As a hub for travellers throughout Southeast Asia, Bangkok sees its fair share of those just passing through. That means plenty of airport arrivals and departures that fall well outside standard hotel check-in and check-out times. It’s a problem easily solved by the innovative “24 Hours Flexi” program at the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel. It’s a simple idea: check in at any hour of the day or night, and the room is yours for a full 24 hours. With so many guests coming and going at odd hours, the hotel is never left in the lurch between departures and arrivals, and guests can make the most of a stopover at the tenth-busiest airport in the world.
In line with the 24 Hours Flexi model, the “breakfast” included with each room is actually a “flexi meal” that can be used anytime at the 24-hour buffet that offers western and Asian lunch options mid-day and dinner after six p.m. If you have the time to venture into Bangkok, by all means, indulge in the city’s plentiful and delicious dining options, but if you’re prepping for (or recovering from) a flight, the hotel’s included buffet is a quick, close and surprisingly satisfying way to fill your belly. There are six additional restaurants and bars onsite for those wanting an a la carte meal or a peaceful drink.
As the only hotel connected to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, the hotel is the obvious choice for business travellers looking for a bed, a shower and a quiet place with free wi-fi to get some work done between flights. Perhaps a less obvious choice for leisure travellers, it is nonetheless a good option for anyone wanting to sneak in a quick visit to the Bangkok sights at the front or tail end of a trip. That’s exactly what this examiner did, flying in from Chiang Mai one evening, getting some rest at the hotel, exploring Bangkok and then zipping back to the hotel for a shower (heaven after sightseeing in 40-degree heat) before flying home to Vancouver. Less than half an hour from downtown by Airport Rail Link, visitors with little time can get in and out of downtown without tackling Bangkok’s legendary traffic.
Those who prefer to relax between flights can head straight for the hotel’s pool. While the rest of the hotel is efficiently business-friendly, walking into the pool area and Thai garden on the second floor is like entering a resort. With plenty of palm trees, lounge chairs and a swim-up bar, this is not the pool one expects to find in an airport hotel. Who can deny the appeal of sipping a Chang beer poolside before leaving Bangkok, especially from an underwater barstool?
When it’s time to fly out, guests can use the air-conditioned underground walkway to the airport. Sure, the hotel offers a free 24-hour airport shuttle, but sometimes your best bet for catching a plane is just to get in motion and stay in motion. Taking the five-minute walk to the terminal means no waiting, and no stepping out into the heat to ruin the effects of that refreshing pre-travel shower.
Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel offers 612 rooms and suites from $159.
The writer was a guest of the hotel.