There are only a handful of hotels in Bangkok — and the world, for that matter — that really are for everyone and anyone. Step into the new DoubleTree by Hilton Ploen Chit and you quickly spot everyone from businessmen to young couples enjoying the facilities. This brand new Hilton hotel is the latest to join the Bangkok skyline, standing tall in the heart of the city’s most bustling area. And like the city, it welcomes and provides for all. The customer service and amenities are graced with the signature Hilton savoir-faire, but DoubleTree is a more youthful and fun-loving hotel than its family members. Along with sincere smiles and helpful recommendations, guests are also treated to soft, warm, just-out-the-oven cookies upon arrival — as per the hotel’s chocolate chip mascot. But that’s just the beginning of the sweetness of staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Ploen Chit. Checking in for a weekend, we got to discover its full flavour.
[All images courtesy of Doubletree by Hilton.]
It’s surprisingly rare to arrive at a hotel and immediately feel welcome. More often, you either arrive at an isolated reception counter separate from the actual hotel area, or you frantically try to locate the check-in counter in a large and busy lobby. But when you arrive at the DoubleTree Hilton, you’re immediately made a part of the family. In one glance, all of the check-in counter, the open dining area, the island counter bar, and the unique overhanging decor are gathered in view. There’s a social feel to the place, a welcoming sense of community. Once you’re at the check-in, you’re then officially initiated into the DoubleTree family with a literally sweet, warm welcome — the signature fresh-out-the-oven chocolate chip cookie. You just can’t help but smile on your way up to your room.
More sweet surprises await you in your clean, modern, and yet homey room. The rooms are naturally well-lit, provide excellent quality amenities, and are equipped with a very comfortable bed. As the lights and air-con turn on automatically with sensors that detect your key (so you don’t have to plug it on the wall), you see a few gifts and treats laid out for you. To welcome you to your new home, the DoubleTree provide you with little Thai sweet treats, a beautiful basket of fruit, and an adorable goodie bag with an illustration of the hotel’s cookie mascot printed on. Inside the goodie bag? Just some essentials you might need while you’re exploring Bangkok.
You won’t ever go hungry while staying at DoubleTree. So much care has gone into selecting the best quality and best tasting ingredients in the dishes at the hotel’s restaurant, Open. It’s aptly named — the dining area is all naturally-lit during the day, surrounded by tropical plants, and is welcomingly located right by the entrance of the hotel. Breakfast is a vibrant affair, with an impressively broad range of buffet offerings from dim sum to french toast. Try their rice porridge and all the accompaniments — a brilliant rendition of a traditional morning meal for locals. For lunch and dinner, the range is equally eye-opening. From juicy wagyu steaks to the most beautifully presented pad thai, you’ll find superb quality and excellent flavours from East to West. The food is definitely a core passion and a big highlight at the DoubleTree.
Being towards the end of Sukhumvit Soi 2, DoubleTree by Hilton enjoys a far more quiet and peaceful site than its neighbours, like the JW Marriot. Even if this means a slightly longer walk to the Ploen Chit BTS, it would still only take you around 5 minutes. But there are also several of Bangkok’s attractions within walking distance. You’re roughly 10 walking minutes away from Central Embassy, one of Bangkok’s most glitzy malls. 10 minutes in the other direction will take you to Na Na, a hub for vibrant nightlife with its plentiful bars, night markets, and late-night eats. The area is pretty much as central as you can get in the city, and yet the hotel itself seems quiet and secluded.
When speaking to DoubleTree’s GM, he mentioned that at their monthly staff lunches he always liked to ask them what they would like to do in the future. It may be an unusual question to ask your employees, but actually it underlines the hotel’s crucial ethos that their staff are real, interesting, independently-thinking people. Rather than your standard robotic service, what you’ll find at the DoubleTree are staff who know instinctively how to treat you well and provide the best service. Professional and efficient yet warm and ever-smiley, the staff members are welcoming and friendly right down to the look in their eyes. Even though they may all have fascinating plans for the future, they all seem genuinely happy to be right where they are. And that certainly makes you happy to be there too.
It’s the little things that make the DoubleTree Hilton so lovable. Housekeeping notices that you — in the glaring heat of Bangkok city — always finish your two water bottles, so the next day they give you four. One night after being out all day, you return to find a beautiful bath already drawn for you, complete with rose petals, candles, bath salts, and citrus slices. Remarking on the intriguing art piece behind the reception counter, you’re told that it was in fact crafted from old newspapers with headlines that told happy news. The DoubleTree by Hilton in Ploen Chit is a sweet hotel, in every sense of the word. For its kind staff, thoughtful actions, and abundance of delicious homemade cookies, we’d definitely recommend it to anybody looking for an easy-going stay in Bangkok.
DoubleTree by Hilton Ploen Chit, 12 Sukhumvit 2, Bangkok; +66 2 262 2999.