>  Reviews   >  Bangkok Marriott The Surowongse review

Bangkok is one of my favourite cities but it always involves a hotel dilemma. I love the street food, colour and chaos of Bangkok. I also enjoy upmarket accommodation. However, I don’t want to stay at a 5 star chain hotel where the only thing about the place that feels Thai is the Pad Thai on the room service menu. Fortunately, on my most recent visit, I managed to find the perfect accommodation. Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse is located in in Bangrak, one of the oldest and most authentic neighbourhoods in Bangkok.

It combines Thai culture with everything you could want in a five star hotel. Surrounded by beautiful temples, historic buildings, galleries galore and some of the city’s best street food, there is plenty to see and do in the surrounding area including a free self-guided hotel art and culture tour. Pick up a tour brochure with directions at reception and you could easily spend an entertaining day exploring everything that’s on offer in the immediate vicinity of the hotel.

Bangrak temple
Exploring Bangrak

The interior of the Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse is inspired by ‘Chiang Sip Mu’ which is the name given to the ten types of Thai craftsmen. These different types of art feature throughout the hotel, with each area having a particular theme such as engraving or sculpture. The lobby features painting and has a sleek polished look and plenty of seating which is handy if you’re waiting for a taxi or the free hotel shuttle which operates multiple times a day, dropping off guests at popular transport hubs such as the BTS and Sathorn Pier.

Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse
Lobby at Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse
Lobby area

The thing I loved most about the Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse was my room which had a flow-through design and included Thai-inspired artwork on the shower screen and matching decorative panels in the room. There was also a long day bed along the window which was perfect for lounging and enjoying the hotel’s stellar view of Bangkok’s skyline. The day bed could also double as a child’s bed if you were travelling as a family. The room’s open plan design made it feel spacious and contemporary colours highlighted the understated black and white art works.

The whole room looked stylish, including the bathroom which had a roomy combined shower and adjacent deep soaking tub. If you raise the privacy blind in the bathroom, you can admire the view while you shower. Business travellers will appreciate the round desk which can be pulled close to the day bed to create a comfy ‘office’. The desk is large enough for a laptop and paperwork and power points are within easy reach. I had to get some work done while I was at the hotel and was impressed with how practical and comfortable this set up was.

Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse room
King size bed with day bed
Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse room
Bathroom with etched artwork
Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse view
View from my room

On Level 31, Club Room guests have access to the M Club which is open 24 hours a day, with staff on duty from 6am to 11.30pm. There are a number of different rooms and seating configurations which are suited to either groups or couples. Personal service and assistance with things such as booking tours or getting around Bangkok is available at the M Club reception desk. There is a daily evening cocktail hour which runs from 5.30pm to 8.30pm and includes generous hot snacks, cheese, charcuterie and a changing daily selection of cold dishes such as gazpacho or pomelo and chicken salad. A made-to-order chef station offering a changing daily special is also available together with beer, wine, soft drinks and cocktails.

Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse M Club
Wine selection which includes the likes of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse M Club
M Club
Evening cocktails at M Club
Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse M Club food
Hot snacks at M Club
Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse M Club live cooking station
Changing daily special at M Club
Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse M Club food
Charcuterie board
Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse M Club food
Room service which I had delivered to the M Club

Children under the age of eight are not permitted in the M Club after 5.30pm but evening cocktails are available at the Pool Bar for M Club guests travelling with little ones. Youngsters are welcome in the club at all other times, including during the club’s breakfast service which is superb. I loved the ‘make your own’ Thai coffee station and the live cooking station where the chef got to know my breakfast order of Thai soup. Classic western dishes such as scrambled eggs and omelettes are also available along with breakfast standards such as pastries, fruit and yoghurt.

Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse M Club breakfast
Breakfast at M Club
Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse breakfast soup
Made to order soup for breakfast at M Club
Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse M Club coffee
Create your own Thai iced coffee

I booked in for a 90 minute Thai massage at the hotel’s level 18 Quan Spa. The treatment was excellent and more gentle than the Thai massage I had at a traditional Bangkok spa chain a few days later. If you’re new to Thai massage or prefer a softer pressure, I would recommend a treatment at Quan Spa to ease you into the experience. My only disappointment was the ‘Quan time’ at the end of the treatment. I assumed would see me blissed out on a luxe couch in a relaxation room, involved little more than a cup of tea sitting at the spa reception desk while I signed my bill and the receptionist fielded booking calls.

The weather wasn’t on my side during my stay at the Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse with grey skies and quite a bit of rain but that didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for the infinity pool on level 18. The pool isn’t particularly large so it is best enjoyed outside peak times such as before 10am and later in the afternoon. The adjacent pool bar serves refreshing drinks and light meals and snacks. On the same level you will also find the gym and a cute children’s recreation room. This isn’t staffed so you can’t leave your children here to play unless they’re supervised by a parent.

Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse pool
Infinity pool on level 18
Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse children's play room
Children’s play room on level 18

Right at the top of the hotel on the roof (accessed via the fire stairs or a wheelchair accessible lift), there is a trendy multi-level rooftop bar. I headed up there just before it started pouring so didn’t end up staying long enough to enjoy a drink but it would be an amazing spot when the weather was better. Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, it is worth dropping in here for a drink (or two) so you can sit back and enjoy the stellar view of Bangkok. However, I would really recommend you check in and experience the Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse for yourself.

Disclosure: The writer stayed as a guest of the Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surowongse and paid for her spa treatment and room service dinner.  She would not hesitate to stay here again at her own expense on her next visit to Bangkok. 

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.