Scattered among the expensive hotel chains in bustling Bangkok are a number of smaller one-of-a-kind hotels that provide an intimate sanctuary from the craziness outside. We’ve rounded up the best of the boutique in Bangkok …
Resembling the private home of an eccentric collector, The Siam is literally packed full of memorabilia, exquisite art and antiques. You can lose yourself in the massive beds and the bathtubs big enough for two in the Art Deco suites. Meanwhile the pool villas with their intimate pools in lush private courtyards and outrageously opulent bathrooms have been known to make people gasp! The culinary highlight is the Chon Thai restaurant set in a Thai teakwood house overlooking the river. Besides the 23 metre-long pool and the grandiose Opium Spa, there’s also yoga, Muay Thai boxing sessions, a library and a movie theatre.
Romantic, opulent, seductive – Shanghai Mansion brings 1930s Shanghai sophistication to Bangkok’s historic Chinatown. The rooms have been inspired by vintage romance and old-style glamour with opulent brocades, delicate silks and dark wood. The Red Rose Restaurant serves up exquisite Chinese dishes in a luxurious setting of rich red and gold furnishings. Sip cocktails on the open-air terrace of the Jazz Lounge while relaxing to the sultry sounds of live jazz. If you can drag yourself away, the nearest metro station is just a short walk away.
Riva Arun Bangkok
Riva Arun started life as a Chinese shophouse trading in brown sugar. It has been elegantly restored into a smart 25-room riverside hotel that incorporates Chino-colonial style with a modern minimalist twist. The iconic rooftop restaurant offers incredible views of Wat Arun, Wat Pho and the river and specialises in Thai food with a funky European kick. Rooms feature large windows and look over the river or the old city. This sweet boutique hotel is within walking distance of the Flower Market, Wat Pho and the historic Maharaj riverside community.
Riva Surya Bangkok
The 68-room Riva Surya was an apartment building before it was converted into a luxurious urban oasis complete with colonial-era design elements. The outdoor swimming pool offers full views of the Chao Phraya River. Just steps away are the quaint shophouses, quirky cafes, cool bars and local restaurants of Phra Athit Road – mainly frequented by Bangkok’s arty students. It’s less than five minutes’ walk to the pier to catch ferries to the city’s main historic sites such as the Royal Palace, Wat Po, Wat Arun and the Flower Market.
In 1992 Theatre Residence was known as Patravadi Theatre, Bangkok’s first open-air theatre and a centre for contemporary performing arts. Today it has been transformed into a sleek glasshouse riverside residence for travellers passionate about art and culture. There’s an outdoor pool in the garden courtyard. Rooms are elegant and minimalist. The terrace area in the Theatre Riverside Restaurant is perfect for sunset cocktails as the light changes on the famous landmarks along the river. You’ll find this unique hotel on the Thonburi side of the river next to Wat Rakang, also known as the Temple of Bells.
Akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok
The innovative and contemporary Akyra TAS Sukhumvit occupies a great location on lively Sukhumvit Soi 20 with bars and restaurants literally on the doorstep, and the metro and skytrain stations just a 10-minute walk away. The rest of the hotel is pretty good too – from the individually-designed rooms with balconies to the rooftop swimming pool and sophisticated open-air bar. It’s also a single-use plastic free hotel, using refillable bathroom containers, stainless steel water bottles and specially designed amenities made from rice and bamboo.