I spent my “Test And Go” quarantine night at the Hyatt Place Bangkok, a budget property I have stayed at twice in the past. All things considered, I was pleased by the experience and would recommend it.
Hyatt Place Bangkok Quarantine
The package was arranged directly with the hotel via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Quarantine packages (both Test & Go and AQ) are available. The cost for my package was 5,000THB (roughly $150).
Upon clearing immigration at BKK, I found a hotel representative in a cordoned-off area of the arrivals level. All incoming passengers meet their shuttle drivers here.
One other passenger on my flight, a returning expat from Boston, was also quarantining at the hotel. We were told to have a seat and about 10 minutes later were summoned by our shuttle driver. We walked outside the (guarded) exit and were ushered into a van.
Traffic was very light and we made it in record time of 30 minutes (at least in my experience).
Arriving at the hotel, we were directed to a health screening area outside the ground level elevators. Like many hotels in Asia, the lobby is located on an upper level, but this lobby is currently off-limits to guests. All check-in and check-out formalities occur on the ground level.
First, a man took my passport, glanced at it, then handed it back to me and asked me to sign the folio. There was no room key, because I would not be allowed out of my room during the quarantine.
A woman in a hazmat suit seated at the next table gave me one of the worst nasal swabs I have ever endured. Not only did she swab both nostrils, but she stuck it way up deep and swabbed for far too long.
I was also given a rapid antigen test I was told to administer myself…or maybe not. Perhaps something was lost in translation because I did nothing with this test and it wasn’t like an Abbot at-home test. I ended up just throwing it away.
Anyway, the guy who checked me in escorted me up to my room on the 17th floor. Stepping out of the elevator, he opened the door for me and then shut it behind me.
Hopefully this will be the closest I will ever get to prison.
The room itself was nice, with a great view of the city, comfortable bed, and functional bathroom.
I noticed a rubber faux wood floor rolled over the usual vinyl floor.
At the desk was a QR code which I would use to order my meals (via Google Forms). Included in the quarantine package is three meals per day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can order all three meals at once the evening before.
Having feasted on ANA, I wasn’t hungry at all, but for purposes of the review ordered dinner shortly after arriving. It included an appetizer or soup (I chose mushroom cream soup), a main course (creamy chicken ragout), a dessert (sliced watermelon), and a drink (I skipped it, as the room had four water bottles).
The meal is placed on a table outside your door. A pair of knocks indicated dinner was ready. Again, I noted the immense amount of plastic waste this pandemic has encouraged “for our safety.”
The food was not great, but tolerable. By that, I mean the chicken was tough and lacked flavor (the sauce helped a bit) and the soup was too salty. It felt like hospital food. But I did appreciate the large menu with Thai and international cuisine, plus plenty of vegetarian choices.
When finished, you place your plastic containers in a refuse bin outside the door.
I fell asleep after dinner and was awakened at about 6:30am by a telephone call. My test had come back negative and I was free to go, about 14 hours after arriving.
I asked if I could come downstairs and was told, no, that someone would need to come up and get me. Instead, I spent several more hours in the room catching up on work for the day.
Breakfast arrived; an omelet with bacon and sausage, potatoes, vegetables, a salad, fruit, a croissant and coffee. Not bad in terms of quantity and the croissant was tasty. The omelet was fine, but it probably powdered. I didn’t touch the sausage.
I had ordered lunch too, but left before that was delivered. Here’s the menu:
The hotel also will deliver food up to your room if you wish to order out, which I am sure is a godsend if you are actually doing a 10-day quarantine.
When it came time to check-out, I called downstairs and a bellman was sent up to take my bags down. I asked if I could store my bags fo ra few hours while I went on a coffee run around the city and was obliged. In fact, he took me down to the deserted lobby where I left my bags at the front desk.
Downstairs, I was presented a paper copy of my PCR test, which I would use to fly home to the USA a couple days later.
When I returned, another hotel associate went upstairs and grabbed my bags for me.
The Test And Go package was very easy and I was happy with the Hyatt Place Bangkok, a fairly nice prison! Hopefully Thailand will abolish even the need to Test And Go sooner rather than later, but one night in a quarantine hotel should not deter you from traveling to Thailand.