Review: Waldorf Astoria Bangkok

Filed Under: Hilton, Hotel Reviews

On this trip I had a day and a half in Bangkok. I arrived at around 10AM, and my flight the next night was at around midnight. Bangkok is one of the best cities in the world when it comes to reasonably priced luxury hotels, so I was looking forward to checking out one of the city’s new luxury options, which opened in August 2018.

I reviewed the Park Hyatt Bangkok the last time I was in town, and this time decided to check out the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok.

Booking the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok

I booked my one night stay using an Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts rate, which cost about $320, and included complimentary breakfast, a room upgrade subject to availability, guaranteed 4PM check-out, and a $100 property credit. I thought that was a pretty good deal when you consider all that was included.

Getting to the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok & check-in

The drive from the airport to the hotel took about 45 minutes. The hotel is located in the same area of town as so many other hotels, including the St. Regis and Park Hyatt. It’s located in the Ratchaprasong area, in a 60-story mixed use building.

Like so many hotels in mixed use buildings, the lobby wasn’t on the ground floor. Rather there was a ground floor waiting area, along with bellmen and a concierge.

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok entrance

The hotel’s lobby is located on “UL,” which stands for “upper level.” This is located between floors 15 and 16, though oddly they don’t actually skip any floors to account for that. So I guess you could say the lobby is on floor 15.5 (which kind of drives me nuts). 😉

The hotel has about 170 rooms, and is located on floors six through 16 of this building. It might seem undesirable to be on such low floors, but at least when you’re facing the direction of the park you have mostly unobstructed views.

As you’d expect, the hotel has two sets of elevators — one between the ground floor and the lobby, and the other between all the guest floors.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok elevators

The lobby had quite a bit of seating, and was elegant and beautiful. It didn’t feel particularly Thai, though it did feel luxurious.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok lobby


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok lobby


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok lobby

At the end of the lobby were three reception desks where you could sit down to be checked in. I was offered a welcome drink and a cold towel, and within a few minutes my check-in was processed.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok welcome drink & cold towel

The friendly associate recapped all the Fine Hotels & Resorts amenities. Rather annoyingly, she informed me that the $100 property credit couldn’t be applied towards in-room dining, spa products, or minibar items. It’s not unusual that it can’t be applied towards spa products or minibar items, but not even in-room dining?! Odd.

She also informed me that I had been upgraded to a room with a view. I genuinely wasn’t sure if I had included my Hilton Honors number in the reservation, given that I’m a Diamond member, so I asked (usually they acknowledge your status and/or give you a further upgrade).

She said “yes,” and then pointed to where that was listed on the registration sheet, and it showed the word “Diamond” next to my name. There was no other recognition of the status or upgrade to a suite. I guess I should have brought laminated terms & conditions, right DCS? 😉

I was escorted down to my room, located on the 14th floor.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok elevators

What beautiful public areas, including the elevators and hallways.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok elevators


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok hallway

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok king deluxe park view room

I was assigned room 1410, a king deluxe park view room.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok room entrance

The room was cozy and well appointed. There was an extremely comfortable king size bed, then next to that was a loveseat, and opposite that was a circular dining table that could double as a desk.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok king deluxe park view room


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok king deluxe park view room


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok king deluxe park view room


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok couch


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok desk

The room did have lovely, unobstructed views of the park.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok view

Waiting on the desk was a welcome amenity, consisting of a note and some strawberry and custard tarts.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok welcome amenity

Back near the entrance was the minibar, which was a beautiful setup.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok in-room minibar


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok in-room minibar


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok in-room minibar

The hotel had cartons of water, which you almost never see. Along the same lines, they had either paper or metal straws in their F&B outlets, best I could tell.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok bottled water

The bathroom spanned the whole length of the room. It featured double sinks, a soaking tub, a walk-in shower, a toilet in a separate room, and a closet.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok bathroom


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok bathroom

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok bathtub


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok shower


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok toilet

Toiletries were from Salvatore Ferragamo.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok toiletries

Overall I thought the room was great — it was nicely appointed, comfortable, and in good condition. The wifi throughout the hotel was also fast and free.

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok gym, pool & spa

The gym, pool, and spa were all located on the 16th floor.

The outdoor pool (open daily from 6AM until 10PM) were beautiful and quite large, with great views over the city. I’m not sure I totally get the structure they decided to put in the middle of the pool. Was this solely to look good (because it’s quite large, and somewhat obstructs views), or what?


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok pool


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok pool


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok pool


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok pool view

The gym was open 24/7, and had a good selection of equipment.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok gym


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok gym


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok gym


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok gym

Then there was the spa, open daily from 10AM until 10PM. I ended up getting an hour-long massage here (which cost ~100USD), and was excellent.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok spa


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok spa

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast

Breakfast was served at the Brasserie, located just off the lobby, between 6:30AM and 11AM. The restaurant itself was beautiful — in addition to a bar by the entrance, the remainder of the restaurant wrapped around the exterior of the hotel.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok Brasserie

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast buffet


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast restaurant


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast restaurant

While the restaurant had a buffet breakfast, you could order some things off a menu, like fresh juice or smoothies, tea, and specialty coffee. Here’s that menu:

Bangkok has some of the most over-the-top and extravagant breakfast buffets in the world. In many ways I sort of hate them, because I get seriously indecisive and overeat.

So dare I say it, but I actually found this buffet to be rather modest by Bangkok standards? That’s ultimately not a bad thing, but there was no six foot chocolate fountain, no 12 flavors of ice cream, etc. Below are some pictures of the buffet.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast buffet


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast buffet


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast buffet


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast buffet


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast buffet


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast buffet


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast buffet


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast buffet

My only disappointment with the buffet was the lack of fresh fruit. There were berries next to the yogurt, but there was no other fresh fruit that I saw, which I found puzzling. I must have been missing something? (Update: apparently I missed a section of the buffet, which had fresh fruit.)

Anyway, to drink I ordered a delicious cappuccino and a tropical smoothie.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast drinks

Then I had some french toast, because why the hell not?


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast french toast

I also ordered an omelet.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok breakfast omelet

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok Peacock Alley

I was on a pretty bad time schedule while in Bangkok (unsurprisingly), so while I didn’t sleep the whole night, I did take three naps during my ~30 hours at the hotel. So while I walked around a lot outside, I also had a meal in Peacock Alley, so that I could bring my laptop and work.

Peacock Alley is just off the lobby, and is intended to be more of a lobby lounge with all day drinks, afternoon tea, etc.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok Peacock Alley


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok Peacock Alley

The Waldorf Astoria does deserve credit for their Diet Coke presentation. It’s just so undignified when the soda that doesn’t fit in the glass is left in the can!


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok Peacock Alley drink

I ended up having a Thai chicken wrap.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok Peacock Alley snack

From the dessert menu I also ordered the coconut and Thai tea ice cream. I figured an order of two scoops wasn’t unreasonable, though they did serve them in separate bowls, which made me feel pretty bad about myself. 😉


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok Peacock Alley ice cream

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok bottom line

I had a great stay at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok — the rooms, public areas, service, and location were all very good.

The thing about Bangkok is that there are so many great luxury options, and I think they’re all in a fairly similar league.

Personally I think the Park Hyatt and Waldorf Astoria are almost identical quality-wise. Heck, the designs even reminded me of one another. As a matter of fact, in a few months I’m not sure I’ll be able to tell them apart in my memory.

So personally I’d gladly return to either hotel, depending on where I could get a better value, or where I needed elite nights in order to requalify for status.

So the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is awesome, but so are a lot of hotels in Bangkok.

If you’ve stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, what was your experience like? What’s your favorite luxury Bangkok hotel nowadays, given how many new hotels there are?

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Comments
  1. Lucky,

    The large structure in the pool is actually supporting the pool above you that’s for residents of the building. There’s an extra 20 or so floors above the WA.

    I’m guessing you were too tired, but the lounge on the top floor (behind the *hidden* sliding door) is also really cool. Liked it for a nightcap when I stayed there this past Fall.

  2. In my opinion Kuala Lumpur offers far better and cheaper luxury options than overrated Bangkok.

    Besides, I find Kuala Lumpur far better organized, cleaner and less touristy.

  3. So, obviously there is convenience in getting a massage in the hotel’s spa, but Thailand is pretty much the massage capital of the world, and US$100 for an hour definitely suffers from the typically insane mark-up of hotel spas.

    Last time, we stayed at the millennium hilton. Honestly had no idea how popular the crazy buffets were. Was quite happy it came free as a hilton gold (amex platinum).

  4. Dear Ben,

    Of course you missed it! There are a lot of fresh fruit at the very end of the buffet alongside with Asian noodle counter!!
    The fruit selection was over the top as well.

    Kyros

  5. You did in fact miss the fresh fruit, they are before the Asian selection and dim sum part, there is an island with a staff standing there preparing fresh fruit platters on demand as far as I remember. Also you can order stuff that is not on the menu and they bring it to you (we had Thai milk tea and fresh coconut brought to us free of charge). Regarding your comment that the buffet is smaller for Bangkok standards, overall I think the buffet is way better than St Regis for selection. Maybe you did compare to another hotel but you did not specify which. Another positive point we noted for the buffet breakfast was how helpful all the staffs were and proactive.

  6. Ben, having just visited WA Bangkok, I think you may have missed an entire room of the breakfast buffet where they had fruit, Asian dishes and other custom fresh cooked options. I thought it was one of the best breakfast spreads I’ve ever seen!

  7. They offer “French Breakfast Tea”.

    What? Breakfast tea is *English*, not French. How very dare they?!

  8. W/A has an extensive fruit selection. Sounds like you entirely missed at least one of the breakfast stations (the one with fruit also has hot asian food). The quality of the breakfast buffet here is exquisite.

    Surprised they did not UG you to a suite.

  9. Thanks for the heads up about the part of the breakfast I missed, guys. Will update the post to reflect that. Very strange, because when I was brought to my table I swear I heard the host explain there were two breakfast stations, and that is indeed what I saw.

  10. Ben, the park you are referring to is actually the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. If you look closely, there is a 9-hole golf course in the green areas, a cricket pitch and the dirt around the outside is a horse racing track. There is horse racing every Sunday afternoon.

  11. This review highlights one of the reasons I haven’t upgraded to Aspire for Diamond status – I’m pretty sure Golds would have been treated pretty much exactly the same as Diamonds at this property.

  12. Pleasant, but kinda boring.

    Am I alone in thinking Bangkok is all about being on the river? (Let’s face it, most of the city is just plain ugly.) For 30-odd years The Oriental (now Mandarin Oriental) was my hotel of choice, but presently I’m a fan of The Peninsula. The pool is gorgeous and I never tire of watching the passing boats.

  13. In addition to the comments about the missed buffet items, when I was there in October 2018 they also had a food menu you could order from that was included with the diamond breakfast. Not a huge menu but probably about a half dozen made to order dishes.
    There are also a couple great restaurants and bars on the top floors. I had the best steak I’ve ever had at the steakhouse on (I believe) the 57th floor. While I wasn’t planning to eat there, it was a welcome treat when there was a WILD lightning storm and I could sit and enjoy the show with a beautiful view and world class meal.

  14. @Anthony — You are wrong. If this were a Hilton property, Golds would very likely get the free restaurant breakfast, but they would have to play the lotto to enter the exec lounge since their access to it is contingent upon their being upgraded to the exec floor, which is not always certain even in Asia.

    I have stayed at this PH property twice and it is nice. The view of BKK from the roof of the property, which is not pictured, is outstanding. I will be staying at the brand new Waldorf Astoria Bangkok just down the street in January and will be able to compare.

  15. OOOPS!!!!! From my comment, it is clear I thought that this was a review of the PH BKK!!! Sorry!I look forward to my stay at this WA property in January. -;=)

  16. @Alonzo sez: “View from the pool is the same as the St Regis Bangkok.”

    That is what threw me off into thinking that it was the PH BKK, which looks similar from the poolside view. Upon a closer look I can tell the difference.

  17. They used to offer Eggs benedict with Cavia and truffle. It was delicious. Do they still have that option?

  18. I think you mean Grand Hyatt in respect of location in Ratchaprasong ( not Park Hyatt), ie BTS Chidlom or Rajdamri. The GH can be seen in the photo taken in the lobby. The PH is back around the Sukhumvit corner and one BTS stop to Ploenchit.

  19. Have not stayed here, gong to soon. Park Hyatt is cool, I like the mall it is attached to and the high end “food court” it has. However there was also something missing with the PH… not sure what it is.

    Best values hotels that are still pretty luxe by US standards are the Grand Hyatt; design is a bit dated but I really liked the club and the location and just the overall feel, and then next step down at the Courtyard Marriott(!), its a great deal with still solid food. I really did not like the JW Marriott.

    I am not sure it is worth spending more than $100-200 in BKK… it is certainly not worth spending points there, almost ever that I have seen.

  20. I stayed at the Park Hyatt Bangkok a year ago, and I swear the two hotels look identical. The lobbies look alike, the hallways look alike, the rooms look alike. Even the faux Thai minibar looks similar.

    Either it was designed and decorated by the same firm, or there is some late-2010s mandatory décor for all Thai luxury hotels.

    Any chance they’re owned by the same group?

  21. @DCS
    That was my point. The introduction suggests it’s in close proximity to the PH; it’s not, but is to the GH

  22. Different strokes for different folks, of course, but it always makes me a little sad to think of being in Bangkok and eating in a hotel restaurant.

  23. @Tom The Banyan Tree and the neighbour Sukhotai are for sure good options. I agree with other comment that pay in BKK 320 USD is quite too much. There are W, Sofitel, Renaissance, The Shangri LA, Lebua Tower for just over a third… Its not SIN or HKK…
    Last time I was in an Autograph collection one with amazing decor and staff… Cannot recall the name..

  24. You went to thailand and spent $100usd on a massage only for an hour? No happy ending? You could have gone about 3 blocks in any direction and spent your whole layover getting a massage for 100$

  25. @Lucky

    Not knowing your travel plans, or just me not paying enough attention to it to realize you’re in BKK. Otherwise I would have suggested you go to HKG and witness the chaos first hand. It’s probably not too bad getting stuck in The Pier lounge.
    Which comes to my next question, what actually happens to flyers. Do they kick you out of airside, kick you out of the lounge? Does Chase or Citi trip delays kick in?

    You would have a kick-ass story and blog for ages. Best part yet, you are Caucasian, and the protests are non violent. So you definitely won’t get hurt there.

  26. @Antonio

    i’m thinking possibly the Athenee Hotel for the Autograph collection. I stayed there last year and enjoyed my stay. Food at lounge and breakfast was great too.

  27. Hey Lucky next time when youre in bangkok you should try the Rosewood. It’s one of the nicest “new” luxury hotels in Bangkok

  28. @Tom
    We’ve stayed at The Banyan Tree for the past 5 years and always enjoy it. We manage to get a one bedroom suite and love the extra room. It’s certainly a bit older but we find the service to be excellent and now just consider it our home in Bangkok. We do consider changing it up, but like the neighborhood and the club lounge which has nice offerings.

    @Super VC10
    We find that the location of the the Mandarin to be out of the way for us, so less convenient from a transportation standpoint. Yes, the view is lovely though.

  29. @The Nice Paul: I know it’s an outrage, but Mariage Freres being a French firm, they – being French – naturally call it that. The tea is actually really good. But “French”…

  30. It’s lovely looking, albeit a little dated in some places.

    The new Rosewood in Bangkok is my current go-to.

  31. Personally not a fan of this hotel – location is everything in Bkk and this isn’t really good for anywhere.

    My favourite is the Sofitel on Soi 15. Has a coffee shop next door that does the best takeout in the city!

    Also thanks for answering my question I always ask when I see the spa menu in these hotels “who the heck pays these prices when it’s literally 1/10th of the cost 50 yards away” haha

  32. +1 on staying by the river. Personally, I love the MO – everything is fantastic there. And worth visiting if only to lunch or dine at their french restaurant.

  33. Just stayed here last weekend. Enjoyed the stay, but will most likely keep staying at Conrad (over 60 stays with them). The only thing I didn’t like was I found the rooms to be almost void of any Thai decorations. The room could have been in any city anywhere.

  34. Ben, I always enjoy your luxury hotel reviews. This post got me thinking, how many Park Hyatt’s, St Regis and Waldorf Astorias have you NOT been to? Perhaps a challenge like your A380 First one is in order.

  35. Look quite generic as others said, just stayed at brand-new Waldorf DFIC in Dubai, look way better than this Waldorf in Bangkok, I guess. Anyway in general, I am getting more satisfied with Hilton these days.

  36. Thanks for this Lucky. I love Bangkok and for the last 15 years I’ve always stayed at the same luxury hotel: The Sukhothai. It is now a member of Design Hotels but traditionally has stayed away from any affiliations that would provide an option to book on points. For me it is the only 5 star in Bangkok that feels at once luxurious and very Thai. The architect who designed the Sukhothai also designed the first Aman hotel: the Amanpuri in Phuket. Next time you are in BKK you should book a Garden Suite.

  37. @ Tom,

    spot on. Sofitel is hands down in the most convenient and entertaining location in BKK. Their rooftop bar is a great spot to wind down.

  38. Thank you for the review Lucky! Did you visit their rooftop floors? Thought the cocktails at level 56 were of good quality and not over the top priced. Views are to die for.

    We had dinner at their Front Room, located next to the concierge,
    “Nordic-Thai” was a first for me – the chef used to work at Noma and dishes came out very creative and tasty. I would definitely recommend.

    @oswaldo – just was here over the weekend, the truffle egg benedicts are still there – and delicious!

  39. For this why bother with Amex fine hotels? You get breakfast for free and an upgrade anyhow for being Diamond. If you use your aspire card you would get 14x honors points and they have promos for extra miles for 1 and 2 stays but you need to book it through Hilton site. Also the 2 day advanced rate prices out $50 cheaper at Hilton site.

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