Since I’ve had a few friends and IG peeps asking about the hotel we stayed in Bangkok this time, thought I’d share in a post here.
Length of stay and activities during our trips are obviously the main considerations when it comes to looking for accommodation. As for Bangkok, I have to take into account how my kids (ok, & myself) are not quite used to walking for extended duration under sunny and warm conditions. Read: the lesser we have to walk in the heat, the better.
The main purpose of my Bangkok trips is to replenish my inner wear (WACOAL!!). Hence, proximity to the departmental stores is my priority. Because I’m bringing the kids along with me this time, I made plans for them to visit Kidzania Bangkok and Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World – both are located at Siam Paragon.
As such, I decided to return to Centara Grand. This swanky-looking hotel is not only linked to Central World that houses two departmental stores – Zen and Isetan, it is about a 10min walking distance to Siam Paragon from the hotel’s taxi drop-off point. There’s a linked sheltered bridge walkway from Central World to Siam Paragon as well, which is great for wet-weather or super-sunny days.
Right outside Central World, there are now sheltered bridge walkways to Big C supermarket and Platinum mall. For the uninitiated, Big C supermarket is where you can buy in bulk sanitary pads, instant noodles, and toiletries at much cheaper prices. The staff will pack the bulk purchases into carton boxes – so don’t worry about squeezing everything into your luggage. The customer service counter is right outside the cashiering lanes. Just make sure you label properly before checking in the carton boxes!
Sharing this tip I posted on my IG previously here – we usually head to supermarkets first when we travel to stock up on necessities like bottled water. For those traveling with kids, always get your important supplies first such as milk, diaper, kids-friendly snacks so you don’t have to worry about roaming on unfamiliar grounds to look for these when the kids are tired and you have snacks to keep them happy till you get back to the hotel.
Back to the linked walkways. Platinum Mall is a wholesale mall with one level of children’s clothes and accessories, one level for the men, and the rest dedicated for the ladies. Don’t fret yet, you get wholesale prices when you buy at least 3 items in a shop usually! In the good ol’ days, prices can be slashed up to 30-60% with bargaining. But in the last few years, the locals are so accustomed to foreigners and well aware of their purchasing abilities, they don’t budge much (if they budge at all). Example, they will probably offer you 190 baht from 199 baht if you ask “can cheaper?”
For those familiar with Central World, there used to be heaps of roadside stalls outside the mall selling plenty of local delights at local prices. I have heartbreaking news to confirm – they are truly gone.
In place of that, there is a market with stalls selling some local delights but at tourist prices (read: MUCH more expensive than before!). I really miss the salt- coated grill fish, chicken rice and ah ma’s paad thai.
So anyway! With just 4 days and 3 nights in Bangkok, I didn’t think we would need a hotel that’s very kids friendly or focused, since we won’t be spending much time in the hotel. Location and service matters the most to us. With good service, anywhere can be kids friendly imho. And so far, our experience with Centara has been great. Add that to a bath tub in the room and a decent swimming pool, I’m glad to report that the kids are satisfied.