Posted on Thursday, 6th August 2015
In Bangkok I stayed at the JW Marriott Hotel, a 5-star hotel aimed at both family and business travellers. Located at 4 Sukhumvit Road, JW Marriott Bangkok provides easy access to the bars and restaurants in the Sukhumvit area and the shopping areas of MBK Shopping Mall and Siam Paragon Shopping Centre. The hotel is well situated within the transport network and is just a short walk from its closest BTS station (Ploenchit).
JW Marriott Bangkok resonates with charm and has a strong Thai theme running through its décor, especially in the large and elegant lounge bar and lobby areas. As for the rooms, my deluxe room was smart and comfortably furnished with dark wood furniture, a flat-screen TV, mod-cons and soundproof walls.
The hotel also has a swimming pool, a spa and a health club dishing up aerobics classes, yoga, chi-qong, zumba and Thai boxing. Within the spa facilities are a steam room, sauna and hot and cold bathing pools. These facilities are very comfort, but as they’re quite traditional in style, so they wouldn’t suit those looking for high-end modern luxury in their spa as well. But I still enjoyed a sensational JW Blissful Relaxation massage (3,800THB++, about £70), a treatment that combined both soothing Swedish massage techniques with frangipani oil and traditional hot Thai herbal compresses. My treatment was excellent and I could only applaud the skillful hands of my charming masseur who knew the exact amount of pressure to apply. The herbal compresses were very soothing, but also very hot.
As well as a number of bars, JW Marriott Bangkok has six dining options to choose from. The New York Steakhouse is legendary in Bangkok circles for having some of the best Australian and American steaks in Bangkok. This is where locals often go for their meat fix. But I opted for something lighter and instead dined at Tsu, one of the two Japanese restaurants at the hotel. Located on the lower ground, Tsu is smart, contemporary in design, and offers a range of sushi, sashimi and other modern Japanese dishes as well as a variety of rare sakes.
I had a great dinner at Tsu, targeting mainly the signature dishes, the first of which was the rossini roll (4pc – 600THB (£21)) which contained grilled foie gras and wagyu beef dressed with black pepper soy sauce and white truffle oil. This dish was heavenly with the unctuous flavour of the foie gras marrying beautifully with the richness of the wagyu. When you throw in the aroma of the truffle oil, well, I couldn’t think of a more perfect combination of flavours.
A signature crunchy roll (8pc – 600THB – about £11) with shrimp tempura, asparagus, creamy spicy miso was also delicious. The shrimp was sweet with the asparagus providing a crunchy contrast. The sauce was lovely and sweet.
Salmon carpaccio with a wasabi salsa (650THB – about £12) fine bonito flakes and a zingy ponzu olive oil was another signature dish which we enjoyed very much, with the salmon being fresh and delicious. The salsa was a good accompaniment for the salmon, however there was a touch too much of it on the plate.
Another good dish was the saga gyu-don (1,900THB – about £35), grilled Saga beef with a teriyaki sauce on steamed rice. Saga beef is the top beef in Kyushu Island in Southern Japan, and is considered one of the top three wagyu beefs in the world along with Kobe and Matsusaka. Here the Saga beef was sublimely tender and tasty and gently flavoured with a teriyaki sauce.
I’m not a big crab stick fan, but I enjoyed the shirauo salad with deep-fried ice fish, crab sticks, flying fish roe, salad leaves, a teriyaki soy sauce and mayonnaise (Full portion: 900THB – about £16.60). There was a nice contrast of flavours and the mayonnaise was tasty, bringing everything together well.
The least successful dish of the evening was the Hokkaido scallop with XO salsa and yuzu (1,200THB – about £22.20). The scallops were delightfully fresh, but there wasn’t enough acidity in the dish to accentuate the flavour of the scallops.
We finished our dinner with a fabulous green tea ice cream with a red bean topping, a selection of mochi. The mocha was tasty too, but the outer rice coating was too thin.
A buffet breakfast was served at the hotel’s Marriott Café, and included a versatile and varied selection ranging from Asian noodles to Western style continental breakfast selections. The highlights for me were the home-smoked salmon which was delicious, the juice bar, and the fresh baby coconut juices which was some of the sweetest that I have ever tried.
There were many great aspects to my stay at the JW Marriott Bangkok. The location was fabulous, the spa was really enjoyable and dinner at Tsu was a delight. But perhaps the element that I enjoyed the most was the incredibly charming service. Everyone, from the doorman to housekeeping greeted you with ‘sawasdee’ and a smile, and it was such a hospitable and accommodating way to be treated. It was definitely service with a smile.
1. The service was superb.
2. The spa treatment was excellent.
3. The location is within easy access of the transportation network.
4. Dinner at Tsu.
5. Reasonably priced hotel for the high standard.
1. No particular dislikes, but know that this is more of a business, central Bangkok hotel than one for a luxury retreat.
Overall hotel rating: 4.25/5
Overall service rating: 4.5/5
Spa treatment rating: 4.5/5
Spa facilities rating: 3.75/5
Dinner at Tsu rating: 4/5
The starting rate for a room is 10,000THB (about £184) excluding breakfast.
Dinner at TSU – about 1,500TBH (about £28) per person, excludes drinks and service.