Trip to Bangkok - May 2007
Review of Lebua at State Tower

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Lebua seen from a distanceMy wife Nikki and I have been to Bangkok a couple of times before. Due to the difference in price level between Thailand and Norway this is one city where most Norwegians can have a really nice hotel room without going broke. So this time I decided to look for a hotel that was above average and I also wanted to stay at a new location. The last time we went to Bangkok in 2002 we stayed at Rembrandt hotel on Sukhumwit. I sent requests to various hotels to get a price quote and I got a nice response from Lebua at State Tower near the river. The offer was 4000 Thai Baht (about 120 US dollars) per night for the room including breakfast. Please check this Bangkok Google map that I have made for the location of the hotel. The hotel in marked with a yellow pin.

 

The lobby at LebuaI arrived by taxi at the hotel at about 7 am in the morning on May 10th 2007. The welcome was like one can expect at a nice hotel in Bangkok: people opening doors for you, people greeting you with “Sawadee ka” and the traditional wai greeting etc. The lobby was small but nice and had light tiles in combination with dark wooden floors and dark furniture.
I was lead to a sofa and I was told to sit down and relax. All they needed was my passport and reservation. After a couple of minutes they had filled out the necessary form for me and all I had to do was sign. To my joy it turned out that they had a room available for me this early and it is always nice to be able to check in right away after a long plane trip.

 

The room
Sofa by the entrance to the room at LebuaI got room number 5519 on the 55th floor! The hotel is located in one of the tallest buildings in Bangkok and this was also one of the factors why we choose the hotel. I was shown to the room and it was a very nice first impression when I stepped into the room. In front of me was a 66 square meter room (about 710 square feet) and it must be the largest hotel room that I have ever had. The room had nice medium light wooden floor and light walls. By the entrance there were two small tables and chairs and sofas for about 6 people. This first part of the room functioned like a “living room” I guess and it also included a big TV. On the first table I also got a small fruit plate and a small box of chocolate - I have a bit of a sweet tooth so I did appreciate that. The box as even refilled when I ate the first one :-)

 

The kitchen area in the roomThe middle part of the room contained the kitchen, the wardrobe and access to the bathroom. The kitchen was a small kitchen with a big fridge, a micro, a small stove, a proper coffee maker and water boiler etc. For me this was not really a big issue - there is so much good food to be found in Bangkok that there is really no need to make food back in the room :-) But it was nice with a big fridge to put some cold drinks in. There were lots of bottles of Lebua water that came for free with the room. I think we had like 6-8 bottles around in the room at all times - excellent.

 

The bed at LebuaThe wardrobes contained hangers, robes for him and her, a small safe, umbrella etc. The room continued further and behind a sliding door the bedroom was revealed. The room contained a HUGE bed with one big duvet and a desk with a TV, DVD player and a chair. I was pretty quick to setup my laptop (I have named him Bjarne the 5th) and with the wire that I found I was plugged in and online within minutes. I got access without any fuzz and it was included in the price - excellent!
The bed felt a bit hard when I first tried it out but I slept like a baby the days when I was there.

 

The room had a river view but unfortunately the doors to the balcony were locked due to safety rules. I knew about this in advance after reading TripAdvisor reviews so it didn’t come as a shock to me. It would have been nice to enjoy the view of the river from the balcony but I can also understand why they want to keep them locked. But I do think you can sign some sort of form to get permission to get the doors unlocked.

 

The bathroom
The showe corner at LebuaThe bathroom matched the rest of the room - it was big and tiled with light tiles. It included a bathtub sort of built in with marble tiles and a matching top for the sink. It also included a big shower corner with glass walls. There were lots of amenities in the bathroom. They make a big fuzz about the amenities being from Bvlgari but the shampoo, conditioner and soap was nice. But there were also tooth brushes, shaving kit etc. The towels seemed to match the room as they were also huge. Nikki was quite surprised when she came out of the shower the first time and discovered that the fluffy towel was actualy larger than her :-)

 

The breakfast
The omelette and egg selection in the breakfast areaThe breakfast was served on the M floor (on 13th floor). We had a choice of having the breakfast served inside or outside by the pool and we were led to a table by a waitress. We also had the option of tea or coffee and this was served in small hot flasks which is quite clever :-). Just beware when you pour - the patent of this flasks are not the best and I have seen a few people spill coffee when using it for the first time. The breakfast area was not really that big but the selection included everything that I want for breakfast at least. You could get eggs and omelettes made the way you wanted, make toast, have bacon, sausages, cereal, fruit, fresh juice from various fruits, lots of different pastries and bread etc. I don’t think it is the best breakfast buffet that I have seen but they had a nice selection just as you would expect for a nice hotel in Asia :-)

 

Pool and fitness centre
The pool area at LebuaOn my day of arrival I tested out the fitness centre to stay awake. The pool and fitness centre is also on the M floor next to the breakfast area. The pool was OK but it is not extravagant like you hear from other hotels. Some friends of us stayed at Sheraton on Sukhumwit and they described the pool there as swimming through a jungle. On Lebua it was “just” a pool but it was actually larger than expected. To get a towel it was just a matter of signing in by the entrance and you had to do the same if you wanted a locker in the fitness centre. The fitness room included nice and new workout gadgets such as a regular stationary bike, stepping machine, treadmill etc. But there were also gadgets to lift weights. There were water bottles available in the gym for the thirsty ones.

 

Location
View of Bangkok by night from LebuaThe hotel is located by the river and about 300 meters from Saphan Taksin BTS skytain station (look at the Bangkok Google map that I have made) and I think it took us 8-10 minutes to walk there. From this place you can also take the Chao Praya river express so it is pretty easy to get around Bangkok from the hotel. One night we wanted to take a taxi to Sukhumwit but due to traffic none of the taxis wanted to take us there. I’m not sure if there was more traffic than normal this night and that was the reason. But it is pretty fast to take the Skytrain. From we got on the skytrain it only took about 15 minutes getting to Asok skytrain station (including the change at Siam).

 

Note that there are some “con” men lurking about the entrance of the hotel. A couple of times when I was on my way out I was greeted by some people claiming that they worked at the hotel, a local embassy etc. I’m not sure how the scam works but in the end they would always ask me where I was going and they tried to convince me that I should go up Silom road instead of going to the Skytrain station.

 

Restaurants at the hotel
Prawns for starter at Breeze at LebuaThere are several restaurants at the hotel - Breeze on 52nd floor serving Asian sea food, Sirocco serving Mediterranean food etc. I also got a sneak view of the State room which is in the Dome of the building itself and what a view the place can offer. Located on the 64th floor with a 360 degree room it must be quite a place to have e.g. a wedding. We got a complementary meal at Breeze as Nikki turned 30 years old and since we also had a 10 year anniversary. We had a table at the edge and we had a lovely view of Bangkok and the river. The entrance at Breeze at LebuaThe restaurant is outdoors so it is really quite spectacular. We also went to the Skybar on the 64th floor for a drink after being at Breeze. Both Nikki and I were dressed up but Nikki was still rejected as she had some nice sandals and they don’t allow “open shoes”. I can understand that they reject people in shorts and flip-flops but it was just silly when Nikki was rejected. But Nikki changed into some other shoes and we got it eventually. The people that guided us to the Skybar kept on saying “mind your step” as the light was dim and the obstacles many :-) I tried to take a picture of this spectacular outdoor bar but I was politely informed by one of the employees that it was not allowed. Once again a silly rule that I can’t really understand. The Skybar was crowded and the drinks were expensive.

 

Amenities in the bath roomSo far it might sound like this was a perfect hotel but I do have some issues that I want to address. The lobby of the hotel does not appear like a 5 star luxury hotel. The entrance that I was driven to and that contains the lobby is actually a side entrance. But there is also a main entrance and when you enter into this you find a huge “lobby area” that contains Starbuck, a few spa shops etc but apart from that pretty empty. In this huge “lobby” there is a door in the back that leads to the real lobby and the lifts to the rooms. This appears a bit strange and the building seems a bit unfinished due to this.

 

Talking about the lifts - other reviewers have mentioned that it was a problem as there are only three lifts serving the hotel floors and the restaurants/bar. Yes, we did have to wait a few minutes a few times but I didn’t feel that this was a big problem. But beware of the dripping air-condition in the lifts :-)

 

Conclusion
The TV and desk in the bedroomWe had a very nice stay at Lebua at State Tower in Bangkok. We got a huge and comfortable room including breakfast, broadband at a reasonable price. The hotel is close enough to the Skytrain station and the river express boat pier so that you can get around both to shopping (at Siam) and attractions (like Grand Palace). The view of Bangkok and the river from our room was amazing and it would have been even better if we had gotten access to the balcony. I would not hesitate to stay at Lebua at State Tower again or recommend it to any of my friends.

 

Please check out the hotel homepage for more information. Please check out TripAdvisor for reviews of the hotel.

 
 

 

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