Well Hotel Bangkok
In the heart of Sukhumvit, the hotel is on a quiet side street off Sukhumvit Road.
Bangkok isn't a city that screams healthy living but this hotel hopes to change that. Marketing itself as a "lifestyle wellness destination", it urges visitors to "live a healthy lifestyle while travelling". What this means in practice is infused water in the lobby, in-room exercise bikes and an adjoining restaurant specialising in healthy meals. The property opened in January 2016 so still feels sparkly and new. There's an elegant marble-floored lobby filled with fresh flowers and a giant teddy bear that's a hit with the kids. There's a small but excellent spa, a well-equipped gym with a variety of fitness and dance classes and a rooftop pool that's just big enough for laps.
The 235 rooms are spread across two wings – the refurbished Memory Wing and the newly built Welcome Wing. Interiors are by BEGRAY, a local architectural firm, and are uniformly unadventurous. My top-of-the-range executive suite is a symphony in grey with a dark grey headboard, light grey walls and brown/grey curtains. There's a separate lounge with a grey sofa, a small dining table and a bench top with a microwave and kettle (but no sink). In a cursory nod to the wellness theme, the property's four executive suites and six executive rooms have an exercise bike, a yoga mat, an exercise ball and a set of scales. The modern bathroom (also in grey) has a good-sized tub but is let down by poor quality towels, no rain shower head and no conditioner.
Adjoining the hotel are two eateries, the French-influenced Twist Bar & Bistro, which has a wide-ranging menu of Western salads, soups, burgers and sandwiches, plus the Asian-themed Eat Well Cafe, which specialises in "food therapy". A lengthy menu outlines combinations of dishes devised by anti-ageing expert Dr Roongphornchai that purport to address health issues ranging from stress to migraine to jet lag. My "office syndrome" menu consists of a sweet potato and banana salad followed by a sesame and almond crusted salmon burger. Both are excellent but only time will tell whether I'm office syndrome-free (whatever that is). I sample other dishes, such as the signature quinoa, mango and tiger prawn salad, which is also delicious and has the added benefit of being "a friendly dish for people with chronic enterocolitis".
Shoppers are walking distance from the Emporium, EmQuartier and Terminal 21 mega malls, while night owls are a 15-minute stroll from the late-night revelry in Sukhumvit 11. For everything else (including easy access to the airport), the BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway are a 10-minute walk away.
Hopefully, in time, the hotel will pay more than lip service to the wellness theme. In the meantime, it's still a well-priced, well-located property that ticks a lot of boxes for a short stay.
10 Sukhumvit 20 Road, Bangkok. Rooms start from around 2500 baht. Phone +66 2127 5995, see www.wellhotelbangkok.com
A coma-inducing aromatherapy massage with customised oils in the spa.
Having to pass through a cloud of smokers to enter the lobby.
Rob McFarland was a guest of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Well Hotel Bangkok.