A stopover in Bangkok is pretty much inevitable with any trip to Thailand. The city has an abundance of hotels for all budgets, and here are some of our 3-5 star favourites, as selected from our Bangkok city guide.
Ancient Siam meets modern Bangkok in this flirty, fun, design hotel, handily located near to all the action, and yet tucked away enough for peace and privacy. Beyond the neon-lit sign above the glass walls of the lobby, the décor is a delightfully confusing mix of historical Thai and contemporary art. Sip cocktails in luxurious leather chairs on a backdrop of mosaic-tiled stupas, lounge by the pool and relax with a traditional Thai massage in the spa. You can even have a dance party in your room beneath the adjustable neon-coloured lighting. Enjoy contemporary fusion cuisine in the restaurant, and discover why it takes two, when the weekly tango night takes over.
Where: 10 Sukhumvit Soi 15
Tel: +66 2 254 8500
Nearest station: Nana BTS
If W stood for woman, this sassy hotel would be Samantha from Sex and The City. A force to be reckoned with, she’s all business but knows how to let her hair down and party; from boozy brunches to the notoriously lethal happy hours and bubbly ladies’ nights in artfully appointed Woo Bar in the lobby. Achingly trendy, her every edge is cutting, with custom furniture and high-tech gadgets decking out every space, whether you’re in the Wonderful Room or the Extreme Wow Suite. Though she may be ahead of the curve, she’s got plenty of them, nowhere more evidently than at the LED lit, sculptural outdoor pool.
Where: 106 North Sathorn Road, Silom, Bang Rak
Tel: +66 2344 4000
Nearest station: Chong Nonsi BTS
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Mystic Place has to be one of the most bizarre hotels in Bangkok. Their concept is to “integrate artistic expression and comfortable living together,” and while there is plenty of artistic expression and comfortable living, no one is really sure about the integration part. Being handed the keys to your room is like taking part in a lucky draw: you may end up in the bright red love boudoir (room 201), get the tiny-but-cute garden room (417), or luck-out with the glow-in-the-dark design studio (room 212). Attracting artistically minded locals, as well as a good helping of travellers feeling adventurous, Mystic Place is a welcome surprise.
Where: 224/11-18 Pradipat Road
Tel: +66 2 270 3344
Nearest station: Phayathai BTS
Old Bangkok Inn
Once a palace of the adored King Chulalongkorn, Old Bangkok Inn is not exactly what you’d class as your run-of-the-mill “boutique hotel”. This stunning building has been in the hands of the same family for seven generations, and was completely refurbished in 2005. Each room is uniquely decorated with no expense spared on the lashings of authentic Thai materials, such as teak, silk and porcelain. Guests can tuck into their complimentary breakfast in the ever-so-quaint diner downstairs and then quickly head off to see some of the city’s most famous attractions, many of which are close by.
Most recently, they rebranded as the “Old Capital Bike Inn”, with cycle memorabilia and bike parts acting as decoration across the resort.
Where: 607 Pra Sumen Road
Tel: +662 629 1787
Nearest station: Hua Lamphong MRT
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DoubleTree by Hilton
Back-to-back with the Hilton proper, the DoubleTree is its sassier, sexier younger sister. Guests here get the best of both worlds; while they enjoy direct access to the Hilton’s upscale Italian restaurant and penthouse bar, they’d probably much rather hang out with the cool kids. Unconsciously edgy and effortlessly cool, the Doubletree is a well-connected, well-located “it” hotel. From the laid-back diner offering pan-Asian dishes to the slick pool bar and grill. Here, the shaded barbecue lounge leads onto the terrace where the glittering water awaits, perfect for a refreshing dip beneath the Bangkok sun, or sunset cocktails on the lounge daybeds.
Where: 18/1 Sukhumvit Soi 26, Sukhumvit Road
Tel: +66 2649 6666
Nearest station: Phrom Phong BTS
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Some pick accommodation based on location and local amenities. Some prioritize luxury and opulence. And some just refuse to compromise. If you belong to the latter, you’re likely to enjoy the Centara Grand. Located right in the centre of the city, it’s attached to Bangkok’s biggest lifestyle shopping mall which is packed with shops, bars and restaurants. The Centara itself is 55 floors of luxury within easy reach and boasts its own eight eateries and watering holes. After a day of sightseeing, lounge on the sundeck or take a dip in the outdoor pool with views of Bangkok’s skyline, before stepping back out into the thick of it.
Where: 999/99 Rama 1 Road
Tel: +66 2 100 1234
Nearest station: Chit Lom BTS
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Grand Hyatt Erawan
This imposing hotel in the city centre is as grand, proud and impressive as the legendary elephant for which it’s named. Take in the breathtaking lobby with its sweeping staircases and stately trees. Marvel at the vast ballroom hung with glittering chandeliers, in which the highest of society throw their lavish wedding parties. The Grand Hyatt Erawan maintains sophistication throughout, never straying over the top into the realms of gaudy. From the range of rooms and suites, the sky blue swimming pool and the basement arcade of shops and restaurants, it has everything an extravagant heart could wish for.
Where: 494 Rajdamri Road
Tel: +66 2 254 1234
Nearest station: Chit Lom BTS
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Quite simply a juggernaut of unadulterated luxury, the towers of the Shangri-La soar up over the river, dwarfing its neighbours. Inside, the cavernous lobby is decked out in marble and overhung with crystal chandeliers. Guests sip tea, and a string quartet is playing. Rooms are all Thai silk and teak, with high ceilings and sweeping views of the Chao Phraya. Outside, the pool overlooks the water and here, like everywhere else in the hotel, your every need is attended to.
Where: 89 Soi Wat Suan Plu
Tel: +66 2 236 7777
Nearest station: Saphan Taksin BTS
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This timeless beauty, built in 1879, was actually the first hotel in Thailand – and she has endured and aged with elegance and poise over her many years, still emanating a sense of mystery. From Noël Coward and Somerset Maugham to Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, Mandarin Oriental has entertained scores of fabulous and famous guests in her sumptuous suites. And though she must have many scandalous secrets to tell, she’s far too classy to gossip. Though new, hip and trendy hotels have sprung up next to her along the Chao Phraya, she retains her crown, the queen upon the River of Kings.
Where: 48 Oriental Avenue
Tel: +66 2 659 9000
Nearest station: Saphan Taksin BTS
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