Few cities are as exhilarating as Thailand’s hot and energetic capital, where tuk tuks weave between the traffic and modern skyscrapers rise up alongside elegant wats (temples). The bst Skytrain is a good way to navigate around this steamy and frenetic metropolis of almost ten million inhabitants, which Thais call Krung Thep, the ‘City of Angels’. Some might say that this is an ironic title for a city too often defined by the seedy nightspots of Patpong, but there is so much more to Bangkok than that. The city confounds expectations at every turn, with so much to offer, from wonderful street food to excellent shopping and cultural delights, all combining to make this one of Asia’s most interesting and cosmopolitan cities. Here’s a round up of Bangkok’s best hotels.
Bangkok’s newest urban boutique resort, The Siam, promises to redefine the idea of the luxury boutique and urban resort, with Bangkok’s first pool villas and a luxury Muay Thai gym.
The Siam is a private 39-room luxury retreat located in Bangkok’s royal Dusit district, with an enviable river frontage on the city side of the Chao Praya River.
The Siam features Bangkok’s most spacious suites and pool villas and historical Thai teakwood houses, as well as the owners’ private art & antique collections. Suites are fitted with lavish furnishings, super-sized king beds and high ceilings and each is individually designed with original turn-of-the-century oriental artwork and antiques, all catered for by a personal butler.
Cabochon is a charming boutique hotel located in the heart of Bangkok’s Sukhumvit district, boasting 1920s Shanghai chic design.
The elegant hotel features interiors that offer a taste of colonial décor creating a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere and a true home away from home.
The intimate resort has four light and airy standard studio guest rooms as well as four luxurious suites with separate living areas and bedrooms. Several of the rooms have private balconies overlooking the hotel’s attractive courtyard garden and all feature luxurious Panpuri amenities, crisp, white Flamant bed linens and state-of-the-art technology.
The Sukhothai Hotel is a relaxing sanctuary in the buzzing heart of downtown Bangkok. The hotel’s design takes its cue from the ancient city of Sukkothai with glorious stupas and Buddhist sculptures elegantly decorating the interiors in traditional Thai style.
Superbly located close to the entertainment district of Bangkok with its markets, parks and shopping, the Sukhothai also has one of the best traditional Thai restaurants in Bangkok. Celadon is located next to a picturesque lotus-filled pond with open-air terraces overlooking the water in the hotel’s garden.
Located on the waterfront with stunning views of the Chao Praya River and Bangkok’s skyline, the Peninsula offers traditional Thai hospitality. Every room has river views, from the deluxe and those with open balconies to suites with terraces and outdoor Jacuzzis. Don’t miss the Peninsula’s luxury tuk tuk and fleet of BMWs.
Banyan Tree offers a sanctuary for the senses with unparalleled panoramic cityscapes, elegantly decorated guest rooms, renowned service and the Banyan Tree Club lounge, along with integrated spa facilities. Choose from a range of exquisitely furnished rooms and suites. Tastefully designed to showcase the essence of Thai heritage fused with modern amenities, they pamper the senses and are the ultimate retreat after a day exploring the city. Don’t miss the rooftop bar and restaurant – one of the best in Bangkok.
With designs led by Christian Lacroix and Apple® products featured in each room, So Bangkok showcases innovative technology and unites it with culture, fashion and taste.
Situated close to the business district and Lumpini Park, Sofitel So Bangkok benefits from a privileged location in a lively area right in the centre of town, combining innovative design and high quality service.
So Bangkok is hoping to become Bangkok’s trendy new ‘place-to-be’, with an identity that is totally unique on the market. Award-winning Thai architect Smith Obayawat and five well-known Thai interior designers teamed up with Maurice Lacroix to make Sofitel So Bangkok a true feat of design and innovation.
The Siam@Siam is a contemporary, luxury hotel with the ‘hip’ factor – distinctive, daring and design conscious. All individually design rooms will stimulate the senses, with high ceilings, large picture windows and modern comforts.
Hotel Muse is a study in opulence and art: a throwback to the golden age of travel and dedicated to luxury. Rising 25 storeys in a notable residential district, the lavish guest rooms, dining and entertainment are unlike anything else in Bangkok. The urban-residential chic interiors reflect Rama V period elegance and turn-of-the-century grandeur with contemporary, playful touches.
The newly renovated Pullman Bangkok Hotel G is all style and class, with laidback rooms and restaurants. This trendy lifestyle hotel has design rooms ranging from deluxe to modern suites with views over the Bangkok skyline.
Novotel Bangkok Airport
From the grand full floor lobby atrium to the finest Buddhist scripture detail above your bed, the Novotel Bangkok Airport is unlike any other airport hotel you’ve stayed in. Named fifth best airport hotel in the world by Skytrax, it will simply blow your mind. Grand, welcoming and thoroughly relaxing; however long your stay, it’s the perfect Bangkok stopover.
NOVOTEL SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT
Bangkok’s best sights
Wat Phra Kaeo & the Grand Palace
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaeo, is the most famous building within the Grand Palace complex that was built in 1782 when King Rama I moved his capital from Thonburi on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River to Bangkok on the east. Glinting in sunlight, the coloured-glass mosaics on the walls of the wat ensure that the first view of the exterior is a striking one, and the interior is just as impressive, with the revered green jade Buddha believed to date from 1434. Other parts of the palace are magnificent too, with golden stupas, a model of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, gilded thrones and bronze singas (lions) among the intricate details.
The largest and most famous temple in Bangkok is Wat Pho, or the ‘Temple of the Reclining Buddha’ as it is also known. It was built in 1781 to house a 46-metre-long reclining Buddha covered in gold leaf, with soles decorated with mother-of-pearl. Around the statue are more than 1,000 bronzes, many rescued from the ruins of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. The temple’s other importance is as a centre for traditional Thai massage, with medical texts dating from the time of King Rama III inscribed on the walls. Tourists, businessmen and local officials come here to take away the tensions of modern life with a foot or body massage, while introductory massage courses can also be taken to learn the basics.