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Everything posted by Bwana_LB

  1. Bwana_LB

    Bangkok best hotel

    The lower rates at the Mercure didn't last long. The room I paid $78US a night for in late January has gone up to $102US. Better than the $125 they had been asking, but rates seem pretty fluid these days, thanks to dynamic pricing systems.
  2. Bwana_LB

    AIRA Bangkok Hotel

    A new hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 11, the place looks quite nice. They opened this month, and have some great deals for people coming in the next month or two. BTW, in response to an email query, they indicate that they are guest-friendly, asking only that guests leave ID at the front desk. https://www.airahotelbangkok.com
  3. Bwana_LB

    Bangkok best hotel

    Patience. Rates very frequently drop about two months out. I was looking to book a room at the Mercure Soi 11 for late January arrival. In early Nov. the advertised rate was about $125. In mid-Nov. the rate dropped to $78, and I booked. Not sure what you're looking to pay, but I see that the rates at the Mercure Soi 11 are as low as $73 in March. Citrus Suites is asking $88 for their executive suite, which is a huge room.
  4. I have been unable to locate the topic where a few of us were discussing the high prices in BKK for hotels this high season. The discussion included how high the asking prices were at the Mercure on Soi 11, among other regular haunts. Oliver and I both suggested that BMs wait a bit to book places, as prices would often drop for bookings closer to one's travel dates. Drop they did. I was tracking the prices at the Mercure, and for my trip dates (arriving late January) the rate for the room I wanted had been in the neighborhood of $120/night. Well, on Friday they dropped to $77. That rate includes a 5% discount for Accor Live Limitless members (free to join) and a discount for a stay of 7 nights or longer. Given the advantages of this hotel (nice rooms, good pool, and location!), I grabbed it. Life is always sweeter when that next return trip has been booked.
  5. Bwana_LB

    Leks Last Stand

    It is literally steps away from Soi 11 on Sukhumvit. BIG sign! I'm not sure what the attraction is. Beer is cheap but food is lousy.
  6. Bwana_LB

    citrus suits SOI 13 two guests

    No problem doing so at Citrus Soi 6.
  7. Bwana_LB

    Best hotel in Bangkok if money is no issue.

    If money is literally no issue (nor is location), my neighbors (a very, very wealthy Thai couple) INSIST that the only choice is the Capella Bangkok, located on the river. Most of the truly exceptional 5-star hotels are on the riverfront (the Mandarin Oriental, the Peninsula, the Siam). My neighbors put me up at the Capella when I came out for their youngest daughter's wedding. It was spectacular, but a miserable location for bringing back LBs. I think even the most brazen of us would feel uncomfortable bring a LB in through their lobby. I've stayed at the JW Marriott many times (used to have a great govt. rate). It's fine, and the location is great, but the rooms are nothing special. I think the rooms at the Hyatt Regency are actually nicer. I'm perfectly comfortable with "lesser" accommodations now, and my go-to place is the Mercure Soi 11.
  8. Bwana_LB

    Bangkok best hotel

    I'll be interested in your review. Soi 11 is a great location. There's plenty of excellent food on Soi 11, a lively freelancer scene at night, and--depending on your mood--you're steps away from the LBs and Cindy's and the GGs at Lusty Lady. That's why Mercure has become my BKK base.
  9. 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.
  10. Bwana_LB

    Mercure Soi 11 Review

    Going through the parking garage is not an option. In the evenings the lobby is rarely very busy (most of the action is in the bar/restaurant to the right of the lobby). The elevators are located BEFORE you reach the check-in area. If you go to the check-in desks they will ask, and if a girl arrives unaccompanied she will have to leave her ID before they will send her up in the elevator, but if you come in and walk straight to the elevators, they might not even see you. I skip the desk when I'm with a girl I know well from one of the bars. If with a freelancer I use the desk.
  11. Bwana_LB

    Immigration queues BKK?

    I came in on a Tuesday (late January) on Thai from NRT, arriving at about 10:30p. Cleared immigration in 5 minutes, but luggage took 30 minutes to start arriving.
  12. Bwana_LB

    Mercure Soi 11 Review

    Agreed on the fries.
  13. Bwana_LB

    Cheapish , but ok hotel between sois 7 and 11

    Do you have a target price range?
  14. Bwana_LB

    Mercure Soi 11 Review

    On the topic of burgers, just 10 yards from from Bang Bang Burgers is Artisan Craft Burgers. They are pricier, but the burgers are terrific, as are the fries. https://www.artisancraftburger.com
  15. Bwana_LB

    Mercure Soi 11 Review

    Pic of the marijuana van in front of the Mercure. There were two parked there every evening.
  16. Bwana_LB

    Mercure Soi 11 Review

    1. I don't recall, but think something essential was wired to that plug near the bed. 2. I took a couple of freelancers to the desk and had them leave their IDs, then after the deed was done walked them back to the reception desk to get their ID. I took a few Cindy's/CIB girls upstairs without dropping off IDs because there's a certain guarantee of safety when the girls work for Cindy or June.
  17. Bwana_LB

    Dawin since reopening

    My only complaint from my couple of stays at the Dawin was the AC. The room was either hot or walk-in freezer cold. Hopefully they replace their AC system in the remodel. I had no problem bringing in two LBs at a time. If anything, the security was almost too lax.
  18. Bwana_LB

    Bangkok best hotel

    I'm constantly amused by those who fret over how others choose to spend their money.
  19. Bwana_LB

    Headphones Recommendations

    I use the Sony 1000MX4 phones. Excellent noise canceling, and better sound than the Bose phones.
  20. Bwana_LB

    Travel Cost and Accomadation Q4 2022

    I made a reservation at the Mercure Soi 11 back in July for this coming January. My room was booked at 2800 baht per night. A few months earlier they'd been asking 2400 baht for the same room. Just checked for the same dates, and the going rate has been raised to 3534 baht, just over a 25% increase. Strikes me as rather extreme.
  21. Bwana_LB

    Travel Cost and Accomadation Q4 2022

    The airfare boosts are easily understood. Two factors: increased fuel prices (thanks, Putin) and reduced airline capacity. Fewer seats = higher prices. Hotel prices plummeted thanks to COVID but as LOS started reopening and dropping the restrictions, prices have crept back up. The hotel i've booked for January 2023 is now charging about 20% for than they were in February of 2022, but no more than they were before COVID hit. My sense was that many of the hotels are back to where they were pre-COVID but are not raising prices above those levels. From what I hear from a friend in the Thai hospitality business, occupancy rates are still well below where they were in late 2019.
  22. Bwana_LB

    Monkey Pox

    "Plenty of people?" Sorry. Now, unlike Oliver I've seen these assholes. I lived in Charlottesville. But they got their asses handed to them, verbally by counter-protestors and legally by the courts.
  23. Long gone. These freak shows were actually more common in a handful of bars in Phuket/Patong Beach. Curiosity got the better of me and I took in a show in Phuket. Ping pong balls, razor blades, and 50 yards of yarn emerged from pussies you would never want to explore. Other pussies smoked cigarettes and tried (and failed) to blow smoke rings, and fired ping pong balls and darts at targets. Weird? Yes. But also surprisingly boring.
  24. Bwana_LB

    Airline prices

    The LAX-BKK itinerary that cost me US$896 a year ago now goes for $1659. I cashed in some FF miles rather than pay that. My usual flight to Rio, typically about $869, is now $1880. Sucks.
  25. Bwana_LB

    Guest Friendly Hotels In Bangkok

    I've stayed at Citrus Suites Soi 6 the last few times in BKK. Aside from a mediocre breakfast buffet, it has a lot going for it. Location is hard to beat.