The Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok Hotel is a wonderful five-star accommodation located on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok, Thailand. Back in May, I spent one night at the hotel on a cash & points reservation. Having stayed at three different hotels across my two trips to Asia’s City of Angels, the Radisson Blu was by far the most wheelchair accessible.
Sukhumvit Road is one of the most popular avenues in Bangkok, and the hotel is within walking distance of the Terminal 21 shopping mall, Benchasiri Park and the city’s convention center. The Radisson Blu’s close proximity to wheelchair accessible public transit stations for the ARL, BTS and MRT allowed me to make the most of my time in Bangkok.
Reservation & Check-in
I made a reservation for a wheelchair accessible deluxe room through the hotel’s website. After selecting the deluxe room type on the booking page, I was presented an option to choose my room/bed type.
I selected the only accessible non-smoking room with two twin beds. This is the only accessible room type offered by the hotel. Standard room rates for the time of my stay were about $120 USD per night, but I was able to use 10,000 of my Club Carlson Rewards points to lower my out-of-pocket cost to 2,100 THB (~$60 USD).
Prior to making the reservation, I called to confirm that the accessible room would have a roll-in shower. I was told that it did, so I proceeded with the online reservation.
When I arrived to the hotel, check-in was a breeze and I had the keys to my room in hand within 5 minutes. The staff was friendly, and offered to help me with my bags. I accepted the offer, and a bellman escorted me to my room on the 9th floor.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room #905
My wheelchair accessible hotel room was exactly as described to me on the phone. The roll-in shower was present, and the room’s door and interior corridor were wide enough to accommodate my power wheelchair. I’d like to take the opportunity to review the room and its features in detail below:
Although I would have preferred a room with a king size bed, the twin bed was still a comfortable place to sleep. The bed linens were crisp, while the pillows and mattress were soft. Since I was traveling alone, the second bed went to waste. I chose to sleep on the bed to the left, as it was closer to the air conditioning vents. There was plenty of space for my wheelchair between the two beds, so this is where I parked.
I unfortunately did not measure the bed height, but it was 3 to 4 inches higher than the seat of my Quantum Q6 Edge power wheelchair.
Speaking of my power wheelchair – I needed somewhere to charge it! The bedside table or nightstand, located between the two twin beds, featured a power outlet on the wall and within reach of both beds. Other power outlets could be found at the desk and in the bathroom.
If you are traveling abroad with a power wheelchair, remember to consider the higher electric voltages used in other countries. I traveled with my own step-up/down power transformer to safely charge my chair.
Hanging on the wall opposite the twin beds is a beautiful high definition, flat screen television. To the left of the TV is a desk, set right next to the room’s large window. Here’s a closer look at the desk area:
Pictured above is another angle of the desk and the wheeled office chair that can be pushed away easily. Another telephone is located in the desk, next to a lamp. Built-in to the shelf that runs from the desk and under the television is a strip containing 2 power outlets, a USB port and other audio/video inputs.
I used the power outlets here to charge my mobile phone, GoPro camera and other electronic devices.
Now, let’s move to the bathroom.
Every accessible feature in the bathroom is important to the wheelchair traveler, but I personally care most about having a good roll-in shower. This particular shower was beautifully designed, with tile stretching from floor to ceiling and a glass window looking into the rest of the hotel room.
The wheelchair accessible shower bench was metal and folded down from the wall behind. The bench was large, which meant I didn’t have to fear falling off of it. Grab bars were affixed to the walls next to and in front off the shower seat. The handheld shower nozzle and water controls were within reach and easy to operate.
What was missing was a curtain, but I was careful not to spray my power wheelchair. The in-floor drain captured most of the water. Just a bit spilled out into the rest of the bathroom, but was easily dried by throwing a towel on it. I hate having to call housekeeping when a hotel’s shower doesn’t drain properly, and was thankful I did not need to do so at the Radisson Blu.
The toilet was the low point of accessibility in the room. A grab bar installed next to the toilet blocked my ability to park my wheelchair there. This meant I had to transfer awkwardly onto the toilet by parking in front of it. While the grab bar may be useful to those who are still independently mobile or use a walker/cane, it creates an unnecessary barrier for the wheelchair user.
The bathroom sink, however, was great! The sink’s basin extended out beyond the countertop, and I was able to roll beneath both without bumping my knees. Hand towers hung within reach were a blessing… there’s nothing worse than getting your hands wet, only to discover the towels are on the other side of the bathroom!
Public Areas of the Hotel
Allow me to start with the most important place in any hotel — the bar!
5-star hotels definitely come with a bit of swank, and that was on display in the lobby bar. An intricate chandelier hung over the main bar, the walls were reflective and polished, and every table was topped with a fresh flower.
While the hotel room rates are cheap compared to other parts of the world, alcohol is not. This is especially true of good liquor, which is flat-out expensive in Bangkok.
If you want to drink and save some money, roll a block down Sukhumvit Road to The Penalty Spot – my favorite sports bar in Bangkok. The ground floor is wheelchair accessible, but the bathroom is not. If you have to “go,” take comfort in the fact that your hotel room is only one block and an elevator ride away!
Who doesn’t love a rooftop bar? Although it’s not as high-up as the Octave Bar I reviewed at the Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit 57, it’s still got an impressive view of the surrounding skyline. PLUS, there is a rooftop pool right next to the bar patio.
Sadly, there is no lift to assist wheelchair users in and out of the pool, but it’s still a great place to lay out in the heat and sun. The entire patio and pool area is wheelchair accessible thanks to a ramp, so you won’t have to separate yourself from able-bodied travel companions.
Although I was disappointed by the limited accessibility to the toilet and swimming pool, the positives of this hotel really won me over. Bangkok has a tricky public transportation system that is only partially accessible, so it was really convenient to have 3 accessible stations located within walking/rolling distance of the hotel. That truly is a lifesaver, and will save you so much rolling and wasted time.
The hotel is luxuries, but not in an over-the-top way. The room is comfortable, and met every one of my needs for an accessible room. If you can overlook the toilet situation, I highly recommend the Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok hotel.