Shoehorned into the bustling Sukhumvit neighborhood of Thailand’s capital city, the Well Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 is well-positioned for both leisure and business travelers. (The complete address is 10 Sukhumvit 20 Alley, Khlong Toei Nuea, Khlong Toei, Bangkok). It’s less than 2,000 feet from the Asok BTS Skytrain Station and the Sukhumvit MRT Station — so you can hop on an electric mass transit railway and zip almost anywhere in Bangkok. The hotel provides shuttle service to the stations.
Also nearby is the Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, touted as one of the premier shopping destinations of Bangkok and known for its “five-star” food court, high-end shopping options, and elegant design. Hint: in the stifling heat of Bangkok, it’s a welcome bit of air-conditioned relief. A variety of small shops line the streets around the hotel, providing a glimpse of local life in a very busy Asian metropolis.
Well Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20
The Well Hotel has 235 non-smoking rooms, all of which are air-conditioned and have free Wi-Fi. Each comes with a safety deposit box, mini bar, coffee maker, and a 46-inch flat-screen TV. The spacious desk has easy outlet access. The bathroom is fitted with a shower and a hairdryer. Amenities include the expected, plus a shower cap and a “dental kit”. Rooms categorized as Executive Rooms and Executive Suites have exercise bikes, and an electronic weight scale (suites also have a microwave and a printer).
Facilities at the hotel (which is rated by some sites as 4, others as 4.5, and still others as 5 stars) include a sauna, spa, and 24-hour reception desk. There’s also a fitness center and an outdoor rooftop pool which hosts some group classes, such as the underwater bicycling session pictured. Laundry, babysitting, and in-room dining services are available. A meeting room — the Maple — is large enough for 80 guests.
Full meals, bakery goods, and coffee are available at Eat Well Café. Drinks are available at The Twist Bar & Bistro and at the pool bar.
The Sukhumvit area is one of the most popular places to stay in Bangkok. It’s also home to some higher-end shopping and dining options, elegant rooftop bars, trendy clubs, and store-front massage parlors. Bangkok is known for its street life, and you’ll find everything nearby.
A word about Bangkok city traffic: it’s horrendous almost all the time, and, between the tuk-tuks, motorscooters, taxis, cars, and trucks, you risk your life every time you cross a street (traffic lights are sporadically ignored, so keep alert). And, oh yeah, they drive on the left in Thailand, so look right before stepping off the curb.
For an even more luxurious stay, consider the Shangri-La Bangkok. It overlooks the famed Chao Praya River which feeds a network of canals.
The river flows past the Rattanakosin royal district, home to the Grand Palace (a former royal residence and museum) and its sacred Wat Phra Kaew Temple (home of the Emerald Buddha).
You won’t want to miss the Wat Pho Temple with its enormous reclining Buddha and, on the opposite shore of the river, Wat Arun Temple with its steep steps and Khmer-style spire.
(Photos and review by Susan McKee)