In this review, we will stay at the ibis Styles Bangkok Sukhumvit 4 hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.
After a short but excellent flight on Thai Smile from Luang Prabang to Bangkok, I found myself in the overcrowded arrival hall of the Thai capital’s main Suvarnabhumi Airport.
As there seemed to be a near-endless queue for the taxi rank I opted to take public transport instead. The journey was relatively straightforward and actually fairly quick. It involved taking the airport train first to the terminus at Phaya Thai, followed by an easy interchange to the BTS Skytrain for the short hop to Nana station.
From Nana station, the ibis Styles Sukhumvit 4 is just an easy five-minute walk away.
Having previously visited Bangkok on a number of occasions as a backpacker before, I’ve always stayed in the cheap guesthouses and hostels of Khao San Road which is basically backpacking central. Although I like the area and it is generally well-located to some of the major sights of Bangkok, this time I opted for a different hotel.
Given that I only had a short stopover in Bangkok and needed to continue my journey the next day, all I needed was a comfortable hotel with swimming pool to relax a bit and to get some work done. With what looked like a gorgeous rooftop pool and easy access to and from the airport, ibis Styles Sukhumvit 4 seemed to deliver on that.
At the understated reception I was welcomed by a friendly receptionist who confirmed my reservation and issued me with a key card of my room. For my standard queen room I paid 58 EUR, which did not include breakfast buffet as I planned to have breakfast at the airport lounge the following day.
My standard queen room had a style quite typical of the ibis chain. I however did find it a tad bit boring and grey and expected a bit more of a touch of colour this being an ibis Styles, which should have a bit more quirky design compared to your average ibis hotel. I thought it was still a bit bland and boring.
The room was however relatively big and well-appointed, with a comfortable bed, flat screen TV, desk, fridge, coffee and tea facilities and a decent view out of the window. There is also ample space to store your luggage. WiFi was free and fast, and there are plenty of power outlets throughout the room to charge your electronic devices.
Given the price I paid for the room it certainly did meet my expectations.
The bathroom was well-appointed and contained a toilet, a fully enclosed shower cubicle, as well as a washbasin. It was stocked with a decent amount of toiletries and contained the usual appliances such as a hairdryer.
Above the sink is a window which you can open if for some reason you want to stare in your room while washing yourself in the morning – or want your travel partner to watch you while taking a shower.
Without doubt, the pièce de résistance of the ibis Styles Bangkok Sukhumvit 4 hotel is its rooftop swimming pool. The pool is shared with the Novotel, which is located in the same building as the ibis Styles (both brands being owned by the Accor group).
Although the pool itself is gorgeous and there are some great views over the skyscrapers of Bangkok there are however a number of downsides. The pool and rooftop is fairly small – and at peak times you will find that all beds and chairs will be taken.
The pool also closes early at 6pm when the rooftop area is converted into a nightclub. Although it would make for a nice spot to drink a beer given the lovely views, I thought the experience was ruined by the immensely loud music, which both in loudness and style (hardstyle music instead of some more chilled-out lounge music) did not fit the place at all.
I ended up just taking a few quick pictures, buying a beer or two at the 7-Eleven opposite the hotel and having a drink in my room.
Another negative aspect of the hotel is the immediate area of the area around it. Although the area is perfectly safe and with great public transport access, I didn’t realise beforehand that it is also located right next to one of Bangkok’s red light zones.
Basically at one end of the hotel you have the main thoroughfare of Sukhumvit Road with its big office blocks, shopping malls and fast-food outlets, and in the backstreets you find the dodgy surroundings of seedy nightclubs full of middle-aged, beer-bellied Englishmen, Americans and Germans.
If that alone isn’t already bad enough, there is also the sheer lack of nice, local restaurants in the area. All what I could find were overpriced restaurants catering solely to the needs and taste buds of those beer-bellied Brits and Americans.
The mistake was probably all mine as I purely selected the hotel based on a few reviews, good room rate, its great-looking swimming pool and easy-to-reach location coming from the airport. As I was on a stopover and only needed a decent hotel with a pool to relax and get some work done, I didn’t research it as thoroughly as I would normally do.
If it is your first time in Bangkok and you are actually planning to visit the beautiful sights of the city, I would recommend to stay in a hotel in an entirely different area. Sure, using public transport or a taxi you can be anywhere in the city real fast from Sukhumvit 4, but it is still a long trek to the main sights of Bangkok.
And there are so much nicer areas of Bangkok where you do have a lot of local life and great little restaurants serving authentic Thai food!
I’m a bit conflicted about ibis Styles Bangkok Sukhumvit 4. The hotel as such is perfectly acceptable. All hotel personnel with whom I interacted were friendly and helpful and the room itself isn’t bad and did match my expectations.
However, the swimming pool was a bit of a disappointment. Sure – it is gorgeous and has great views. But it is smaller than it looks on pictures and it is next to impossible to get one of the few loungers to actually relax a bit. The pool area also closes way too early at 6pm – when it is turned into an obnoxious nightclub. With way too loud music it isn’t exactly a relaxing spot at night either.
Then there is the location as well. Although the location in itself isn’t bad as the hotel has great public transport links and is located in a safe area, it is not exactly a nice area either. Right next to the hotel is one of Bangkok’s seedy red light districts, which means there is zero authentic local life in the immediate area.
Although I can certainly imagine that some kind of travellers wouldn’t mind the setting, I would for sure select another hotel in an entirely different neighbourhood if I would return to the Thai capital.
Trip report index
This article is part of the ‘Lazing in Laos and Gallivanting a Wee Bit Around Asia‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Review: Aegean Airlines Business Class Bucharest to Athens (Airbus A320)
2. Review: Goldair Handling Lounge (Non-Schengen) Athens Airport
3. Review: Saudia Business Class Athens to Jeddah (Airbus A320)
4. Review: Saudia Alfursan Lounge Jeddah Airport South Terminal
5. Review: Review: Saudia Business Class Jeddah to Kuala Lumpur (Boeing 787)
6. Review: CitizenM Hotel Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang
7. Kuala Lumpur in One Day: What to See and Do in 24 Hours
8. A Batu Caves Half Day Trip From Kuala Lumpur By Public Transport
9. Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Private Resting Suite Gateway KLIA2
10. Review: Air Asia Kuala Lumpur to Vientiane (Airbus A320)
11. Review: Hotel Khamvongsa, Vientiane, Laos
12. Destination Trip Report: A Day in Vientiane, Laos
13. Guide: Domestic Bus Travel in Laos and How to Book a Ticket
14. Review: Simon Riverside Hotel, Vang Vieng, Laos
15. Trip Report: Vang Vieng – Worth a Stop on Your Laos Itinerary?
16. Review: Villa Ban Phanluang, Luang Prabang, Laos
17. Luang Prabang: The Stunning Pearl of Indochina
18. Guide: Luang Prabang Morning, Food and Night Markets
19. Kuang Si Falls: A Gorgeous Luang Prabang Day Trip
20. Review: Thai Smile Economy Class Luang Prabang to Bangkok (Airbus A320)
21. Review: Ibis Styles Bangkok Sukhumvit 4 (current chapter)
22. Review: Air France/KLM Business Lounge Bangkok Airport
23. Review: Garuda Indonesia Business Class Bangkok to Jakarta (Boeing 737-800)
24. Review: Sapphire Plaza Premium Lounge Terminal 3 Jakarta Airport
25. Review: Garuda Business Lounge Terminal 3 Jakarta Airport
26. Review: Review: Japan Airlines Business Class Jakarta to Tokyo Narita (Boeing 787-8)
27. Review: Capsule Hotel Transit Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
28. Tokyo Stopover: What to See and Do in the Capital of Japan for a Day
29. Review: ANA Business Lounge Tokyo Narita Airport
30. Review: United Club Tokyo Narita Airport
31. Review: Turkish Airlines Economy Class Tokyo Narita to Istanbul (Boeing 777)
32. Review: Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Lounge Istanbul Airport
33. Review: Turkish Airlines Economy Class Istanbul to Bucharest (Airbus A330)