Review: Waldorf Astoria Bangkok

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The Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is an non-stop exercise in superlatives, and given the prices now, can't be beat.

The Waldorf Astoria Bangkok opened in 2018, becoming Southeast Asia’s first Waldorf hotel, and the only one to date, as long as the Waldorf Bali languishes in a state of permanent limbo. 

While I’ve stayed at countless Hilton brands over the years, I’ve only visited a single Waldorf Astoria- the one in Rome, which didn’t impress me too much. But I wasn’t about to let one mediocre experience put me off, and immediately after checking out from the Grand Hyatt Erawan, dragged my bag 100 metres down the road to the Waldorf Bangkok.

♻️ Test & Go & Come Back & Test & Go Again
🏨 tl;dr: Waldorf Astoria Bangkok
The Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is an non-stop exercise in superlatives, and given the prices now, can’t be beat.
👍 The Good👎 The Bad
  • Elegantly designed rooms that look every bit the part
  • One of the best breakfasts in Bangkok
  • A stunning, heated swimming pool with wonderful sunset views
  • Rates are temporarily depressed due to COVID
  • Expect to pay top dollar for dining and spa services (though some limited-time discounts apply)

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok: Booking

I managed to book an excellent rate of S$305 nett through the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) programme, which came with:

  • A US$100 property credit
  • Room upgrade (subject to availability)
  • 12 p.m check-in (subject to availability)
  • 4 p.m check-out
  • Breakfast for 2 adults

The property credit alone already knocked 45% or so off the rate, and I was automatically upgraded a few days before arrival from the lead-in Deluxe Room to a Deluxe Suite.

Since cash rates are so low at the moment, I don’t think it’s worth redeeming 67,000 points per night. In March, for example, cash rates start from THB 8,855 nett per night. This would give you a value of 0.4 US cents per point, below the 0.5 US cents you should be targeting. 

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok: Arrival & Check-in

Waldorf Astoria driveway entrance

The 171-room Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is located near the busy Ratchaprasong intersection and Chit Lom BTS. It occupies floors 6-17 and 55-57 of a mixed-used high rise development shared with the Magnolias Ratchaprasong Serviced Residences.

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok driveway
Hotel entrance

Like many hotels in mixed-use buildings, the Waldorf Bangkok’s ground floor is merely a reception area. I was warmly greeted by the staff, who took my bag and escorted me to the lift for check-in on level 16. 

Ground floor lobby
Ground floor lobby

The hotel’s interiors were sculpted by renowned architect Andre Fu (CV: Andaz Singapore, Four Seasons Tokyo, The Upper House in Hong Kong, and The Berkeley Hotel in London), whose design studio AFSO clearly spared no expense in creating one of the most opulent lobbies in all of Bangkok. 

High ceilings, brass patterned screens, stately white pillars and abundant natural light made this a place you wanted to linger. It felt like a tranquil escape, compared to the chaos of the streets below. 

Upper lobby
Upper lobby

The lobby overlooks the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, Thailand’s first racecourse and one of its oldest golf courses (estimated membership waitlist: 10 years). You can take in the views while enjoying tea at the Peacock Alley lounge, named after the daily promenade of notables through the original colonnade connecting The Waldorf and The Astoria hotels (I’ve covered the history of the rivalry-turned-uneasy-friendship here).

Royal Bangkok Sports Club

Check-in was handled at one of the three desks, each clad in handsome light bronze accents. 

Check-in desks
Check-in desks

A welcome drink was served, and I was given a letter explaining the FHR benefits I’d receive. FYI, the US$100 hotel credit was converted into THB 3,100, which represented a 4.5% haircut compared to spot rates on the day.

Welcome drink

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok: Suite

Suite entrance

I stayed in 1406, a 75-sqm Deluxe Suite on the 14th floor. While it’s not a suite in the traditional sense of the word (since the living area isn’t walled off from the bedroom), it boasted panoramic views through wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows, and tastefully-decorated interiors with neutral colours and subtle Thai motifs. 

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok Deluxe Suite
Waldorf Astoria Bangkok Deluxe Suite
Waldorf Astoria Bangkok Deluxe Suite
Waldorf Astoria Bangkok Deluxe Suite

Near the entrance was a seating area, with a crescent-shaped sofa, a lounge chair and oversized coffee table.

Sitting area

A little welcome amenity consisting of two fruit tartlets was provided.

Welcome snack

The king-size bed featured a plush top, liquid-gel memory foam mattress with premium bedding. I’d rate this as one of the best hotel beds I ever had, and of course, a pillow menu is available. 

Bed

On the bedside tables was an iPod dock (kind of an odd throwback for a new hotel) and a digital tablet for controlling the climate and lighting in the room.

Bedside table
Bedside table

On first glance, I thought they’d missed a trick by omitting bedside charging or USB ports, but it turned out these were located in the hollow area beneath the table. Each bedside got a universal power outlet and 2x USB Type-A ports. 

Bedside charging

Opposite the bed was a 49-inch TV, which I thought was a tad bit small for a room this size (55-inches should be the minimum). That said, the picture quality was good, and you could stream personal media from your own device. 

TV

Near the entrance was the room’s mini-bar, which opened up to reveal a kettle, teacups, a mini-fridge, and some cocktail mixers. 

Mini-bar area

Inside the minibar were four bottles of Singha beer, two bottles of coke, two bottles of Acqua Panna still water and two bottles of San Pellegrino sparkling water. These were all chargeable, but the two Waldorf-stamped coconuts were a complimentary welcome amenity. 

Mini-fridge

Nespresso capsules and Chaidim organic teabags were provided.

Nespresso capsules and teabags

Instead of plastic (or even glass) bottles, guests get water in a laminated cardboard box. It’s lighter to transport and less energy-intensive to recycle, plus it looks cool.

Boxed water

The suite lacked a proper work desk, but instead had a dining table with two chairs. Power outlets, USB and HDMI ports were built into the side table, so at a pinch, it could double up as a work area. However, the chairs really weren’t good for prolonged sitting, unless you wedged a pillow between your back and the backrest. 

Dining table
Charging outlets

The Waldorf’s Wi-Fi network was the fastest of any hotel I stayed in Bangkok, clocking a whopping 290 Mbps down and 243 Mbps up. You could be holding a Zoom call while streaming 4k Netflix and bit-torrenting and the same time, and it’d barely stutter. 

A massive dressing room and walk-in wardrobe provided plenty of space for preening and trying on outfits. 

Dressing room

The gorgeously-designed bathroom had dual vanities, with peekaboo gap in-between that let you see into the bathing area from the bedroom. This had the advantage of making the room feel even more spacious, though you can obviously close the door if you’re not into exhibitionism. 

Vanity area
Water and soap
Personal care amenities

The toilet, as you might expect, was a top-of-the-line TOTO bidet seat with wall-mounted control panel. 

TOTO bidet seat
Control panel

As impressive as the toilet was, I’d say the real highlight was the soaking tub. It’s massive; you could put two people inside and still have enough space to stretch out. 

Bath and shower area
Bathtub
Bathtub

I really appreciated that this bathtub had a proper TV screen. Most bathroom screens I’ve seen so far are grainy and low definition, only providing a limited selection of terrestrial TV channels. This one was crystal clear, and you could stream your own media to it. 

Bathtub TV

The shower area offered both an overhead rain shower and a handheld shower. Because of its open design, quite a bit of water splashed out into the corridor while bathing- be careful when walking.

Shower

Bath amenities were from Salvatore Ferragamo, stored inside bronze-coloured pump dispensers to minimise plastic waste. 

Salvatore Ferragamo bath amenities

You’d expect fancy bathrobes at a place like this, and the Waldorf doesn’t disappoint with its genuine Boca Terry microfibre robes. Soft and luxurious, I’m tempted to get a set for my own house. 

Boca Terry bathrobe

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok: Facilities

Swimming pool

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok swimming pool

Located on the 17th floor, the Waldorf Bangkok’s temperature-controlled infinity pool is yet another one for the highlights reel. It’s not quite a rooftop pool (remember, this building has 60 floors), but you nonetheless enjoy a great vantage point thanks to the overhang. 

While most pools are all about soaking in the sun, this one offers a shaded place to rest, thanks to the tree-like superstructure radiating from the middle. 

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok swimming pool

Sitting in the water are “floating cabanas” (no, they don’t actually float) which you can reserve beforehand. 

Cabanas

Guests can order light bites and other libations from the nearby bar. 

Bar area
Poolside menu
Poolside menu

Service at the pool was attentive, and no sooner had I picked a spot than an attendant hurried over with towels to drape on the cushions, plus ice water and a fresh fruit skewer. 

Drinks and fruits

The best time to visit the pool is about an hour before sunset, so you can enjoy the warm water, swim a few laps, and order a sundowner just as the show begins. 

Sunset
Sundowners

I highly recommend you stay on after dusk, because the pool becomes a totally different experience at night. There’s something magical about seeing the surrounding buildings illuminate and the stars appear (or what few you can see with Bangkok’s light pollution), all while nice and toasty within the water. You won’t want to leave.

Night view

If there’s one complaint I had, it’s that I was previously told by the front desk that Hilton’s Dine Like a Member offer (which gives Golds and Diamonds 25% off all F&B) applied at all outlets in the hotel. However, my pool bill rang up at full price, and when I ask about it, they apologised for the mistake and that was that. I’d really have expected them to own their mistake and offer the discount, but I didn’t pursue the matter. 

Gym

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok gym

The Waldorf Bangkok’s gym is open 24/7, and decked out with Technogym cardio and strength-training equipment. Full-length windows allow you to sweat with a view, and equipment is meticulously cleaned after each guest.

Treadmills
Cycling machines and ellipticals
Weights area
Strength training equipment
Strength training equipment

The gym was well-stocked with towels and boxes of water.

Refreshment area

Spa

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok spa

The Waldorf Astoria Spa is open 10 a.m to 10 p.m daily, and located next to the pool area. You can browse the spa menu here, though the prices don’t reflect ongoing discounts and promotions. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a flat THB 1,000 discount off my THB 2,700++ foot reflexology treatment!

Spa waiting area

I was offered a drink while waiting, and a cold towel and alcohol wipe were also provided. 

Welcome drink

Guests are free to use the steam room and sauna facilities regardless of whether they book a treatment, which are located inside the changing rooms. 

Locker room
Showers
Vanity area
Sauna
Steam room

If you’re doing a spa treatment, you’ll also have your own personal changing room. 

Personal changing room

I opted for a foot reflexology treatment, which was a relaxing experience (you get to lie down on a bed instead of sitting in a lounge chair), and one I’d heartily recommend. 

Treatment room

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok: Breakfast

The Brasserie

It’s been said that the Waldorf Astoria serves up the best breakfast in Bangkok, and on the balance of evidence, I’m inclined to agree. 

Breakfast runs from 6.30 a.m to 11 a.m on weekdays, with an extra 30 minutes on weekends. It costs THB 950++ (weekdays) or THB 1,100++ (weekends) if not included with your rate. 

The Brasserie breakfast area
The Brasserie breakfast area

While other hotels in Bangkok tend to take a kitchen-sink approach to breakfast buffets (where else can you have ice cream with your omelette?), the Waldorf’s approach is more focused and curated.

Buffet area

The first island table near the entrance featured smoked salmon, cold cuts and deli meats, as well as cheese. There was an impressive-looking Serrano ham leg, which the staff trimmed to order. 

Cold cuts and cheese table
Smoked fish and deli meats

Further on was a long serving counter with various Thai and Western dishes. 

Stir fried broccoli with oyster sauce
Deep fried fish with black pepper
Red curry with pork
Bacon
Hash brown
Creamy herb mushroom
Assorted fry-up items

Another island table followed, with sliced fruits and salads. 

Fruit and salad

Around the corner was the bakery section, with a yoghurt and cereal selection.

Bakery and cereals
Milks
Yoghurt
Cereals

You could walk up to the window and order waffles, pancakes, French toast, or croffles. My advice? Go for the croffle, a heavenly marriage between a croissant and waffle. 

Bakery window
Sweets selection

I was really blown away by the quality of the food, and even the dim sum, which in many places is nothing more than afterthought, could probably hold its own. 

Dim sum
French toast and croffle
Waffle and pancake
Wanton soup

Guests could also order various egg dishes from a menu. 

Breakfast menu
Breakfast menu

I tried both a truffle egg and chili egg, which were jazzed-up versions of eggs benedict. Both were lovely, though I think the truffle egg just edged it for me.

Truffle egg

I also tried the Thai omelette, which was served hot and crispy with chili sauce and optional rice. 

Thai omelette

All in all, one of the most impressive breakfasts I’ve had on my visits to Bangkok. 

Other Dining

Bull & Bear

Bull & Bear bar

While the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok has seven F&B outlets, I only had time to visit Bull & Bear on level 55, named after the iconic Wall Street symbols.

Bull & Bear dining area

This art deco designed bar and restaurant serves up a three-course set lunch from THB 1,000++, with the following options. 

Hilton’s Dine Like a Member discount does not apply to set menus, although you can use your US$100 hotel credit to pay for it.

For my starter, I chose the king salmon tartare, with fennel, yuzu dressing and avruga caviar. Avruga caviar isn’t the real thing, since it’s made with herring instead of fish roe, but the salmon was fresh and paired beautifully with the citrus of the yuzu.

King salmon tartare

I hadn’t had a burger for a while, and it came highly recommended, so I chose the Wagyu short rib burger which came with smoked bacon, carmalised onion, mustard mayo, a quail egg and gruyere cheese. The cook on the burger was spot on, and the brioche bun was toasted to perfection. I had to stop myself from finishing the whole thing.

Short rib burger

For dessert, I had the burned cheese cake, topped with bourbon orange caramel and paired with bourbon and pecan ice cream. Like the burger, it hit all the right spots. 

Burned cheese cake

Conclusion

Deluxe Suite

From start to finish, the Waldorf Bangkok is a never-ending exercise in superlatives: the awesome breakfast, the breathtaking pool, the tranquillity of the spa, and of course, the lovely suite.

It’s easily the best of the four hotels I stayed at in Bangkok, and I’d encourage you to try it out so long as the rates remain low. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Captain Wiriyaluppa

Another exceptional review! Agreed. Waldorf Bkk is one of the best hotel in Bkk regarding their service. Very accurate and impressed. Unfortunately, Hotel’s cutting edge design is not for everyone. I found it lack of detail in structure and room decoration (when compare with other ultra luxury hotels in Bkk – says Rosewood Bkk). The tone of the suite isn’t very cozy. And since last time I been there I think the tree in the pool will not gonna last very long. I can guarantee that Waldorf breakfast is one of the best (in fact I think it is the… Read more »

Sean

Oh, hotel buffet breakfasts are back? Even at the Waldorf, that is one thing I hoped I’d never see again…

Alian

I just did a booking for Sep. Rates are the same as this review so I’m snapping them up before things start to creep up. Thanks for the review made my decision easy to make especially with these rates for a WA

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