Attached to the enormous Siam Paragon shopping center and surrounded on all sides by street markets and mega-malls (try Central World for high-street fashion and MBK for gadgets), shoppers simply couldn’t be better placed.
And when you’re ready for a post-shop flop, you’ll find spacious rooms, all pearl whites, mossy green and soft bronze, with chocolatey marble bathrooms —the best have balconies overlooking tropical gardens or access straight into one of the many swimming pools. There’s also an impressive array of restaurants on site.
The Banyan Tree Bangkok celebrated its 20th birthday in 2016, but with its clutch of fabulous bars and restaurants, as well as a smart new refurbishment, it remains at the top of its game. The suite-sized rooms, each with its own living space and nimble bathroom, am perched between the 15th to 58th floors, meaning they come with spectacular views.
There’s also a rooftop pool, a gym and a cavernous spa. But it’s the 61st floor Vertigo restaurant and Moon Bar that will set pulses lacing. Knocking back a cocktail here as you gaze over Bangkok’s skyscrapers is a heart-stopping experience.
Set in the upmarket neighborhood of Dusit, down water from Bangkok’s historic district, The Siam is a luxurious retreat frequented by Thailand’s high-society set. Doze off by the outdoor swimming pool, detangle at the Opium spa or pick up a permanent souvenir from the hotel’s Sak Yant tattoo studio.
The rooms are mixed in black & white in the most elegant way
The rooms and suites have the air of a stylish country retreat; spacious, monochrome, with lofty ceilings, claw tubs and deco-inspired furniture. The river can be enjoyed from the hotel’s complimentary water limousine.
If you were sleeping any closer to Wat Pho temple, you’d be a monk. Located just around the corner from Thailand’s most revered place of worship and the equally-spectacular Grand Palace, Arun Residence is where you want to be to beat the crowds.
The Grand Palace in Bangkok
Set on the banks of the Chao Phraya river in a beautifully restored 1920s shophouse, the Arun has just six head-to-toe teak rooms; three split-level deluxe rooms and three airy suites with private balconies from which you can stare across the water at Wat Arun.
The rooms at this hip, hidden-away hotel, in the backstreets of Sukhumvit, are comfortable, with floating beds (and 300-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets), blue therapy lights and free mini-bars stocked with beers, snacks and soft drinks.
Dream Nirvana Suite
The Dali-inspired restaurant is terrific fora night in and the Flava dance bar, with its pink porcelain leopards, is popular with expats and locals alike. Sealing the deal are free tuk-tuk rides to nearby attractions, an ultraviolet-lit rooftop pool and terrific little spa.
If you want to chow down on some of the best, most eclectic street food in Bangkok — sour/spicy soft-boiled cockles, crispy pork noodles, oyster omelettes — head for the joyfully chaotic streets of Chinatown. Located right on the main drag, Yaowarat Road, Shanghai Mansion taps into the neighborhood’s rich mixed heritage in extravagant style.
The lobby of Shanghai Mansion
In the atrium lobby there are Chinese lanterns, decadent velvet sofas and pretty wooden birdcages looped around a water garden filled with lotus flowers and goldfish. The colorful palette extends to the 76 rooms — all pinks, limes and purples, adorned with four-poster beds, balloon lanterns and jewel-colored silks. It’s all spick and span and gorgeous fun.
This upmarket 174-bedroom address in Langsuan, near Chit Lom BTS station, may be housed in a sleek skyscraper but on the inside it’s a mad mash-up of Victoriana and Rama V-era art and objects.
Fabulous all the way, you’ll be able to find opera singers giving live performances in Medici restaurant, teeny-weeny bikinis by the teeny-weeny outdoor pool and Bangkok’s most beautiful girls and boys shaking their tail feathers around giant, gold cupolas on an Astroturf lawn at the rooftop speakeasy bar.
Muse Hotel has a fancy bar on its rooftop providing great view of Bangkok
If you want to camp it up even more then you can head out to the nearby Soi Twilight and the nightly 11.30pm synchronized swimming show at The Classic Boys Club go-go bar.
This is a seriously stylish all-suite offering with glossy wooden floors, squared-off lines, a subdued Thai vibe and switched-on service. Rooms are large restful spaces with limestone bathrooms, thick square sofas and vertical gardens climbing up through an interior glass wall. They come with a nice bundle of perks (a free cocktail, comp mini-bars and a lovely big breakfast).
Wood is the first pick for Hansar’s interior design
Elsewhere, there’s a 25-metre outdoor swimming pool with views of Ratchadamri and the Royal Sports Club racecourse; an attractive spa with steam rooms, saunas and heated pools; and a couple of suitably hip bars and restaurants — make time fora Tomyamtini (vodka, tom yam herbs and ginger syrup) at Rouge Bar.
A flash skyscraper pad, in the happening hubbub of Sat horn, the W announces itself with a lobby decked out with black mirrors and crystal-clad walls, panels of flashing tuk-tuk lights and a swirling glass staircase. The spa — seemingly transported from the set of Barbarella — features mesh curtains, and treatment beds glowing pink, green and blue.
New-style bedroom at W Bangkok Hotel
The rooms, however, are slick but serene — subway tile bathrooms, Bliss toiletries and giant beds topped with sequined Muay Thai boxing glove cushions. Housed in a lovingly restored 19th-century mansion, Asian restaurant The House on Sat horn is one of the most glamorous spots in town. But the crowning glory is the swimming pool, with its cool city views and riotous weekend pool parties.
Bigger, flashier hotels have come and gone over the Mandarin Oriental’s 140-year history, but this grande dame remains Bangkok’s destination hotel. Its prestigious guest list includes everyone from Noel Coward and Graham Greene to Johnny Depp and David Beckham and the facilities are second to none — riverside restaurants, outdoor pools, award-winning spa and the historic Author’s Wing, where pinkies are raised over afternoon tea and Champagne glasses clink at evening soirees.
The dining spot at Mandarin Oriental Hotel offers a beautiful sight
Rooms are plush and perfectly put-together — neutral walls, gold armchairs, vases of fresh tropical flowers — and every one with at least a partial view of the river. The staff, some of whom have been with the hotel for over 50 years, are as impressive as the hotel itself.