Reader of my blog asked whether I could recommend my quarantine hotel Amber. That’s difficult to answer because the usual standards don’t apply and subjective perception is highly influenced by feelings of being locked up.
On Facebook people share and discuss their experiences and opinions. However, these are only helpful to a limited degree. What is okay for one person may not be acceptable for another.
Nevertheless, in this article I will try to show the pros and cons. I will also not hold back with my opinion. In this way, everyone can then develop their own opinion.
You can find a list of quarantine hotels in Thailand on Agoda. The major advantage for you is to get special offers and you can easily compare the hotels with each other. You will know immediately the availability.
The hard facts
The Amber Sukhumvit 85 hotel offers an ASQ package in association with Synphaet Srinakarin Hospital. This includes the following:
- 15 nights in one of the 58 rooms (30 sqm) or suites (37 sqm).
- Free transfer from the airport on the day of arrival
- WiFi (wireless internet)
- 3 meals per day
- Smart TV with international channels
- 3 times room cleaning after the first negative Covid test
- Water, coffee and tea
- yard walk after the first negative Covid test
The hospital contributes the following services:
- 2 Covid 19 tests (RT-PCR) on day 5 and 11.
- 14 face masks, disinfectant and overshoes for out-of-room time
- Nurse on 24-hour standby
- Twice daily temperature measurement on the forehead
- Free transportation to hospital (if needed)
- Doctor by telemedicine (online consultations) in 24-hour stand-by
- Official medical report after quarantine
My experiences in the quarantine hotel in Bangkok
One Bed Suite
My choice fell on a small two-room suite. That way I could get out of my own way, was my idea behind it. My first thought when I stood in the doorway on the first day: This looks small.
To understand that, you have to know that I like big rooms. I’m not a “cave sleeper” and enjoy when I can walk around. I love to be able to roll out my gym mat.
Especially with the roller trainer (indoor bike trainer), the space then became even more limited. Still, I was glad I had the separation between activity and sleeping.
A large TV hangs in each of the two rooms, and the king-size or queen-size bed was just right for me. It was not too soft, but not hard either. I slept very well.
An important consideration for me in choosing this particular quarantine hotel was the color in the photos of the hotel. The blue is really as beautiful as it looks on these.
Whether you get more or better for the price of 35,000 THB in another ASQ hotel, I dare to doubt.
ASQ Hotel in Bangkok with balcony
The balcony was accessible from the first day and offered a view of the soi, a kindergarten, a construction site and the sky. Very important for me. I would absolutly recommend a balcony in quarantine.
There was even an ashtray for smokers.
A very important issue when it comes to such a long stay. Especially when the stay is involuntary. The mealtimes provided structure. Sometimes, I really looked forward to them. The hotel kitchen offers a choice of Thai or Continental breakfast on its ASQ menu every day. This is always supposed to be accompanied by fruit. Three dishes are available for lunch and dinner. In addition, one can choose between salad, soup or dessert. Three days in advance you should decide, I already made my choice on the first day for the entire time.
The portions were always large enough for me. I usually did not finish the rice. The Continental breakfast consisted of two slices of toast, a small croissant, two fried eggs and salad. There wasn’t much of the promised fruit. A couple of times it was replaced by two muffins or it was only a banana. Since I eat a lot of fruit, I ordered that extra every now and then.
The offered, quite tasty dishes varied between traditional Thai food (red and green curry, Tom Yang Gung, fried rice, Pad Thai, …) and Spaghetti or Japanese-inspired something. The selection was far too much meat for me. However, this in turn makes you full and lasts longer.
Glad I was for the microwave in the cupboard. The food came in plastic dishes put in front of the door. Obviously, this can no longer be warm let alone hot. I also didn’t always want to eat at the designated time and was able to heat up my meals. On top of the micro, I had my own cutlery and dishes, so I didn’t have to eat with plastic all the time.
You can order from 6 am to 8:30 pm from the hotel restaurant. However, that seemed to offer the same dishes. Since I am a big fan of ice cream, I treated myself to an ice cream sundae at halftime. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed because that did not fit my expectations.
Since I was not allowed to order mineral water during the first week, I got 4 to 5 liters of drinking water from the hotel every day. Only towards the end I was told that I now had to pay 70 baht for the 12 bottles from the hotel. Then I ordered a large pack of Pura at 7/11.
Grab Food, Foodpanda and similar delivery services are not allowed.
Unfortunately, the 7/11 or Tesco-Lotus-Express are only a limited good option to supply yourself with snacks, etc. The delivery from the 7/11 always came in the afternoon. Orders are placed by LINE at the front desk. There was no extra charge. In comparison with 7/11 Tesco has a English speaking website.
Note: I was not allowed to order anything until after my first negative test result. That is, not before day 6, so after almost a week of stay.
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Alcohol is prohibited. I can only guess at the reasons why the health department prescribes this rule. Is it to avoid drunken and rowdy hotel guests? I can well imagine how hard it is to stop heavily intoxicated farang when they just want to get out in a drunken stupor.
Communication with the hotel
A QR code links the LINE app on the smartphone with the reception desk. However, I only used this for written documents. The direct communication via the house phone was much faster and more effective.
The staff spoke good English.
Both smart TVs are huge by my standards since I usually watch movies on the computer. The program includes over 30 channels. Because the TV signal was also very unstable, I did not bother with it at all.
Often I read the recommendation to bring an HDMI cable to connect the computer to the TV.
Wi-Fi is not really fast and thus not sufficient for streaming movies in 4K. However, it was perfectly fine for my needs. Including watching clips on YouTube or in the media library.
Room cleaning takes place on days 7, 10 and 13. I had the hotel give me a broom right on the second day so that I could at least sweep. “Guad baan” (กวาดบ้าน) is part of my morning routine, as in most Thai households.
Kettle, fridge, microwave, clothes rack with 4 hangers, hair dryer, safe, small table, sofa.
I would have liked a real chair with table to work. Sitting at the computer for a long time would have been better for my back.
The hotel provides a SIM card DTAC if you don’t have your own.
Fever measurement and Covid 19 test
Twice a day at about the same time a nurse comes and knocks on the door. I was standing in the doorway and she measured my temperature on my forehead. The nurse, who was wrapped in plastic and protected by a mask and goggles, entered the result on her tablet after showing it to me.
The Covid-19 test was uncomfortable. That means the nurse did her job well. Because the test stick has to collect samples far back in the throat and nose to get an accurate result.
Prison yard walk
After a negative Covid test result, guests in a quarantine hotel are allowed out for 40 minutes. Out of the room, mind you, not out of the hotel, and only after consultation and “guarded”.
I chose the Amber Sukhumvit 85 because I wanted to do laps around the pool on the rooftop terrace. The good panoramic view should be great. But that went wrong. All fitness rooms were closed.
Instead of the roof terrace, I now had to walk along a wall behind the hotel. At least, the wall was green and did not remind too much of a prison. It’s funny because I was explicitly told not to go to the parking lot right next to it, and not to go to the back area either. “Only from here to there” my hooded companion pointed out to me.
Even for a motion-hungry guy like me, that’s uninviting. And so I didn’t take the opportunity to walk around the courtyard every day.
Orders for example at LAZADA are possible. So I had a yoga mat delivered to me, among other things. On the Internet I read that you should bring a multiple socket with extension. I have not missed that.
I produced a tremendous amount of plastic waste. This hurt me inside, but cannot be helped in view of the strict precautionary measures. The garbage was differentiated between “normal” garbage (black plastic bag) and “dangerous” garbage (handkerchiefs and the like, red plastic bag).
The perception of meals and the individual needs and tastes are very diverse. It is enormously difficult to write a proper assessment about it. I find it relatively easy to be frugal for the foreseeable future. Always remember, after the two weeks you can move more freely here in Thailand and enjoy the diverse food.
Also, when choosing a hotel, take a good look at the cancellation policy. At the Amber, these seemed okay to me. I could have postponed my stay free of charge.Reasons could be a postponed flight or positive Covid test or a missing Certificate of Entry (CoE).
The Amber is just under a half-hour drive from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. The short ride was pleasant. The passenger compartment was partitioned off with transparent plastic. Driver and passenger protected with full body suit, mask and goggles.
If you have any questions that I haven’t answered yet, just write them in the comments section below. That way, other readers will get something out of it, too. I answer in any case. Mostly within a short time.