Whether you’re looking for a five-star stay with Michelin-star dining or a chic retreat made for the budget-conscious crowd, the capital city of Thailand delivers. Here are the best hotels in Bangkok, all bookable on Culture Trip.
The gilded Grand Palace. The raucous Khao San Road. The energetic night markets. Bangkok is a city that’s intense and exciting in equal measures. Some prefer to pass through, heading straight to Chiang Mai, Phuket or Koh Samui, but if you do feel like exploring the most populated city in Thailand, you’ll discover a pulsating destination. With so much to see and do, a comfortable place to end the day is a near essential. Here are the places to stay in Bangkok.
On Sathorn Road, centred in the financial district of Bangkok, you’ll find the Sukhothai Bangkok. This handsome hotel has massive suites with balconies, garden suites overlooking lotus ponds, Thai decor, silk-blanketed furniture and Thai sculptures. You’ll find sophisticated Italian fare at La Scala (no shorts or flip-flops allowed inside), with delightful dishes such as the pan-fried Italian sea bass. You can also opt for the restaurant Celadon – circled by an appealing lotus pond – serving some of the best Thai food in Bangkok.
If you want gorgeous river and city views, plus fine riverside dining, the Peninsula is for you. The hotel offers 370 rooms, plus an 88m (290ft) pool with three cascading levels. Also, there’s the Peninsula Academy, with tailored programmes for young and old alike, including Muay Thai, painting and cooking classes. The River Café & Terrace, along with Thiptara Thai, are perfect for a snack or meal by the waterfront.
The grey, 61-level Banyan Tree Bangkok has large rooms with stained wood trimming and modern Thai interior design touches. Of course, it’s hard to beat the sweeping vistas over the city. Vertigo Restaurant and the fashionable outdoor Moon Bar, both on the 61st floor, make you feel like you’re on top of the world – or at least Bangkok. Grilled chow, such as red snapper, tiger prawns and premium cuts of wagyu steak, are the speciality at Vertigo. The hotel rooftop is meant for gourmands who aren’t afraid of towering heights.
There’s no hotel in the city with a history quite like the Mandarin Oriental. For more than 140 years, it has been catering to the rich and famous with unmatched service, world-class amenities and an ideal location along the Chao Phraya River. Highlights of the property include butler service, a top-rated cooking school and refined rooms such as the Authors’ Suites inside the original Colonial-era building. On top of that, Le Normandie is a two-Michelin-star French restaurant, and the Bamboo Bar is a legendary watering hole with live jazz and an insanely good cocktail collection. If money is no object, this is the hotel for you.
Shoppers will have a lot to salivate over at the Siam Kempinski, which is connected to the Siam Paragon mall and only a few minutes from the Central World mall, as well as being walking distance from high-end boutique shops and international stores. Inside, a palatial estate awaits, which includes four salt-water pools, lush gardens, a 24-hour fitness centre and a kids’ club with dance competitions and cooking classes. Dining is also a premium at this high-end spot; you can chow down at Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, a one-Michelin-star restaurant by world-famous Danish chef Henrik Yde-Andersen.
Hotel Muse is a cool, eclectic hotel in the middle of the city that provides a younger set of travellers with chic digs reminiscent of 1920s America. The rooftop features a speakeasy with al fresco dining and killer cocktails, while in the basement, Medici Kitchen & Bar has live opera singers and mouth-watering pastas tossed in burning cheese wheels. One of the benefits of staying here is the hotel’s destination guide, which is full of useful recommendations of things to do around the city.
One of the most unique boutique hotels is this out-of-the-way spot on the northwest side of Bangkok. Don’t let the location deter you though, as the Siam Hotel offers top service to guests. Inside, spacious suites come with butler service, and facilities include a lavish pool, one-of-a-kind spa and a host of unusual experiences. Where else in Bangkok will you find a hotel that offers guests a tattoo parlour that specialises in ancient Thai tattoo techniques?
Small in stature but big in history and design, Chakrabongse Villas was built in 1908 as a retreat for Prince Chakrabongse and is a riverside property adjacent to the Grand Palace. The villas are currently owned by the prince’s granddaughter and, with only seven rooms, offer stylish boutique accommodation. Here, you’ll find lush gardens, an oblong pool and one of the most authentic Thai restaurants in the city. The rooms are a mishmash of design and come with free breakfast and Nespresso machines, plus a few have kitchenettes and private patios. If you want to get close to the royal family, you can’t do much better than this.
Don’t get nervous as you meander down the narrow alleyway leading to the Cabochon Hotel. At the end of a short stretch, you’ll come upon a stunning colonial-style palace, with white colonnaded balconies and lush green foliage. This small boutique hotel evokes a long-forgotten era and combines it with modern amenities. There are only eight rooms here, decked in vintage furnishings and hardwood floors. Hit the Joy Luck Salon de Thé, a lobby lounge fashioned after Amy Tan’s novel, for afternoon tea. You’ll also be nearby one of the best bars in the city, Iron Balls Gin Distillery, and a hopping nightclub called the Sing Sing Theater.
Travelling south along the Chao Phraya River, you’ll come across a towering, modern hotel that caters to millennial travellers looking for a chic space without breaking the bank. Rooms have phenomenal riverside views that are only topped by those from SEEN, the rooftop restaurant and bar that serves classic cocktails and DJ-spun dance tunes. Though it’s further south than most main Bangkok hotels, there’s a shuttle boat that can take you up north, or paddle you right across the way to Asiatique, a riverfront bazaar with bars, restaurants and the spectacular Calypso Cabaret, which features Thai transgender artists.
The Grand Hyatt Erawan is a luxury five-star hotel with all the trimmings. Located in the middle of the city, it’s attached to a shopping mall and the Erawan Shrine, dedicated to Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. The hotel features a gigantic pool (the adjoining bar offers a three-hour happy hour), a spa with nine treatment rooms and a cold plunge pool, plus a gym with state-of-the-art machines and daily classes. It also has a nightclub with live music and DJs. When you’re ready for some refreshments, you’ll have nine (yes, nine) bars and restaurants from which to choose, including fine dining, Italian and casual street-style Thai.
Carl Pettit contributed additional reporting to this article.