It's no Shangri-La, but the new extension of Somerset Serviced Residences, Somerset Maison Asoke, gave us nothing short of excellence in functionality and convenience. The boutique aparthotel provides clean and spacious rooms, up-to-date amenities, and a (relatively) quiet location, topped off with a feeling of affluent comfort.
A 10-minute walk from the bustling Sukhumvit MRT and Asoke BTS - you know, the road with crazy traffic all day - Maison Somerset Asoke Bangkok is surrounded by a largely gentrified (read: good for older travellers who've had enough of shady hostels and back alley entrances) neighbourhood filled with food options. And because of its proximity to Sukhumvit and Petchaburi roads, many shopping options are a quick walk away, like travel-themed megamall Terminal 21. But fair warning, like most touristy parts of Bangkok with nightly human traffic, it's not exactly the most family-friendly locale, with many shops hawking adult wares at night.
The complex houses 125 apartments of five types; from the most compact Studio Deluxe (25 sqm) to the spacious One-Bedroom Premier (55 sqm), and prices start from about THB3,000 (S$128) a night. Technicalities aside, the sleek design and smart layout maximise on space, with more than enough elbow room.
Tailored for the travelling businessman - Asoke is Sukhumvit's business district, after all - each residence provides plenty of working space and decent WIFI, and the number of USB ports was a godsend. With the exception of the Studio Deluxe, all rooms also come with a living and dining space, a fully-equipped kitchenette, and a washer dryer. Check your fridges for the complimentary coconut which will provide much relief from the heat.
On a more personal note, some guests may appreciate a pillowy soft nest to rest, but the mattress was a little too doughy for our rickety bones.
On the ground floor, you'll find Blend Bistro & Wine Bar, where the daily continental breakfast is served, available à la carte or buffet-style. The breakfast spread isn't the most luxurious, but brownie points for excellent service and ambience. The bistro itself serves up a fusion of French, Italian and Thai dishes on the menu, available daily till midnight.
If you're the fitspiration that needs to clock in a 10km every three days, their 7th-floor gymnasium has the basic cardio and machine equipment you'll need to keep fit, but don't expect to be able to do much heavy lifting here (no Smith machines or Olympic bars). Instead, take a refreshing dip in the infinity pool, broil under the Bangkok sun, or chill under the shade of their rooftop garden.
Somerset also provides on-demand ferrying serve to-and-fro Asoke BTS Station, so you'll escape the searing heat for at least another 5 minutes (traffic permitting).
Getting here by taxi takes approximately 50 minutes and THB450 from either Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Muang International Airport. Airport transfer services are also available at THB1,500 one-way by car and THB2,400 one-way by van, and all vehicles are fitted with complimentary internet access.
Somerset Maison Asoke Bangkok is located at No. 84 Sukhumvit 23 (Soi Prasanmitr), Klongtoey-Nua, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, p. +66 2302 1999.
This article was first published in City Nomads.