I had a short trip to Bangkok, Thailand coming up and as I was flying a budget airline, I thought I’d splash out on a comfortable hotel stay. While some people get by on more affordable budget hotels (of which Bangkok has plenty) my experience has been that a good bed and shower has no parallel after a long tiring day out.
The hotel I picked after doing a few quick online searches was the Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel, located in the Pratunam shopping district of Bangkok.
An airport taxi from Don Mueang Airport took about 40 minutes in weekday evening traffic, and cost about 300 Baht. As the taxi drivers may not know the exact name and location of the hotel, it is helpful to print out the hotel name, telephone number and address so they can check directly with the hotel if necessary. Incidentally, download the ride-sharing Grab app. I took a Grab Taxi from the hotel to the airport when I left, and they are guaranteed to use the meter. Even with the additional 25 baht surcharge for using the app, it cost only 195 baht! Much better value.
Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel is part of the Centara hotel chain, and is relatively new. It is annexed to the Watergate Pavillion shopping mall, which looks to be fairly new and when I was there recently, fairly empty. There isn’t much in there at all, with most shops having their shutters down. But this is about the hotel.
The hotel lobby and check in is on the 9th floor. As you do in Bangkok, everyone in the party has to produce their passports, and we were requested to wait in the lobby area while they processed our check in. The lobby is large and bright and modern. There is curiously a bar running along one side, where during the evening happy hour, there is a free-flow snack bar for those enjoying the happy hour. Outside, there was a water pool feature with cabanas where you can relax.
The Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel has no swimming pool so if that’s important to you then you shouldn’t pick this hotel.
I had booked a regular Deluxe Room package on the website, which came with 2 breakfasts, 500 Baht credit that you can use for dining or the spa and 2 complimentary 30 minute head, neck and shoulder massages at the spa. Upon check in, we were told that they had upgraded us to a suite.
All pleasant, until we got to the room and realised that it was only a very small suite comprising of a fairly large room with a comfortable King sized bed, and a small little living room area, with a sofa that transforms into a bed, and a narrow table.
The bed was large and comfortable, and the rooms bright and modern. The attached bathroom was similarly large, with a bathtub and separate shower and toilet. The bathroom is glass panelled so if you’re conscious, there are roller blinds you can let down to block out the view.
There are TVs both in the room and outside, with international cable channels so you can catch up on the latest news or watch some TV.
There was a minibar and complimentary drinking water which unfortunately came in glass bottles, so they were not portable. I much prefer hotels that provide water in plastic bottles because you can then take it with you. Coffee and tea were provided, as was a coffee machine and a kettle.
No real complaints in terms of room amenities. It was well stocked with clean and fluffy towels and a nice spacious bathroom and room. The air-conditioning is centrally controlled and you do have to ensure that you program it properly, but otherwise, it was a cool and comfortable stay.
The daily cleaning of the room was a little slow though. The few days we were there, our room wasn’t cleaned till late in the day. We weren’t fussed about it as we were mostly out or at the spa, but for those for whom these things matter, it might be cause for concern.
There is free wifi in the rooms and the hotel but you must log in. The username and password will be given to you upon check in. It is therefore not technically free, but free for guests. The wifi was fairly reliable and fast and stable.
Breakfast was a buffet on the 9th Floor, and the breakfast cafe was a bright and airy place with friendly servers and a good spread of food. There were local Thai dishes like fried rice and noodles, congee etc alongside a wide variety of pastries and an egg station. There was also a counter for bloody marys which was a surprise, and there is a coffee machine where you can get cappucino and espresso instead of the regular brewed coffee, if you prefer. I thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast.
Location wise, Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel is well located. You can exit the hotel by walking through the attached mall so it isn’t as hot. Once outside, there are lots of stalls selling drinks and street food on either side of the hotel.
If you want to enjoy foot massages, there are many just surrounding the hotel, where prices start from 200 baht for 1 hour. Reasonable prices if you aren’t too fussy. Tipping is optional.
For those who enjoy shopping, the Platinum Fashion Mall is just diagonally opposite the hotel. Take the overhead bridge a short walk away and you’ll be in shopping heaven, if cheap clothing is your thing. Otherwise, about 15 minutes away is the more upper market Ratchaprasong and Siam area, where you can get to CentralWorld, Gaysorn Plaza, Siam Paragon etc. If you don’t mind walking, which I didn’t, it is just about 20 minutes away.
Otherwise, you can take a taxi, or use ride sharing services – Uber or Grabcar to get where you want to go. Not too far away from the hotel is the Airport Train if you’re coming from Suvarnabhumi Airport, which makes it far more convenient and more affordable.
I had no complaints about my stay at Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel. Staff were friendly and although it was quite pricey for a hotel in Bangkok, where hotels do come cheap, it was a clean, comfortable stay in a good, bustling location with easy access to street food and shopping. I will give it a 3.5 star at best though because of the lack of a pool, and the slightly smaller feel of the hotel and rooms.
CENTARA WATERGATE PAVILLION HOTEL
567 Rachaprarop Rd., Makkasan,
Bangkok Thailand 10400
Tel: +66 (0) 2625 1234