Airport hotels are not normally places to linger, but there are some. One we have found is the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel. Others agree, and it was voted as one of the top 10 airport hotels in the world at the Skytrax World Airport Awards in 2011.
The first test of an aiport hotel is ease of transfer. We found it very easy for the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel, being part of the Suvarnabhumi Airport, the main airport for Bangkok, Thailand. Technically, it is within walking distance, but it is very easy to use one of the buses. Just go to the airport counter at Gate 4 on Level 2, where you will be welcomed and a bus is arranged within minutes.
Having a large foyer with a comfortable, fast reception keeps up the good impressions. An innovation we do like is the 24 hours Flexi system, where you have the room for a full 24 hours, which is not dependent on your arrival time. Breakfast time is even adjusted and caters for a buffet at any time. For Bangkok, this is an excellent idea as many flights depart late at night or very early in the morning.
For Accor members and premium guests there is a separate check-in at the Biz Centre, where the staff ensure that your arrival is very relaxed. You also collect points if you are a member of the Accor Club. So treat yourself to the 24 hour Flexi system.
It is very easy to reach Bangkok on the Airport Rail link that is attached to the hotel. The rail trip takes about 25 minutes and connects with the MRT subway system and BTS Skytrain, putting you in any central Bangkok location easily and cheaply. Trains operate from 6 am to midnight.
There are four restaurants at the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel. The main one is called ‘The Square’ and it serves a series of excellent buffets, operating 24 hours around the clock. The ‘Kinsen Japanese Restaurant’ has a daily sushi bar, teppanyaki and an á la carte menu and is open for lunch and dinner. The ‘Golden Village Chinese Restaurant’ offers a daily dim sum lunch, and Cantonese cuisine for lunch and dinner. The ‘Sala Thai’ provides authentic Thai cuisine for lunch and dinner.
For cocktails, snacks and a light menu, the ‘Atrium Terrace’, off the foyer, is a relaxing place to pass some time. Another option for a snack is ‘Le Gourmet’, with freshly baked French pastries, coffee and tea.
Relax in the swimming pool that forms the central courtyard. There is a poolside bar with great cocktails that operates from early morning to late evening. Fight the jetlag by using the well-equipped fitness centre or enjoy the VOUS spa. The fitness centre is well equipped and large, so plenty of space and for those needing a proper workout. A game of table tennis will keep the kids busy for a few hours.
The VOUS Spa offers a wide range of massages, facial and body therapies. One popular treatment is the Jetlag Therapy, which is a massage that incorporates hot, natural, aromatic oil combined with palm and pressure point techniques to improve blood circulation; a treatment that can take two hours. The spa is open until midnight.
Should you need to organise a meeting, there are numerous meeting rooms with the capacity for anything from just a few people or rooms that will take 1,000 guests.
The Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel has 612 rooms and suites, ranging from Superior King to Executive Suite. All are very well presented and have a marble bathroom, mini bar, safe deposit box and international television channels. There are 498 rooms designated for no smoking, and four rooms set up for disabled guests. All rooms have wi-fi, but with an added charge. If you have no computer, then the Biz Centre has a few and offers full business services.
A somewhat unusual attraction is the Night Market held every Friday with more than 50 qualified local products sold at reasonable prices. There is even a free 10 minute head and shoulders massage offered by the VOUS Spa.
It is even possible to have a suit made up, using the tailor in the retail area. A few other shops offer the usual necessities and souvenirs for those not making a trip to the city. The airport has many more shops, very close by.
Rates are very reasonable and the 24 hour Flexi system is well worth considering if you have time to kill and your flights do not match the traditional check-in and check-out times of other Bangkok hotels. This innovation is to be applauded.
Overall the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel is an hotel we rate well. If you just want a simple night, then you will not be disappointed. For flights that just transit Bangkok airport, stay a little longer and enjoy the chance to recover from jet lag. The Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel is also a possible choice for a few nights in Bangkok, saving you the hassle of a transfer to Bangkok. The airport rail link means that, if you take the fast train, you can be in the city in 15 minutes and then connect quickly to the other rail systems, which will save any need to use a Bangkok taxi and become stuck in the heavy traffic.
Overall, a very pleasant experience.