Aloft Bangkok

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 February, 2012, 12:00am


What is it? The first Southeast Asian outpost of the fastest growing hotel chain in history; more than 55 Aloft properties have been opened since 2008, mostly in North America but also in China and Europe. The Aloft brand describes itself as being 'a vision of W hotels' - having been developed by the same parent company - with 'style at a steal'. Putting the 'fun' into funky, the chain has a terminology all of its own; the pool is known as Splash, the meeting space Tactic and the bar W XYZ.

Where is this one? On Sukhumvit Soi 11, the beating heart of fashionable Bangkok and close to the Nana BTS Skytrain station. At the Aloft end are stylish hangouts Q Bar and the Bed Supperclub (which is directly opposite the hotel) but the whole of Sukhumvit 11 comes alive at night, when converted Kombi vans drop hatches to provide impromptu street bars.

Who is it aimed at? The Camp Aloft and Arf packages are meant to appeal to those travelling with children and pets, but they are distractions in Bangkok; this place has been designed for tech-savvy businesspeople on the go. Given its location, the hotel also attracts its fair share of men who prefer their clothing casual and their sexual relationships even more so.

I've heard there's a 'thingy'; what's that? Hmmmm, I think you mean Fingi. Being trialed in some of the hotel's 296 rooms, Fingi runs on a smartphone given to the guest on check-in. The phone func- tions as an in-room remote control and door key; with it the guest can turn on the room's air-conditioning and 'do not disturb' sign - from anywhere in the city; and the device acts as a wireless hot spot (for use with a laptop, say) and comes with a local account, so phone calls and e-mail run over a cheap plan.

Is there a spa? No, but that hardly matters given the plethora of pleasure palaces within a towel's throw of the hotel, some more legit than others. The Aloft does, however, have a state-of-the-art fitness centre (unfortunately not called Jim, but Re:charge).

What about food and drink? Guests are encouraged to graze free and easy - grab a sandwich at the Re:fuel deli, for example, and retreat to your room or the Re:mix lounge - which is equipped with bean bags and a pool table - to enjoy it. In-room Re:fuel - or 'room service', as traditionalists might call it - meals are delivered in a multicoloured tiffin box by a smiling youngster wearing a T-shirt and a trendy haircut; W XYZ Bar is manned by a mixologist and his bag of tricks; and Crave - international fare with a 'strong passion for seafood' - serves a wide range of affordable wines (rare for Thailand); all listed on iPads, no less.

What's the bottom line? Opening rates (available until March 31) are 2,111 baht (HK$525) for a Chic room and 2,411 baht for an Urban room (above left), which include a shuttle tuk-tuk from one of the nearest stations and entry into Q Bar and the Bed Supperclub. Room and flight packages are available through a partnership with Air Asia (contact hotel for details).

Aloft Bangkok is at 35 Sukhumvit Soi 11, Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey-nua, Wattana, Bangkok, Thailand, tel: 66 2 207 7000;