Did you know there are over 1 million luxury hotels in Bangkok?! I made up that statistic, but it really seems possible, they are everywhere, and that’s not including the cheaper hotels and hostels that cover the city. I recently read somewhere that Bangkok was the most visited city in the world in 2016 and with all those people coming and going, the staff at large luxury hotels can’t possibly know all their guests, right? With that in mind, I’ve been experimenting with “crashing” some hotel fitness centers and pools, and it works.
It first started at the Sofitel. Another traveler gave me a day pass to use the amenities on their 10th floor spa area overlooking Lumpini Park. When we arrived, nobody asked for the passes (given by the MOD the night before). I used the fitness area and spent the afternoon by the infinity pool. Not a bad way to spend the day when you can’t walk much! I then went to the Grand Sheraton because I know somebody who stays there. I asked if I could sit by the pool, so he walked me over and I stayed, lounging on a chair under the natural trees, a little oasis in the heart of Bangkok.
I went back to the Sofitel, feeling “safe” that I still had the guest pass, and again, no questions asked. I worked out, swam laps, and showered in their immaculate facility with shiny off white marble like floors. Because that visit was a success, I decided to be a little more adventurous. I hit up the JW Marriott, just across from my hostel. I did some recon and was directed to the pool. The staff even opened the doors for me. I did order a salad so as to not draw any attention to the fact that I was ultimately stealing real estate there. For the price I paid, it’s worth it because you cannot get a one day pass to a fitness center here in the city, much less one with a pool that’s within walking distance to me.
I love the pool and ambiance at the Sofitel, but I have to take a taxi there, so that costs me a few bhat. The fitness center is definitely doable with a variety of machines and free weights, but I have to say, the JW Marriott wins in that regard. It has more equipment than many small gyms and for my purposes, it is very practical. The pool area is set up to look like a garden and doesn’t offer the views that the Sofitel does, but hey, swimming is swimming and I need it! The Pool at the Sheraton is quite nice too, but I didn’t go to their fitness center, it is on a different floor.
For now, it’s fun crashing hotel fitness centers and pools, and it saves money! If I were to stay in Bangkok longer, however, I’d pay for a gym membership. In the meantime, it is a good tactic to get in some exercise while traveling and I definitely love being able to lift weights! Do you have any stories of sneaking into hotels? Any attempts gone wrong?