The Millennium Hilton Bangkok looks directly over the Chao Phraya River, which snakes through the heart of the Thai capital. From all its 533 rooms, especially those on the upper floors of the 32 storeys, guests have spectacular views of the teeming life of the waterway.
There are plenty of hotels in Bangkok, and some are located near the Chao Phraya. So what’s special about this one? The resort-like attributes of the property are a big drawcard, explains General Manager Heidi Kleine-Möller, pictured below left.
“Staying in this kind of atmosphere, with a view of the river and its life is something visitors don’t usually find in other hotels in the city,” says Heidi. “European MICE clients coming to Bangkok tell me they prefer this kind of experience to the shopping-mall set-up they see elsewhere. That may be on reason our occupancies are so good.”
Though it’s not set precisely in the centre of Bangkok, the hotel is well connected to all parts of the city via the waterway and skytrain, and close to many local points of interest, shopping places and a bustling night market. It operates its own shuttle boats.
Another drawcard is splendid meetings facilities – high-ceilinged ballrooms (the Grand and Junior) which can seat over 700 guests and spacious pre function spaces. The hotel has 13 breakout rooms, ten of which are on the thirtieth floor with natural light and river views, says Assistant Director Marketing Communications Suteera (“Pui”) Chalermkarnchana, pictured below right.
Meetings clients have several choices of dinner venues. The ThreeSixty Lounge is an indoor- outdoor place that works well for welcome receptions. Delegates can dine here while taking in spectacular views of the Bangkok skyline. The Flow restaurant, an airy eatery looking directly out onto the river, serves a vast buffet and is flanked by an adjacent cheese room.
Yet another drawcard is price. The rack rate for rooms online (depending on dates) starts at around USD 125. A recent full-day meetings package offer for THB 1,500 (about USD 40) included two coffee breaks and lunch, all AV gear, water, mints and Internet access.
Of particular benefit to events guests, says Pui, is HiltonLink, a free service that makes it easy for individual clients to control their arrangements, enabling them to book online using the group rate they’ve secured.
“They have the option of building a custom web page or we can provide them with a booking link in up to 23 languages,” says Pui. “Then they simply share their link with their guests – send it in an email or post on other sites to spread the word.”
Many of the hotel’s MICE business these days comes from government and embassy clients, the IT industry medical and pharmaceutical companies and bridal parties, says Heidi. The hard-working staff spend much of their time “making the impossible possible,” as when they worked overnight recently to set up an Oktoberfest function, or when 400 people arrived for a dinner when fewer than that had been catered for.
“It’s about flexibility and how willing you are to make the impossible happen,” Heidi says. “Our attitude is of course we can do it. How we’ll do it is our problem.”
As a result the hotel is on the “TripAdvisor Hall of Fame” for consistently achieving good traveller reviews. “The five-day event was professionally slick and ran seamlessly and, most importantly, we received very positive feedback from our internal and external guests,” wrote one client. “We are pleased to share that our guests had had only good comments and positive feedback regarding the Hilton Millennium Bangkok.”
This is an elegant, comfortable good-value hotel in a spectacular location with excellent food, facilities and staff. But Hilton should review its irksome policy of charging guests for Internet access in rooms.
The Siteseer was a paying guest of the Millennium Hilton Bangkok.