After a few nice days at the Park Plaza Sukhumvit, it was time to step it up a notch on my Bangkok trip, so I had booked a few nights at the Conrad. We had an executive corner room (full review will follow), and therefore access to the Executive Lounge.
The Conrad Executive Lounge takes up a big portion of the 29th floor of the hotel, so you can enjoy nice views of Bangkok while visiting.
The lounge serves breakfast in the morning, afternoon tea from 2.30 to 4.30 and evening cocktails from 5.30 to 7.30. Coffee, tea and soft drinks are available throughout the lounge’s opening hours.
It consists of a main room which takes up around 1/3 of the floor, and there’s also a second area on the other side of the elevators. The latter was mostly in use during happy hour in the afternoon, as there seemed to be plenty of capacity at other times.
Breakfast was a very decent spread. There was a minute station with eggs made to order, and otherwise almost everything you would expect to find at a five-star hotel breakfast: Bacon, sausages, bread, pastries, fruit, yoghurt and a few hot, mostly eastern, dishes. It wasn’t lavish in any way, just a very solid hotel breakfast. I guess I would have liked my coffee made to order instead of from a machine, but that’s nitpicking.
I also still do not understand why these Thai hotels cannot serve a proper freshly squeezed juice. This sugary mess that they all serve is nothing but an abomination, even though Conrad did a little better than my previous hotel, the Park Plaza, in this regard.
The latter was available at afternoon tea, along with some small sandwiches, cakes, scones and other pastries. Great for an afternoon nibble if you happen to be around the hotel, and the lounge serves a mean iced latte. The afternoon tea seemed to be a lot less popular than breakfast and happy hour, so I had no problems finding a table.
The happy hour or evening cocktail is a lot more intense, and I would advise arriving at least 10 minutes prior to 5:30 if you are hungry and want to have the view from a window seat. The lounge staff takes cocktails orders at the table, and there are self-serve wines and beer at the buffet.
There’s only one white, one red and one sparkling wine option. I only had the sparkling, which was pretty good. Unfortunately I didn’t happen to note the label or brand. The beers available were Chang, Singha and Heineken, I believe.
The cocktail selection is a bit on the limited side. I had a mojito on the first day, which was good, but fairly soft on the booze. We also had a mai tai and a cuba libre.
For the cuba libre I asked for double lemon, but I think the server misunderstood, as I seemed to get double rum instead. It was pretty strong, to say the least.
This would come to be one of my gripes with the lounge, as they didn’t always pick up on your requests if you asked for anything outside the standard. At one point at afternoon tea I was sitting at my table for 45 minutes without being served anything, and staff weren’t always as courteous when guests had any questions or complaints. They struck me as downright rude on several occasions, even though it wasn’t towards me directly.
That said, this only applied to a few of the staff members, as most of them were very professional and friendly. It seemed like many of the guests had very amicable relations with the lounge staff, but a few of them didn’t perform to the standards of the rest of the lounge.
Back to the cocktail hour, they also serve a fairly decent spread of nibbles and small hot dishes. If you arrive early and have spent all your money on the room itself, you can actually treat this as dinner. The lounge has the very typical tiny plates to prevent you from grabbing too much at a time, but there’s typically enough protein here to stay full for most of the night.
Just be aware that the lounge doesn’t refill the spread indefinitely – if you arrive late, you might find that there’s not much left to choose from. Also the buffet seemed to be somewhat heavily themed, so if you don’t like Chinese food, you might be out of luck for one night. I found the food tasty and well thought out, but it was a little annoying that it seemed to run out of some dishes very quickly. The cheeses are also limited – if it’s out, it’s out.
As I mentioned earlier, the seating is also somewhat limited. If you don’t mind sitting a little bit further from the buffet, it’s quieter in the back room on the other side of the elevator.
The Executive lounge at Conrad is a good value proposition if you plan on staying around the hotel a lot. If you compare the price premium for an executive level room to that of a regular room with breakfast included, it’s not much at all. Especially considered you can eat what basically amounts to a full dinner if you plan for it.
That said, not all the staff members perform to the 5-star standard, and it wouldn’t have hurt to refill the buffet a little longer.