Once the realm of kings and noble dignitaries as the capital of Siam for hundreds of years, Ayutthaya is a must visit, with stunning temple ruins, some of which are the most enchanting in the country. If you’re planning a trip to this fascinating city, here are some of the best places to stay.
Baan Are Gong Riverside Homestay, Ayutthaya
A rustic, traditional room at Baan Are Gong | Andrea Kirkby/Flickr
A humble teakwood house by the river, Baan Are Gong is an authentic home stay that offers the first of many glimpses into what life was like in the past in Ayutthaya. The presence of both Thai and Chinese decorations inside add to the authentic exterior, which looks like it hasn’t been changed in decades. Close to the train station, it’s ideal for those who want to ditch their bags and begin exploring; they also organise tours and rent both motorbikes and bicycles to their guests. Rooms are basic but comfortable, and free Wi-Fi is available. It’s far from luxury, but it sure is an authentic way to experience this historic city.
As the only place to stay in the historical park itself, one thing’s for sure, The Park Ayutthaya can’t be beaten when it comes to location. With Wat Phra Si Sanphet just a short walk away, and the stunning Wat Mahathat within view, it’s perfect for those who want to just roll out of bed and head to the temples. Rooms are basic but comfortable, and breakfast is served in the morning in a cute, quaint terrace complete with flowers and mango trees. Tours and bike rentals can be organised at reception, making it even more convenient for guests — a fuss-free stay in a good place and great location.
With its marble bathrooms, outdoor pool and riverside terrace for dining and drinking, the Krungsri River Hotel makes for a welcome change to the usual guesthouses that are all over the city of Ayutthaya. Whilst it may be a little further out from the temples, it makes up for it with its luxurious feel and features. Bathrooms are decked out with a marble finish and feature decadent bathtub; its suites are brimming with elegance thanks to the comfy sofas and tall windows and its scenic riverside terrace offers a sense of peace, clarity and romance that other hotels can’t match. Whilst it may be more expensive than most hotels in the area, for the comfort it provides, it’s worth every penny.
Whilst many hotels in Ayutthaya may be stuck in the past, when it comes to decor, Sala Ayutthaya is firmly in the 21st century with its minimalist, soothing white rooms and peaceful ambiance. It looks like it should be in Greece, not Thailand, but Santorini’s loss is certainly Ayutthaya’s gain. Rooms use a combination of bright, white features along with exposed brick and wood to create a simple yet effective look, whilst its river view and private pool rooms are among some of the finest in the region. Complete with an art gallery and highly rated restaurant, it’s firmly established itself amongst the best hotel options in Ayutthaya and is worthy of any visitor to this historic city.
An upmarket hotel in a quieter part of town, the Kantary Hotel seems purpose-built for the more discerning visitor to Ayutthaya. Its outdoor pool located on the rooftop terrace, as well as the indoor pool, provide the perfect spaces to relax and reflect upon afternoons spent traipsing around some of the most awesome temples in all of Thailand. Its sauna is great for relaxing and resting your feet after walking for miles under a hot sun. Rooms are spacious and modern, with places to sit as well as sleep. A high-quality breakfast is available, which will ensure you start your day in the right way. A little bit out from the action, but consider it well removed from the tourist madness that parts of Ayutthaya often descend into.
Whilst it might be far out from where the action is, Pludhaya is the perfect place for a quiet getaway away from the tourist masses around Ayutthaya’s Historical Park. An incredibly scenic hotel, it sees quaint bungalows decorated in a rustic fashion on stilts above a body of water whilst also having views of rice fields, making it quite the rural getaway. Nestled amongst the traditional Thai buildings and green surroundings is an outdoor pool and a fitness suite, for both those who love to laze around and those who love to stay active on their holidays. Transport is available to take you to the temple sites, whilst there’s also a full-service spa on site ready to take care of you when you return. It’s a little different from the usual hotel offerings in the area and is well worth checking out.
A cool hotel in the centre of town, Niwas may be simple but it’s charming, modern and a great place to stay in Ayutthaya. The exposed brick and wooden interior is definitely on trend and, whilst the superior rooms and bungalows might not be all that exciting, they’re clean and cosy and more than fine for a couple of night in Ayutthaya. Bicycles are available to rent here too, turning the 40-minute walk to the historical park into nothing but a quick spin on two wheels. The green spaces and common areas are great for rest and recuperation, whilst the exterior of the hotel provides an authentic feel to your stay. A blend of modern style with rustic furnishings, its a great place for those on a budget in Ayutthaya.
For a hotel with a room and grounds that will look perfect on Instagram, look no further than Phuttal Residence for your stay in Ayutthaya. Rooms are simple and airy, with colourful embellishments such as paintings, cushions and throws that make for a perfect finishing touch. Doors to the rooms open out fully, giving you a completely open-air room that’s as in touch with nature as the green and flowery gardens of the hotel are. The view of the river is peaceful, and the sights and sounds of the boats going up and down the river are perfectly enjoyed from one of the hammocks set up in the garden for guests to enjoy. It’s a peaceful and quirky yet cool place to stay that isn’t far from the temples, making the price even more of a bargain.