Monday, March 26, 2012

Accommodation, Part 17: The Trinity Glow Silom

The entrance - less than 100 meters from the BTS

Once in a rare while I happen upon a jewel of a place that makes me think twice about sharing it, lest I can't get a room there when I want one.  Sometimes it's because of the room features, location, the service or the very folks running it, but The Glow Trinity in Silom can justify boasting everything on that list - and more.

The Bell station at the front door
I'd read about The Glow on a forum maybe a year ago, and since I've often found the area near the Chong Nonsi BTS station such a handy home point in the past it seemed time to make a reservation there and try it out.  It most certainly won't be my last visit there.

In fact, I'd have stayed there a second time on this last trip when plans changed and I found myself unexpectedly in Bangkok for four days, but unfortunately there wasn't a room available.

We've covered a couple of other places also within a five minute walk of the Chong Nonsi station - the Om Yim Lodge and the Sathorn Inn - and while they also have their strong points and remain on my list of places to recommend on their own merits, the three (including today's Glow) are cut from different bolts of cloth. As you'd see if you clicked the links and read their reviews the Om Yim is a small guest house that's rather like staying with friends, and the Sathorn is a basic, affordable, pleasant hotel. I've been happy at both places.

A good sized pool is available atop the Trinity Complex 3 next door

The Trinity Glow Silom - owned by the small Zinc group - is a polished, very well appointed and graciously run urban hotel, boasting features you'd expect to pay more for than you actually do. The staff is smartly attired, speak better English than some of the guests I heard around the place, and are as attentive as you could ask for.

Nicely planned recessed lighting
throughout the room indeed
gives the place a "glow"
Within a couple of minutes at breakfast one morning I'd made a quick list of 20 positive points about the place and only four minor negative ones.  Those of you who travel much would have to agree that's an unusual ratio.  Here are some of the good points:

-- A daybed bench at the window for reading or watching TV
-- 15"x17" room safe at a handy level
-- Approx 30" flat screen TV with a wide range of channels
-- Sony DVD player
-- Philips radio/alarm (with an iPod dock)
-- A good sized, glass top work desk with convenient power
-- Emergency flashlight in the closet next to the safe
-- Respect but awareness shown for visitors
-- Thick, soft towels
-- Nice robes for two
-- Fragrant, higher-quality liquid soaps and body wash
-- Stylish recessed lighting design throughout
-- Four high-speed PCs in the lobby
-- Access to pool and gym 06:30 M-F, 08:00 Sat/Sun

As Dorothy said "There's no place like home," and most every place has a few things that could be different in our eyes, but to be fair I'd only make a couple of minor changes if it were my hotel: there were only five hangers built into the closet (I'm sure more would be provided if you asked), the alarm clock was on the opposite side of the room from the head of the bed (maybe that was intentional, to actually get you out of bed!) the WiFi speed to the hotel wasn't what they themselves would have liked, but fine for all but major up- and down-loading -- and let's just say that according to my source that This is Thailand and faster service would have cost "a fortune".

Spacious room safe, robes, slippers and handy flashlight

Next time I'll request a room that doesn't face the garage, as a row of autos with six months of dust isn't all that attractive 50 feet away, but that's not the fault of the hotel whatsoever and I only mention it as a personal preference and not a ding to the hotel's rating overall.

A view of the work space, daybed and electronics provided

Room rates were more than reasonable and definitely good value for the price, I thought - currently through Agoda between $60 and $70 per night for a very nice room for two, breakfast included.  As with any other hotel it pays to shop around. Most of you know I tend not to overspend on accommodations as a general rule - there are too many other things to do with travel monies, I think.

The bath may look a bit compact, but it wasn't. A tub might have been nice, but the shower stall was more than spacious, and the fixtures were both high quality - and kept spotless.

If there was anything close to a weak link in the operation it was the cafe, which was a some sort of residual arrangement and not operated by the hotel itself, but while it never seemed all that busy I felt the food there was well prepared and more than simply satisfactory, although some of the breakfast items were less than piping hot, to be kind.

The Cafe, where a buffet breakfast was included in my room rate

In addition to being about a three minute walk to the Chong Nonsi BTS station, you also have a Villa Market just steps away, a decent sized outdoor "locals" market where you can pick up a quick lunch, snack, or fruit to stock your room, a branch of the Bangkok Bank where you can cash traveler checks or convert funds and some fine neighborhoods for wandering on a walk, including some on the other side of the BTS station on Naratiwat Road, where you'll find the old cemetery behind the Om Yim from last September's post - an interesting photo spot.

The efficient folks at the front end of the operation included my favorite person from Evergreen Place - a welcome surprise when I arrived at The Glow

The hotel is next door to the Trinity Complex building, home to 300+ individual shops, a la MBK Mall - small stalls, primarily clothing, from the little I walked of it - on three or four floors. Also in the building is office space and long-term serviced apartment space at what appeared to be reasonable rates. There's also a good-sized gym (a portion of which is visible below), a lap pool (above), a children's playground with park equipment installed, and tennis courts available for a nominal fee. I didn't ask what that was.

Not quite half of the gym area available to guests

Nevertheless, despite some construction going on to enlarge the lobby and add a new wing (I don't know when the work was going on - I never heard any noise from it) the overall operation of the hotel ran smoothly. The new wing will give them more rooms, and that's a good thing, I think.

They hope to have a location open in Pattaya by June, and others are already up and running - check their link at the end of today's post.

There's a sign right at the corner of the soi that even the greenest taxi driver couldn't miss

Sometimes anecdotal input will help me decide which place to spend my travel funds, so here's a story that may help to tip the scales for you if you're not sold on the place so far...

I had a minor problem with my room that doesn't even bear mentioning here - partially my fault, to boot - and when I reported it to the front desk before heading out for the day was told it would be attended to as soon as possible.  Most of you know that in Thailand that can mean anything from immediately to a week from Sunday, so I was pleasantly surprised to return to my room not five hours later to find not only the problem resolved, but a note of apology for the inconvenience next to the wooden bowl of fruit pictured above.

As I related the story to my friend the next morning at breakfast we both agreed: that was a fine example of a class act, which is a good way of summing the place up overall.


khunbaobao said...

I'd forgotten a couple of prepared images for this post from Monday so I've I added them today, but I wanted to also mention that I received a kind email of thanks from someone at the hotel yesterday after they'd seen the article - just another example of how thoughtful the folks there are.

Anonymous said...

I stayed at the Glow after reading your post.. absolutly lovely place. I'd read on another blog that the rooms were dark, but mine was not. Ta! R in London

khunbaobao said...

Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but my room - and a few others I peeked in on from the hallway while housekeeping was at work - weren't dark. I liked the place and will probably stay there again at some point. Thanks for the comment!

PS - Do folks in London still use "Ta" as thank you, or were you showing your age there? ;-)