Vibrant markets, sizzling street food and elaborate temples attract over 22 million tourists to Bangkok each year. But, if you’re also hoping for some quiet downtime away from the daily grind, one of the capital’s resorts might be a better fit than the busier city centre hotels. So much more than a place to sleep, these resorts offer golf courses, meditation classes and even dinner cruises that guarantee a unique experience.
Retreat from the flurry and excitement of Bangkok at this quiet property tucked away in upmarket Sathorn. It’s hard to believe you’re in the city at all thanks to the on-site expansive gardens, courtyard swimming pool and sweeping drive. Meanwhile, amenities such as an all-day breakfast and a Michelin-starred French restaurant make it easy to have no regrets about spending all your time close to the resort. If you do want to explore further, there’s a complimentary bike hire and a free half-day trip to the floating market at Bang Kra Chao every weekend.
Can’t decide between a city break or a resort holiday? This sprawling resort set amongst 11 acres of gardens on the west bank of the Chao Phraya river is the perfect mix of both, and features one of the largest pools in Bangkok, multiple tennis courts, six restaurants, as well as a kid’s club and fitness and cooking classes. Get your city fix with regular boat trips to Saphan Taksin Skytrain or take advantage of insider tours away from the big-name attractions with the expert in-house guide.
No prizes for guessing where this minimalist resort is hidden. Despite being close to a busy road and within walking distance of the gigantic Mega Banga mall, the hotel is tucked amongst the trees and feels like a remote forest hideaway. Simple riverside bungalows come with jacuzzi bathrooms, while a gym, swimming pool and on-site restaurant mean you can truly hide away from the world.
For an authentic Thai experience, this resort in Nonthaburi Province half an hour north of Bangkok City offers something completely unique. Guests stay in striking Thai wooden houses with ornate carvings and real teak wooden bathtubs and can choose to participate in activities including flower arranging and cooking ancient dishes. If you’d rather someone else did the hard work, the on-site restaurant also serves traditional Thai food based on royal recipes.
The imposing Shangri-La on the banks of the Chao Phraya river knows how to make a statement. From the ornate lobby dripping with chandeliers to the formal spa with ancient treatments and a riverside pool, the hotel goes all-out to impress. Dining options are particularly tempting and include a fine-dining Thai restaurant complete with traditional dance performance and a chocolate boutique for dessert disciples. For something a little off the beaten path, board the hotel’s very own dinner cruise ship and glide past riverside sights one evening.
Half-way between the Suvarnabhumi International Airport and the city centre, this five-star resort has an 18-hole championship golf course, intimate spa with salt water infinity pool and an airy fitness centre. Kids are especially spoilt with a Lego welcome gift, movie nights, soccer sessions and brightly-coloured kids club for the under 12s. Even the entry-level rooms are a treat, with private balconies overlooking the golf course, marble bathrooms and a freestanding tub.
Stay close to the city’s action at this resort on the Chao Phraya River. Historical sites including the Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha and Marble Temple are close by while the nearby Phra Athit pier facilitates easy boat transfers to Silom and Bangkok’s financial district. All rooms have large private balconies and the hotel has its own rooftop swimming pool and bar, plus a riverside restaurant, Acquatini, if you want to indulge in Thai-European dishes and killer cocktails.
For a more intimate city stay, this beautiful 24-room boutique hotel surpasses all expectations. Occupying an old family home built in the 1940s, the hotel is located just off the Sukhumvit Road in downtown Bangkok, making it ideal for tourists and shoppers alike. Delightful rooms have Thai silk drapes, recycled teak floors, colourful fabrics and carefully-placed antiques. Guests can also enjoy access to a shaded pool, a library and small spa with an open-sided Sala for Thai massage.
Business travellers, couples and those craving rest and relaxation will find everything they need at this hotel on Sukhumvit Road near the BTS Phrakhanong Station. There is a business centre, executive lounge, squash court and in-room kitchen for those staying for work, while couples will appreciate the Pool Residential Suite with an in-room plunge pool overlooking the city. Keen to make the most of the spa? Splash out on a spa suite with its own private jacuzzi and steam room.
Connected to a leading holistic facility, BDMS Wellness Clinic, this property near the BTS Ploenchit station encourages you to check out feeling like a new person. It’s all about healthy living here, with organic smoothies at the Sala Pool Bar, nutritious buffets for breakfast and a healthy bakery. Even the fitness centre is state-of-the-art with a suite of machines to help spinal and orthopaedic recovery. It’s not all virtuous though – the lobby bar holds a nightly chocolate hour where guests can indulge in free sweet treats.
Escape Bangkok’s sweltering streets with a trip half an hour north to Nonthaburi. This lakeside resort is perfect when the urge to get back to nature strikes, with vast leafy grounds and glittering lake views. There’s an outdoor swimming pool, bar, restaurant and free private parking while rooms have smart TVs, minibars and rainfall showers. Guests can also opt to stay in renovated caravans instead, for complete privacy.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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