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Review: Four Points by Sheraton, Bangkok

The Four Points by Sheraton sits inside Bangkok’s most trendy, or at least touristy, area.  The Starwood property is surrounded by others of the same brand including the Sheraton, Westin and the nearby Aloft.  It’s perched alongside a small soi (road) off one of Bangkok’s main thoroughfare and just blocks from the nearest skytrain station.  To be honest, for most tourists the location couldn’t be better.  However, a good portion of the hotel’s clients are people in Bangkok for business, which is evident by the number of lone foreigners filling the Beer Vault, the attached lobby bar, each night.

The hotel itself is modern and clean – just what you would expect from any Starwood brand hotel, but when choosing whether to stay at any internationally-recognized hotel chain, it comes down to details.  The rooms are well-kept, not worn, and for a standard hotel room they’re pretty spacious.  To be honest, for a Four Points, I was surprised by the thoughtful planning of each room.  For starters, like a lot of Four Points, there is an open concept between the bathroom and the bedroom with the option to close it off.  While it seems to work better in some Four Points than others – they really knocked it out of the park here.  The rather deep bathtub is perfectly positioned so you can watch TV while you relax – there’s even a TV speaker located in the bathroom.  Behind the tub lies the beginning of the bathroom counter and offers plenty of space to put your toiletries or makeup.  One modern sink sits in the middle – the facet is a little shorter than it needs to be leaving you to hit your hands on the sink while you wash them.  The separate shower isn’t big, but it’s spacious enough (women may have a hard time dodging the water to shave their legs) and boasts a great shower head that creates more of a pressured mist and steam than just a stream of water.

The room is stocked with all the amenities you would find at similarly priced hotels (but no razor or toothbrush, which you will find across Southeast Asia) and, for us, included four bottles of water each day.  There is a decently stocked mini-bar and fridge, and a spacious closet plus a big, built in luggage rack to store your suitcases off the floor.  The desk is great with a comfortable, slim black chair and a wonderful, built-in media center where you can run just about anything electronic device you want to the TV.  There is also a DVD player and an interactive internet, flat screen TV in the room.

The pool is an average size but not large by any stretch of the imagination and is poised on the 8th floor overlooking Sukhumvit.  The water is extremely cold and constantly moving as it laps over the infinity edge and is fed by a waterfall shooting from grey stone at one end.  It’s thoughtfully designed with a built in lounge chairs and two shallow areas for soaking up the sun while still staying cool.  A downside is the placement; as the three o’clock hour approaches, the sun falls behind the towering Sofitel Hotel located nearby and shades the pool area.  The bar surrounding the pool area is nice as well and serves as a great place to get a drink and relax at night.

The nearby fitness center is average-sized with two treadmills, two ellipticals, two bikes and a rack of free weights, weight benches, exercise balls and one multi-purpose machine.  Water, towels and headphones are provided as are clean foam ear covers.  The gym is clean and modern, a great place to work out for an hour or so.

One of the Four Points best attributes may just be for its Starwood members who hold status.  While there is no lounge, free cocktails are served from 5pm to 7:30pm in the Beer Vault, a great sports bar in the lobby.  While you unwind and catch a game, you can choose from a small sampling of food and free popcorn.  It’s not a spectacular spread, but each night there are three platters of food including a salad-type dish, a mixed-meat dish and some sort of veggie salad – it’s easily enough to make a meal out of or to just snack on while you drink.  Thanks to the sports bar atmosphere, it’s probably one of our favorite cocktail hours in Southeast Asia.

While we do hold Platinum status, we weren’t upgraded to a suite but our room was sufficient.  We had no trouble with noise, and were impressed by the speed of the internet (except at the pool where it dropped out).  As usual, those with Starwood status receive free breakfast in the Eatery, the hotel’s main restaurant.  While not presented as gourmet, the buffet is great!  It’s extremely large and gives you a choice of anything you could want including the western favorites, Asian breakfast dishes, a few specialty breakfast pies, cheese and meat platters, a huge selection of pastries, fruit and drinks.

We haven’t stayed at the nearby Sheraton or the Westin, which should both be a little nicer, but we have stayed at the Aloft several blocks away and to be honest, we would choose the Four Points over the Aloft in Bangkok without a doubt.  The rooms are comparable, if not a little nicer at the Four Points, Platinums at least get free drinks and snacks at the Four Points while the Aloft has never offered Starwood members with status anything but the status quo, and if you’re going for that overly modern feel, the Four Points just as sleek without trying too hard.  If you’re young and want to party, by all means stay at the Aloft, but the Four Points is a much better choice for business travelers or those traveling with children.