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  1. Bwana_LB

    Mercure Soi 11 Review

    Just spent 8 nights at the Mercure on Soi 11 and thought I'd offer up my take. I had a King room with shower and bathtub, one of several options. It's not their largest or their smallest room, but was plenty large for my needs (photos below). I arrived at midnight, and check-in was quick and simple. I purchased a room without the breakfast add-on, as I like to explore various breakfast options around town. I booked well in advance, while prices were still depressed by Covid, so got a rate of about $86/night. When I checked in, the rate being offered at that time was about $112. My room was on the 16th floor and away from Soi 11, so as quiet as a room will get in that part of town. I had no issues with noise A funny moment: I was only interested in sleeping after a 27 hour trip with a 15 hour time change, but could not figure out how to turn off the room lights. I searched everywhere (I thought) for the switches, finally calling the front desk to send someone up. The control for the room lights (nearly all of them) was in the middle of the bed headboard, hiding behind a stack of pillows. Description of room: The room was plenty spacious, and had pretty much everything I would want. The king bed was comfortable and the bed linens were high quality. Four large pillows. There was a desk with two chairs, and an additional two guest chairs with a small table. Opposite the bed there was a small storage unit with two drawers for clothes, and a flat screen TV above it. TV worked fine and was decent sized, but I never watched any TV. To the left of this, towards the door to the room and the door to the bathroom, was a platform to set luggage on, a small fridge (not a minibar), and then a closet with a decent sized safe (big enough for a laptop). Across from the closet was the door to the bathroom. As mentioned, the bathroom had both a glass-enclosed shower, with adjustable/handheld shower head and a rainfall shower head. Across from the shower was a full tub with an adjustable/handheld shower head (for some reason, many Thai girls seem to prefer to shower in the tub...I don't get it). Tub had a wall mounted soap dispenser, shower had wall mounted soap, shampoo, and conditioner dispensers. Next to the shower was a toilet with the essential bum gun, and next to it a shower and sink with ample room for storage of toiletries. Pros: Comfortable bed Good AC that was easy to control air speed and room temp Great hot water. It was easy to control, and never ran low. Two large bath sheets and two smaller bath towels Plenty of seating for guests. Chairs came in handy for sex as well. Housekeeping was responsive to requests for extra towels, hangers, etc. I tipped daily. Good reading lights by the bed. Cons: Lighting was hard to control. No dimming, and ceiling lights were either all on or all off. No power outlets next to the bed! Charging phones had to be done at the desk or on top of the fridge. This was a nuisance. Aside from liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion, there were no other amenities in the bathroom. No plastic hair cover for the girls, etc. Fridge was on the small side. Room for a few drinks and not much else. The Hotel: The lobby is nothing fancy. From the driveway you walk through sliding glass doors, across a seating area with a concierge stand, past the elevators (one left, one right), and to the actual reception desks. One of the two hotel restaurants (Lily Fu's) is on the ground floor to the right of the hotel entrance, and can be entered from inside or outside the hotel. Another restaurant (Gaucho Argentinean Steakhouse) is loosely affiliated with the hotel and is just to the left of the hotel. The hotel has a parking garage (4 levels), a pool, bar, and gym that sit above the parking garage, and 16 floors of rooms (1-16, minus 13th, plus a Penthouse level). I spent a fair amount of time at the pool. One of the better pools I've used. There are actually two pools: a smaller and very shallow splash pool for kids and a larger pool, still fairly shallow (1.2 meters) for swimming. The pool is surround by ample seating of various sorts with shade for the sun-averse. The bar sits at one end of the pool, and has a decent drink and food menu. Neither cheap nor overpriced. The gym, glass enclosed and looking out over the pool, was also very good, with plenty of cardio and weight machines. Pros: Lobby easy to negotiate. It's a decent walk (of shame?) to the elevators, but you have the option of skipping the desk and taking your guests straight to your room. Elevators require a room key to get to a particular floor, so no surprise guests will appear at your door (as has happened to me at other hotels). Breakfast buffet at Lily Fu's is excellent, at 299 baht. Egg station, all the usual options for American/English breakfast, tons of Asian options, good selection of fruit, juices, breads and pastries, coffees and teas, etc. One can sit open air in the front of the restaurant facing Soi 11 or sit back further inside or at the bar. In the evening, Lily Fu's is a bar/restaurant and is pretty active. Good drink options, reasonably priced, and usually quite crowded. The food is primarily pan-Asian and good, but there are better options, so I only had a quick meal there one time when convenience was key. Gym was great and never crowded. Pool would get busy, but there was always ample seating. Cons: The hotel is definitely a family hotel. Not exclusively so, but if you're a shy monger just know that you'll be dealing with lots of couples on vacation, families with kids, and so forth. The clients were incredibly diverse, a little United Nations. Didn't bother me at all, but I know some here prefer hotels that cater primarily to mongers. I'm afraid there are fewer and fewer of those, and they are generally not the best hotels. Pool area could get noisy when a few families with kids would show up. The pool is my reading area, and shouting kids are distracting. Come on the early side for breakfast. At least while I was in town the restaurant got quite crowded by 9:30. Fortunately, I'm an early riser. Conclusion: Depending on the rate I can get, I'd definitely stay again. Did I mention that Cindy's Secrets is about 100 yards from the hotel, and that it's a short walk to Check In Bar? And that Soi 11 really has lots of options for food at any time of day, and plenty of nightlife. By 9 pm freelancers show up along Soi 11 closer to Sukhumvit. I definitely preferred staying here over Soi 4. Soi 11 is now also the hub for the mobile marijuana dispensaries. There were at least ten vans selling marijuana along Soi 11 (and tons of dispensaries along Sukhumvit), including two vans parked in front of the Mercure in the evenings. Didn't imbibe. I liked getting in walks to the skytrain from the hotel (maybe 5 minutes), and Terminal 21 is just a 10 minute walk. The morning I left, at 5 am, there were four girls from Cindy's sitting in front of my hotel, so I went out and chatted with them. The street was still pretty active, but mostly filled with bargirls and freelancers ending their nights by getting something to eat or drink. I don't think Soi 11 ever sleeps.
  2. When I was in Bangkok back in July, I visited Soi Thaniya in Silom, which is only 300 meters down from Patpong Road. Amazing how many times I had been to Patpong but didn't know about this place they refer to as 'Little Tokyo' or 'Little Japan' due to the entire street being lined with awesome Japanese restaurants, from Japanese BBQ, sushi, ramen shops and plenty of others. An entrance to BTS SkyTrain Sala Daeng station is just on the corner of Soi Thaniya. I just visited during the day for lunch but heard it is lit up like the streets of Tokyo at night. I just had a ramen noodle soup at a restaurant called Uchidaya Ramen. 270 baht for their Kyushu Tonkotsu 'Special' ramen. Best ramen I have ever eaten! If you love Japanese food then put this on your list of places to visit in Bangkok. Go there for dinner, then head down to Patpong to pick up your dessert. They do have some girlie bars here, located in the top floors above the restaurants at street level. I heard they are very much like the 'hostess bars in Tokyo'. These places cater to Japanese business men. I heard like in Japan, they pay a fee for a girl to sit with them and laugh at their jokes, tell them how wonderful they are and pour their drinks. I been to a few hostess bars in Tokyo and never saw the point of them as you can't bar fine the girls there in Tokyo but I believe you can bar fine the ones in Bangkok but at ridiculous Japanese prices, something like 5000 - 6000 Baht. Screw that! Get down to Patpong to pick up what you fancy for the night, GG or LB at proper Bangkok prices. Definitely worth a visit if you love Japanese food.