living Room where we go most of our entertainment from

A work desk is sitting at the end of the Living Room, next to the Balcony and perfectly placed under the shelving. The dark brown desk, matching the colour theme of the shelving, is a perfect place for me to finish up my assignment. I like looking out into the Singapore skyline from the work desk when I need a break from working on my assignment. Despite being modest in size, the work desk provides sufficient space for me to work on my laptop.

Work desk in the Living Room of the Crest King Suite

The couch sits directly across from the TV in the Living Room, placed at an angle that is perfect for watching TV on. The grey fabric couch can sit four to five guests comfortably. A side table beside the couch, where the hotel placed a lamp, adds elegance to the Living Room. This side table also allows us to place small items. Regarding sitting space, the Crest King Suite at Swissotel the Stamford also comes with an ottoman-like couch capable of sitting two. The use of the ottoman-styled chair further enhances the spaciousness of the Living Room. A small wooden coffee table, sufficient for us to dine on and place our snacks, is placed directly in front of the couch. I like how Swissotel the Stamford uses dead spaces in the wall with another shelving next to the couch, where more literature is placed for guests to read.

The couch in the Living Room

The three-seater couch can comfortably sit three to four adults
The Living Room at the Crest King Suite at night
View of the Living Room from the Balcony

Bedroom

The Bedroom in the Crest King Suite has a coherent theme in the Living Room. The first thing we came across entering the Bedroom was the closet area. I find the closet too small for the size of the Crest King Suite. There is only one wardrobe in the Bedroom with a single sliding panel that partially covers the wardrobe. A chest of three tiered drawers is placed inside the closet, out of which we can only use two of the three tiers, as one of the drawers is used to stow the in-room safe. For a two-night staycation, I’d say the wardrobe space is sufficient. However, I would not be too optimistic for guests who stay here for one week or more. There is another closet-looking open shelving opposite the closet. However, this shelving is only useful for the hotel to place an ironing board and hairdryer. It is of no use to guests. Thankfully, there was a luggage rack in the closet where we could place our baggage.

Wardrobe area in the Bedroom of the Crest King Suite

Past the closet area is the sleeping area of the Bedroom, which uses a predominantly beige and dark brown colour theme. Similar to the Living Room, the Bedroom feels very spacious thanks to the placement of the furnishing and the absence of non-essential furniture that only serves decorative purposes. Swissotel the Stamford has a very comfortable King bed, providing excellent sleep quality. The hotel does have a very limited pillow menu. However, this menu is only available upon request and not placed anywhere in the suite. The two bedside tables on either side of the bed provided additional space to charge our mobile devices. The side table nearer to the Bathroom is bigger and comes with a drawer. However, the downside is there are no power outlets on this side table. Fortunately, the two USB charging outlets on the alarm clock provided a way around the power outlet issue. A settee in front of the bed provided space for us to sit on while watching TV, and we also used this settee to place our stuff.

Bedroom in the Crest King Suite at Swissotel The Stamford

Opposite the bed, built into the wall space, is another shelving, similar to that in the Living Room. This shelving serves for ornamental purposes but also comes with drawers, which are large enough to put away our bags and other smaller items. I like the purple armchair beside the balcony entrance and the floor lamp, which is a great place to read a book. The 65″ LED smart TV in the Bedroom has the same entertainment options as that in the Living Room. Due to the distance from the bed to the TV, I thought the size of the TV was just nice for us to laze on the bed watching TV.

The Bedroom in the Crest King Suite feels very spacious

The armchair by the Balcony is a great spot for reading

Bathroom

The Bathroom in the Crest King Suite of Swissotel the Stamford is beautifully designed, portraying a sense of luxury and elegance. The placement of the fittings in the Bathroom makes it feel spacious. The entrance to the Bathroom reveals part of the dual sinks that sit atop a marble countertop. Both sinks are separated by a bathroom amenities box where the hotel placed toilet amenities such as toothbrushes, vanity kits, etc., conveniently within reach while we were using the sink area. The hotel also fitted a drawer beneath the amenities box, giving us more space to put away our toiletries. Despite looking cramped, I find the space on the sink countertop sufficient to place our toiletries.

The spacious Bathroom in the Crest King Suite
The elegantly designed sink area in the Bathroom

A standalone bathtub sits to the left of the entrance to the Bathroom, strategically in front of a large glass panel, allowing us to view the Singapore skyline or watch the TV in the Bedroom while soaking in it. There is a blind on the Bathroom side of the glass panel to provide guests with privacy. The bathtub is large and deep, providing a great relaxation that removes our fatigue. I like the inclusion of a towel rack where we can place our clothing or leave the towel to dry.

The deep standalone bathtub in the Crest King Suite

The walk-in shower is quite sizeable, located to the right of the sink area, and is fitted with a rain shower and a regular shower head. I like the generous storage in the walk-in shower that gave us the space to place our toothbrushes and facial wash. The toilet in the Bathroom, next to the walk-in shower opposite the sinks, employs an open concept that does not come with another door. The absence of a door makes the already toilet feels even larger. Unlike the toilet in the Powder Room, the toilet in the Bathroom comes with a bidet function.

Swissotel The Stamford provides its guests with Purövel bath amenities that feel refreshing.

Balconies

There are two balconies in the Crest King Suite at Swissotel the Stamford. One of the balconies is located in the Living Room and the other in the Bedroom. Both balconies are sizeable and allow us to take in the beautiful skyline of the Marina Bay area and CBD of Singapore. In addition, because our suite is located on one of the highest floors in the hotel, we can see as far as Indonesia and Malaysia from the balconies of our suite.

View from the Balcony in the evening
View of Singapore Skyline at night

Service

Swissotel The Stamford did a simple decoration to surprise my nephew for his birthday staycation.

There are more misses than hits in the service we received during our stay with Swissotel the Stamford. Service, in general, felt cookie-cutter and not impressionable. The staff came across as soulless and were there just to do their minimal. Service at the hotel felt robotic and patronising. Our first contact with the hotel’s service level came when we checked in. Staff were seen loitering around the hotel’s lobby just to pass the time and avoided eye contact with us. None of the staff approached us to check if we needed help. We approached one of the staff on the ground floor for check-in and were made to wait 10 minutes for the staff to furiously punch in our details before being led to the lift for lounge check-in. The staff should have directed us to the lounge for check-in when I showed her our booking printing instead of spending time punching into her system. The check-in process at the lounge was inefficient. Two staff assisted our checked in, and it took around 15 mins to get our keycards ready. Despite being notified by the hotel, our suites will be ready by 11 am. Having said that, the lounge staff were more personable than those on the ground floor. The moment we were led to the lounge for check-in, we were welcomed with warmth and made to feel comfortable. While waiting for the check-in, another staff at the lounge served us drinks to make the wait feel bearable.

Service at the lounge was generally better, where we were always greeted and helped out by staff who were ready to render assistance. The staff at the lounge were welcoming whenever we stepped into the lounge, be it for an evening cocktail or just for a drink. We realised the lounge staff helped us resolve issues better than those on the ground floor.

Service at The Clove, where we had our breakfast was a mix. On the one hand, the staff clearing the tables were warm and welcoming. They were observed to tirelessly clear plates with a smile from the table despite a busy breakfast run. They were observant and were ready to render any form of assistance. But, on the other hand, the staff at the egg stations always pulled a long face on both days when we had our breakfast.

As this staycation was to celebrate my nephew’s birthday, I requested a simple decoration for my sister’s suite and a birthday cake for my nephew before arriving at the hotel. The hotel did some simple birthday decorations to give them credit, which surprised my nephew. However, the birthday cake took a while to be delivered to our suite. It would be great if the hotel staff could notify us of the time that the cake would arrive so we can spend our time enjoying the facilities in the hotel.

We were told, during check-in, that we would get late check-out at 5 pm, a benefit that was accorded to my friend’s Diamond membership with Accor. However, on the day of check-out, we received a call informing us that our check-out timing will be at noon and that any late check-out would be chargeable. After speaking to the front office manager, we were told the late check-out was not registered in the system. This goes to show there are systemic issues with the hotel.

Hotel Facilities

Swimming Pool

Swissotel the Stamford shares a swimming pool with her sister hotel next door, Fairmont Singapore. The two circular swimming pools consist of a wading pool for children and a deeper pool catering to guests who can get a decent swim. Lanes are marked out in the centre of the adult pool for guests who want to get some decent swimming without other holiday-makers playing in the pool getting in their way. Sundeck chairs are mainly arranged around the wading pool, which receives good sun from noon till around 4 pm. There are several more sundeck chairs around the main pool, but they are limited in number. On a first come, first served basis, three cabanas are scattered around the pool, ideal for families. Due to the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions by the Singapore government, the hotels saw an increase in the number of guests. As a result, we had difficulty finding empty sundeck chairs to enjoy the pool.

The swimming pools viewed from the Balcony of our Suite

Gyms

There are two gyms at Swissotel the Stamford. The main and larger gym is located within the premises of Fairmont Singapore. This very well-equipped gym has machines and stations catering for full-body workouts. The mezzanine floor is decked with strength conditioning machines ranging from machines such as those that can be found in a commercial gym to free weights, allowing guests to get a great workout. In addition, the lower floor is furnished with cardio workout machines ranging from stationary bikes to treadmills and elliptical machines, enabling guests to accomplish a great cardio workout.

The smaller gym is located on level 65 of Swissotel the Stamford, next to the Level 65 Lounge. This smaller gym is minimally equipped with just three cardio machines and a fitness rig. I thought the smaller gym felt more exclusive as we did not see anyone using it during our stay. This small gym is perfect if one wants a space to work on the treadmill.

Level 65 Lounge

The Lounge at Swissotel the Stamford is situated on the 65th floor of the hotel, occupying almost the entire floor (less one small corner for the gym). The lounge has plentiful sitting, both couches and dining tables, to cater to guests, especially during cocktail hours. The lighting in the lounge is excellent due to the open design and the numerous floor-to-ceiling glass panels that wrap around the lounge. Guests can enjoy a 360° view of Singapore from any of the balconies at the lounge. An enclosed area at the far end of the lounge is reserved for suite guests. The crowd at this area is very thin, despite not entry to this area is not enforced by the staff at the lounge.

The section in the lounge that is reserved for suite guests

Guests with lounge access can enjoy breakfast and evening cocktails at the lounge. The selection during breakfast is much smaller and limited compared to The Clove. The lounge serves evening cocktails between 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm. Food selection during evening cocktail consists of mainly finger food, with daily minor menu changes.

Breakfast at The Clove

Guests with breakfast packages can head to The Clove restaurant on level 2 of the hotel for their meal. The variety of serving for breakfast is large, ranging from western options to local options, catering to a wide variety of guests from different regions. The food served at The Clove is tasty, and there are minor adjustments to the menu daily. The diligent staff at The Clove constantly tops up food. Self-served coffee (from the espresso/latte machine) and tea are available on top of fruit juices.

Breakfast is served at The Clove on level 2 of the hotel

Overall

We had a comfortable stay in the Crest King Suite at Swissotel the Stamford. The hotel’s location is excellent, and the suite is very well-appointed. The sleep quality on the king bed is great, but the limited pillow menu is a let-off. The greatest selling point of the hotel is the view (provided one gets the Marina view) from the hotel’s top floors. Unfortunately, the service at Swissotel the Stamford is far from desirable. Staff came across as robotic, and service seemed to be patronising. We were being “chased” out of the room at noon during check-out, despite being told at check-in that we would be given late check-out (and we had to ask for this benefit) at 5 pm. Despite being an Accor branded hotel, staff at Swissotel the Stamford do not give due recognition to the loyal programme. The only check-in counter for Accor members is in the lounge. The hotel has good hardware, but the service we experienced has more misses than hits. There are better hotels with well-appointed rooms and better service than Swissotel the Stamford. I do not recommend Swissotel the Stamford.

[Accommodation Review] Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur Managed by Banyan Tree (Urban Suite), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (9 – 11 Jul 22)

Location

Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur in the middle of the Bukit Bintang shopping strip. The hotel’s convenient location gives its guests tons of shopping and entertainment options. We can go shopping right at the hotel’s doorstep and return to drop off our stuff and continue shopping. Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur sits on top of the Pavilion Mega shopping mall, which offers shops from luxury boutiques to budget-friendly stores. There is a wide variety of eateries within the shopping mall, ranging from local to international cuisines. In addition, the famed Jalan Alor night street market, which offers plentiful street dining options, located about 10mins walk from the hotel, offers guests of Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur additional dining choices. The hotel is also located within 15 mins walk from the Petronas Twin Tower and KLCC shopping mall. The nearby monorail station is about 5 mins walk from the hotel, which takes us to the shopping malls slightly further from the hotel.

Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur Main Entrance

The Suite

We checked into the Urban Suite at Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The 76m² suite we were assigned has a great view of the city through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The contemporary design of the Urban Suite offers comfort for its guests, and the clever use of the space in the Suite makes the Suite feel spacious. I also like the subtle segregation of the areas in the Suite by the flooring materials used.

Layout of the Urban Suite at Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur (Source: Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur website)

Entryway

The marble-laden entryway welcomed us upon entry into the Urban Suite. The use of marble and a simple painting brought a luxurious vibe to the Suite, sending guests a spacious feel. This area is sparsely furnished with a ledge wedged onto the wall, which I find useful for placing small items like the keycard. A powder room is co-located at the entryway, which is convenient for guests to do some last-minute business before heading out. The spacious powder room fitted with light-coloured tiles on the walls contrasting with the dark-coloured marble floors emits a luxurious feel constant with the theme in the entryway and is furnished with a toilet and a sink. The ample lighting in the powder room took away the claustrophobic feel for its users. Adding a powder room in the same space as the living room also meant guests of the occupants do not have to bash into the Bedroom to use the toilet, ensuring privacy for the occupants of the Urban Suite.

Entryway in the Urban Suite

Dining Area

The dining area is marked with the use of dark wooden flooring. Here is where a large-sized round dining table with four leather chairs dominated this area. A simple paper chandelier hanging from the ceiling above the table provides additional illumination and gives this area a luxurious vibe. The table is large enough for four to dine comfortably without engaging in an elbow war. It seems that this dining table also doubles up as a work desk. I found a round marble piece in the centre of the dining table, hiding a power socket underneath, providing power for guests to charge their laptops. A chest of drawers sits by the wall opposite the dining table, housing the minibar. The minibar is well stocked with the usual coffee capsules and tea bags, along with a generous supply of bottled water to keep us hydrated in the humid climate of Kuala Lumpur. The fridge, well hidden in the chest of drawers that would otherwise be stocked with overpriced beverages, is kept empty due to the pandemic. I like the clean look of the minibar that elevated the elegance of the Urban Suite.

Dining Area in the Urban Suite

Living Room

Further into the Suite from the entryway, past the dining area, a large floral patterned carpet demarcates the living room to the Urban Suite. Furnished with a beige coloured coach that can provide comfortable sitting for three adults with two complimentary wooden framed armchairs. I liked how the furniture complements each other comfortably to the eye at one glance. The large wooden coffee table and two side tables next to the coach gave us more space to place our snacks while entertaining ourselves with the TV’s local and international channels. The TV, however, seems a tad too small for the size of the living room. The living room gives a relaxing and cosy vibe, thanks to the choice of furniture and the two table lamps, as well as the absence of unnecessary furniture that would otherwise clutter up the living room. I also came to appreciate the living room, which offered me the space to pack my luggage with its clean design.

Living Room in the Urban Suite

Lounging Area in the Living Room of the Urban Suite
TV and coffee table in the Living Room

Bedroom

The Bedroom in the Urban Suite at Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur is separated from the living room with a wooden door. Again the flooring in the Bedroom is different from that in the living room. The beige carpet marks the sleeping area from the lounging area in the Urban Suite. Similar to the design language of the living room, the Bedroom feels uncluttered, and the space, together with the colour theme, gave it a very cosy feel. The cosiness is further enhanced with the warm lighting from the ceiling and the bedside lamps. A large painting of leaf prints hanging on the wall on top of the headboard of the king bed brings some life to the Bedroom. A large King bed which provided me with excellent sleep quality and a soft headboard with built-in reading lights, occupies the bulk of the Bedroom in the Urban Suite. I like the bedside table size, which gives us plentiful space to place our lifestyle devices for charging. A bright red settee in front of the king bed provided additional space to place our stuff on top of, providing us with a place to lounge while watching on the second TV in the Urban Suite mounted to the bedroom wall. A lone armchair with an ottoman placed by the floor-to-ceiling window in the Bedroom is a great place to read a book or relax with a warm cup of tea while watching life go by in the bustling city below.

The Bedroom in the Urban Suite at Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur

TV in the Bedroom of the Urban Suite

A long corridor floored with yellow marble tiles marks the wardrobe area. The wardrobe space is very generous in the Urban Suite at Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The two two-panelled wardrobes provided us ample space to hang our clothing for the short two-night stay at the hotel. Three-tiered drawers are built into one of the wardrobes in the Suite. I like how the hotel is generous in providing ample hangers for its guests to hang away their clothing. There is another single-panelled wardrobe where another three-tiered drawer is built, where the in-room safe is found.

Wardrobes are located just outside the Bathroom in the Urban Suite

There is another single-panelled wardrobe space for storage of smaller clothing items

Bathroom

The Bathroom is found at the end of the wardrobe area. I find the design of the Bathroom a tad weird. Instead of building the toilet into the Bathroom, the bath area and the toilet area are separately located. At the end of the wardrobe area, a small room houses the toilet with no sink inside. This design inevitably inconveniences the Urban Suite guests, who have to head into the Bathroom to wash their hands after doing their business.

Toilet in the Bedroom that is separated from the main Bathroom

The main Bathroom, which houses the wet area predominantly, feels a tad small. The use of light marble tides, contrasting the black marble sink countertop, exudes a sense of luxury in the Bathroom. The black single-sink countertop is the first thing that caught my attention. Despite providing only one sink, I thought this decision by the hotel was excellent, as having two sinks would cramp up the countertop space. With one sink, there is a lot of space on the countertop to put our toiletries. The hotel equipped the Bathroom in their Urban Suite with a large deep-seated bathtub. On the other side of the sink is the walk-in shower with a rain shower and a regular shower head. There is ample space in the walk-in shower to place facial washes and toothbrushes.

Bathroom in the Urban Suite

Service

Service at Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur was mediocre at best. While some of the staff strived their best to provide five-star service, this group of diligent staff were few. The mediocre service we experienced first began during check-in. The check-in experience at Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur feels more like a lottery system where half the time, we were guessing which queue would shorten our waiting time. There are essentially three queues at the check-in counter. We waited for around 25 mins before being served for check-in. Upon our turn, we were told that our check-in would be processed at the Club Lounge. If only staff were around to filter the check-in queue, we would not have to wait in line. During our check-in at the Club Lounge, the two staff processing our check-in proved to be ill-informed about the Accor Diamond Status membership privileges. They also appeared not keen on listening to our views and our previous email exchanges with the hotel’s Assistant Reservation Manager on our upgrade eligibility. The hotel did not seem bothered to adhere to the benefits of the Accor programme, despite getting the Duty Manager, we were not accorded the upgrade that was mentioned to us by the Assistant Reservation Manager. Our whole check-in progress took almost 1 hour!

The only people who provided any service were some of the staff (and not all!!) at the Club Lounge. Most of the time, while we were at the lounge, no staff were seen welcoming guests into the lounge, and the empty plates on the table were not being cleared to the point that we wanted to place the plates on the floor. The only time we saw a staff during evening cocktail service chose to ignore the plates on our table until we had to prompt her to assist us with the plate situation. The female Chinese staff at the Club Lounge, whom we met on the second day of our stay, was the only one diligently doing her job. She came across as warm and sincere and was prompt in helping us clear the plates. She even went to the extent of introducing the dishes available during the evening cocktail.

The staff at The Courtyard seem to be the other group bothered about service. They were observant and accommodating despite the high volume of guests appearing for breakfast simultaneously. Despite the hecticness, these staff at The Courtyard were seen diligently clearing the empty plates and turning around tables so the next set of guests could quickly be seated.

Hotel Facilities

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool in Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur is located on the 18th floor of the hotel. The rooftop infinity pool offered a great view of Kuala Lumpur, where guests can do some decent laps while vacationing in the city. However, I find the pool a tad small, and the limited sundeck chairs can hardly cater to all the guests staying at the hotel.

Swimming Pool in Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur
While the pool offers a great view of the city, there are very limited chairs

Gym

The Sky Gym at Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur is located on the top of the hotel on the 18th floor, next to the swimming pool. The gym is fairly small and is mainly equipped with cardio workout machines like the elliptical, stationary bikes and treadmills. Guests opting for strength training can only do their workouts on the small three-in-one machine and the free weights. Despite the small set-up, the gym allows guests to do some decent workouts to burn off the calories from feasting on the food in Kuala Lumpur. Another plus point of the gym is its unparalleled views. Guests are treated to a great view of the city, which makes working out more enjoyable.

The sky gym in Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Club Lounge

The Urban Suite comes with Club Lounge access, located on the 14th floor of the hotel. As we booked the suite room, our check-in was also done at the Club Lounge. The Club Lounge is a great place to relax for a beverage outside the evening cocktail hours. The use of earthy tones and the abundance of sofa seats make our time at the lounge relaxing. However, we mainly visited the lounge during evening cocktail hours (5 pm to 7 pm) for their canapé. On non-pandemic days, the Club Lounge would be an alternate location for breakfast. Despite the relaxing ambience, I find the noise level in the lounge to be a tad high. It just takes one table of guests to speak loudly, and their conversation will reverberate throughout the lounge.

Club Lounge at Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Breakfast @ The Courtyard

Breakfast was great in the Courtyard. There are a wide variety of choices for us to choose from every morning during our stay at Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The breakfast consists of local and western options and an egg station outside the restaurant. The local options during breakfast consist of cuisines from the three main cultures of Malaysia. There is even a station where freshly squeezed fruit juices are offered. Food is constantly topped up by the diligent staff, who also quickly cleared the empty plates on our table. We found minor changes to the menu on the two days of our stay. The queue for breakfast can be a tad long; we had to wait for 15 to 20 mins each morning during the breakfast run.

Breakfast is served at The Courtyard

Overall

The Urban Suite is comfortable and cosy. By not cluttering the Suite with unnecessary furniture, Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur provided guests with a spacious suite that looks clean. The dining table in the Suite allowed us to consume our takeaways in the comfort of our Suite. The sleep quality on the King bed is great in removing all the tiredness we experienced. Unfortunately, the service at the hotel was not befitting of a five-star rating. There are too few staff who tried to make things right, overshadowed by most of the staff who came across as cold and unapproachable. Despite the convenience of the location and the well-appointed, comfortable and cosy Urban Suite, I will not return to this hotel where the service has left to be much desired, and the association with the Accor programme is by name only. There are better options within a stone’s throw away from the hotel.

[Accommodation Review] Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel (Opera Suite), Bangkok, Thailand (13 – 17 May 22)

The Location

Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel sits along the main artillery road in Bangkok – Sukhumvit Road, which leads towards the city centre. The hotel is located about 5 mins walk from Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, and there are numerous food and shopping options surrounding the hotel. Despite not being situated in the heart of Bangkok, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit is wedged between two BTS stations – Nana and Asok stations, and both are around 5 mins walk from the hotel, making exploring the city of Bangkok via public transport a breeze. Although the two stations are equidistance from the hotel, I prefer to walk to Asok station (despite being one station further to central Bangkok than Nana station) via the covered walkway with a direct link to the hotel that sheltered us from the hot sun in Bangkok. Besides the BTS, the hotel is also very well located within 6 mins walk to Sukhumvit MRT station, which gives us the additional choice of transport for exploring Bangkok.

Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel façade

The Opera Suite

We originally booked the Prestige Suite and were given an upgrade to one of the three Opera Suites upon checking in due to my friend’s Diamond status with Accor. The 104m² Opera Suite is spacious and decorated with both Thai elements and French themes in different parts of the suite. I like the small balcony attached to the suite, which gave us a spot to look out into the Bangkok skyline around the Asok area.

Living Room

The entirety of the living room unfolds before our eyes from the entryway the moment we enter the suite, where we get our first glimpse of the spaciousness of the suite. The wooden floorings and the dark brown dining table graced the Opera Suite at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel with a sense of cosiness. The huge dining table furnished with four chairs sits near the entrance of the Opera Suite, providing ample space for the occupants to feast. Besides this for dining, we mostly used this table to place the things we bought. A marble-laid powder room next to the entrance to the suite provided us with additional toilet facilities, which also prevented the awkwardness of guests of the occupants of the Opera Suite having to bash through the bedroom to use the toilet.

Large dining table with four leather-clad chairs

The lounge area, located after the dining table, occupies most of the space in the living room. I like how Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel only furnishes the Opera Suite with practical furniture instead of over cluttering the space, giving the suite a sense of spaciousness and certainly more space for its occupants to move around. The lounge area is furnished with one five-seater couch, an armchair and an ottoman-like chair. I also find the dark brown wooden coffee table the right size and not unnecessarily large. The LED TV mounted by the wall seems to be a tad too small for the size of the living room. There are numerous channels (over 50 channels) on the TV catering to international guests. I find the TV channels boring as there are limited English channels on the TV (they do not even have Discovery Channel and the only National Geographic channel is in Thai). Most of the channels on the TV in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel are in the Thai language, and a few more are in various European and Asia languages.

The lounge area in the living room of the Opera Suite is very spacious
View of the entire living room of the Opera Suite in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel
The TV in the Opera Suite looks a tad small for the suite

The mini bar is placed inside the Thai-style wooden cabinet under the TV. The mini-fridge, well-stocked with overpriced drinks and snacks (as with most hotels), is hidden in the right-most cabinet. While cups, glasses, and tea are found on the left cabinet. The hotel uses the Illy espresso machine and provides Opera Suite quests with three capsules per day, and I find it weird that the hotel charges THB150 per capsule for extra capsules. However, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel is generous with providing drinking water, placing them in strategic spots throughout the suite.

A Thai-influenced cabinet that houses the minibar

A large glass-top work desk sits in one corner of the living room by the floor-to-ceiling window, farthest away from the main entrance to the Opera Suite. The chair with the work desk is comfortable enough for guests to work for hours. I like that Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel furnishes an armchair with a small side table in the other corner, opposite the work desk. This armchair provides guests with a place to read a book or chill while looking out into the Bangkok skyline.

A sizeable work desk sits in the living room of the Opera Suite

Balcony

The Opera Suite is one of the few rooms in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel that comes with a balcony. While the balcony is not a large space, it is a great spot that we used to look out into the Bangkok skyline. The balcony has two large chairs and a table, but we find the chairs to be a little dirty to sit on.

There is a small balcony in the Opera Suite.