Staying at a hotel close to Bangkok airport can be a convenient option for travellers transiting via the Thai capital. I’ve previously stayed a number of times at the Queens Garden Resort, but over the weekend I opted for a one night stay at The Great Residence to see for myself how this particular hotel compares.
The hotel isn’t very old and the air-conditioned standard room I stayed in was pleasantly decorated and in good condition. The bed was firm but comfortable and there was a decent selection of channels on the television. The complimentary internet wi-fi in the room was surprisingly fast and reliable. I may have just struck lucky, but I found it to be very good. The shower in the bathroom was excellent, but unfortunately the mosquito guard over the bathroom window hadn’t been properly closed and there were a few stray mosquitoes in my room when I checked in. I thought I’d taken care of all of the mozzies, but discovered in the middle of the night I’d missed one of them! The low-rise hotel is made up of three separate blocks and all of the rooms appear to have balconies where smoking is permitted (smoking is not allowed in rooms). The standard or deluxe rooms offer a choice of single, twin, double or triple beds as required.
I didn’t eat at the hotel and my discounted room rate didn’t include breakfast. However, a few minutes’ walk away from the hotel there are a number of restaurants and bars. I arrived on a Saturday evening and had a meal at the Indy Bar and Restaurant (located very close to Thong Ta Resort Hotel). The food was reasonable and there were plenty of Thai people dining and enjoying the live music so it was a pleasant way to unwind between flights. A little further along the road and around the corner on the main On Nuch Road there is a 7-Eleven store (approximately 10 minute walk from the hotel) which is always a handy option. The hotel does have a restaurant (open 06.00 to midnight) and bar. There is also 24-hour room service available.
Facilities & Staff
I arrived in the evening and checked-out early the next morning so didn’t use the swimming pool or sunbathing area, but it did look modern and clean albeit on the small side. Great Residence Hotel also has 24-hour reception, a restaurant and bar, internet facilities, tour and taxi office and a Thai massage shop. There are no lifts/elevators in the hotel, but porters will carry your bags to your room.
Airport Shuttle Service
I was very impressed with the hotel’s airport shuttle service. I’d pre-booked my room via Agoda and took advantage of the discounted round-trip airport transfer. I arrived at Bangkok airport on an internal domestic flight but made the short walk to Door 4 located near the international arrivals and adjacent to the airport’s meeting point. This is where most of the official hotel taxis drivers and reps wait. I soon found the lady with The Great Residence Hotel card and she checked my name off her list. Another lady escorted me outside and within a few minutes the mini-bus pulled up to take me and the other waiting passengers to the hotel. The service was equally efficient the following morning on the return trip back to the airport. When checking in, reception will ask what time you want the shuttle service to the airport (which runs every half-hour). My room rate of 700 Baht included round trip airport transfers.
Great Residence is a 5-minute drive away from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi international airport. You don’t have to use the hotel’s own shuttle service, but if you book in advance this should work out cheaper than arranging your own taxi. The hotel is located at one end of a road with the nearest restaurants and bars a short walk away. This isn’t ideal if you arrive later at night, but there is a restaurant and bar on site as well as 24-hour room service so there is no need to leave the confines of the hotel if you don’t want to.
A room for 700 Baht at The Great Residence Hotel would have represented good value, but the fact that the price included round-trip airport transfers meant it was excellent value. My one main criticism relates to noise; not from the planes, but from other guests. That is only partly due to the way the rooms have been arranged and is mainly due to lack of common-sense and consideration from people arriving or departing the hotel. That said, this is a transit hotel and it is to be expected that people are checking in out at all hours of the day and night so be prepared for noise if you are a light sleeper.
All things considered I can recommend this hotel if you want a short-stay close to Bangkok airport.
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