It was fairly late when I got in from NRT, so I went right to the Westin Grande. I had stayed at the A-Loft Sukhumvit 11 my past few swings through BKK, and I wanted to give another property a try, while at the time time staying in the same relative area.
There was a sale on suites, and after being in Japan for a week everything in Thailand seemed extremely cheap, so I decided to book one.
It looked like a wedding reception was winding down as I checked in, but I wasn’t remotely interested in being social. I went right up to my room, watched some T.V. and went to bed.
The next day, I started to get my belongings together before going to Koh Phi Phi. I had amassed a bunch of new crap…crap I didn’t want to lug to Koh Phi Phi with me, so I set off down Sukhumvit until I found a luggage store. I found a small bag and asked the woman how much. She quoted me a ridiculous price. I offered her roughly half. She offered me a slightly less ridiculous price, but I stuck to my guns. I handed her the amount I had originally suggested, looked at her and said it over and over again until she agreed with a defeated scowl on her face.
You feel bad haggling over what are still dirt cheap goods, and part of you feels like you should just pay the inflated price in order to help these people out, but you have to realize that they are trying to rip you off, and if you agree to play along it just encourages them to try to rip everyone off. Don’t reward bad behavior out of sympathy.
I tossed my excess stuff into this new bag, and confirmed with the concierge that I could leave it behind the desk and then retrieve it when I got back from the islands (even though I had already decided I would go back to the A-Loft when I returned to BKK).
The desk clerk said it wouldn’t be a problem.
Since it was my last night in Bangkok for a while (or so I thought), I went to BED and randomly met a Lufthansa 747-400 flight crew that was on an overnight in BKK. We all threw in on a bottle of vodka and had a lovely night.
The Westin Grande is in a great location on Sukhumvit and the suite they gave me was incredibly spacious if a bit boring. The main issue is the price. While it’s cheap for “the world,” it’s way more expensive than perfectly acceptable options in Bangkok, so when the choice is to pay $60 for the A-Loft or $240 for a suite at the Westin, I’ll take the A-Loft every time.
Westin Grande Report Card
Pros: Objectively cheap, nice rooms, good service, located right on Sukhumvit, room service, safe, etc…
Cons: No free wifi, expensive for Bangkok
Verdict: I probably wouldn’t stay at the Westin Grande again, not because it’s a bad hotel but because it isn’t a great hotel. I’d either choose the A-Loft or experiment with some of the other boutique hotels around town.