The Top Hotels in Bangkok
Bangkok can be an unpredictable place—that’s part of its charm. The city’s selection of hotels range from the iconic, centrally located Mandarin Oriental to the luxurious Siam, designed by Bill Bensley and set on the Chao Phraya River.
48 Oriental Ave, Khwaeng Bang Rak, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500, Thailand
Opened in 1879, Mandarin Oriental was Thailand’s first hotel and is still among its best, offering a touch of romance from a bygone era. The high-rise buildings are modern and blocklike from the outside, but the interior shines with elegant details, from sweeping white staircases and filigree woodwork to towering tropical ferns and potted frangipani flowers. There are expansive river views from most rooms and public spaces, thanks to the riverside location. The world-class service has attracted personalities from Somerset Maugham and Audrey Hepburn to Mick Jagger. The New Wing consists of modern, brightly decorated rooms; the Garden and Authors’ Wings are a better choice for those looking for Old Asia. Each suite is unique. The restaurant, cooking school, and spa are some of the most sumptuous and highly regarded in the region.
333 Charoen Nakhon Rd, Khlong San, Khet Khlong San, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand
Located on the left bank of the Chao Phraya River, the Peninsula is one of the most consistently high-ranked hotels in the city, in particular for its attention to service. The rooms are decorated in white and comforting, honey-colored wood, with teak or carpeted floors and marble bathrooms; they all feature views over the river and city. The slim, three-tiered pool sits riverside, so guests can lounge in Thai-style gazebos—called sala—while sipping cocktails and watching Bangkok life literally sail by. In fact, a large part of the fun in staying here is the proximity to the river. Free, constantly running shuttle boats will ferry guests to three different piers along the river; the views of river life, traditional wooden Thai boats, and the high-rises along the way are unforgettable. The Peninsula is the tallest building in the vicinity, so the rooms on the upper floors offer yet another perspective—a near-bird’s-eye view of the city that is both exhilarating and potentially vertigo-inducing.
3, 2 Khao Rd, Khwaeng Wachira Phayaban, Khet Dusit, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10300, Thailand
There is nowhere else in Bangkok quite like the Siam Hotel. For starters, it’s owned and run by a Thai rock star, Kamala Sukusol, and her son Krissada. The boutique property includes mid-century timber buildings built by the legendary silk baron Jim Thompson, as well as open and modern structures, with a focus on harmony and comfort, designed by one of Asia’s best-known architects, Bill Bensley. But beyond the glamorous background, it’s the design of the Siam that makes it stand out the most. There’s a 1920s jazz theme mixed in with some Asian colonial flair; the result—with lots of open spaces, natural light, antiques, potted plants, and a black-and-white palette—is simply beguiling. The views of the river here lack temples or interesting landmarks, but it’s a lazy spot to watch boats go by, which adds to the relaxing atmosphere. Service is personalized and extremely professional, as you’d expect from a property of this caliber. In all, this is the closest thing one can find to a resort in Bangkok, and it is one of the most stylish accommodation choices to boot.