There are no shortage of places to stay in a city like Bangkok. Near enough every skyscraper we passed was a hotel or apart-hotel and between Mo and I, we had plenty of friends recommending places they had themselves stayed. However, we decided to take a risk on a relatively new opening, one that Mo had found whilst trawling Trip Advisor.
Hidden away in Sukhumvit Soi 1, is the Ad Lib Hotel. As soon as our taxi pulled up we both got a good feeling from the place, the cool, modern design reminded us of the Morrissey hotel we stayed at, in Jakarta. We were greeted with smiles and offered a refreshing drink whilst we sunk into the plush lobby sofas as they prepared our check in documents.
There are two room options at the Ad Lib, the Plush room and the Extra Plush room. We decided to go all out and book the Extra Plush room, it really wasn’t that much more price wise. At the time of booking we didn’t think too much of the added benefits of this option but they definitely came in handy once we were there!
During check in, the concierge talked us through our room features, the most useful being:
- Free laundry, three pieces per day;
- Unlimited tea and coffee anytime of the day;
- Free in-room minibar;
- One BTS ticket pass for each day we stayed, we received four in total which meant two days of unlimited sky train travel; and
- A Samsung Galaxy phone with data, and 100 baht complimentary credit per day.
I loved the room; it was just the right size, clean, comfortable, clever lighting circuits, plenty of sockets, a great shower and enough space to fit our gigantic suitcases.
We were on the third floor, again, this worked out perfect as it was the floor which had the pool! Bangkok is such a busy lively city and the pool felt like an oasis of tranquility, slap-bang in the middle of it all. You could catch the sun at all times of the day and because it was so accessible, every time we were in between activities, it was great to walk down the corridor and fit in a quick a swim, or lounge on the super comfortable day beds and poolside seating areas.
For my first trip to Bangkok, I thought the location of Ad Lib was perfect. The hotel is a five minute walk (if that) from Phloen Chit BTS station. On our first day, they kindly shuttled us there so we knew where we were going. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, shops all within walking distance.
For Muslim travellers, like us, a ten minute walk will take you to Nana, an area filled with halal cuisine. This was quite handy, the one thing the Ad Lib lacked was a varied menu for us Muslims. All the halal restaurants around Nana are Middle Eastern, you can easily forget you’re in Bangkok when you walk down the streets here, with every sign in Arabic and shops selling Oud and other Arabian products. Quite bizarre really… but it was nice to be able to order good quality meat dishes after living off vegetables and fish for the past week.
Apart from the fabulous decor and accessibility of the hotel, the one element that really stood out during our stay was the service. It was brilliant.
The ladies who served us in the restaurant, even at half 6 in the morning, were all smiles. They were quick, efficient and it’s always nice when they make the effort to remember you’re room number and drink choices.
We asked many a question to the concierge desk: advice on traffic, calling taxis, places they recommend we visit, times of day to sight see etc. etc. They did their best to give us as much information as possible, a map of the area and they also checked we were happy with any taxi prices we were quoted before we took them so we weren’t overcharged. We had a few communication issues with the late night 24 hours service, but it was nothing too major (and we were being strange asking for a breakfast meal pretty late at night).
Whilst out and about we had seen an advert for a show we wanted to watch one evening, so after breakfast we asked the concierge on the desk, Pong, if he could give them a call for us and see if there were any tickets available. He did it straight away and preempted all the questions we wanted to ask if there were seats left. He sorted our reservation and again advised on the best time and way to get there. When we arrived at the venue, the reservation he had saved for us were front row premium seats, but we only had to pay the standard price. Perfect!
They always did everything they could to accommodate our many (many) requests. Always happy to see us, always asked how our day went and if we needed anything, I really can’t praise them enough.
Bottom line, good value, great place, top location and fantastic service. Why wouldn’t anyone want to stay here??
Few tips: The Ad Lib is tucked away off Sukhumvit Road and not a lot of taxis know of it, if you are heading back always ask for a price to Sukhumvit Soi 1 or the Bumrungrad Hospital (just behind the hotel) and they’ll know exactly where you mean.