It leaves a bad taste – W Bangkok Thailand

I’ve contributed a similar review on W Bangkok on an online travel portal, but under a different profile. I’m reproducing part of the original review for my personal blog.

W New York Downtown: B+.
W Istanbul: B+.
W Taipei; A.
W Bangkok? F. Okay, I should be nice and not be overly critical. An E then.

To clarify, not everything about W Bangkok was bad. The hotel staff was great and friendly, but no W comes close to W Bangkok in terms of the bad interior design, particularly the Spectacular Room. For someone who spends quite a fair bit of time in the room, the impracticality of the interior design really irked me.

W Bangkok Thailand

The lobby

I had a good impression of the lobby. Like most Ws in the world, the design of the lobby is trendy and funky, clearly targeted at a crowd that probably enjoys flashier design (read sequined throw pillows). The public area is bigger than some of the Ws that I’ve stayed at.  But the signature BLISS scent that usually found in all W properties was missing. For a hotel chain that emphasises a sensory experience, it was unusual that the smoothing scent was absent. Was it a warning to what I was about to see in the room?

the watch dog on the ground floor

No labeling on the lift panel

This is the first hotel which I’ve visited that does not have proper labeling in the lifts. Guests either have to remember which floors the facilities were located at, or attempt smart glasses. How would I know where are the restaurant, gym and pool? Not that guest friendly at all.

The not-so-spectacular room

Something’s missing again?

Changing the carpets in the lifts accordingly to the different times of the day – i.e Good Morning, Good Afternoon or Good Evening – is one of W Hotel’s signatures. However, I didn’t see this during my stay. I’ve read from another traveller’s review recently that they have since rectified it, though, so that’s an improvement.

The sun definitely went down on me. The room is so hot!

The Spectacular Room – or is it not??

Avoid any room with numbers ending with 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06 as they face the afternoon sun. My friend and I checked in at 4pm and the room was so warm (and it was supposed to be one of the coolest months in Bangkok)! We had to draw the blackout curtains and set the aircon to the lowest to bring down the temperature.

Look ma, no door!

The rooms in W Hotels usually have strong local design elements.  It’s something that I appreciate.  But it seemed to me that for W Bangkok, the interior designer’s impression of Bangkok was Muay Thai and Ah Go-Go bars (read strip clubs). The tacky bedspread was a huge turn off (I hated it when I first saw the promotional photo on the website). Sequined boxing gloves? It just failed to impress.

But the washroom was something I was not prepared for. I can accept open-concept designs, but the design for the washroom was beyond open – it was risque!

There was no door to the WC!

And although there was a curtain separating the WC from the bedroom, it was insufficient as it did not entirely conceal the former. Also, the shower curtain did not keep the water within the shower area. If you do not ensure the floor mat is placed close to the edge of the shower area, the bathroom will be wet for sure.  All in all, I found the design for the washroom very impractical and in poor taste.

The room did not have any bedroom slippers as well.  Most luxury properties in Asia provide them without you having to ask.

The Tacky bedspread

Turn Down Service

The turn down service was practically non-existent. Housekeeping actually left the dirty towels on the bathroom floor without clearing them! For turn-down service, they only put away the tacky bedspread, replaced the towels and gave two bottles of drinking water.

The Kitchen Table

The restaurant – The Kitchen Table

The restaurant had a mainly western menu of limited variety. Maybe the hotel was not ready (only slightly more than 100 rooms were open out of the projected 400)? Food quality was not great. My pork was too dry and my friend’s seafood pasta was overly done. The only good thing that we had was the Thai ribs soup. The breakfast spread fared slightly better.

The freezing pool

The Pool & Gym

I didn’t use the gym but walked past it on the way to the pool. The gym embraces an open concept – why is everything in this W is so open – but appeared well-equipped. I thought the pool is tad too small for a 400-room property. And honestly, please have a heated pool – the water was so cold. It was near impossible to swim during the colder months.

Frankly, there is a thin line between cutting-edge design and impractical fluff. W Bangkok definitely leans more towards the latter.

Oh, not unless you enjoy bathing and defecating in the open (or at least in your room).

P/s: The GM of W Bangkok responded to my review on the travel portal where the original review was posted. 

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