December 31, 2018

Bangkok Travel Diary: Diamond Residence Ratchada

When the desire to travel started to stir in my heart and venturing outside the Philippines became the main focus of satisfying the burgeoning wanderlust that I was nurturing since my college days; the first ever country that caught my attention was Thailand. It was on top of my list but unfortunately it wasn’t the first foreign soil I stepped onto.

So when the opportunity to visit Bangkok became less murky, flights and hotels were booked. Airfare costs was out of the question because it had to be done as this was a longtime plan of mine and of my closest friends. She comes to this side of the world every few years only so "if not now, when?" So together with two other college friends, we found ourselves on a night flight from Siem Reap to Don Meuang International Airport in Bangkok.

I was already tired from that day touring around the temples in the Angkor Wat complex (check out my Siem Reap Travel Diary here) and then waited 5 hours at the airport before flying to BKK. But the moment we landed to Bangkok, my blood stream was full of adrenaline. I decided earlier that night that I will sleep on the way to the hotel, but while inside our Uber ride, I was like a doe eyed deer, I can’t shut my eyes, I enjoyed the view of Bangkok at night during the drive. I told myself it looks so much like Manila but all the signs are in Thai. Somebody pinch me, my dream is now a reality.

After freshening up and unpacking some stuff, we all went straight to bed as we have a very very long day ahead of us in the Land of Smiles. I am pretty sure I didn't get a good night sleep because I was beyond excited. My friends planned our itinerary and computed our transpo expenses and found out the price would just equate or just a teeny tiny above getting Grab or Uber rides around the city so we decided to avail of the latter. We got stuck in Bangkok once in a while but hey we were comfy and we needed the energy for all the walking that we did in BKK.

I was the one who chose this hotel and booked it through Agoda. I think this was one of the options that Agoda returned because the list of available hotels that fit our preferences at that time weren't ample enough also because it was only weeks before our trip that I started searching for our Bangkok accomodations. The hotel was also one of the nearest to Don Meuang Airport where we flew in from Siem Reap.

The price of the hotel room was reasonable but no perks was included in it, no free breakfasts, no free airport pick up services etc. The price was just for the rooms and that's it. I just remember now why I booked this one, because this hotel allows the "Pay at the Hotel" option. Yeah that's it! That was the main reason why I booked this.

The Hotel Room
I booked 2 Double Standard Rooms for the four of us. So that we have two bathrooms instead of just 1 if we cram ourselves into a single room. You get the idea, 4 females 1 bathroom that will take us hours to shower before we can leave the hotel and someone has to wake up so early so she can shower first.

The rooms that were given to us were huge in my opinion. Room size was around 28 m²/301 ft² with a balcony/terrace with a "city view" or shall I say a residential view because the area where this hotel is located is actually a residential area.

Wi-Fi is available in all rooms. There's also a TV with cable channels, a telephone, air conditioner, coffee making facility, bottled waters (which was replenished everyday), mini-refrigerator, a desk mounted on the wall and a sofa in one corner. There's also a closet with an in room safety-box.

The beds are comfortable with nice mattresses and clean sheets. The pillows are not as fluffy as I wanted them to be though. But all in all the bed was really nice. The rooms were basically used only for sleeping and showering as we were always out and about, leaving very early in the morning and then going back quite late at night.

The Bathroom 
The bathroom is very basic with the most basic toiletries that they have to offer: a mounted holder for liquid bath soap and shampoo, 2 pieces of mini soaps, 2 toothbrushes, 2 mini toothpaste tubes, 2 towels and rolls of bathroom tissues. Btw, there's also a hot/cold shower and hot/cold faucet for the sink. As for the cleanliness, well I can say that the bathroom was clean, although it is not immaculately clean, it's decent and acceptable.

The bathroom doesn't have a hair dryer ready. You have to call the front desk for it. But don't expect it to be delivered to your room. You have to go down to the front desk just to get it and pay a deposit for it in case you damage it. And the reception won't tell you that. You have to figure it out yourself. I was waiting for the hair dryer to be delivered to our room, 30 mins later still no sign of it. So I called the front desk again. The rude front desk guy told me to down to the lobby and get it from him. I got pissed so I said "No thanks. Nevermind!"

The Amenities
I don't think this hotel have much amenities or I just didn’t had the time to look around. I just know that they have a mini resto at the lobby where it also offers in room dining. We availed of their in-room food service every morning as their food was ok and their Thai Milk Tea tasted nice.

The Service
The hotel room was ok for its price (it was around 2500 Philippine peso per room per night) and I shouldn't have expected so much from it. My biggest concern was that hotel staff were not helpful. What disappointed me was the attitude of the Front Desk people. The Chinese-looking guy who welcomed us when we arrived was tolerable. But the female one and the bi-racial looking guy where RUDE. The female one we only encountered once but she was such a snob.

The bi-racial looking guy was the worst of them all. He was the one I talked with regarding the hair dryer. This guy manned the front desk in the morning the one who's tall and slender, He was the rudest of them all. On our last day, our flight was early and we were having a hard time getting an Uber. When we got to book one, the driver didn’t want to drive us because we have suitcases. This front desk instead of helping us communicate with the driver, he instead talked with driver in Thai and they were laughing making fun of us. Poorest service from all the hotels or places I’ve stayed at.

Overall Experience
All in all I could sum up our stay at Diamond Residence Ratchada an average one, I could rate it as below average but the rooms were good enough. What ruined everything for us during our stay here are the front desk people. They are in the hospitality business and they shouldn't be acting that way to paying customers. The owner of this hotel should get better and more welcoming employees. Their housekeeping staff also doesn't understand or speak English. I'm in no way belittling them it's just that a lot of foreigners stay at their hotel and it would be better if all the hotel staff can at least speak or understand English. Because in Cambodia almost everyone I interacted with understands and can speak English. Just a thought.

I actually won’t recommend this hotel if you’re planning to go to Bangkok, there are so many better places to stay at there that are even closer to the city. It was just unfortunate that this is the only option that we had at that time and due to the limited searching and booking time that we had.

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