Although I’ve been to Bangkok many times — and on each trip I walked past the Erawan shrine — this was the first time I actually had the opportunity to stay at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok. The lower floors were designed with a neo-classical façade that encloses a large two-story courtyard and a pedestrian mall on the ground level. Cars climb up a small hill to meet passengers on the second level.
I was met at the entrance to the hotel where several agents were waiting with tablets with arriving guest information. But as a Gold Passport Diamond member, they recognized my name and escorted me upstairs to the Grand Club to complete check-in. It was about 6 PM at this point, so the evening cocktail hour had just started.
One of my favorite reasons to stay in the Ratchadamri neighborhood (I’ve also been to the St. Regis a few doors down) is the view of the racetrack and the BTS. The Grand Club is somewhat narrow but offers several booth seats and other tables with nice views to the southwest. You can also see the MahaNakohn tower in the distance. Bangkok definitely has one of the most interesting skylines in the world.
Evening fare felt limited — I grabbed a beer and a few snacks but still relied on a local restaurant for dinner. Breakfast, however, was substantial. There was a chef preparing omelettes and other egg dishes, a few baked goods, and several options for fruit or juice.
The Grand Club staff felt more reserved than I am used to from my experiences at other Grand Clubs in Asia. They were certainly friendly and helpful. I had everything I needed if I asked for it. But it wasn’t the same level of proactive engagement. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you find the staff elsewhere to be overbearing, and it will easily surpass anything you’d find in the U.S.
There is a staircase that connects the Grand Club with the floors above and below. The hotel was a little busy so during my stay I had to take the elevator a couple floors down. All the rooms were recently renovated.
While I did not receive a suite (I did not redeem an upgrade), my room had a nice view of the BTS and shopping malls instead of the alley behind the hotel. You can see the pool deck in the lower right corner.
The room itself was average sized. It opened into a narrow hallway with the bathroom to one side, some closet space, and the bedroom ahead. There weren’t many drawers if you’re the type of person who likes to unpack. Instead, there were some leather “buckets” sitting on shelves in the closet.
Guests who want to enjoy the view from their bath can open a door/mirror separating it from the bedroom. I didn’t use the bathtub during my stay, but I thought it was still large enough for a comfortable soak. There’s also a separate shower and an enclosed toilet. Bath amenities included an mix of June Jacobs citrus and green cucumber scents. Usually it’s one or the other, so I was glad because green cucumber is more common even though citrus is my preference.
The bedroom had a television, more bottled water, tea set, and a small fruit plate waiting for me with a welcome note from the manager. I thought the amount of food was reasonable — when you have the Grand Club at your disposal, a week’s worth of produce is not necessary. If you need something stiff, mirrored doors on this tower open up to reveal the minibar.
One of my favorite features of this room was the desk/table. It sat by the window in a nook, like a booth, and let me work while still enjoying the view. I never like desks that force you to look away from the window. There was also another note from the manager informing me of a public holiday and planned events that would require closing the pool.
Since I knew I wouldn’t be able to visit the pool just anytime, I planned my outdoor activities to return one day for lunch and a swim. The pool deck was virtually empty (it was a weekday) but nicely furnished. with cushioned lounge chairs and several towels. Unlike at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, the bar was in view of every seat so it was easy to waive someone over.
For those who want a lot of pool time, several spa cottages are located in the back, behind those bushes. I was happy just to visit for lunch. My fried rice was excellent, and it was nice to be able to eat someplace quiet — which isn’t always possible in Bangkok.
If you’re looking for a few other restaurants to try, the hotel has several in the main lobby and in the arcade underneath. Breakfast is served here if you don’t have access to the Grand Club. Trees and lots of natural light make it a pleasant place to stay a while. I also took a look at the bar and grill on the mezzanine before it opened.
I’m glad that I finally had a chance to stay at the Grand Hyatt and that I was able to time it to fall after the renovation. There are so many good and inexpensive hotel options in this city, so it’s rare that I visit the same hotel twice — not because I didn’t like it but just because I want to try another. This is one that I would consider returning to.
However, by the time of my next visit I expect the new Park Hyatt will be open at Central Embassy. It isn’t quite as convenient to the rest of the city, but it’s still a quick walk between the two properties, and from the Ratchadamri BTS station you can easily reach the river or even walk to Patpong. Who can argue with more options?