[Accommodation Review] – VIE Hotel Bangkok (Executive Suite), Bangkok, Thailand (14 – 18 Jun 19)

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Hotel Facade

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Hotel Signage

Location

VIE Hotel Bangkok is very well located in downtown Bangkok, which is very close to the central shopping district in Bangkok. The hotel is a mere one BTS stop away from Siam Square and mega shopping malls such as Siam Paragon, MBK and Centralworld. The nearest BTS Staton – Ratchathewi station BTS is located right in front of the hotel and takes a mere 2 min walk from the hotel, allowing guests to explore Bangkok easy. There are several eateries next to the hotel, however, the nearest convenient shop is across the street which is a tad inconvenient to get to as one has to cross the road via the overhead bridge to get access to the store.

The Suite

I stayed in the Executive Suite at the VIE Hotel Bangkok. The Executive Suite has a massive area of 81m² and occupies a corner of the floor. The Executive Suite has a Thai decor and is clad in a comfortable and coherent brown earthy tone with wooden floor and furnishing which exudes a cosy feel in the suite. The Living Room, the Bedroom and the Bathroom are the three main parts that make up the entire Executive Suite.

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VIE Suite section

Living Room

The elongated living room in the Executive Suite in the VIE Hotel Bangkok is very spacious, thanks to the absence of unnecessary walls and partitions. The Thai themed earthy decor can be felt as soon as guests enter the suite. The earthy brown and burgundy colour tones employed throughout the living room is coherent and gives me a sense of comfort. The first thing that caught my attention from the entrance is a 2-door wardrobe at the side of the main entrance. I find it weird for the hotel to place a wardrobe at this area as it does not function as a shoe rack. Throughout the entire stay, I did found no use for the wardrobe. I welcome the full-length mirror by the main door to the Executive Suite so that guests can ensure they look presentable, especially guests who are attending functions before they leave the suite. A display shelf is placed little further into the suite from the main entrance. This display shelf serves the function of the hot mini bar area where the in-room Nespresso coffee machine and water kettle are together with coffee capsules and tea can be found. At the side of the shelf is the first of the few power outlets that are found in the suite. There is some storage space at the bottom of the display shelf, where I used to store the shopping from that I bought during my stay in Bangkok.

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Overview of the living room in the Executive Suite in VIE Hotel Bangkok

The Executive Suite in VIE Hotel Bangkok is fitted with three floors to ceiling windows that not only brought natural light into the living room of the suite, it also makes the suite feels a lot bigger than it already is. The living room is bright in the day due to the natural lighting from the floor to ceiling, however, the living room is rather dim at night. The lighting in the suite does not seem to be sufficient to illuminate the area well. Facing the entrance to the Executive Suite in VIE Hotel Bangkok, in front of the first floor to ceiling window panel lies a fairly large work desk furnished with two chairs and a table lamp. This is a great space for guests to get some work done, as the table is large enough to place a laptop and some work documents on. However, the work desk suffers from the flaw of a lack of power outlets that resonates throughout the suite. The only power outlet that is available at the work desk sits on the floor beneath the desk, making it inconvenient for guests to plug in their laptop or any mobile devices for charging. Opposite the study desk is a long wooden table, that guest can place some small items on. This table serves more for decoration purposes than it is functional.

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Workdesk in the Executive Suite in VIE Hotel Bangkok

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View of the work desk from the sofa area in the Executive Suite

Further into the living room in the Executive Suite in VIE Hotel Bangkok is where one will find two large sofas placed in the near the floor to ceiling window panels. These two sofas arranged in an L-shape manner, furnished with numerous cushions, are capable of sitting four to five guests making this a great place for hotel guests to entertain their friends. A large coffee knee-height coffee table is placed in the space between the sofas. Two-floor lamps are placed on either side of the sofa that is facing the 40″ LED TV mounted on the wall. The 40″ LED TV is mounted on the wall that separates the living room from the bedroom, between the two dual-panel wooden doors. There is no lack of entertainment options on the LED TV in the suite. Guests are able to enjoy programmes from numerous local and international channels such as Fox movies, National Geographic and Discovery Channel to name a few. A minibar fridge is tucked into the wall to the left of the TV. All drinks and snacks in the minibar are free for guests staying in the Executive Suite in the VIE Hotel and will be replenished on a daily basis.

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Sofa area in the living room of the Executive Suite in VIE Hotel Bangkok

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One of the sofas in the living room in the Executive Suite in VIE Hotel Bangkok

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40″ LED TV in the living room

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Minibar fridge with complementary items hidden in the cabinet next to the entrance to the bedroom

Bedroom

The bedroom is accessible via the two dual-panel doors on either side of the LED TV. The Thai decor and earthy colour theme from the living room are also found in the bedroom, making the decor in the suite coherent. Like the living room, the bedroom is furnished with wooden furniture. The King bed, placed by the wall caught my attention when I entered the bedroom. The King bed is firm but comfortable which provided me with excellent sleep quality. However, the four pillows that were placed on the bed is too soft for my liking. VIE Hotel does not have a pillow menu for guests to choose, however, guests can still request for firmer pillows from the concierge. Bedside tables are found on either side of the King bed. The lack of power outlets in the living room also plagued the bedroom. Despite having four power outlets in total on the walls behind the bedside tables, only one of these is freed up for guests to use. The rest of the power outlets are used for the two bedside lamps and phone in the bedroom. The placement of the power outlets, which are hidden behind the bedside table further makes it inconvenient to use. All power outlets in the suite use Thailand standards, guests would have to bring their converter to use them. 

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King bed in the bedroom of the Executive Suite in VIE Hotel Bangkok

The two wardrobes in the bedroom are placed beside the King bed. The wardrobe nearest to the bathroom door is the larger of the two, where the in-room safe placed on top of a two-tiered cabinet is found in. This wardrobe is where I find more convenient to hang my clothing due to the two-panel doors to the wardrobe. The second wardrobe placed nearer to the wall is a tad more inconvenient to access, due to the limited space and the fact that there is only one door to the wardrobe. Here is where one can find the iron and ironing board. Despite being able to hang one week’s worth of clothes for two guests, there is a limited number of hangers in the wardrobe. We had to request for additional hangers from the housekeeping staffs.

Facing the King bed, mounted on the wall that segregates the living room and the bedroom is another 40″ LED TV for guests to enjoy the entertainment options while lying in bed. Beneath the TV is a cabinet that guests can stow some knickknacks. There is a three-tier cabinet placed by the entrance to the bedroom, next to the entrance to the bathroom. This cabinet provided guests with yet more storage options. This cabinet also doubles as a great space for guests to lay out their luggage.

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LED TV in the bedroom

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The three-tiered cabinet in the bedroom next to the entrance to the bathroom in the Executive Suite

Bathroom

The frosted glass door marks the entrance to the bathroom. The decor of the bathroom took a departure from the Thai earthy theme found in the living room and the bedroom. The decor of the bathroom is contemporary and classy, tiled in yellow marble, but is rather small in size compared to the rest of the suite. Much of the bathroom is occupied by a huge bathroom, sitting by the wall to the left of the entrance to the bathroom. Opposite the bathtub is the walk-in shower, equipped with rain shower and regular showerhead, as well as the toilet. The bathroom comes fitted with only one sink and a large sink top counter tucked at the end of the bathroom. Due to the placement of the bathtub, only a section of the sink countertop can be used. VIE Hotel Bangkok uses in-house bath amenities and provided a comprehensive choice of bathroom amenities.

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Overview of the bathroom

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The sink area has a large countertop in the bathroom

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Large bathtub in the bathroom

Service

I find the service in the VIE Hotel Bangkok suffers from inconsistency. The experience with the staffs was generally pleasant in the hotel. The moment we got off the cab, the porters at the door immediately sprung into action and assisted us with our luggage and escorted us to the reception for our check-in. The staff took notice of my friend’s Accor membership and invited us to check-in at the sit-down check-in counter next to the reception. While processing our check-in, another staff served us welcome drinks and took the effort to explain the concoction of the drinks. The check-in process is a tad slow, however, the staff processing our check-in made us feel welcome throughout the process. She even brought us up to our suite and explained some of the equipment in the suite. The staffs at the reception were generally welcoming and were always seen wearing a smile on their faces whenever we walked past them, even late in the night.

The thoughtfulness of the staffs in the hotel was also felt when the housekeeping staff left two cookies and a good night card every single night during turndown service. The diligent housekeeping staff even took the liberty of arranging the toiletries we placed on the sink countertop neatly.

However, when it comes to late night, the porters at the main entrance of the hotel were seen chatting with their colleagues by the door or were not around. This is where one of the inconsistencies of the service was felt. I noticed this to be the case every night when we leave and return to the VIE Hotel Bangkok. We were left with opening the doors ourselves.

The service at LaVIE restaurant also suffers from inconsistency. I noticed that service seem to be more prompt and the staffs were friendlier when the restaurant was not crowded. Plates were cleared quickly and I always return to a clean table and I did not have to wait for too long for my latte to be served. When the restaurant sees more people heading for breakfast, service is sluggish. The latte that I ordered took more than 10 mins to be served and the empty plates were piled up on our table. Staffs were seen patrolling the restaurant floor and I noticed them saw the empty plates on my table but none of the staffs took the initiative to clear them on my table. One of the staff only took action to clear the empty plates on my table when I accidentally dropped my butter knife on the floor. This was the only time the plates on my table was cleared, after which the plates remained piled up until I left the restaurant.

After my check-out, I requested to speak to the duty manager but was told that the manager was not available. I was told by the front desk staff to wait until the manager was available. However, there was no attempt to contact the manager by the staff at the front desk despite informing him that our transport to the airport is already on the way.  I ended up leaving the hotel without speaking to the duty manager.

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We were invited to a sit-down check-in

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Welcome drink served during check-in

Facilities in VIE Hotel Bangkok

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool in the VIE Hotel Bangkok is located on the 10th floor of the hotel, in a separate building. To get to the pool, guests would have to go through the gym and walk through a bridge that links the pool building to the main hotel building. The pool is an infinity pool with a glass panel at the end of the swimming pool facing the main road and the BTS tracks. Swimming in the pool feels as though one is swimming in the air. The pool area is small and is equipped with eight sundeck chairs. There is a small jacuzzi area in the pool by the towel area. Despite the limited size, I find the pool to be a great place to get a good tan due to the absence of trees. However, tanning by the pool is only possible in the afternoon as the hotel building would block the sun in the morning.

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The swimming pool in VIE Hotel Bangkok

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Swimming pool in VIE Hotel Bangkok

Gym

The Gym in the hotel is located on the 10th floor as well. Unlike the gyms in most hotels, which are usually small, the gym in VIE Hotel Bangkok is a fully functional gym. The gym is meant for fee-paying members who are not guests of the hotel. It is well equipped with the equipment that allows guests of the hotel to have a great workout. There is a studio that runs classes on a scheduled basis, hotel guests would have to pay in order to attend these classes.

Breakfast at LaVIE Restuarant

Breakfast is served in LaVIE restaurant, the only restaurant in VIE hotel, located on the 9th floor. There are quite a number of selection ranging from local to international food choices during breakfast. VIE Hotel Bangkok makes minor variations to the breakfast menu daily, however, these variations are so minor that they are hardly noticeable. The food served during breakfast is tasty though. Breakfast is served from 6.30am to 10.30am daily.

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LaVIE restaurant where breakfast is served daily

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Buffet selection in LaVIE restaurant during breakfast

Overall

VIE Hotel Bangkok is very well located which is a few steps from the nearest BTS station which makes exploring downtown Bangkok very convenient. The Hotel is one BTS stop away from central Bangkok. The Executive Suite while is huge, but the facilities seem a little run down due to wear and tear. Nonetheless, the suite is still comfortable to stay. The service I received around the hotel is inconsistent and seem to be dependent on who you bumped into during your stay. I would hesitate to recommend a stay at VIE Hotel Bangkok.

[Accommodation Review] – Veranda Resort Hua Hin (Veranda at Sea Room), Hua Hin, Thailand (12 – 14 Jun 19)

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Veranda Resort Hua Hin Signage

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Resort Facade

Location

Located in the town of Cha-Am, about 30 mins drive from Hua Hin, Veranda Resort Hua Hin is about three hours drive from Bangkok Survanabhumi Airport. There are no amenities in the vicinity of the resort, less an ATM machine on the ground floor of the annexe building of the resort. The nearest convenient store is about 800m away from the resort. There is a night market in Cha-Am which operates only on Wednesdays which is located 8km from the resort. Guests staying at the resort have to rely on a taxi (or Grab) and infrequent bus shuttles (payable) provided by the resort to gain access to Hua Hin.

 

The Room

I checked into the newly renovated Veranda at Sea Room which has a floor area of 54m². The Veranda at Sea Room has superb views of the pool as well as the sea from its balcony.

Sleeping Area

Entering the Veranda at Sea Room in Veranda Resort Hua Hin, a short walkway leads me into the sleeping area of the room. A full-length mirror is placed on the wall in this small walkway. I like how the resort designed one of the wardrobe doors to cover the walkway, giving guests a suite feel when inside the sleeping area.

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The walkway from the entrance in the Veranda at Sea room

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The sleeping area of the Veranda at Sea room

Walking through the walkway in the room, one would come to the main sleeping area of the Veranda at Sea Room in the resort. This area is the main part of the room, decked out in earthy tone with wooden flooring. The first thing that caught my attention is the dressing table which also doubles up as the TV console. A small lamp is placed on the dressing table and a small mirror is mounted on the wall next to the lamp. Further down the dressing table, near to the balcony is where the 40″ LED TV is placed on the table. The minibar is hidden in the cabinets beneath the TV. As one moves across the room to the balcony, a straw chair and a stone stool, which served more as a table is placed in a corner of the room.

 

The king bed is placed by the wall opposite the dressing table. The sleep quality of the bed is rather good, less the pillow, which is too soft for my liking. The bedside table, which looks like a wooden box stacked on another wooden platform, is placed on either side of the bed. The area on the bedside table is large enough for guests to stow their lifestyle devices, due to the elongated shape of the table. The resort mounts the bedside lamps on the wall, freeing up more space on the bedside table. The placement of the power outlets in the room makes it convenient for guests to charge their lifestyle devices, however, these outlets are not equipped with international plugs. Guests are advised to bring their power outlet converter. The resort was thoughtful to place an outlet converter in the mini bar area, however, the one found in my room was defective.

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King Bed in the Veranda at Sea room

There are a couple of wardrobe spaces in the Veranda at Sea room in Veranda Resort Hua Hin. These wardrobes are placed beside the king bed, which functions as a wall that separates the sleeping area from the bathroom. The wardrobe space on the left has a ledge, which I found only to serve for luggage storage. There is no practical clothing stowage on this wardrobe. The in-room slippers, as well as slippers for guests to use at the beach, can be found in this part of the wardrobe. The wardrobe on the right is where guests can store their clothing. However, there is a limited amount of clothing one can store on this side of the wardrobe. Here is where one can also find the in-room safe placed on top of a two-tiered drawer where guests can use to store some of their clothing. Sliding the wardrobe doors to the right, one of these doors double as doors to the bathroom, while the other as the door to the walkway into the room.

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Wardrobe in the Veranda at Sea room, where the doors double as doors to the bathroom and to the walkway

 

Bathroom

The entrance to the bathroom is between the two wardrobes. The decor of the bathroom echoes the earthy tone found in the sleeping area in the Veranda at Sea room. A huge bathtub, placed in the centre of the bathroom, greets guests upon entering the bathroom. The bathtub is large enough for two guests to soak in. On either side of the wall facing the sleeping area, guests can find two sinks, which is great as guests do not have to wait in line to use the sinks. There are, however, a limited amount of countertop space at either of the sinks. The resort uses Thann bath amenities but provides a limited variety of bathroom amenities. Toothbrushes, shavers and body lotion are not present when I checked into the room and have to be requested separately with the concierge in the resort.

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Bathroom in the Veranda at Sea room

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Dual sinks found on each side of the bathroom

 

There are two cubicles (with no doors) behind the bathtub. The walk-in shower cubicle, which comes with both a rain shower and a regular showerhead is located on the left of the bathtub. The toilet is located in the right cubicle. The room suffers from inconsistent water pressure in the bathroom. Due to the low and inconsistent water pressure, only the regular shower head can be used. Moreover, the water from the shower also has inconsistent water temperature. The low water pressure translates to 1 hour to fill up the bathtub.

 

Balcony

The Veranda at Sea room in Veranda Resort Hua Hin has a huge balcony furnished with a wooden chair and a two-seater couch. A coffee table is placed between this furniture, which makes it ideal to hang out in the day. The view from the balcony is excellent. Despite being partially obscured by the tree in front of the room that I was assigned to, I was able to look out into the pool and the beach area from the balcony. I would, however, advise against hanging out in the balcony at nights. Despite having lights on the walls in the balcony, it is very dim at night. The presence of mosquitoes in the balcony area also discouraged me from staying out in the balcony at night. The resort does not place mosquito coils in the balcony.

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Balcony in the Veranda at Sea room

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View from the balcony in the Veranda at Sea room

Swimming Pool

The free-form infinity swimming pool at Veranda Resort Hua Hin is very big, seemingly sufficient to cater to guests staying in the resort. However due to the low season when I was at the resort, the pool was relatively empty most of the time. The pool is capable of allowing guests to get some decent laps done, while still catering to families with young children. There are a couple of slides at the pool, one for children and one for adults guests to have some fun at the pool. The pool also has a jacuzzi area, nearer to the resort accommodation buildings. There is no lack of deck chairs in the pool area, both under the shade of the tree and some in the open for guests who wanted to get a good tan by the pool.

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Free form pool in Veranda Resort Hua Hin

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There are two slides in the pool, one for children and one for adult guests

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Swimming pool overlooking the beach

Beach

Beyond the free-form pool is a small part of the beach catering for resort guests usage. There are chairs laid out in the beach area as well as the wooden deck facing the beach for guests who do not want to get sand in their sandals. Guests can bring the towel from the pool to the beach for usage. The resort staff kept the beach clean for hotel guests to use.

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Beach area exclusive to guests at Veranda Resort Hua Hin

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View of the beach

Gym

There is a small gym in Veranda Resort Hua Hin premises with a very limited amount of equipment. However, guests can still get some decent workouts in the gym despite being limited. The gym is located in the same building as the cafe and the in-house spa.

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Gym with limited equipment

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Gym with limited equipment

Eateries

There are two restaurants and one cafe in Veranda Resort Hua Hin. Breakfast is served in the Dining Room, located next to the resort lobby. The Dining Room is also the main restaurant in the resort, opening from breakfast to dinner.

 

The other restaurant is ISea at Veranda Resort Hua Hin, located next to the swimming pool. The beachfront alfresco restaurant serves mainly guests at the swimming pool, but also have some dining space for guests.

 

There is a cafe in the resort premises, serving mainly coffee, tea and pastries. However, there is a limited amount of seating area at the cafe.

 

Service

Service at Veranda Resort Hua Hin is generally very good. Every staff we met are generally welcoming, except for the staffs at the ISea restaurant who seems to be interested in chatting with each other and playing on their mobile phones. The moment I stepped into the resort, I was warmly welcomed by the concierge team, who promptly assisted me with my luggage and showed me to the check-in counter. At the check-in counter, the staff promptly processed my check-in swiftly, while another staff served up a cold drink and towels for freshening up. The staff at the check-in counter always wore a smile during our interaction, she even briefed me on the facilities around the resort and the timing for breakfast. After processing our check-in, the staff took the effort to escort me to my room and gave a brief on the facilities inside the room. Before leaving the room, she even reminded me to give the reception a call should I require any assistance.

The staff in the dining room restaurant are very friendly as well. The moment I walked to the restaurant for breakfast, I was greeted with a smile and given the option for outdoor or indoor seating. The staffs took my order for a drink and promptly served up the drink that I ordered. The diligent staff at the dining room patrol the restaurant grounds frequently and ensured that no empty plates are left on the table.

The diligent housekeeping staff were seen always wearing a smile on their face when I bumped into them. These unsung heroes ensured that I always return to a clean room every evening. I called to request for toothbrush and shaver, the housekeeping staff had them promptly delivered with a smile on her face. I would receive a good night note every evening during turndown service, together with a small token from the resort.

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I was served welcome drink and handed cold towels during check-in by the staffs at Veranda Resort Hua Hin

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Guests would receive a goodnight note written by the housekeeping staff every evening during turndown service

Overall

I had a great stay at Veranda Resort Hua Hin. Despite the location is a tad inconvenient, the comfortable room and the facilities around the resort are sufficient to make up for this. Coupled with staffs that are generally welcoming and are ready to render assistance to guests at the resort. I find Veranda Resort Hua Hin a great place to get away from the busy city life with its secludedness and the warm and friendly staff.