In June 2019, I checked into the View Specialty King room at Hyatt Place Bangkok Sukhumvit. Located in the heart of the Sukhumvit area in Bangkok, the 222-room property is located near famous local street food destinations, popular malls such as Emporium and Emquartier as well as Phrom Phong BTS station.
Given the accessible price point, the hotel offers an attractive proposition in a city that is extensive in its World of Hyatt accommodation choices, which also includes the similarly new Park Hyatt Bangkok and Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit.
The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Modern convenience hotel in Phrom Phong.
The must-dos (if any): Try the Yentafour at Gallery Kitchen, take a dip in the outdoor saltwater pool, explore the famous local street fare in the vicinity.
You would not be able to tell that the property is a convenience hotel based on the tastefully modern and stylish furnishings of the lobby level. Influenced by 24/7 convenience stores and with an eye on empowering the modern independent and self-sufficient traveller, the property keeps in-built frills to a minimum but makes essentials available upon request. The Gallery Hosts on the lobby floor are on hand for most of your conceivable needs, from local experience recommendations to requests for sale or borrowing of amenities.
On-site amenities include facilities such as a business centre, a 24-hour gym as well as an outdoor 15-metre saltwater pool.
VIEW SPECIALTY KING
Overlooking the nearby Benchasiri Park and with sweeping views of the Sukhumvit district, the 37sqm View Specialty King features a plush king-size bed, 43” flat screen HDTV, separate Cozy Corner with sofa bed, mini refrigerator as well as a window-side workspace. On the beverage side of things, you have a supply of bottled drinking water as well as a kettle for preparing hot Nescafe coffee and Twinings tea, which should come in handy given how the air-conditioning vents in the room directly face the bed. Jars of nuts, chips and candy are provided during turndown service for your evening peckish needs.
Whilst the hotel may be humble in its in-room supply of amenities, guests are able to purchase personal care items such as makeup remover, lip balm, nail clippers, batteries or sunscreen as well as borrow items such as a clothes steamer, baby chair/mattress, ice bucket, yoga mat or universal cell phone charger by filling in a request form at the reception counter and submitting it to the Gallery Host. One should certainly request for an international power adapter upon check-in, as the power outlets in the room are not designed for extensive three-pin plug usage.
World of Hyatt members are entitled to free breakfast at Gallery Kitchen, which serves pastries, cold cuts and hot items including breakfast sides, dim sum as well as local and regional specialties (think Pad Si-Ew and Mixed Vegetables in Green Curry). An egg station prepares customised omelettes a la minute, while the noodle station serves options such as Tom Yum Soup and the sour and spicy Yentafour (pink sauce soup). Aside from the buffet offerings, guests can also order dishes from the chargeable breakfast a la carte menu such as Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich, Poached Eggs and Smashed Avocado Toast as well as various cold pressed juices such as the Detox Booster (pineapple, cucumber, spinach, pomelo) and Reboot Master (fresh ginger, beetroot, red apple, carrot). After breakfast, the Gallery Kitchen serves an all-day menu comprising a variety of salads, sandwiches, pastas and mains as well as a selection of Thai and Asian dishes such as Tom Yum Goong, Phad Thai and Panang Gai Curry (red chicken curry).
After hours, guests who require gustatory nourishment can still hit the 24/7 Gallery Market on the lobby level for a variety of grab-‘n’-go food items such as sandwiches, cup noodles, chips, snacks, bottled drinks and baked goods. Elsewhere on the same level, Coffee To Cocktails Bar serves Illy coffee drinks, cold pressed juices, soft drinks, wine, beer, spirits as well as a small range of classic cocktails such as the Singapore Sling, Margarita and Negroni. The bar services both the lobby lounge area as well as the pool.
Situated on the 28th level and boasting 180-degree views of the city, AIRE Bar serves a range of snacks as well as bespoke and classic cocktails in a breezy, casual and relaxed setting, making it an ideal destination for hours of carefree, laid-back lounging with your friends and loved ones (in contrast to, say, the sexier and clubby vibes of rooftop bars such as Spectrum Lounge & Bar at Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit). The bar menu ranges from pizzas (sample items: Prosciutto Pizza, Tartufo Pizza), cold cuts and cheese to local and Asian bar bites (sample items: chicken satay, deep fried spicy pork balls with herbs, yaki gyoza pork). Signature cocktails include the Suffering Bastard (gin, bourbon, ginger beer, lime, aromatic bitters) and Passion in the AIRE (vodka, bianco vermouth, caramel, passionfruit).
AUTHENTIC LOCAL EXPERIENCES AND NEARBY ATTRACTIONS
The hotel’s location makes it strategically placed as a convenient launchpad for tourist attractions, street food adventures and authentic local experiences in the vicinity. Under the advisement of one of the Gallery Hosts, I set out on foot (with the occasional help of a taxi) to suss out notable local street food in the vicinity as well as check out popular local attractions.
The first stop played like a true Singapore/Asian F&B business trope – a family operating a noodle concept called Rung Rueang eventually split up and began running identical stalls under the same name side-by-side in direct competition with each other. I tried the corner stall, and was suitably impressed by my Tom Yum Soup Noodles, which bore a naughty, tongue-teasing secret beneath its seemingly homely exterior. The dish has the distinction of including one of the largest slices of pig liver I have ever had, and attempting to fit the massive ox tongue-esque piece into my mouth for a bite was probably sensorially the closest I have been to making out with a cow. My Gallery Host also recommended that I try the adjacent pushcart stall which sells Khanom Bueang (Thai crepes filled with coconut cream and topped with shredded coconut), a sweet, soft meringue-style treat.
My favourite local street food stop was Jae Jong Fried Pork (Jeh Jong Moo Tod), a restaurant located behind Tesco Lotus Rama 4 in the Khlong Toei district. The space plays it all factory canteen dining, with diners queueing up along the roadside to choose their side dishes (think pig liver or stir-fried eggs with vegetables) to go with the titular deep fried pork belly and rice before being seated along long communal tables within. Massive bowls of tart, viciously fiery Issan-style dipping sauce rest on the tables, waiting for heat-seekers to slather copious amounts of their contents over the indulgent deep fried goodness on their plates. It was marvellous, and I would be back.
None of my Bangkok visits would be complete without visiting Ping’s Restaurant in the Asok area for their dreamy Fish Maw with Crab Meat, which provided the primal comfort of a mother’s embrace, as well as the peppery Jumbo River Prawn with Vermicelli in Claypot. At some point, I also stopped by the famous Mae Varee Fruit Shop near Thong Lo BTS station for a packet of their mango sticky rice with coconut milk and toasted crispy mung beans. While I missed out on getting the Instagrammable tri-coloured sticky rice, this send-up of the signature Thai dessert proved memorable not in small part due to the crispy mung beans, which added a riotous crunch to the fleshy and sweetly sticky proceedings. I also stopped by Coffee Break at Library, a Japanese-style cafe near the hotel, for their photo-worthy, R.L. Stine-meets-Prima Deli-esque Library Waffle.
For completeness, other notable nearby dishes I had during my stay included the Iced Thai Milk Tea at Tea Etc next to Phrom Phong BTS station, the Hojicha and Matcha Swirl Parfait from Tsujiri and a massive Steamed Seabass with Lime and Chilli from Laem Cha Reon, both located at EmQuartier.
During my trip, I took the opportunity to visit the nearby local Klong Toey market, the largest wholesale fresh market in Bangkok. Aside from being one of the most authentically local Thai experiences I have ever had, the visit was quite the educational one – the staggering variety of amazingly-priced local produce, various herbs and exotic fruits (durians, green tangerines, custard apples, snake fruits or salak) was impressive and worthy of a botany-themed field trip, and while I lucked out by not managing to catch a glimpse of the various live (and butchered) creatures such as bullfrogs, turtles, ducks, chickens and bugs on sale, I did brave a walk down a sunny lane comprising primarily stalls and stalls of butchered meat and organ cuts (think pig’s head, brain and innards) displayed and sold in the most casual manner along the roadside. The raw market is certainly more for culinary enthusiasts and fans of Hostel, the Saw series and similar torture porn than for the squeamish and lily-livered (I suspect such an organ may well be on sale somewhere too).
Being minutes away from Phrom Phong BTS station also provides hotel guests easy access to all that the city has to offer, from endless delicious dining possibilities to exciting shopping experiences like the spanking new ICONSIAM as well as essential Bangkok destinations such as the Erawan Shrine, which houses the statue of the four-faced deity of good fortune Phra Phrom, and the Wat Pathum Wanaram, a royal Buddhist temple located between the Siam Paragon and Central World malls which serves as a remarkably tranquil retreat within the bustling commercial area.
For those seeking a good massage, whilst the Sukhumvit streets are lined with massage options of varying degrees of dubiousness, guests should consider the Spring Spa right across the street or the nearby Asia Herb Association which I have been advised by locals to be considerably better than the likes of popular Singaporean staples such as Health Land – the latter is deemed to be like the fast food of massage treatments (although there’s one near Asok BTS station if you really need your McSpicy Double).
The hotel offers not just an appealing price tag but also convenience of location and proximity to notable local dining destinations and attractions. For a World of Hyatt member keen to immerse himself or herself fully in the Bangkok local experience while clocking loyalty nights, it does not get better than this.
Hyatt Place Bangkok Sukhumvit
22/5 Sukhumvit 24 Alley
Khwaeng Khlong Tan, Khet Khlong Toei
Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10110, Thailand
This review was written at the invitation of Hyatt Place Bangkok Sukhumvit.