The Anantara Riverside’s immense grounds of tropical gardens make it feel a bit like a resort escape, even though it’s a hotel in the middle of one of the world’s most nonstop cities. Green pathways wind past lily ponds and under shady, flower-filled trees, all lit by the flicker of torches at night. With the direct riverfront location, cooling breezes help tame the hot air, and there are always local boats puttering by to watch. This is a great choice for families with little ones who need space and can benefit from a nice big swimming pool and plenty of in-house dining options. There are myriad activities on offer, from renowned river cruises to walking tours, but when guests do want to take on the city, the heart of Bangkok is a quick—and free—ferry shuttle across the river. The hotel is also popular with Thai tourists, giving families opportunities for cultural connections.
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Anantara Riverside sits on 11 acres and feels like a neighborhood oasis unto itself; many visitors chose never to go beyond the gates. Those wanting to explore should take the complimentary ferry shuttle from the hotel to the pier across the river by Wat Ratcha Singkon, a typical Thai temple with pitched roofs edged in gold leaf. Right next-door is the gigantic Asiatique, a theme-park-meets-shopping-mall that has been built in a kind of replica early-twentieth-century Thai architectural style. Here are dining options, bars, a cabaret theater, a 4-D movie theater, and a massive Ferris wheel that offers fine views of the city. Outside is a busy Bangkok waterfront to enjoy.
Need to Know
Rooms: 407 rooms; from $125. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: There are ten dining choices here, including familiar international favorites such as Benihana—a lively spot for Japanese teppanyaki—and Trader Vic’s, which serves Pacific Rim cuisine and has a Polynesian-style bar. The most unique offering is a dinner cruise aboard one of the hotel’s restored rice barges, a fleet collectively called the Manohra; this way guests can enjoy fine Thai cuisine while sightseeing along the river. Spa and gym details: The spa is already serene, simply by virtue of being on the hotel’s grounds. Many of its signature treatments use rice as a scrub or in a compress. There’s a well-equipped fitness center, tennis courts positioned to catch breezes off the river, and the option to take yoga and exercise classes.
Who's it for: Families and active, upscale travelers. Our favorite rooms: All the rooms at the Anantara are spacious and have private balconies, but thanks to their sweeping views of the river, the Deluxe Premier Riverfront rooms feel even larger; they really make the most of their special location. Organized activities: The Anantara is known for its activities. The hotel’s river cruises are some of the best in the city; other options include cooking classes and walking tours of Thai markets.