The Best Hotels in Bangkok

Updated November 11, 2017

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The 25 Best Hotels in Bangkok

1. Mandarin Oriental Hotel – Best Timeless Thai Hotel
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 659 9000)
Sublime in every aspect, Thailand’s first luxury hotel (established in 1876) situated right on the Chao Phraya river, offers an unparalleled hotel experience with spectacular rooms steeped in history, a mind-boggling variety of facilities, legendary service, and numerous activities and events. The stories and history of its prominent guests that include renowned authors, Heads of State and other luminaries, have been integrated into the hotel’s narrative and décor. Done up in a rich colonial style, the hotel features 324 rooms and 44 Suites (35 sq m to 326 sq m), with distinctive character. Rooms feature fantastic river views, high ceilings and an abundance of natural teaks, Thai silks, wide French windows, spacious living areas and luxurious baths. Offers a historic author’s lounge that’s popular for tea. Award-winning spa offers the only Rhassoul bath in the city and special spa cuisine. The central Sathorn pier/BTS Saphan Taksin is 10 minutes away by boat. Nearby riverside attractions include Asiatique, River City Shopping center, Grand Palace, the Flower market, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun.
The best luxury hotel in Bangkok: The Mandarin

    Notes on Mandarin Oriental Hotel

  • Opened in 1876. Celebrated its 140 anniversary in 2016.
  • 324 rooms and 44 suites. Has 16 room types.
  • Historic hotel that’s hosted the Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maugham, Barbara Cartland etc.
  • Wide lobby with warm wood tones decorated in a forest/tropical décor theme (changes according to season). Features gorgeous hanging wooden bells and a large fountain. Lots of browns and reds and gold colors give it a rich aura.
  • Hotel has a timeless colonial feel, spacious sparkling white corridors and teakwood accents. Has three wings – the 16-storey River Wing houses the Royal Oriental Suite, Selandia and Siam Suites and two-bedroom suites. The Authors’ Wing has four famous Heritage Authors’ Suites which have a fresh palette – lots of white rattan with bamboo. The Garden Wing has unique split level Premier Rooms that overlook the River and the main swimming pool. Rooms have traditional Thai silk, teak furnishings and are served with fresh fruits and exotic flowers daily. Has a butler for every floor. (Has 1200 staff with a ratio of 3 staff for every 1 guest). Part of the hotel is set across the river and there are private teakwood shuttle boats that ferry guests to its Thai cooking school, the hotel’s Thai restaurant, spa and health centers.
  • Garden suites (80 sq m) – Are exquisite. Very colonial with either a flat or split-level layouts. All rooms are front facing, overlooking the river. Has a mini- apartment feel with a space-saving kitchenette and cocktail set. Butler sets out a different cock tail menu for the guests daily and homemade coconut ice cream is kept in the freezer. Large marble bathroom with large bathtubs, with audio in the shower.
  • Grand Royal Suite (600 sq m) – Majestic six-bedroom suite; occupies the entire first floor of the Authors’ Wing. Extremely luxurious with private elevator access. Highlights include a light-filled Victorian-inspired glass conservatory and a restored open balcony with stunning river views.
  • Has 8 restaurants – Sala Rim Naam Thai Restaurant with a Thai classical dance show every night (Dances from the east & a 15 minute masked puppet show on the Ramayana. Ornate restaurant with a grand stage. Menu has a sample of all of Thailand’s dishes. Tables and floor seating with leg space cutouts). Le Normandie, fine French dining venue (Bangkok’s oldest French restaurant, Famous dish – mashed potatoes with caviar and sea urchins). Ciao, an outdoor Italian bistro (seasonal) (Famous for pumpkin pizza). The China House with avant-garde 1930s Shanghai Art Deco interior. Lord Jim’s with a seafood buffet lunch. The Verandah Coffee Shop. BBQ Riverside Terrace.
  • Authors’ Lounge – Four salons named after famous authors who were guests of the hotel – Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maugham, Noël Coward and James Michener, with signed books on display. Very picturesque with plenty of old world charm. Decorated with turn-of-the-century style wicker furniture with hand-painted fabrics. Very popular for afternoon tea, society weddings and elegant events. Also offers a selection of high-end brand of teas ‘Mariage Freres’ and a signature afternoon tea set.
  • The Bamboo Bar – Bangkok’s first ever jazz bar with a sensual jungle-like ambience – Has a mirrored ceiling, vintage mirrors in black bamboo frames, bar stools with tiger skin print patterns. Very masculine with dark teakwood, rattan furniture and rattan fan wing blades. Has colonial apothecary-style wall cabinets that showcase bottle and barrel-aged cocktails. Offers personalized alcohol bottles – guests can be served with bottles bearing their own name. Décor has sextons, compasses and pictures of former patrons, including Louis Armstrong, Mick Jagger and Audrey Hepburn etc. Features a live band and jazz performances.
    Events – Hotel routinely conducts many events such as art exhibitions, music and dance events, culinary events such as wine tasting, cheese tasting etc.
  • Mostly leisure guests – Guests staying more than 7 nights get long stay benefits.
  • Cooking school – Across the river in an old Thai house. Different menu every day (menu changes each month). Dedicated room for theory classes where the chef gives a lecture. Master chef-style cooking stations. Best classes are over weekend which includes a market trip. Also offers a week long cooking program.
  • Spa is housed in a classical Thai-style 4-storey building made from golden teak wood and has 14 suites. Offers a Rhassoul Bath, the first and only in Thailand, based on ancient Moroccan expertise in health and beauty. Has digital detox treatments to reconsider relationship with gadgets. Offers a special spa cuisine menu with organic ingredients and Thai herbs to rejuvenate the body. Has Kerala Ayurvedic treatments and treatment rooms. Offers tailor-made yoga sessions from yogic lifestyle trainer from India.
  • Family friendly – Has a little kids club. Offers baby amenities during check-in.
  • Dedicated wedding coordinator – Offers dedicated wedding services and special wedding day touches.
  • Fantastic facilities – Has 2 outdoor swimming pools, a 24 hr fitness center, tennis and squash courts, and an outdoor jogging tack.
  • Has a separate space for learning Muay Thai boxing, cross fit and movement based training. Offers complimentary fitness classes from Pilates and Tai Chi to Yoga and guided meditation programs. State-of-the-art technology business centre. Has shopping arcades including a flagship Louis Vuitton store, a beauty parlor and barber shop.
  • Attractions nearby – River city mall (antique shopping), Jewelry and silver shops in the surrounding area. ‘Jam Factory’ across the river. Asiatique, Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun are all a boat ride away.
  • Plans to offer Mandarin Oriental residences in the future.

2. Anantara Siam
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 126 8866)
Elegant luxury hotel featuring a classic blend of Thai and contemporary design. Has 354 beautifully decorated rooms (42 sq m to 126 sq m) and a unique Jim Thompson Explorer Suite. All rooms have complimentary smartphones with a digital city guide and free calls to ten countries. Plenty of indoor garden courtyards, koi ponds, shops, numerous dining options, squash courts and more to explore. Gorgeous spa with adjustable hydraulic beds and inviting Roman style tubs. Hotel offers guests the chance to participate in a traditional Buddhist ritual of donating alms to monks. Enjoys a central location in Bangkok’s famous shopping district close to many malls and markets such as Central World, Pratunam market and Siam Paragon.
Bangkok's Anantara Siam Hotel

    Notes on Anantara Siam

  • Opened in April 1983, centrally located in the Ratchaprasong shopping and entertainment district, steps away from BTS Ratchadamri.
  • 13 room types, 354 rooms totally (42 sq m to 126 sq m). Has one Jim Thompson Explorer Suite (198 sq m) and one Presidential Suite (344 sq m).
  • Grand lobby with high vaulted ceiling featuring intricate Thai artwork. Spectacular wall mural facing the main entrance. Lobby features stately columns, hand-painted silk panels, silk lamps and lights, lighted torches on walls, grey velvet furniture and a magnificent frescoed ceiling with 19 panels and daily live entertainment. Has warm wood tones and a well-appointed bar with 3 types of tea from France created exclusively for Anantara.
  • Hotel features a blend of traditional Thai and contemporary design with artifacts, teak furnishings and silk fabrics. Has massive corridors, three courtyard areas and environment friendly scents. Rooms feature warm, contemporary décor, light hues, comfy furnishings with signature Thai touches such as Thai artwork on the headboards of beds. Rooms have views of tropical gardens, the pool, and the Royal Bangkok Sports Club’s private golf course. Garden Terrace rooms and suites are splendid featuring private entrances with white columns, Thai statues, domed marble bathrooms and dining patios overlooking the pool. One Bedroom Corner suites have guest powder rooms.
  • Classic rooms are good for single travelers. Recommended rooms for couples and families – Dream Suite and Nirvana. The newly renovated Premier rooms and the deluxe room with Thai murals are recommended for the views of the golf course and pool.
  • Special two Bedroom Jim Thompson Explorer Suite – Wonderful suite with the aura of a Thai summer home. Décor includes tongue and groove ceilings, painted paneled walls and polished teak floors. Open plan living and dining room, office library, and two spacious marble bathrooms with tubs and a guest powder room. Partition can be used to create two apartments of the space.
  • Anantara Presidential Suite – Overlooks the pool and garden. Interiors feature woven carpets and elegant Thai silk. Master bedroom has a dressing room, massage suite, deep soaking tub and whirlpool.
  • All rooms have in-room handy smartphone with unlimited local calls and unlimited international calls to 10 destinations. Very useful feature eliminating the hassle and expense of data roaming and high phone bills. Comes loaded with travel apps and a digital city guide. Can be used while guests are out and about to locate restaurants, attractions or utilize hotel features eg: – book spa appointments at Anantara. All personal data is removed on check out.
    Hotel has 10 restaurant and dining options, from all day dining to a steakhouse, sushi bar & tatami-style dining room, fine Thai cuisine, Italian, Mediterranean and a European Pop-Up Wine & Charcuterie. Thai restaurant has music & fruit carving shows. Hotel an open-air garden and cocktail lounge with soothing views of greenery and is famous for its Sunday brunch that feature a live band and free flowing champagne.
  • Three restaurants interconnect at Parichart Court, a courtyard which features lush tropical gardens, shops and koi ponds. Shops consist of two art galleries, a tailor shop, jewelry shops and the Charcuterie (Famous for its sausage rolls. Sells>50,000 per month). Can dine anywhere – in the lobby, pool or terrace – and order from any restaurant.
  • The Wedding Galleria – Anantara Siam Bangkok’s own one stop wedding shop whose themes change every two months. Offers personal consultation with an expert Wedding Specialist to plan weddings and honey moon experiences. Specializes in extravagant Indian weddings.
  • Large 25 m outdoor swimming pool.
  • Anantara Spa – Signature Spa Treatment – Siam 2482 (90 Minutes) includes a bamboo stick massage, herbal compresses and gold paste. Beautiful Spa with 2 couple suites, 1 deluxe couple suite, and 4 single suites. Can order lunch at the spa. Allows couples a romantic bath for 30 min. Has a private Roman style tub or steam room, manicure and pedicure room, in-room and poolside massages etc. Spa is very popular for facials.
  • Spa also has cool hydraulic beds that can fold up/be adjusted to the guest’s body for comfort. Guests can also choose music (5 albums with Anantara spa sounds).
    Shopping Guru Experience – Tailors shopping tours with VIP treatment and a private chauffeur driven limousine, accompanied by one of five Shopping Gurus, each boasting a different area of local expertise.
  • Attractions within walking distance – Erawan shrine, Gaysorn shopping mall, Central World, Central Embassy Shopping mall and Siam Paragon. Free Tai chi classes at Lumpini park
    Special features – Hotel allows guests to experience a traditional Tak Bart Buddhist ritual at 6:20 am in the lobby (needs one day advance notice) – Buddhist monks are invited to receive alms (foods, flower and incense) presented by hotel guests, who receive a blessing chant in return.
  • Very Family friendly – Has a mini playground, babysitting services, children’s amenities. Kids get their own bathrobes, toiletries and bedtime treats. Children’s menus available at every hotel restaurant. (Permanent kids room planned for later).
  • Signature dishes – Award winning Steak house with a salt guru who helps choose between 7 different types of salts (truffle salt, red wine salt, parsley salt and more), ‘Grain fed 300 day Wagyu Marble No 4,’ chicken in coconut soup served in a whole coconut. Italian restaurant is famous for its 2 cheese combination pizza.
  • Outstanding array of facilities that include a barber shop, squash court, huge 24 hr gym, aerobic and yoga rooms, jacuzzi and steam room.
  • Competition – Four points, Movenpick, Grand Hyatt, Intercontinental, Siam Kempinski, Mandarin Oriental.
  • Activities – Can book a cooking class in advance. Can also request to book the golf course.
    More business guests than leisure.

3. Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 476 0022)
Classy resort-style riverside hotel featuring elegant Thai-inspired décor. Seven room types from cozy deluxe rooms (38 sq m) to spacious two bedroom river suites (114 sq m); all include complimentary smartphones with free calls to ten countries. Highlights include a theatrical Teppanyaki dinner show by a personal chef, nightly Thai cultural shows against a river backdrop while dining riverside, dinner/over night cruises in the hotel’s own restored rice barges and options to rent Thai-style wooden structures for proposals/special occasions. Asiatique (a popular night market/entertainment destination) is right across the river. Hotel is a 15 minute boat ride away from Central pier (BTS access to central Bangkok).
Bangkok's Anantara Riverside Resort and Hotel

    Notes on Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort

  • 11 acre, roughly U-shaped resort hotel, 396 rooms (101 suites), opened in 2010.
    Hotel operates own shuttle boats. 15 minute boat trip from the Central (Sathorn) pier with views of Asiatique and the Krungthep bridge en-route.
  • Lobby on the ground floor devoted to group tours decorated with ancient Thai pottery; features specialty shops and wide couches, and. Massive main lobby on the first floor with marble and wood flooring, huge teakwood sofas, triangulated Thai pillows. Feels very Thai and lush overall, with warm colors dominating inside and palm trees and sculptures outside. Natural khlong (canal) runs through the hotel premises. Hotel has wide, well-lit corridors with 3D patterns on the carpets.
  • 7 room types across 3 buildings – Deluxe Premier Room, Deluxe Premier River View Room, Deluxe Premier Riverfront Room, Junior Premier Suite, Junior Premier River View Suite, Anantara Riverfront Suite and the Two Bedroom Chao Phraya River Suite. An additional 2 Cruise Staterooms can be booked on a 100 year old rice barge.
  • Every room (on land) includes a complimentary ‘Handy’ smartphone with unlimited free international calls to 10 countries and free internet mobile access. (The Anantara Riverside hotel and the Anantara Siam hotel are the only two hotels in Bangkok that offer this feature). Rooms have an in-room bar, tea and coffee making facilities, internet access, an LCD TV, DVD player and iPod dock.
  • Airy and bright rooms, with high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows that offer either garden or river views. All rooms have private balconies. River view rooms have fantastic views of the Krungthep bridge. Contemporary Thai design touches such as etched Sanskrit inscriptions on panels and doors, Thai silk curtains and art pieces give rooms an elegant aura. Bathrooms feature bathtubs and separate rain showers and are accessed by sliding doors in the bedroom which expands the sensation of space.
  • Top rooms include a) The ‘Anantara River Front Suite’ with two work stations, a separate bar along with a dining area and a cozy lounge. Bathrooms have double sinks and a powder room with a white marble finish. Both the living room and bedroom open out onto a wraparound balcony with spectacular river views. b) The huge ‘Two bedroom Chao Phraya River Suites’ are ideal for small families and groups of friends.
  • Has 10 restaurants and bars in total, serving up Japanese, Italian and international cuisine, with riverside dining options. Bar options include an outdoor, indoor and poolside bar. (All salad greens are sourced from the hotel’s own 3000 sq m hydroponic farm).
  • Trader Vic’s is famous for its Sunday Brunch, and features an immense wood-fired Chinese oven, and an array of the brand’s unique ‘Mai Tai’ drinks. Tables need to be booked in advance at the Japanese steakhouse Benihana, as there’s a personal chef at every table who puts on a Teppanyaki show – a big hit with kids. The Riverside Terrace restaurant has nightly barbecues, a seafood buffet and live cooking stations. Guests can dine to costumed dancers performing cultural shows like the ‘Journey of Hanuman’ on a torch-lit stage set against the river backdrop.
  • Attractive pool with a Jacuzzi enclosed by greenery gives it a private feel.
  • Spacious 24 hour fitness center. Can take boxing lessons in a Muai thai boxing ring and cooking classes (only for adults) at the cooking school called Spice spoons (includes a market trip).
  • Spa rooms are luxurious-the couple room in particular has its own garden and ‘sala’ (thai-style wooden house). Golf courses nearby.
  • Two types of ‘gurus’ are on hand to offer advice or guide guests regarding activities. The ‘Khlong guru’ can take a maximum of 6 people on a long-tail boat to explore Bangkok’s old canals (small authentic floating markets, shops on stilts, hidden villages etc.) The ‘Streetwise guru’ offers private guided street tours in Bangkok city.
  • Family friendly – Kids club with play area offers classes like making pizza and sushi. There’s even an adorable kids sized toilet in the main toilet area. Families can take khlong, street and cycling tours together.
  • Hotel offers two hour dinner cruises along the Chao Phraya river (Manohra cruise) and longer overnight luxury cruises to Ayutthaya on an antique teakwood boat.
  • Special features include ‘Dining by design’ where guests can rent a riverside sala or have a picnic under the trees, with a personal chef, music etc. for wedding proposals, anniversaries and dinners. Hotel is also popular for destination weddings with grooms/brides arriving on everything from jet skis, horses, tuk-tuks to Harley Davidsons. (Size of property – 11 acres – ensures seclusion).
  • Hotel supports charities related to elephants and conducts a 3 day elephant polo match in March in a nearby vacant lot which guests can attend. (Elephants are brought in from Chiang Mai).
  • Riverside attractions are easily accessible by boat – Riverside plaza shopping mall, Central pier (BTS access) and Asiatique (night market) across the river. Free shuttle boat to central pier all day and Asiatique (starting at 9 pm) every 30 minutes.
  • Guests are mostly leisure-oriented. Many repeat and long stay guests stay here from 3 months to a year.
  • Competition – Mandarin Oriental and The Peninsula, along the river.

4. Ammata Lanta Resort
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 175 1888)
Outlandish resort hotel with 27 unique pagoda-shaped pool villas topped by flying Pegasus sculptures, clustered around a serene manmade lake. Four types of extremely spacious and luxurious villas starting with Superior villas (150 sq m) to a Family pool villa (266 sq m). Rooms sport opulent interiors in earth tones, with even bathrooms having air conditioners. Excellent facilities like CCTV displays in rooms to ensure privacy, outdoor private plunge pools, private gardens and sundecks, with spectacular views of the Swan lake or green fields. Magical architecture and design offers endless photo opportunities, especially when everything is lit up at night. Resort is ideally located to explore attractions on Bangkok’s outskirts as it’s a 15 minute drive away from Suvarnabhumi airport.
Bangkok's magical Ammata Lanta resort-style hotel

    Notes on Ammata Lanta Resort

  • 27 unique pagoda-shaped pool villas surrounding an artificial lake, spread out over 15 acres, established in late 2015.
  • Fantasy-like setting, with over-the-top design – Thai, Oriental, European, Khymer and Balinese influences on décor. Has Golden flying Pegasus horses and parts of boats on the roofs, swallow nest inspired pagoda-shaped ceilings in bedrooms, brick finish (thick brick walls to cut down noise).
  • Extensive use of fine woods and coconut shells in the opulent earth tone interiors.
  • Environment features terracotta sculptures, palm trees, bonsai trees, paintings mounted in boats, little stupas and boats everywhere. Resort is exquisitely lit up at night giving it a magical feel. Many day time and night time photo shoot opportunities. Great venue for weddings for overlooking the Swan lake.
  • Two boats resting against each other make up the entrance to the lobby area, which also has an antique boat suspended on top of the reception area. Plenty of details to admire everywhere.
    Reception is reminiscent of an old goldsmith shop, medium-sized lobby with many antiques, velvet chairs, genuine crystals.
  • Lobby connects to spa which is rustic and decorated with Thai artwork. Has a gleaming standalone copper tub.
  • Rooms are lavish with plush animal rugs, coconut shell chandeliers, teakwood deer heads, antiques and more. Some have waterfalls at the entrance and plunge pools accessed via the bedroom. Quiet and opulent exuding an aura of luxury.
  • Air conditioner inside the spacious bathrooms. Wooden steps provided to step up to tub.
    Small CCTV device in room entrances that offers a video display of visitors at the door to ensure privacy.
  • Villas are centered around an artificial manmade lake, occupied by swans-tranquil atmosphere.
    4 story observation deck for guests to enjoy sunset and sunrise views.
  • 15 minutes away from Suvarnabhumi airport, making it an ideal destination for those looking for a one-of-a-kind Thai luxury accommodation close to the airport. (Not noisy).
  • Extremely spacious rooms as the lowest category starts at 150 sq m.
  • Has 14 Grand pool villas, 7 Superior Villas, 5 Deluxe villas and 1 Family pool villa. Best villas are the Grand pool and Family pool villas, which offer excellent views of the lake.
  • Family pool villa (266 sq m) – Spacious 2 bedroom villa with a fantastic view of the Swan lake, large outdoor terrace and private pool.
  • Grand pool villa (156 sq m) – Lovely view of Swan lake, has an outdoor garden with sun beds and private plunge pool overlooking the lake.
  • Deluxe Jacuzzi villa (150 sq m) – Swarovski chandeliers, secluded garden, upper living room, with large outdoor terrace and open air Jacuzzi, views of fields and waterways.
  • Superior Villa (150 sq m) – Private garden and outdoor terrace, secluded sun bed, view of waterway and lush green fields.
  • 2 bars and 2 restaurants, offering gourmet Thai and international cuisine.
  • Has one 8 shaped infinity pool with lights and a pool bar.
  • Majority of guests are leisure oriented.
  • Offers small bikes for kids to bike around. Biking area is nearby for bikers, but they need to bring their own bikes.
  • Nearby attractions include the Snake farm, Crocodile farm, Mega Bangna shopping mall and golf courses.
  • Hotel conducts a photo contest for the general public with an extremely generous cash prize.

5. Banyan Tree – Best Bangkok City Views
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 679 1200)
Modern 61-storey hotel with exceptional views of Bangkok city located in Bangkok’s business district. Has 325 lovely rooms (44 sq m to 143 sq m) with both modern and Thai elements. Famous for its unique helipad-turned rooftop restaurant and bar that offer an unparalleled experience of dining under the stars. Aside of its award-winning spa treatments, the hotel offers one-of-a-kind Spa Sanctuary Suite rooms, which include private massage rooms and unlimited massage treatments. Also operates an excellent dinner cruise (Apsara Cruise) on a vintage teak rice barge with personal chefs and customized menus. Great location for exploring the Silom area. Close to Lumpini park, Ce La Vie, Maggie Choos.
The sky-high Moonbar restaurant at Bangkok's Banyan Tree Hotel.

    Notes on Banyan Tree

  • Opened in January 2002, 61 storey building, located on Sathorn road.
  • 325 rooms and suites (10 types) ranging from (44 sq m to 143 sq m) – Horizon, Oasis Retreat, Serenity Club, One and Two Bedroom Suites, Spa Sanctuary Suites, and Presidential Suite (204 sq m).
  • Lobby has a modern Thai feel and a lovely indoor greenery display. Lots of Thai art with flowing wave patterns on the wall, huge dark teakwood circular pillars, classy and spacious with Thai sculptures and a mini bar.
  • The hotel is famous for its open-air rooftop Vertigo Grill restaurant and Moon Bar (converted helicopter deck) on the 61st floor, which looks like a ship’s deck and offers a stunning 360 degree unobstructed view of the city, thanks to escalated platforms and low walls. Great experience of dining under the stars with wonderful views of Bangkok.
  • 7 restaurants and 2 bars – Dining options include fine Japanese dining (has a sake menu that features nearly 100 different bottles – one of the largest collections in South East Asia), nouvelle Chinese cuisine, Thai cuisine and Southeast Asian specialties, international, juice bar.
  • Rooms are designed to reflect Thai heritage with a modern touch. All rooms have a personal aromatherapy oil burner with daily changing scents. Presidential suite (204 sq m) is a two level duplex with a spiral staircase and a private jet pool and jet shower.
  • Serenity Club rooms are great for their city and river views.
  • Spa Sanctuary Suites (118 sq m) – These suites feature private couples massage room, where guests can enjoy unlimited massage treatments. Includes a meeting with a spa therapist to plan treatments.
  • Award-winning Spa – Has a crystalline lighted bamboo display, pebble walkways and 16 Spa Treatment Suites. Can choose treatments originating from the Royal Thai Palaces or Banyan Tree’s signature Tropical Rainmist experience.
  • Has a very small outdoor pool and sundeck. Hotel offsets this by offering a free complimentary massage every day for guests for around 5 to 10 min.
  • Health club has scheduled fitness classes including Muai Thai, yoga. Small 24 hr gym. Guests are 50%/50% business and leisure.
  • The Shopping Companion Service gives guests the chance to shop with experts.
  • Offers cooking classes which are very popular with guests.
  • The Apsara Dinner Cruise (64 guests) – Hotel offers a drinks and dinner cruise down the Chao Phraya river with a personalized men and own chef, and is one of the best cruises to be had on an elegant teak rice barge. Book in advance to reserve your spot.
  • Small Kids club on 19th floor.
  • Repeat guests are more than 30%.
  • Special features – The Vertigo bar on the rooftop of the hotel is available for photo shoots to guests getting married in the hotel. Hotel also conducts an annual marathon called the Vertical Marathon, which raises funds for specific needs, which involves guests running up the stairs (groups of 10) from the ground floor to the 61 floor. (1500 steps approximately). Participants get a certificate. 700 guests participated in 2015.
  • Nearby places of interest include Lumpini park, Ce La Vie, Maggie Choos and Silom road.
  • Long stay guests typically stay for a month.
  • Competition- Sukothai, So Sofitel, W hotel.

6. Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok – Best Business Hotel
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 254 1234)
Fantastic business hotel with luxurious resort-style facilities that’s easily accessed via two BTS skytrain stations. Has 380 well-appointed rooms (40 sq m to 120 sq m), with plenty of dining options and a restaurant space that doubles as a pub in the evening. Offers delightful Spa Cottages with outdoor patios, spa treatment rooms and complimentary massages. Efficient 24 hour business center with dedicated business center officers and comprehensive secretarial services. Award-winning spa features a signature spa treatment for men. Excellent location in Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong shopping district, with direct convenient access to the BTS Chitlom station through the Erawan Bangkok mall.
The lobby of Bangkok's Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel

    Notes on Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok

  • Opened December 1991, Located close to 2 skytrain stations, BTS Chitlom and BTS Rachadamiri.
  • Has 380 rooms in total (Ranging from 40 sq m to 120 sq m). Its 44 suites include a Presidential Suite (240 sq m), and a Diplomat Suite (160 sq m), one-of-a-kind Spa Cottages and Premier Suites. All rooms have a walk in closet area and a voice link message system. Can request rooms for physically challenged guests.
  • Two six-foot-high three-headed bronze elephants grace the hotel’s main entrance. Has a cathedral-like lobby with very high ceilings and flowing arches. Lots of warm wood tones, wooden window blinds and wooden parquet flooring makes it quite picturesque. The glass ceiling above lets in natural light and permits blue sky views.
  • 6 Unique Spa cottages (100 sq m) – Cottages are clustered around a green courtyard and consist of a bedroom, living room, a spa treatment room, bathroom with an oversized tub & wall mounted TV and a private outdoor patio for relaxing and dining. Cottages are gorgeous with high ceilings and are very popular over the New Year as they offer fantastic views of the fireworks over the Central World mall. Cottages come with a complimentary one hour massage.
  • 9 dining options and 2 bars – Serves up all day dining, Italian, International, Thai, Asian cuisine. The Italian restaurant has live music in the evening and transforms into a pub after 10 pm (has a dance floor).
  • Has a 24 hr business center – Dedicated Business Centre officers provide complete secretarial services, including sending faxes, making business cards, photocopying and bookbinding. Can also arrange language translation, interpreters, messengers, couriers and offers business appointment services.
  • Has a 24 hr glass fronted gym featuring the latest Technogym fitness equipment.
    Movement studio – Offers daily schedule of aerobics, yoga, holistic activities or exercises classes.
  • Power Plate Studio – First hotel in Bangkok to have Power Plate® equipment. (Uses the principles of Acceleration Training™ to stimulate the body’s natural response to vibration).
  • Facilities include a 25 meter free-form swimming pool and whirpool, Nail Bar and Hair Salon.
  • Spa offers an award-winning ‘Man Space’ treatment that includes facial treatments, body massages, body envelopment treatments and more, for men.
  • Has one floodlit tennis court and an air-conditioned squash court.
  • Special features – Has a campus-themed meeting room that’s popular for weddings. Super easy to access as it is directly linked to the BTS station through the skywalk. Has a popular signature tea set in the Tea room.
  • Guest ratio – Business to Leisure – 60/40.
  • No kids corner or special activities for guests.
  • Long term guests stay for 1 month.
  • Within walking distance – Erawan shrine, Amarin Plaza, Siam Square, Siam Discovery.

7. Hansar Hotel – Best Urban Design Hotel
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 209 1234)
Impressive boutique hotel with greenery and energy efficiency thoughtfully integrated into the design. Has 94 fantastic, open plan rooms (59 sq m to 125 sq m) that appear even more spacious due to intelligent design elements like free standing tubs and mirrored partitions. Offers guest many perks such as a complimentary breakfast buffet, free massage for booking direct through their website, free one day BTS pass, 10% discount for repeat customers and more. Located in the Ratchaprasong shopping district within walking distance to Erawan shrine and many of Bangkok’s high-end malls.
Bangkok's Hansar Hotel has spacious, open plan rooms.

    Notes on Hansar Hotel

  • Boutique hotel opened in January 2011, Very close to BTS Ratchadamri.
  • 94 rooms and suites (5 room types) ranging from (59 sq m to 125 sq m), Studio Suites (32), Urban suites (33), Edge suites (15), Vertigo suites (12), Loft Suites (2) with and without balcony.
  • Exterior has a bronze metallic mesh façade inspired by Bangkok’s temples. Lobby is on the first floor. Has live music six days a week and features local bands. Music varies between house music, opera, jazz music and more. Hotel has a Thai and contemporary design. Lots of wood, teak and Jim Thompson silk. Has Narrow and tight corridors that give a feeling of intimacy and privacy in public areas. Energy efficient design – all corridors have natural light and ventilation (no AC). Studio rooms have kitchenette and washing machines.
  • Rooms have a very urban, open layout and a masculine design. Excellent utilization of space makes every room appear more spacious. Sliding mirrored partitions are used to separate areas. Fantastic walk-in bathrooms with beautiful marble freestanding tubs and vanities. Touch panels to control air conditioning. Headboard over beds are unique – each custom designed pattern features woven Thai antique silks with metallic beads. All rooms come with a complimentary breakfast buffet. Ask for rooms with golf course views.
  • Studio Suites (59 sq m) – Have an integrated kitchenette with full sink, stove top, full height refrigerator and washing machine and dryer.
  • Urban Suites (71 sq m) – Entrance features a unique interior garden wall alive with tropical greenery, silk-paneled suite. Signature suite – all main areas can be partitioned off from one another for more privacy.
  • Edge Suite (77 sq m) – Has a vertical green (plant) wall and a cantilever daybed.
  • Vertigo Suites (82 sq m) – Very spacious. Two lounging areas and two separate working desks.
  • Loft Suites (125 sq m) – Duplex style. Has working, living, dining and powder room areas with floor to ceiling windows for natural light.
  • Has a good-sized salt water pool (not heated).
  • Very strong art focus – Holds art exhibitions throughout the year. Has its own design and architecture studio and local artist’s works up for sale. Has an award-winning floral team who exclusively design and sculpt floral artworks.
  • Does not cater to groups or families with kids.
  • Guest ratio – business to leisure – 40 to 60 percent.
  • Has 2 bars and 2 dining options. Own organic coffee brand sourced from Chiang Mai and the coffee is sold in-house. Restaurant has a French Mediterranean menu. Has Anzuki (Japanese restaurant) on premises but doesn’t belong to Hansar.
  • Both the swimming pool and fitness center are shared with Hansar residence guests. (Not crowded though). The swimming pool and 19th floor terrace are cantilever over the main structure which gives guests excellent views of the golf course nearby.
  • Special features – Guests can check out, leave luggage at the lobby and hang out at pool area where they can freshen up and take a shower before departing. Offers a 10% for guests who have stayed before to encourage them to come back. Also has a promotional offer which includes a one day BTS pass. Guests who book directly through the hotel’s website get a free massage or a dining voucher & free drinks.
  • The VIP spa room can be booked for special occasions.
  • Sky terrace is available only for events corporate end of the year parties and weddings.
  • Competition in the Boutique segment – Sofitel, Hotel Muse.
  • Doesn’t offer any activities for guests as such.
  • Nearby attractions include Erawan Shrine, Siam Paragon, Gaysorn Shopping Mall.

8. AriyasomVilla – Best Traditional Thai Villa Experience
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 254 8880)
Stunning Thai Villa offering a luxurious home away from home experience in a central but secluded, lush tropical setting. Open plan, inviting rooms (34 sq m to 70 sq m) with plenty of warmth, color and artistic details. Welcoming library, meditation hall, food with subtle flavors and overall tranquility elevate the home-like experience. Offers meditation courses and a healthy Pescetarian restaurant menu. Its location close to Bumrungrad International Hospital makes it ideal for medical tourists. Attractions and shopping in the Ploenchit, Chitlom and Asoke areas are all within walking distance.
Bangkok's AriyasomVilla Hotel

    Notes on AriyasomVilla

  • Opened in August 2008. Centrally located, a short walk away from BTS Ploenchit.
  • Exquisite 4 floor leafy villa, with 24 spacious rooms with Thai art, painted doors, lots of silk and old teakwood furniture. Very wide wooden corridors and small cubby holes for artistic Thai decorations. Artwork has South East Asian, Burmese, Chinese, Thai and Khymer elements.
  • Ambience is warm and comforting with plenty of color. Lots of greenery. Designed to give guests an experience of living in a Classic Thai home. Timeless feel.
  • Good sized outdoor swimming pool with Jacuzzi.
  • Rooms range from 34 sq m to 70 sq m. 10 Studio rooms (34 sq m), 8 Deluxe (42 sq m) rooms, 3 Executive Deluxe (60 sq m) rooms. 3 Executive Suite (70 sq m) rooms.
  • Charming rooms with open plan bathrooms, pebbles on the bathroom floor. Some studios come with balconies. Executive Deluxe rooms have sit out areas with great pool views. Most popular room- Executive Deluxe Room 211.
  • Warm and spacious library where wedding and engagement ceremonies are held.
  • One massive wooden meditation hall with an altar. Miniscule gym with very little equipment. Has a private massage room, a couples massage room, and an open traditional massage area.
  • Has one restaurant that serves no meat. Menu includes only seafood and vegetarian food with subtle flavors. (Recommended dishes – deep fried spring rolls and Penang curry with vegetables).
  • Activities – Holds meditation courses, every other weekend (not regular). Sculpting courses (making a Buddha image) which can be transformed into a resin or brass Buddha. Potential tours include a horticultural tour and food tours.
  • Mostly leisure guests – 85 to 90 percent. Medical tourism (Hotel is close to Bumrungrad Hospital).
  • Competition – Chakrabongse villas.
  • Nearby areas include Central Embassy Shopping Center, Penis shrine, Siam Paragon, Siam Discovery, Terminal 21, Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre. Also close to the canal boat transport.

9. SO Sofitel – Best Innovatively Themed Hotel
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 624 0000)
Innovative, trendy hotel with unique themed rooms based on 4 different natural themes. Has separate floors dedicated to each theme to give guests an experience of being in a different hotel with every visit. Décor has many storytelling elements reflective of local Thai culture. Has 238 memorable rooms (38 sq m to 138 sqm) with their own character, floor-to-ceiling windows, lavish bathtubs, AppleMac mini media solutions and totally complimentary in-room private bars. Offers spectacular views of Lumpini park, which is within walking distance. Also close to Patpong night market, Silom market and MRT Lumpini.
Rooms at Bangkok's luxury SO Sofitel Hotel are designed around the Four Elements.

    Notes on SO Sofitel

  • Opened in 2012.
  • Trendy and innovative, So Sofitel’s unique themed rooms give guests the experience of staying at a different hotel each time.
  • 238 rooms from 38 sq m to 138 sqm (Including one So VIP room of 233 sq m)
    Room categories – So Cosy, So Comfy, So Club, So Studio, So Suite Spa, So Suite, So Lofty, So VIP.
  • Hotel’s exterior is inspired by a hardbound book (With a story inside).
  • Unique themed accommodation inspired by Lumpini park and FengShui. Rooms are decorated in Water, Earth, Wood, Metal themes, with the restaurant reflecting a Fire theme. Past, Present and Future also come across in the design – with the guest lobby reflecting the past (doors engraved with ancient lettering), the main lobby – the present and the rooftop bar – the future.
  • Can request a hotel tour to discover interesting elements about Bangkok/Thai culture, incorporated in the hotel architecture, beginning for instance with the 2 levels of doors in the main entrance. (In ancient times, small doors were used for the public, big doors were opened for royalty and parades).
  • Guest lobby on the ground floor features has a flashy pop art store.
  • Main lobby on 9th floor has contemporary furniture, perforated flower patterns on the walls that continue to the ceiling, warm wood tone paneled floor, comfortable low seating and a fantastic view of Lumpini park. (Handmade lights in the lobby mimic the floating clouds outside).
  • Welcome drink served in test tubes which guests can mix. Staff have 3 styles of colorful uniforms. Trendy arty motifs in lift with mood lights.
  • Three to four floors are devoted to each theme (such as earth, water etc.) so guests have the experience of staying in a different hotel each time.
  • All rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, a lavish bathtub, Apple© Mac mini media solution and complimentary in-room private bar (everything in the minibar is free) and a choice of Lumpini Park or city skyline views. iPad use for suite guests.
  • Metal themed rooms – Décor features white colors, glass and metal. Has a pristine elegant feel. Metal cloud details over the bed. Silver corridors and fuzzy digital prints for room signs.
  • Wood themed rooms – Old Siamese sketches on the walls, Wood highlighted by featured lighting. Has a tranquil feel.
  • Earth themed rooms– Unforgettable blue colored rooms with curved flowing lines and primeval Thai paintings on walls and curtains. Refreshing and unique feel that guests either love or hate. Bathrooms feature marble against blue, black and white tiles.
  • Water themed room – Lots of greys, marbled floor, elegant circular tubs. Great views of the city from every point in the room.
  • So VIP Suite – 27th floor, is water themed, has white veined black marble floors, 2 bedrooms, open plan and a large Jacuzzi.
  • Fire themed restaurant – Immense red oven dominates. Food market inspired décor.
  • Club signature – colorful, dominated by the tree of life symbol.
  • Roof top bar – trendy, futuristic. Plenty of mirror work that allows guests to enjoy the view from anywhere in the bar.
  • Spa – Inspired by the mythical Himmapan Forest – Decorated with tree trunks. Walls have forest paintings with birds. Dark tones are used to give an aura of mystery.
  • 24 hr Sofit gym- offers so Fit signature fitness routines, iPod with personalized music, Professional personal trainer , Aerobic & yoga classes, KINESIS machine- 2,500 exercise routines. Guests can get borrow cycles to enjoy Lumpini park.
  • Small infinity pool, has great views of the park.
  • Guests are mostly leisure oriented.
  • Lacks kids area.
  • Competitors – W hotel, Hotel Indigo.
  • Signature drink – Lindsey rose (Sweet but not strong).
  • Signature dishes – Tom Yum Goong Risotto.
  • Special features – Has a very popular pool party on the last Sunday of every month. Has a 50 sq m area called The Box suspended in mid-air on the 9th floor that can be used for private gatherings, parties etc. The Fête de la Musique is a worldwide Sofitel event for music lovers, held every June.
  • 5 restaurants and bars. Has thematic cuisine. MIXO has molecular cocktails put together by mixologists.
  • Chocolab is a chocolate boutique that offers dessert making classes.
  • Lumpini park is within walking distance. Also close to Silom nightlife and the Patpong market.
  • Pillow menu offers a choice of pillows for comfort.

10. U Sathorn Hotel– Best French Colonial Design
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 119 4888)
Stylish resort-type hotel designed with a successful open flow concept that gives it an expansive and relaxing aura. Features a gorgeous French Colonial design with a modish twist and a soothing white-on-white palette that’s well utilized in its 86 rooms (32 sq m – 72 sq m). Offers charming suites with high ceilings, cute kitchenettes, open bathtubs, bird cage fixtures and inviting divans in the balcony. Most rooms overlook the hotel’s courtyard and swimming pool and with plenty of birdsong in the air, it’s easy to unwind. Has a very fair 24 hr check-in/check out policy that lets guests enjoy rooms exactly for 24 hrs after their check in-time. Located off Sathorn road; the hotel operates a shuttle service to MRT and BTS stations nearby. Close to Patpong night market, Silom road, Vertigo restaurant and the Moon bar.
The U Sathorn is the best colonial French-designed hotel in Bangkok.

    Notes on U Sathorn Hotel

  • Opened in November 2014. 86 rooms totally (32 sq m – 72 sq m), Superior (20), Superior Garden (38), Deluxe Gardenb(24) and Suite(4) accommodation.
  • French Colonial design with a contemporary twist. Excellent use of space with big pillars & windows. Most rooms have swimming pool views which accentuates a resort feel.
  • 24 hour room check-in/check-out – Very fair to the guests; can enjoy the room for a full 24 hours from arrival time.
  • Breakfast whenever/wherever facility – Orders are served anywhere in the complex. Every room comes with breakfast.
  • Online U Choose program – lets guests choose pillows, minibar items, teas and soap.
  • Massive sweeping entrance to the hotel with Cinderella-like Chariot on the lawn. Ballroom near the entrance for convenience.
  • Huge, breezy, marble lobby with circular seating that directly opens out onto the pool lounge area. Birdcage chairs in the lobby, porcelain table tops, afternoon tea is served in birdcages.
  • Hotel consist of three low rise wings set around a green courtyard with the swimming pool as the centerpiece.
  • J’AIME French restaurant designed in an ‘upside down’ interior design concept. Has piano hanging upside down from the ceiling, a wine cellar, a private dining room with book motif on the walls. Lots of green, purple and silver silks. Upside down bottles in the bar area. Serves innovative and classic French cuisine with comfortable, shared Asian tables allowing dishes to be easily accessed.
  • Compact elegant rooms with stone finish corridors. Lots of white and gold accents in the décor. Rooms on the ground floor have pool access via the garden. All bathrooms with rain showers have a very handy sit down area in the shower.
  • Superior Rooms (32 sq m) are the lowest category. Superior Garden (38 sq m) rooms have a lovely view of the courtyard.
  • Deluxe Garden (34 sq m) – Airy rooms with picturesque views of the courtyard.
  • Guests can choose between a complimentary signature cocktail in the library (bar) or afternoon tea with pastries or cookies per person per stay.
  • Suites (72 sq m) – Best rooms. Feel like mini-apartments with high ceilings that extend the sense of space. Has a kitchenette, open bathtub, with paintings and bird cage fixtures. Big divan in balcony.
  • Small 24 hr gym.
  • Free bike hire for all guests.
  • Special features – ‘U Make a Difference’ program- A community relations activity where the hotel contributes USD 1 for every night a guest stays at the hotel, to charities, support kids) twice a year. Weekly scheduled visits to the charity are available to guests interested in witnessing the improvements being made by their contributions.
  • Activities include biking and jogging in the Bang Krachao area on Saturdays (coming soon), jogging in Lumpini park.
  • Clubs and bars nearby – Maggie Choos, Babylon (club for gay men), Moon bar.
  • Competitors – Sukothai hotel.
  • No kids club (provides nanny service).
  • Guests are mostly leisure oriented. Long stay guests typically stay for 2 weeks.
  • Located off Sathorn Road – Provides shuttle van every 1 hr or so to MRT Lumpini and BTS Sala Daeng stations.

11. Le Méridien Bangkok – Best Travel-Oriented Perks
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 232 8888)
Glamorous 24-storey hotel with artsy décor featuring retro puppies and modern art. Only hotel in Bangkok to have rooms with circular beds and an ‘unlock destination’ keycard concept. (In negotiations with Siam Museum for hotel keycards to permit free access to 40 local museums). All of its 282 rooms have floor to ceiling views and contemporary Thai touches like silk panels and Thai poems on the wall. Offers a very popular Sunday brunch with a free health check-up and free nutritionist consultation on every last Sunday of the month. Located 5 mins walk away from MRT Sam Yan. Close to Silom, Patpong night market.
Bangkok's Le Meridien Hotel has great travel-oriented perks.

    Notes on Le Méridien Bangkok

  • Opened in December 2008.
  • Has 282 rooms medium sized rooms (36 sq m to 78 sq m), 209 Vista rooms (includes 3 rooms built for disabled guests), 28 Vista Plus (corner rooms), 11 Circular rooms, 32 Aventec Suites, 1 Avantgarde Suite (162 sq m), 1 Grand Avantgarde Suite (162 sq m).
  • Hotel has a modish appearance with black marble tiled flooring. Big lobby, with lots of black metal, grey and black seating, dark wood tones on walls. Lots of retro puppy art and figures. Main hotel entrance features a large picture of a man holding a dog and walking to symbolize a carefree lifestyle. Steel finish concierge stations in the lobby. Lobby has curated music and hotels arty keycards as a wall display. Fans are cleverly hidden in the layout to disperse the hotel’s scent. The latitude lounge, turns into a sparkling area for get-togethers in the evening. Decent sized corridors with bamboo theme carpets.
  • Rooms have touch screen IP phones with virtual office functions, over-sized tubs, floor to ceiling views of the city and poems on the wall for a romantic Thai touch. Opt for rooms on non-smoking floor as the smell of smoke can be quite strong on the smoking floors. Best rooms in the hotel are the 4 corner circular bed rooms.
  • Circular rooms are popular with honeymooners. Avantgarde Suite has its own steam room, while the Grand Avantgarde Suite has a six meter high ceiling, a steam room and a private pond in the living room area.
  • 1 restaurant and 2 bars – Restaurant has a café concept, gets lots of natural light (huge windows).
  • Bamboo bar – Chic bar with lighted flooring and a bamboo motif.
  • All 7 spa rooms are circular, intimate and cozy – rooms are connected to each other.
  • Medium size 24 hr fitness center.
  • Has a shallow pool (4 ft depth) and a small bar pool.
  • No kids club.
  • Special features – Popular with locals, especially families for its healthy Sunday brunch. (Hotel consults doctors on ways to make the buffet healthier). The free health check-up at the month’s end includes BMI, cholesterol levels etc. Doctors from a nearby hospital also give short (10-20 min) lectures on specific topics. Hotel tries to partner with other brands to offer guests special experiences such as the unlock destination concept with the hotel’s keycard.
  • Guests are more corporate than leisure.
  • MRT Sam Yan is 5 min walking distance. Also close MRT Lumpini.
  • Close to Lumpini park, Patpong Night Market, Vertigo and Moon Bar, Silom Road.
  • Competition – Crowne plaza, Pullman.

12. Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel – Best On-The-Go Design Hotel
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 431 9100)
Minimalistic and fresh, everything about the Avani Riverside is designed to address the hectic lifestyles of busy travelers. From paperless check-in at the lobby (under implementation), to grab-and-go airport style food displays and keycard gym access, all processes have been streamlined for maximum ease. Modern and spacious, its 248 rooms (30 sqm to 166 sq m) feature white and silver tones, space saving furniture and insane views of the Chaophraya river. Being right behind Anantara Riverside Bangkok gives it an advantage as guests can opt for Anantara’s Muai Thai classes, tours and avail other benefits. Only hotel to have a car lift, and a ballroom with a hidden showcase kitchen that opens up for the surprise factor (weddings/events). Complimentary smartphone with free calls to 10 international destinations will be implemented in the first quarter of 2017. Spectacular rooftop restaurant and bar with breathtaking river views. Takes 15 minutes to get to the Central/Sathorn Pier by boat. Nearby riverside attractions include Asiatique and the Riverside Shopping Complex.
The Avani Riverside is Bangkok's best hotel for busy travelers.

    Notes on Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel

  • Opened September 2016.
  • All its 248 rooms face the river, and have fantastic ceiling to floor views. (None of the rooms have balconies though).
  • Lobby on the 11th floor has light wood tones, a seamless design and uninterrupted views of Chaopraya river. All areas are designed to be within line of sight, and easily accessible; has fold-in-food displays, high apple style work tables and work stations facing the river, one small reception, and many different types of seating options to enhance comfort.
  • Both ends of the lobby have wrap around views, permitting both sunrise and sunset views. Guests can sit and dine anywhere they like in the bar, lobby, restaurant areas. Low, big fountain with soothing sounds of flowing water gives it a relaxing atmosphere.
  • 4 dining options and 3 bars – All day dining and Thai fusion cuisine. Focuses on traceable local foods. Salad greens come from a hydroponic farm that Avani shares with Anantara. Fold-in food displays at the lobby and grab-and-go, self-service concept.
  • Very tiny spa with only 2 rooms – Focuses on re-energizing types of treatments as opposed to relaxing treatments. Its short express massage is very popular.
  • Hotel has compact corridors, with large abstract paintings. Every floor has great views.
  • Rooms have IPTV. Free standing bathtubs in the Suites have amazing river views.
  • 24 hr gym – Has no staff. Guests can access the gym via their key cards.
  • Small infinity pool overlooks the river. Guests can also utilize a relaxing green lounge area nearby to admire river views.
  • Attitude rooftop restaurant & bar – Chic and funky style with neon lights and hot pink furniture. Has a sexy, sensual atmosphere and is a fantastic dining destination with amazing night time river views. Mixologist at the bar can mix up special drinks.
  • Competition – Peninsula, Metropolitan.
  • Mostly business oriented guests.
  • Handy (Free Phone calls to 10 international destinations) – will be implemented in the first quarter of 2017.
  • Can take khlong tours, Muai thai classes, tuk tuk tours and utilize other Anantara Hotel facilities. For instance, families can use the Anatara kids club.

13. Sukothai Hotel – Best Ancient Kingdom Inspired Hotel
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 344 8888)
Old-world charm is the hallmark of the Sukothai Hotel which offers an oasis-like experience in the heart of Bangkok’s Sathorn district. With a profusion of chedis, stupas, beautiful lawns, open-air spaces, mirrors and sculptures, the hotel delights the senses with the majesty of the ancient Sukothai kingdom. Rooms are tastefully decorated with a few sporting balconies that overlook a beautiful inner courtyard and lotus pond. From numerous dining options to an Olympic-size swimming pool, there’s lots to explore in the 6 acre property. Close to Lumpini park and the nightlife on Silom road.
Bangkok's Sukothai luxury hotel

    Notes on Sukothai Hotel

  • Opened in 1991.
  • Has 210 rooms (38 sq m to 98 sq m) plus 1 Beaufort Suite (138 sq m) and 1 Sukhothai Suite (198 sq m). Hotel is spread out over a 6 acre property in the heart of Sathorn district, very close to MRT Lumpini.
  • Low rise hotel (9 floors) that takes inspiration from Bangkok’s first capital Sukothai. Has plenty of symmetrical colonnades, reflection pools, open-air arcades, bronze, teakwood and marble, mirrors, silk paneling, wood and granite emphasized in the décor. Large lobby with marble and parquet flooring, and immense pots (replicas from the Sukothai period), sculptures etc. Has somber tone with a brown, grey and dark green color palette and stylish tables. Has a gorgeous display of Chedis (stupas in a peaceful water setting).
  • Rooms have rich Thai fabrics, stunning teakwood floor bathrooms and Apple iPod connections hardwired to an in-room sound system. Some of best rooms are the 12 Garden Suite rooms (76 sq m) with 4 poster beds and balconies that overlook a beautiful courtyard garden with lotus ponds.
  • Spa is located in a garden outside the hotel and its Jasmine Purifying Ritual is its signature treatment.
  • Great facilities with an Olympic size infinity-edge swimming pool, tennis and squash court, 24 hr fitness center, aerobic room, steam bath, sauna and whirlpool.
  • 5 restaurants and 2 bars – serving all day dining, Thai and Italian cuisine. Lobby salon is popular for its afternoon tea set and a famous chocolate buffet. The award winning Thai restaurant serves Thai cuisine in traditional Thai pavilions and open-air terraces surrounded by lotus ponds – very popular for engagement ceremonies in the Thai style. Signature dishes: Traditional Fried Rice Noodles with Tamarind, Bean Sprouts, Garlic Chives, Crab Meats and Grilled Prawn, Red Curry of Roasted Duck in Coconut Milk.
  • Very popular Sunday brunch.
  • Fully equipped business center that offers a full suite of business services, such as printing, photocopying and secretarial services.
  • Own herb garden which guests can visit.
  • Has mostly business guests.
  • Offers a Pillow menu.
  • Competition – Sofitel, W hotel, Grand Hyatt, Siam Kempinski, Mandarin Oriental and The Peninsula.
  • Close to Lumpini park, M.R. Kukrit’s Residence, Vertigo, Patpong night market, Silom road.

14. The Okura Prestige – Best Thai-Japanese Fusion Hotel
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 687 9000)
Contemporary Thai-Japanese Fusion Hotel with 240 rooms and suites (43 sq m to 97 sq m), located in the heart of the city’s central business district on Wireless Road, with direct access to BTS Ploenchit. Classy rooms, with digital bedside panels, Japanese summer kimonos, Japanese bidet-style modern toilets and panoramic city views. Dramatic cantilevered infinity pool that seems to blend with the city’s skyline. Spa offers amethyst stone, bamboo rod and gold-based oil treatments, as well as seasonal treatments. Located close to a few embassies and within walking distance of many top shopping malls such as Central Embassy mall, Gaysorn Plaza and Central World.
The Okura Prestige is Bangkok's best Japanese-Thai fusion hotel.

    Notes on The Okura Prestige

  • Opened, May 2012.
  • Has 240 rooms and suites (43 to 97 sq m) that include 1 Presidential Suite (156 sq m), 1 Royal Suite (165 sq m ), 1 Imperial Suite (302 sq m).
  • Very convenient access – Directly connects to BTS Ploenchit.
  • Hotel is located in the award-winning Park Ventures Ecoplex (Has received the US Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Platinum rating)).
  • Lobby on the 24th floor is very modern, with lots of modern art. Has lamps that resemble chess pieces, woven lantern screens used as partitions reflecting Thai-Japanese fusion. Has marble flooring and décor has lots of silver and steel (metal plates), charcoal walls, sober brown tones and high ceilings. First Okura Prestige hotel in the world from the Japanese hotel brand.
  • Rooms start from the 26th floor and all of them have wide windows and impressive city views. No balconies though. Rooms have clean, elegant lines and feature Yukatas (summer kimonos) laid out on the bed, digital bedside panels to control lights, shading, air conditioning and housekeeping. Bathtubs have city views too and some rooms have great views of Lumpini park.
  • 3 award-winning restaurants and 1 bar: Traditional Japanese, French cuisine with Japanese influences, and all day dining.
  • Swimming pool has spectacular views – While it feels like you might fall off, there’s a hidden balcony below which makes it very safe. Has a 24 hr gym that overlooks the pool.
  • Okura spa treatment – Follows seasons and uses ingredients that match with seasons. Offers bamboo treatments, amethyst stone treatments. Has treatment oils that include a gold-based oil) and the signature Okura Spa oil that contains traces of white tea.
  • Business Center – Well equipped with PCs, fax machine and printer and a comprehensive secretarial service. Staff also arrange local messenger deliveries, international shipping of packages and parcels, photocopying, printing and scanning.
  • Has more business guests – Located close to many Embassies.
  • Offers free food for children under 6 years of age (at buffet).
  • Guests have 2 choice of breakfast – An international buffet or a Japanese set.
  • Competition – Conrad, Grand Hyatt and Siam Kempinski.
  • Within walking distance – Central Embassy Shopping Mall, Central World, Gaysorn Plaza, Erawan Shrine, Pratunam market.

15. Chakrabongse Villas – Best Aristocratic Residence Experience
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 222 1290)
Spectacular, exclusive boutique hotel and a former Royal Residence, right in the heart of Old Bangkok. Has 7 accommodation options (12 sq m to 155 sq m), featuring timeless suites, decorated in Chinese, Thai and contemporary styles and tiny Moroccan style rooms. Has luxurious suites, decorated with traditional silks and antiques, with stunning views of Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) from private terraces. Fantastic Thai pavilion restaurant serves special Royal Thai cuisine right by the riverside; ideal for private breakfasts and romantic candle-lit dinners, and observing life on the river, with Wat Arun as the backdrop. Hotel is within walking distance of many top attractions in Old Bangkok, such as the Museum of Siam, Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), the Grand Palace and the flower market.
Bangkok's luxury riverside Chakrabongse Villas

    Notes on Chakrabongse Villas

  • Opened in 2002.
  • 7 accommodation options – 4 distinctive completely different suites – 1 Chinese Suite (155 sq m), 1 River View Suite (129 sq m), 1 Thai House (97 sq m), Garden 1 View Suite (44 sq m) and 3 small Moroccan-style rooms (15/12 sq m).
  • Royal history – Built in 1908 by HRH Prince Chakrabongse, the Chakrabongse House still functions as a royal residence today and is private property that’s closed to the public. However, the Thai-style cottages tucked away in the lush grounds of the Chakrabongse House and an annexe from the main house containing 3 rooms have been converted into a boutique hotel called Chakrabongse Villas, by Princess Narisa, a descendant.
  • Extremely exclusive – No walk-ins and not possible to enter through the main gate unless expected.
  • Set in a leafy jungle-like garden, with lovely fountains, tall palms and a long trellised archway. Secluded and tranquil atmosphere.
  • Very small lobby – One tiny room filled with antiques and memorabilia. Has a library area that’s more of a lounge space.
  • Rooms range from very spacious to very tiny – All have their own character.
  • Chinese Suite (155 sqm) – Most spacious suite, duplex style, two double rooms en suite, a living room and two private terraces situated in a separate building overlooking the swimming pool. Décor is warm, with antique Chinese furniture and doors, ornate four poster bed and a spacious kitchenette. Fantastic river views from the private terraces.
  • River View Suite (129 sq m) – Beautiful Thai-style teak apartment with a large double bedroom, kitchenette, bathroom, study, sitting room and private veranda. Décor features teak wood, rich silks, and Thai antiques. Great views of Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn).
  • Thai House (97 sq m) – Gorgeous Ayutthaya–style teak house on stilts, situated in the main garden. Has a private veranda with day bed overlooking a pool sculpture.
  • Garden View (44 sq m) – More contemporary in style. Bedroom opens out onto the main garden. Has as a kitchenette, bathroom and study area.
  • Mali (15 sq m), Fueng Fa (12 sq m), Chaba (12 sq m) – Three small rooms, Moroccan style, en–suite with air conditioning.
  • 1 Sala-style restaurant – Offers authentic Royal Thai Cuisine from the Royal Family’s own recipes. (Royal Cuisine is a separate branch of Thai cookery and is not easy to find). Unique experience of having a candle-lit dinner under a Thai pavilion with awesome views of Wat Arun, right by the riverside. Meals need to be ordered in advance. Limited number of tables (5-6).
  • Activities – The hotel has its own classic teak river styled launch and a long-tailed boat for tours and excursions along the river. Can also arrange a traditional Thai massage from a Thai massage school in the privacy of own villa. Also offers 2 canoes and bicycles for guests to use. Can arrange moonlight canoe trips.
  • Has a small 10 m long pool, surrounded by greenery.
  • Excellent location for exploring Old Bangkok – Museum of Siam, Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha), The Grand Palace, the Flower market, are all within walking distance.

16. Shanghai Mansion – Best Vintage Chinese Design hotel
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 221 2121)
An ode to 1930’s Shanghai, Shanghai Mansion is a 79 room boutique hotel (27 sq m 76 sq m), located right in the center of Bangkok’s Chintown district, on Yaowarat road. Hotel’s design and décor reflects the glamour of Old Shanghai, with rooms, clustered around a large indoor courtyard peppered with Chinese lanterns and a beautiful water garden serving as the centrepiece. Rooms have plenty of old world charm with imperial furniture, intricately carved four poster beds, colourful patterned textiles, and free standing tubs. Unbeatable location on Yaowarat road, making the hotel an excellent base to explore the attractions of Chinatown, many of which are within walking distance – Wat Traimit, Sampaeng Lane etc. Very close to Little India and Pahurat market.
Shanghai Mansion is Bangkok's Best Vintage Chinese Design hotel

    Notes on Shanghai Mansion

  • Opened in March 2006.
  • Has 79 rooms – Mei Hua Suites (27 sq m), Ying Hua Suites (39 sq m), Mu Dan Suites (49 sq m), Family Suites ( 48 sq m to 76 sq m).
  • Housed in a historic landmark building that was a former Chinese Opera House, Shanghai Mansion was the first boutique hotel to be located in Bangkok’s Chinatown district. Entrance over a wooden walkway leads to a vibrant, medium-sized lobby and an indoor atrium (resembles the grand courtyard of traditional Chinese homes). Atrium has plenty of comfortable seating options to relax by the water garden/admire the courtyard. Many excellent photo opportunities.
  • Mansion has opulent furniture and many whimsical details such as bell pulls near the beds to control lights, dragon print wallpaper along the corridors and birdcages in bathrooms. Rooms evoke the culture and sense of China with luxurious and eye-catching interiors. Unfortunately the rooms have no views as the hotel is located between buildings and all the windows are merely decorative.
  • 3 Family Suites (48 sq m to 76 sq m) – These are biggest rooms and are great for families and groups of friends.
  • 16 Mu Dan Suites (49 sq m) – Inviting interiors with Chinese cupboards, plush daybed, a sitting area and a four poster bed. Very spacious bathroom with a deep free standing tub.
  • 9 Ying Hua Rooms (39 sq m) – These ‘Cherry blossom’ rooms have a fresh feel with rich brocades, vibrant silks and antique furnishing.
  • 51 Mei Hua Rooms (27 sq m) – ‘Plum blossom’ rooms have a more youthful, contemporary touch.
  • Butler Service – Available to guests staying in the Ying Hua Rooms and the Mu Dan Suites. Provides services such as unpacking luggage to scheduling plans and guiding guests through the markets and sites of the Chinatown.
  • Has three dining options and a jazz lounge – Serves contemporary Chinese, Dim Sum and Western food.
  • Jazz Lounge set in an open air terrace with a full on view of the vibrant Yaowarat Road. Great location to observe life in Chinatown and good live jazz music in the evenings.
    Hotel unfortunately has no gym and no swimming pool.
  • Small spa with 3 treatment rooms and signature treatments like the Singing Bowls ritual.
  • Superb location in the heart of Chinatown – Wat Traimit (Solid Gold Buddha), Leng Buai La shrine, (Bangkok’s oldest Chinese shrine), Elah Sae Coffee Shop (Century old Chinese coffee shop), Tang To Kang (City’s oldest gold shop), Hua Lamphong railway station, Sampaeng Lane (wholesale shopping) are all within walking distance. Also close to Little India, Pahurat market and the pier at BTS Saphan Taksin.

17. Riva Arun Hotel – Best Old Bangkok & River Views
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 221 1188)
Distinctive ‘Chino colonial’ style boutique hotel, 25 rooms (22 sq m -73 sq m) situated along the Chao Phraya river that offers unmatched views from each side of its rooftop restaurant. Guests can admire 3 of old Bangkok’s star attractions – Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) & the Grand Palace, and a panoramic view of the river. Elegant rooms done in a white and olive green color palette featuring carved wooden interiors and ornate ironwork. Highlights include special suites with private balconies that lets guests enjoy personal views of a sunset/sunrise over Wat Arun, lounging in their own outdoor Jacuzzi. Fantastic location with Wat Pho just across the road, and other major attractions in Old Bangkok within walking distance. Hotel is also in the process of constructing its own waterside dining front; a private pier with a café and open-air bar that’s scheduled to open in early 2017.
Bangkok's riverside Riva Arun Hotel

    Notes on Riva Arun Hotel

  • Opened on Aug 1 2016, 25 room boutique hotel with 6 room types (22 sq m -73 sq m).
  • Hotel’s Décor has Chinese elements to it with plenty of carved woodwork. The colors used are connected to Wat Arun- white and olive green tones.
  • Offers 3 viewpoints of Old Bangkok from one location – Wat Arun (opposite view), Wat Pho and the Grand Palace (rear view), panoramic river view (Either side).
  • Small lobby with lots of natural light. Small bar on the ground floor in the lobby area, done in the same style as rooms. Rooms have breathtaking views of Wat Arun (Ask for rooms on the higher floors). The best suites are those with the large outdoor Jacuzzi. Rooms have high & soft beds, complimentary mini-bars and a menu of aromatic scents.
  • Riva Arun Studio (22 sq m) – Balconies offer city views of Bangkok along Maharaj road.
  • Riva Arun Superior (22 sq m) – Overlooks the old city on Maharaj road with partial views of the river.
  • Riva Arun Deluxe (25-27 sq m) – Modern design with Chinese twist.
  • Riva Arun Brand Deluxe (50 sq m) – Offers own personal view of the Chao Praya River from a private balcony.
  • Riva Arun Grand Deluxe Jacuzzi (62 sq m) suite – Stunning views of Wat Arun from your private balcony while bathing in the outdoor Jacuzzi.
  • Riva Arun Premium Jacuzzi Suite (73 sq m) – Aside of the fantastic views of Wat Arun from the jacuzzi, these suites have connecting rooms that are available for family and visiting friends.
  • 2 Restaurants & 2 bars – Serves Western food and local Thai cuisine with global influences. Mind-blowing views of Wat Arun and other attractions at night from the rooftop restaurant which also has a retractable roof.
  • No swimming pool and no gym – Hotel offers a boat connection to its sister property Riva Surya close by; guests can use Riva Surya’s riverside swimming pool and other facilities.
  • Superb location for exploring many attractions. Within walking distance – Wat Pho, Museum of Siam and Grand Palace and the flower market. The Maharaj riverside community mall is also close by.

18. Siam Kempinski – Best Palatial Resort-Style Hotel (& Best Shopping Location)
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 162 9000)
Extremely opulent, palatial hotel with a majestic aura, located right in the heart of Siam’s shopping district, with direct access to BTS Siam through the Siam Paragon mall. With massive teakwood doors that extend up to the ceiling, lighted staircases, Thai dancer nail-inspired lamps, vast corridors, and a décor done up in gold and earth tones, the hotel exudes a feeling of glamorous splendor. Has 401 lovely rooms and suites, spread out across multiple wings, around a central courtyard containing a garden and a free-form swimming pool. Only hotel in Bangkok to have unique cabana rooms that lets guests dive into the pool, directly from their own personal private terraces. Has an exclusive tropical resort-feel, yet it’s literally steps away from the BTS. Restaurants possess unique features like a traditional Thai pavilion (sala) inside the restaurant. Also offers guests the option to have a single dish cooked in different styles (Asian or non-Asian). Extremely convenient location in the Ratchaprasong shopping district with Siam Paragon shopping mall, MBK center, Bangkok Art & Cultural Center (BACC), Siam Discovery Mall, Central World, Pratunam market and Erawan shrine, a short walk away.
Bangkok's Siam Kempinski Hotel is in a great location for shopping.

    Notes on Siam Kempinski

  • Opened in September 2010.
  • Has 401 rooms and suites (40 sq m to 130 sq m) that include 1 Terrace Suite (140 sq m), 1 Presidential Suite (215 sq m), 1 Penthouse (260 sq m) and 1 Royal Suite (300 sq m).
  • Grand hotel with dragon handles on doorways, artistic sculptures, big and little fountains in the huge lobby, and musicians playing live music. Has spectacular filigree lamps that (are inspired by) and resemble upside down Thai dancer’s nails, which throw intricate fire-like patterns on the walls. Lots of marble, beige furniture, dark wood tones, plush velvet carpets. Furniture has been laid out to create many spaces that feel intimate in spite of the lobby’s size. Feeling of exotic glory continues into the corridors which are huge and lined with the filigree lamps. Lobby has a spacious bar. Very soothing atmosphere overall. Attention to detail is evident – hotel card has a miniature map of the hotel.
  • All of the hotels rooms are centered around the swimming pool/central courtyard and have great views. Rooms come with or without balconies. Décor is contemporary Thai, with distinctive Thai elements reflected in the paintings, decorative items, silk curtains and paneling. Best rooms are the Cabana rooms and the Deluxe Cabana, with swimming pool access directly from the room’s outdoor terrace.
  • 10 Cabana rooms (40 sq m to 48 sq m) – Rooms are located on the Ground Floor of the hotel’s Garden Wing. Décor is contemporary Thai and has decent-sized terraces with steps leading into the pool.
  • 11 Duplex Cabana rooms (75 sq m to 110 sq m) – Very spacious duplex style rooms with living rooms and the bedrooms on a separate floor.
  • Family friendly – Has a big kids club that’s free of charge for guests and cooking classes for kids. Has 26 family suites (91 sq m) and 12 Two bedroom family Suites (99 sq m) that have an apartment-style ambience. Suites have connecting rooms, large kitchens and a washing machine.
  • Guests are 80% leisure.
  • Has 3 restaurants and two bars – Serves modern Thai dishes with a contemporary twist, Western, Arabic food and all day dining. The innovative ‘Niche’ restaurant has a home-style décor and offers guests the option of having their dish cooked in different styles (Asian or non-Asian). A stunning Thai-style pavilion inside the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, is available to guests.
  • Decent sized 24 hr fitness center, with an aerobics room. Offers complimentary classes on step aerobics, body stretching, muscle relaxation and Muai Thai to all guests.
  • Lovely small spa – Signature massage is season oriented. Has 8 treatment rooms and suites.
  • Business center – Comprehensive business center that offers many business and secretarial services (mobile telephone rental service, local pre-paid SIM cards, photocopying, printing and scanning, video conferencing etc.).
  • Awesome location – Has direct access to Siam Paragon through the sky bridge located on the second floor of the Royal Wing (Mall access is open from 10 am to 10 pm through Siam Paragon).

19. Hotel Muse – Best 1920’s Themed Hotel
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 630 4000)
Hotel Muse, offers the chance to step back in time and experience what a 1920’s European hotel might look like intermixed with oriental influences. The travel themed boutique hotel offers 174 period style rooms (39 sq m to 111 sq m) named after Buddhist cosmology, with sophisticated touches and amenities. Handsome rooms with classy dark wood tones, vintage fixtures and claw foot bathtubs. A ‘SpeakEasy’ club-like lounge area spread out across two floors gives guests a large variety of comfortable lounging options. Has three architecturally gorgeous, private domes on the rooftop entitled ‘It’s Personal,’ ‘Private affair,’ and ‘Never tell’ which guests can hire for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Has an Italian restaurant with stunning décor that offers live opera and cooking classes. Great location with Central World, Erawan shrine and Siam Paragon with walking distance.
Bangkok's luxurious Muse Hotel has a vintage 1920's theme.

    Notes on Hotel Muse

  • Opened in September 2011.
  • Offers 174 rooms (39 sq m to 111 sq m). Jatu Deluxe (39 sq m), Dowadueng Corner Deluxe (39 sq m), Yama Executive (39 sq m), Dusid Duplex Suite (76 sq m), Nimman Suite (84 sq m-111 sq m), Paranim Penthouse (216 sq m).
  • Gleaming lobby with a stunning ostrich feather and photo frame display at the entrance. Lovely grill work doors and windows that extend into the elevator’s architecture. Plenty of wood work on the archways.
  • Lobby has an intimate, vintage European appeal with individual receptionists stationed like secretaries behind desks. Décor contains shimmering plush cushions, leather chests doubling up as tables, vintage trunks and fixtures, deep wood tones, tables with stones and jewelry displays, deer antler lamps, telescopes and vintage paintings. ‘M’ embossed on the floors.
  • Names of the hotel’s 6 room categories are inspired by Buddhist cosmology where devas (supernatural beings) lead blissful lives forever immersed in perpetual pleasures. Rooms have a period feel with gorgeous claw-foot roll-top bathtubs, hand-painted basins, Venetian mirrors and black marble floors. Has delightful period elements like telescopes and gramophones and furniture from the 1920’s. All rooms feature in-room bars and iPod docking stations.
  • Jatu Deluxe (88 rooms).
  • Dowadueng Corner Deluxe (32 rooms) – All 32 rooms have dramatic dual-aspect window views as they are located at the building’s corners. Great views from the bathroom windows too.
  • Yama Executive (43 rooms) – Designed to meet the needs of long-stay residents with premium amenities.
  • Dusid Duplex (6 rooms) – Spacious layout with living room and bedrooms on separate levels.
  • Nimman Suite (4 suites) – Beautiful suites that have a landscaped private outdoor terrace. Some suites feature an extended living room/study area.
  • Paranim Penthouse (1 Penthouse) – Lavishly styled, with three landscaped terraces and a dedicated spa area.
  • Has 3 restaurants – All day dining, Cosmopolitan Italian cuisine, a Steakhouse
    Medici Kitchen & Bar – Stunning neo-industrial décor with modern lines and surfaces with rusticated elements like brick walls and wooden barrels. Fantastic atmosphere with an open kitchen and live opera performances.
  • The Steakhouse Bangkok is a 1920’s Chicago style eatery. Has muted tones, inviting leather armchairs, intriguing period décor, live jazz music and panoramic city views. Signature dishes include succulent pan-seared scallops on a bed of cauliflower purée with caviar and pancetta, a five-grain salad of fresh berries with dukkha and cucumber yoghurt.
  • The SpeakEasy – An exclusive club-like area spread out across the 24th and 25th floors. Has a number of lounging options – Long Bar, Terrace Bar, The Blind Pig cigar lounge, a rooftop bar. (Has elements of mystery in the décor – There’s a hidden door to the 25th floor).
  • Very spacious terrace with glittering city views and 3 private domes that guests can hire. Rooftop bar has a retractable roof.
  • Has gangster inspired private rooms (Chicago style) with names like Al Capone.
  • Small swimming pool with sparkling floors. Has great city skyline views.
  • Decent sized gym with latest-generation Life Fitness brand cardio and strength-training equipment.
  • Activities- Guests can take Italian cooking classes at Medici (3 course menu).
  • Competition – Sofitel, Hotel Indigo, Plaza Athnee, Hansar.
  • Long stay guests stay up to a year.
  • Guests are 60% leisure and 40% business.
  • Great location – Attractions within walking distance include Central World, Erawan Shrine and Siam Paragon.

20. W Hotel – Best Chic Hotel (With Two Distinct Personalities)
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 344 4000)
Outrageously chic hotel with a quirky Thai design ethic that’s brilliantly integrated into its glittering décor. From a Swarovski phoenix tiger mural in the lobby, to golden Muai thai boxing ring screens, tuk tuk light installations, and an eyeball shaped swimming pool with underwater music & lights, everything about the W hotel is cutting edge. Only hotel to have two distinctive personalities; its fashion forward side occupies a 31 storey glass tower. The ‘House of Sathorn’ is its second, more traditional face – a 127 year old restored colonial mansion, adjacent to the main hotel that features neo-classic architecture. Has sophisticated rooms done in whites, blacks, golds and purples, with custom designed chrome furniture, crocodile skin padded beds, gold sequined boxing glove pillows and contemporary rocking chairs. Award-winning Woo bar is one of Bangkok’s coolest hang-out spots. Futuristic spa with glowing beds that change color, a hammam (Turkish bath), and Muai Thai boxing inspired treatments. Has a 24 hr whatever/whenever service concept that’s ready to make anything happen (Transport gourmet dishes from other countries, helicopter rides across the city etc.). Great location in Sathorn, with easy access to BTS Chong Nonsi, that’s close to both riverside and city attractions. Within walking distance – Ce La Vie nightclub, Silom night market and the nightlife on Sathorn sois 10 & 12.
Bangkok's W Hotel has two distinct personalities: modern and traditional.

    Notes on W Hotel

  • Opened in December 2012, with 403 rooms and suites (43 sq m – 84 sq m). Has a Wow (188 sq m) and a W-style Presidential Suite (215 sq m).
  • Rooms include – 244 Wonderful Rooms (41 sq m), 106 Spectacular Rooms (43 sq m), 19 Cool Corner Rooms (47 sq m), 20 Studio Suites (64 sq m), 2 Fantastic Suites (84 sq m) and 10 Marvelous Suites (84 sq m). A Wow Suite (188 sq m), Extreme Wow Suite (W-style Presidential Suite) (215 sq m).
  • House of Sathorn (Built in 1889, opened in July 2015) – Restored by the Fine Art department with original colors from 127 years ago. Exquisite details like boar heads in pillars, Thai artwork such as tapestries, paintings, photography and sculpture, intricate wooden staircases and even the restored personalized family fresco motifs. Has 3 restaurants (a spacious inner courtyard area) and a very elegant bar. Serves international cuisine, comfort food and afternoon tea. Hotel is considering opening a set of hospitality suites done up in a heritage style in the second quarter of 2017.
  • Main hotel has 1 restaurant and the Woo bar – Restaurant serves international cuisine. Signature dishes – Butter Chicken at the Kitchen Table. Every pizza, any style burger. Afternoon tea set at the courtyard.
  • Hotel Décor and design – Has an avant garde touch and is heavily inspired by Muai Thai boxing.
  • Has own W scent (green apple). Lobby has a really lux feel with a sparkling W sign right next to the entrance and a giant crystal mural embedded in black marble above the reception area that displays a phoenix and tiger (good luck symbols of power and strength) engaged in an epic battle in tattoo art style. Lots of black everywhere with purple & mauve lighting. Many quirky touches throughout such as a tuk tuk wall installation with 500 lights (reflecting the busy nature of Bangkok), fabric installation made of Muai thai boxer headbands, drinking water plastic bag displays, Bangkok city skyline wire art and photographs of soi dogs. Woo bar is right next to the lobby.
  • Edgy rooms with a funky spirit – Rooms feature floor to ceiling windows, monochrome backgrounds, metallic gold, pink and purple accents, abstract artwork, glass partitions and black brick tiled bathrooms with pull curtains for privacy. Some have triangular open floor plans, geode sculptures, ottoman chairs wrapped in black horse fur, oversized black and white striped coffee tables, and contemporary rocking chairs. Bed throws feature artwork of the mythical hybrid creatures from the heavenly Himmaphan forest (black dragons with gold boxing gloves for example). All rooms have touch screen room controls via the provided tablet, a sound bar system and a docking station for MP3 players. Corridors feature a black marble finish with room numbers lit up in pink/purple tones. Welcome touches include colorful elongated macaroons called ‘Macalongs.’ Ask for rooms on the West side for the best city views. (W pet beds are available on request).
  • Woo bar – Edgy bar with shimmering carpets and gold glamour rope screens inspired by boxing ring ropes. Plenty of cozy places to relax in. Cocktail creations served by W mixologists.
  • 24 hr Gym – Has artwork featuring a buff Hanuman (mythical monkey God) figure carrying modern barbells. Equipped with the latest fitness equipment.
  • Avante Garde Swimming pool – Pool is shaped like a human eye with an eye lash. Has fiber optic lights in the water to give a swimming in a sea of stars sensation. Can hear music underwater during the daytime.
  • Concept oriented spa – Metamorphosis concept is integrated into spa design – Has cocoon like spaces, for guests to retreat into with soft mood lighting, glowing beds that change color to suit the guest’s mood (Green – calm and peaceful, Red – increasing body energy, Purple – happiness, Pink – romantic and sensuality). Has butterfly wire sculptures on the walls. Facilities include steam, sauna, plunge pool, and style lab (salon). Also offers private access to a Hammam (Turkish bath). Has massages based on Muai Thai boxing.
  • 24 hr Business Centre – Has PC’s, Mac work stations, Printer, Scanner, Fax Machine, Copying and Secretarial Services, Laptop rental, High Speed Internet Access and more. WIRED® Business Centre is located on ground Floor.
  • Hotel is targeted at trendsetters, disruptors and fashionistas.
  • Guests are 50% business and 50% leisure.
  • Long stay guests typically stay for 2 weeks.
  • Special features – Famous for its Songkran pool party, that happens once a year. Niche event with only 500/600 people.
  • 24 hr Whatever/whenever service concept – States they’ll make anything happen, however challenging. W insider/concierge – Offers advice on city and is backed by a team.
  • Close to many happening nightlife and dining destinations – Clubs like Ce La Vie, Revolucion Cocktail, Smalls bar, Maggie Choos and Silom night market. Nightlife along Sathorn 10 and 12 (10 restaurants).
  • Competition – So Sofitel.

21. Shangri-La Hotel – Best Riverside Location
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 236 7777)
Sprawling two tower riverside resort with 802 rooms and suites (36 sq m to 235 sq m) that’s mere steps away from BTS Saphan Taksin/Sathorn pier. Awesome base for exploring riverside attractions. Has the longest river frontage of a riverside hotel (spanning almost a quarter of a mile), and offers fabulous river views. Its two towers encircle lush tropical gardens with a profusion of palm trees, orchids and flowers, giving the resort an oasis like-vibe. Has beautiful colonnaded lobbies, with high ceilings, crystal chandeliers and numerous fountains. Rooms are decorated in a contemporary Thai style with rich Jim Thompson silks, teakwood flooring and furnishings. Has two large swimming pools and one of the biggest fitness centers in Bangkok (10,000 sq m) offering a staggering 40 different fitness and sports options. Within walking distance of the Lebua State Tower (Hangover bar), Wat Yannawa (Boat temple). Asiatique, The Royal Barge Museum, Sriraj Medical Museum, The Grand Palace & Wat Pho, Wat Arun are short boat rides away. Its location close to BTS Saphan Taksin puts the shopping areas (Malls at Siam, Chitlom etc.) within easy reach.
Bangkok's best riverfront hotel is the Shangri-La

    Notes on Shangri-La

  • Opened in August 1986.
  • 7.2 acre property. 802 rooms – 667 Guestrooms, 63 Horizon Rooms, 72 Suites and 24 Residences. Has 673 rooms in the 25 storey Shangri-La Wing and 129 rooms in the newer KrungThep Wing (Opened in 1991). Hotel design is based from a James Hilton novel entitled ‘Lost Horizon.’
  • Huge lobbies that have the Shangri-La scent to make guests feel at home. (tea scent). Prime riverside location. Rooms have Thai decorative motifs, handcrafted artwork streamlined bay windows and deep soaking tubs. All rooms have river or city views. Has lovely little touches like bread baskets in riverside corridors, for guests to feed the river fish.
    Room sizes in the Shangri-la wing range from 36 sq m to 56 sq m. Suites in this wing range from Shangri-la suites 100 sq m to 235 sq m.
  • The KrungThep Wing has larger rooms starting at 44 sq m and offers more privacy, a private butler service and exclusive use of one of the hotel’s swimming pools. Rooms in this wing have balconies that overlook the wing’s private pool.
  • KrungThep suites range from 84 sq m to 215 sq m. Corner rooms are some of the best rooms, with two window views (Asiatique and the bridge).
  • Has a 10,000 sq m Fitness Centre with 40 fitness and sports options such as Yogilates, Body Fusion ,Pilates, aerobics, Flow Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Bosu Ball, Body Training, Dancercise, Vinyasa Yoga, Table Tennis and more.
  • 3 bars and 10 Dining options that includes a dinner cruise on its own boat entitled Horizon cruise. Serves Italian cuisine (live music and 150 wines in its wine menu), all day dining (six interactive theatre-style cooking stations), classical Thai cuisine (live Thai dance performances) and Chinese cuisine. The Long bar has a 14.2 meter bar counter.
  • Excellent facilities with a business center, clinic, shopping arcade, spa pool, sauna and steam rooms.
  • Rooftop Helipad – Permits helicopter access to the airport if needed.
  • Award winning Chi spa – Design based on a Tibetan temple. Has 10 treatment suites with signature massages that include a Hot stones massage and a Yin Yang Harmonizing massage.
  • Family friendly – Children under 6 can enjoy complimentary buffet meals. Has a kid’s playground area, kids club and offers babysitting services. Sunday brunch offers a magic performance for kids and other kid’s activities.
  • Can arrange long-tail boat tours on private boats.
  • Environment friendly hotel – Operates a solar water heating system that’s used to address the heating requirements of all the hotel’s 802 rooms.

22. St. Regis – Best Tradition & Bespoke Butler Service.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 207 7777)
Lavish and steeped in family traditions, the centrally located St Regis, Bangkok, with direct access to BTS Ratchadamiri, offers 227 spacious rooms (45 sq m to 250 sq m) that blend ornate artwork with contemporary décor and have dramatic views of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club’s golf course and the city’s skyline. Rooms have plenty of character with floor-to-ceiling windows, natural wood floors, lush carpets, plush upholstery, with larger suites sporting generous pantry space for extended stays. Has an exemplary 24 hr bespoke butler service authorized to streamline check-in procedures; they are also available through an e-butler application. Hotel conducts a wine sabering ritual in its bar every evening and an Aficionado program that offers guests special experiences. Erawan Shrine, Amarin Plaza, Central Embassy Shopping Mall, Central World, Siam Paragon are all within walking distance.
Bangkok's St. Regis Hotel has a golf club and bespoke butler service.

    Notes on St. Regis

  • Opened in April 2011, 227 rooms total – 176 rooms, 51 suites, Royal Suite (250 sq m) and a Penthouse (800 sq m).
  • Stylish medium sized entrance with a concierge, with lots of gleaming white marble, high ceilings, immense Thai lamp type sculptures and comfortable colourful velvet sofas. The St Regis motif is used liberally in the décor – on furnishings, carpets and embossed on the elevators, doubling even as the elevator up and down signs.
  • Impressive bespoke butler service – Personal butlers offer 24 hr personalized service. Butlers greet you on arrival and streamline the check-in process. Guests can hand over their passports to the butler for check-in as they are directly escorted to their room. Butlers pack and unpack luggage, pack with the destination in mind, attend to personal travel needs and arrange social itineraries. Guests can also interact with them through an e-butler service and make preferences known over chat. Guests can have training sessions from the butlers on packing.
  • Lobby is on the first floor and partially hidden by pillars for more seclusion and greater privacy. Restaurant features art for sale. Artwork for sale is also displayed at the penthouse.
  • Rooms have are large, airy and bright with sumptuous marble bathrooms, impressive kitchenettes, wood panel cupboards, open plan bathrooms with big tubs, warm wood panelling, beautifully crafted Thai furnishings, ipod/mp3 docking stations, sliding touch lighting fixtures.
  • Popular suites are the Grand Deluxe, Legacy and John Jacob suites (lots of Thai handicraft touches). Caroline Aster rooms are more feminine are quite popular for bedrooms that face the golf course and bathrooms with corner views.
  • Caroline Aster rooms are recommended for families. They have the option to connect to the Grand Deluxe rooms for more space. Grand Deluxe rooms are recommended for singles or couples.
  • Hotel engages in a Champagne Ritual – Every evening, a butler opens a bottle of champagne at The St. Regis Bar. (Carries on the traditional art of sabering).
  • Royal suite – Has lamps that almost reach the ceiling and immense kitchen with a full utensil set. Connects to grand deluxe room. Has tubs that overlook the golf course and a steam room.
  • The drawing room has an amazing view of the golf course with a variety of special teas on offer such as the 1837 black tea, silver moon tea, red tea and chocolate tea. The afternoon tea set is quite popular.
  • Long stay guests get special rates for meals, laundry, transport and other services.
  • Has an Aficionado program that offers guests a wide range of tailored experiences, such as a room with dinner by a Michelin chef, how to do wine sabering etc. Guests can choose to have suits tailored and shipped to them.
  • Offers 6 dining options and 2 bars and a wine bar – Has all day dining, international, Italian, Japanese and gourmet bites. Sunday brunch on the last Sunday of the month is highly recommended as the entire 12th floor becomes a serving area. Wine bar has an extensive cellar from the world’s most celebrated vineyards with two private rooms for exclusive tastings or wine dinners.
  • St Regis bar – Signature drink ‘Siam Mary’ which is also the welcome drink. (Also popular as an after hangover drink).
  • Amazing huge spa area – Has beautiful hanging sit out pod-like enclosures for relaxation and a refreshing pebbled water walkway for foot massages. Has lights that change color and ipod stations in the shower for guests to listen to music as they bathe.
  • Decent sized salt water swimming pool – Pool has a starry sky effect and the pool bar nearby offers healthy energy drinks.
  • 24 hr gym – Has advanced equipment like a digital fitness device, which can adjust the weights that guests lift digitally. Has yoga classes and private training classes.
  • Activities – Has a private kitchen for cooking classes. Also offers a one week weight loss program. Can teach how to play polo, golf at the nearby golf course. Also does a photo hunt around Bangkok.
  • Guests are 50% business, 50% leisure.
  • Competition – Mandarin Oriental, Grand Hyatt, Intercontinental, Siam Kempinski.

23. The Siam – Best Antique & Themed Pool Villas
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 206 6999)
Phenomenal, antique-infused, riverside boutique hotel with 39 (80 sq m to 160 sq m) themed rooms in a sprawling 3 acre lush property, set in Bangkok’s Royal Dusit district. Offers 10 stunning, themed pool villas (Chinese, Art Deco and Thai Colonial) with rooftop terraces and themed suites reflective of different aspects of Thai culture (scriptures, maps, shop house signs etc.). Exquisitely designed with inner courtyards, wide marble corridors, antique galleries and landscaped gardens. Rooms have an exotic charm with high ceilings, lamps hanging from cloth ropes, huge tubs and dark teakwood. The substantial collection of priceless art, antiques and curios, offers plenty of options for exploration and discovery. Has historic Thai teakwood houses (by Jim Thompson) that have been transformed into a restaurant, a special Thai villa. Hotel has its own Muai Thai boxing ring, hammam-inspired bath house and a popular tattoo parlor which offers sacred temple tattoos. Has a butler for every guest and private cruises on a teakwood barge. Located close to Dusit Zoo and the Vimanmek Teak Palace. The central pier/BTS Saphan Taksin is 30 minutes away by boat.
Bangkok's Siam Hotel has amazing themed pool villas.

    Notes on The Siam

  • Opened in 2012.
  • Has 39 rooms and suites, 16 Siam Suites (80 sq m), 6 Mae Nam Suites (90 sq m), x`6 Riverview Suites (100 sq m), 6 Pool Villa Courtyard (130 sq m), 4 Pool Villa Riverview (130 sq m), 1 Connie’s Cottage (160 sq m). Includes 10 exquisite pool villas and a historical Thai villa called Connie’s cottage.
  • Hotel has the aura of living museum with stunning antiques and curios used throughout the hotel such as traditional Chinese opium daybeds, Burmese weathered wood columns, Tang Dynasty figurines, Neolithic Thai pottery in the library, Siamese maps and vintage photos. Very open expansive vibe with many inner courtyards, galleries and arcades.
  • Lobby has a beautiful decorative fountain and an outer courtyard. Décor features old wooden doors, chandeliers, vintage photos, hanging ferns. Understated color scheme with plenty of whites, blacks and greys; lots of steel, wood, stone and glass used throughout the décor. All rooms are outfitted with plush furnishings, super-sized king beds and lofty ceilings. Suites are catered for by a personal butler.
  • Very secluded, serene and private atmosphere.
  • The main residence has 28 unique themed suites reflective of Thai culture such as Thai boxing, archaeology, shop house signs, Thai beauty queens, cinema, scriptures, maps, letters, monks etc.
  • Mae Naem Suites – Have themes like Thai diplomats, temples, architecture, tribes & country life, nautical elements and more.
  • River view suites – Feature contemporary art, theater/music, kings and queens, railways, literature, tapestries etc. themes.
  • Pool Villas – Superbly designed on themes like Chinese, Art Deco and Thai Colonial. Have luxurious plunge pools and Jacuzzis. An iron stair case leads up to private terrace and river views. Villas contain unique artwork.
  • 3 dining options and a bar – Thai, Deco Bar & Bistro (home-style meals and live music), all day patisserie.
  • Thai restaurant and cooking school – Occupies a cluster of three century-old Thai teakwood houses sourced by Jim Thompson (entertained the likes of Jackie Kennedy, John Rockefeller, Roger Moore, William Holden and Henry Ford). The fourth Thai teakwood house has been transformed into a Thai villa called Connie’s cottage. All four structures were transported from their original location in Ayutthaya by barge and rebuilt. (Recommended dishes: NUA SAN SEE KLONG TOON – 08 Hours Slow-Cooked Australian Beef Short Rib served with Grilled Pineapple & Tamarind Sauce. GAI YANG – Char-Grilled Chicken, Ginger, Garlic, Lemongrass, Crispy Shallot, Chili, Spring Onion & Tamarind Sauce. YUM TAKRAI HOISHELL -Spicy Seared Hokkaido Scallop, Lemongrass Salad, Shallot, Fresh Chili & Mint Leaves).
  • Spacious period-style library – Houses a private collection of rare, first edition hardback books on Siam and Asia dating back over a century and displays Neolithic pottery. Library contains a private screening room with antique folding wood & red velvet 1930s French cinema seats.
  • Gym – Fully equipped gym with floor to ceiling mirrors and windows overlooking a peaceful, monastery. Has a cool Muai Thai boxing ring. Lovely touches in the décor such as Art Deco gymnasium doors, vintage sports posters, old wooden dumbbells and antique leather punching bags.
  • Riverside infinity pool – 22 m saltwater swimming pool with sun lounge located right before the river with awesome river views.
  • Curio – Quaint little store that contains curio’s from the owners private warehouse.
  • Yoga and Tai chi classes on the outdoor terrace or the pier.
  • Muai Thai lessons – Offers training programs suitable for beginners to advanced, and from one day to one week training courses, with experienced Muai Thai trainers.
  • Spa – Has a glorious Hammam-inspired Bath House with dry and steam saunas, steam showers and Jacuzzis. Offers a kids’ and teen’s spa treatment menu. Has a Hair & Nail Salon.
  • Ancient Thai Tattoo parlor – Hotel offers Sak Yant tattoo done by hand using traditional methods. (Yant is a traditional form of tattooing ancient geometric and deity symbols with Buddhist prayers onto the body that supposedly impart magical powers for luck, protection, charisma, fortune and other powers onto the wearer).
  • Guests are 90% leisure. Hotel sees around 20% repeat guests.
  • Signature excursion cruise – The Golden Naga is the hotel’s own historical golden teak rice barge and is available for private barge tours.
  • Location – Close to Vimanmek Teak Palace, Royal Elephant Museum and Dusit zoo, 30 minutes by boat to Central Pier/BTS Saphan Taksin.

24. Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit – Best City Center Location
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 649 8888)
Grand hotel with 420 rooms (40 sq m to 77 sq m) located in Asok, with a direction connection to the skytrain and steps away from the subway. With rich woods, teakwood chairs, elegant Thai silks, decorative pillows and plush carpeting, rooms offer a blend of Asian elements with classic design, with lovely city views or Ratchada lake views. Theme suites offer top-notch luxury with carved furniture, Jacuzzi bathtubs with televisions, patios and outdoor private Jacuzzis. Has a special luggage liaison service that offers door to door luggage delivery to any destination, eliminating the need for guests to carry luggage and check them in at airports. Offers a unique ‘dine in the dark experience,’ where guests sample food in total darkness, served by visually impaired guides. Spectacular location at Asok, with easy access to attractions along the BTS And MRT lines. Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, EmQuartier and Emporium Shopping mall, Dinosaur Planet and two parks are all within walking distance.
Bangkok's Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Hotel is in a perfect city center location.

    Notes on Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Hotel

  • Opened in 1996.
  • Has 420 rooms in total. 112 Grande Rooms (40-45 sq m), 126 Premier Rooms (45 sq m), 139 Luxury Rooms (45 sq m), 7 Grande Suites (70 sq m), 30 Luxury suites (70 sq m), 6 Theme Suites (77-248 sq m), Presidential & Governor suite (117 sq m), Royal Suite (248 sq m).
  • Spacious lobby in warm colors and gold highlights. Possible to walk directly into the lobby from the Asok BTS skywalk. Rooms are served with daily fresh fruit.
  • Premier rooms have outstanding views of Lake Ratchada or the Bangkok skyline, with marble-floored bathrooms, a generous vanity area, and a large walk-in shower.
  • Luxury suites – Have top-notch lake or city views. Plenty of greenery – fresh orchids and tall potted palms. Has exotic wood armoires and a 24 hr butler service.
  • Grande Rooms – Have powder rooms and luxurious bathrooms with wall-to-floor-marble.
  • Business Center – Offers faxing, scanning, copying, printing, translation and secretarial services.
  • 6 award-winning restaurants and bars – Has a jazz lounge with live jazz. Serves Thai, Italian and International cuisine.
  • Dine in the dark experience – Offers a unique dine in the dark experience where guests are led by visually impaired guides through a curtained area to a private dining room in total darkness where they can sample a surprise menu.
  • The Sala – Poolside restaurant, serves Asian and Western food as well as barbecue under the stars at night.
  • Signature drinks – The Last Cocktail (Gin, Lemon Juice, Rosemary-pear puree and on top with Prosecco (Signature cocktail of The Luxury Collection Brand)). Vada Gimlet (Gin, Thai chili lemongrass infusion gin, lime juice, Thai basil, Thai Chili (Signature cocktail of Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit)), Buena Vita (Tanqueray Gin, grape fruit, Campari, orange peel. (Signature cocktail of Rossini’s restaurant)).
  • 24 hr Gym – Smallish gym. Offers complimentary physical assessment and over 30 complimentary classes a week.
  • Spa – Has 10 treatment rooms with two treatment rooms dedicated to hydrotherapy (jet tubs and seaweed or milk baths).
  • Free-form outdoor pool – Lovely pool with and adjoining Jacuzzi, amidst landscaped greenery. Deep royal blue tiles gives the pool a striking appearance.
  • Activities – Thai cooking classes, Offers a complimentary Destination discovery service, where the concierge team takes guests to explore Bangkok in 30-60 minutes. Arranges a visit to the Ban Kamthieng Museum every last Saturday of the month.
  • Luggage liaison service – Unique service that does door to door luggage delivery. Ensures that luggage will await guests at their arrival at any destination (eliminates the need for guests to carry luggage to the airport or check them in). Includes luggage storage and unpacking/packing services upon request.
  • Competition: Sofitel, Grand Hyatt, Intercontinental and Conrad.
  • Unbeatable location – Right in central Asok. Guests have quick access to many of Bangkok’s attractions via both the skytrain (direct connection) and subway stations. (BTS Asok and MRT Asok). Attractions within walking distance include Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, EmQuartier and Emporium Shopping mall, Queen Sirikit Convention Center, Dinosaur Planet and 2 parks.

25. Oriental Residence – Best Long Stay Hotel
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 125 9000)
Sophisticated boutique hotel in a sleek skyscraper with 145 serviced residences (45 sqm to 188 sqm) that are bright, airy and ideal for long stays. Has an aura of understated luxury with pastel-toned, apartment-style rooms and suites with well-equipped kitchenettes and generous bathrooms. Flanked by embassies, the hotel offers up a distinctive line up of signature drinks that are Ambassador favorites. Centrally located within walking distance of BTS Ploenchit and attractions in the Ratchaprasong area.
The Oriental Residence is Bangkok's best long stay hotel.

    Notes on Oriental Residence

  • Opened in January 2012, 32-storey building.
  • 145 serviced residences (ranging 45 sqm to 188 sqm), Grand Deluxe suites (41), one-bedroom suites (70), two-bedroom suites (30) and three-bedroom suites (4). All residences feature polished hardwood floors and kitchenettes. Ask for corner suites or city view suites with balconies.
  • Quiet and medium size lobby with high ceilings, white floors and walls and light toned furniture everywhere, expands the sense of space. Photos of old Bangkok grace the walls. Has 2 concierge stations.
  • Hotel has narrow but bright corridors with lots of natural light. Rooms have pastel tones and quaint touches such as vintage luggage boxes being used as TV stands. Designed like a luxurious apartment. Rooms have floor to ceiling views, fully equipped kitchenette; some rooms come with balconies and other come with washing machines. Bathrooms are big with French bathtubs and hardwood floors. Bathtubs have little steel stations to put an ipad or books to read while bathing. Aura of understated luxury and tranquil atmosphere. Rooms have both city views and park views.
  • 1 Café-restaurant with a Parisian feel that serves Thai and Western cuisine.
  • 1 Gatsby style small bar – Offers unique signature drinks menu, inspired by the favorite cocktails of visiting ambassadors of various embassies. (Embassy Classic drink is prepared using flames to give it a special aroma).
  • Beautiful open-air lounge on the fourth floor, with plenty of cabanas and loungers.
  • Has a small gym with personal trainers, coaching courses.
  • Lovely 20-metre mosaic swimming pool with nature views.
  • Family Friendly – Has kids menu at the café and tailored welcome gifts for children.
  • Hotel is very quiet at full occupancy.
  • Equal mix of business and leisure.
  • Close to central embassy Shopping Mall, Erawan Shrine, Central World.
  • No activities for guests or special tech features.
  • Competition – St Regis, Okura prestige, Conrad, Plaza Athnee.

See Also

195 Questions and Comments

  1. Family-Friendly Hotels in Bangkok and Koh Samui

    Hi Dave
    Great blog! We’re traveling to Thailand in April/May Two families, with 5 children ranging from 10 to 2. We’re planning two days in Bangkok. What would be the best family friendly hotel in Bangkok, not far from main attractions, 4 to 5 stars that could also providing babysitting?
    And then we’re planning 5 days in Koh Samui. Is the four seasons the best resort? We’re also considering a villa with staff, are those easy to find, where would be the best location in Koh Samui? Nice beach, family friendly but also good night life. I know too many requirements! Thanks for your help
    F Thibault

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The Anantara Siam (formerly the Four Seasons) in Bangkok is wonderful for families and has a great pool and central location. The Four Seasons on Koh Samui is the most luxurious hotel on the islands and has amazing villas but it is not close to nightlife at all. The Vana Belle is a better choice if you want to be an easy drive (but still not walking distance) from nightlife.

  2. Do It All in 8-9 days

    Dave need your expert advise. Will be traveling to Thailand for first time in April. I have only 8-9 days depending on wether or not I decide to do Bangkok or not. I’m looking to do a mix of things…beautiful exotic beach, day trips on boats, elephant trekking, want to see the famous thai nightlight/sex shows/street action, muay thai, but at the same time I prefer to stay at a higher end hotel. Will be traveling w my wife, we are early-mid 30s. She’s into the posh, relaxing scene, i’m into that too but I need to experience it all. My current plan is to do 2 days Bangkok, 3 Samui, 4 Krabi. Do you recommend something different? perhaps Phuket vs Krabi? or should I skip Bangkok all together to have more time on the beaches? What’s the best plan for 8-9 days to experience it all.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Bangkok, Samui, and Krabi sounds perfect for your interests. Skip Bangkok to maximize beach time, but if you really want to see some of the wackier sides of Thai culture then Bangkok is a great place to do it.

  3. One Night In Bangkok – Where To Stay and What To Do

    Hi Dave,

    Thank you for this super informative post! My husband and I are going to Bangkok arriving at 9am on 23 Dec and leaving the following morning to go to Ko Yao Island, so only have 24 hours! We want to stay in town to make sure we can see all the sights easily during the limited time we have. We love boutique and luxury hotels, is there any you would recommend?

    Also if we only have one evening in Bangkok what do you think we should do? We love street food and markets, but do also appreciate a nice cocktail!

    Thank you very much,
    Lushan Sun

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Siam Square is central and Bangkok’s best shopping district – top-notch malls like CentralWorld, Siam Paragon, and MBK are all within walking distance (there’s cheap wholesale shopping at Pratunam and Platinum Fashion Mall too). [email protected] Design Hotel, Siam Kempinski Hotel, and the Pathumwan Princess are some of the best luxury hotels nearby. The streets in front of Siam Paragon play host to a street market post 6 pm, but if you want to go to a bigger night market, check out the Rod Fai Night Market II behind the Esplanade mall. For a low-key evening, a dinner cruise down the Chao Phraya river, followed by cocktails at the Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower. For a fun night out, check out Khao San Road, go pub hopping down Soi 11 in Nana, or drinks and dancing at Sing Sing Theater or the Royal City Avenue (RCA).

  4. Solo Female Traveller Hotel / Activity Recommendations

    Hello Dave,

    Thanks for the great post! I will be visiting Bangkok for 2.5 days at the end of November this year (first time in Thailand), and was tossing up between which location would be best to stay. I know I want to do a bit of a mix of everything (night markets, see the temples, shop etc.). I was thinking maybe Siam or Sukhumvit? Which (if any of those) would you recommend as being more approrpiate to explore the city? Any hotels you could recommend that have a gym and pool and are around 100$ AUD per night? I was also thinking about taking a cooking class and maybe a Thai boxing class, anything else you would suggest as a must see for the first time in Bangkok?

    Thanks so much!


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Staying anywhere between the stations Phrom Phong to Siam along the BTS Sukhumvit line puts you in the middle of the shopping, eating, and activity of central Bangkok. Siam is a few stops away on the BTS from Asok station (6 minutes) and you also have access to places along the MRT line from Asok. Asok is the best in terms of connecting to the rest of city (while the Siam area is great for experiencing city life, many of the cultural and historical sites are sprinkled around the city and require getting around).

      Some good hotels near BTS/MRT Asoke that meet your criteria and give large discounts if you book early: Galleria 10, Park Plaza, and Sukhumvit 12.

      Must sees: Grand Palace, Wat Pho. Shopping and shrines at Siam. The Muang Boran Ancient City – with its scale models of Thailand’s many wonders.The Siam Niramit cultural show. If you are here on a weekend, then definitely the Chatuchak weekend market, otherwise a night market (the one behind Esplanade Mall is the easiest to get to). River trip or dinner cruise (Apsara is the best), and drinks at the sky bar on Lebua state tower or Moon bar at the Banyan Tree hotel.

      (With only 2 full days I wouldn’t focus on Chinatown, if you’ve already seen a version of it in another city).

      Boxing class – this place is right at Asok.

      Cooking – If you don’t mind vegetarian food then May Kaidee’s is great and its on Khaosan road, so you can time your class so that you can spend the evening at Khaosan. (Even if you’re not a vegetarian Thai veg food is wonderful.)

  5. Good Hotel / Location for Solo Traveler to Bangkok

    Hi Dave, this is a great website! I am a female solo traveller, arriving in Bangkok on 27th December, until 30th December. Can you recommend a nice hotel where I can relax and be in a good location? Cheap luxury?! First time in Thailand, I have these few days free before I travel up to Chiang Mai for a group tour. Appreciate any information you have which would be good for the solo traveller!


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      A hotel I love with a fun vibe and nice pool/bar area is the Radisson Blu on Sukhumvit. There’s shopping and good local food within walking distance but not so much immediately out the door of the hotel. If you want to be more in the thick of the travelers scene (where it’s much easier to meet other travelers) then stay near Khao San. The Buddy Lodge has a fun atmosphere and nice rooftop pool.

  6. Doubletree Hilton or Courtyard Marriott

    Hi Dave,

    What an excellent resource to come across when researching Bangkok!

    I will be traveling with my parents on a Monday and Tuesday (disappointed that we will miss the weekend markets) and trying to decide between the Doubletree Hilton or the Courtyard Marriott. There aren’t many choices for rooms with two double/queen beds, and also trying to figure out if we should purchase breakfast buffet with the room too. Which hotel would be better for us in terms of location and whether there’s good dining options outside of the hotel? Thanks!


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Both are nice hotels with pools and lots of restaurants within walking distance. I would probably go with the Courtyard as it’s a little more central and a larger selection of restaurants and malls nearby (if that interests you). The Doubletree is better if you’re looking for street food. Breakfast buffets are usually good value at the nicer Bangkok hotels so I’d probably go for it. If you like eating breakfast it can be hard to find good western breakfast food outside your hotel.

      1. Tracy

        Thanks Dave! Appreciate your help.

  7. Best Bangkok Luxury Hotel for Family


    Great website. Most informative and best by a mile. Just wanted a little advice if you wouldnt mind.

    Am going to Bangkok as a stopover with wife, and two kids, aged 3 and 1. Will be there for 3 days jsut to break up some flights.

    Was looking for a hotel suggestion. Of most importance is an excellent position, close to high end shops, kids activities, and hotel must have a nice pool. Sightseeing is not part of the plan. Not too concerned about the cost, want the higher end.

    I was thinking St Regis, Siam Kempinsky, or Anantara Siam. Do those three fit in with my criteria and which of them would you recommend. Or is there anything else you would recommend.



    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      All of these are wonderful hotels with a similar central location close to the top malls so you’ll be pleased in that regard. Of the 3, I would choose the Siam Kempinski if you wanted a kids club and the Anantara if a pool were more important (all 3 have large pools but the Anantara’s is the nicest and largest). The Anantara (and St Regis) are walking distance to one of the best kids’ playgrounds in Bangkok at Lumphini Park. If it were me I would choose the Anantara. (And I should mention that the most kid-friendly hotel in Bangkok is the Anantara Riverside – but it’s on the opposite side of the river from central Bangkok and thus a little inconvenient for shopping.)

  8. Good Hotel with Good Location

    Hi Dave,

    Very informative blo, thank you. Would you please recommend where to stay for a visit in early December? We’re a couple staying in Bangkok for 3 nights, then on to Phuket, staying at the Shore. I’ve been conflicted about the area in which to stay and which hotel to book. We are hoping to visit the temples and Grand Palace, do a dinner river cruise, perhaps make it up to Ayutthaya, with just a bit of shopping and nightlife. Being in Bangkok, we’d like to experience at least a bit of its frenetic energy.

    Because of the activities we’d like to do, I was pretty set on staying near the river, close to the BTS station; however, the only hotels within budget are the Shangri-La and the Lebu. Both are luxury hotels, but both seem to be a bit tired (maybe in need of a bit of a freshing up?) and not quite as impressive as some of the newer hotels in the other areas.

    Would you recommend either one of these hotels or would it be better to consider a hotel in the Bang Rak/Pathum Wan area to get a better balance of location/sleek hotel? Travel time to get to and from the river is a concern, so we’d ruled out going further east.

    Many thanks.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Both the Shangri-La and Lebu are great hotels but yes, you do compromise on the location a little and yes there are newer hotels. Two of my favorite hotels with a good location are the Anantara Siam (formerly the Four Seasons) and Bangkok Hansar. Both are right in the heart of the shopping district and the Skytrain is just out your door. The Anantara is more of a classic luxury hotel while the Hansar has a modern trendy feel. The pool at the Anantara is huge and one of the best in central Bangkok.

  9. Where To Go and How To Book Trip

    Hi Dave,

    First and foremost thank you for having this site and it is definitely a very informative one. Took my time to read through but yet still unable to make up my mind and wonder if you could help with some suggestions…

    I am travelling to Bangkok with my mom this November and we have about 6 days and 5 nights to spend and I am wondering what I could do and which area would be strategic for me to stay as well.

    I am a foodie but of course i do not go for anything exoitic, also looking to do some shopping and touring some interesting places. In the meanwhile also wondering if I should pay a visit to Pattaya?

    Would it be advisable to book tour through agents or would you recon self touring?

    Many Thanks Dave.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      For starters, definitely book yourself unless you really want a lot of hand holding. You lose a lot of freedom when you’re with a tour group, and you’re always visiting sites as part of large group so you’re not seeing them in a personable and relaxed way. A Bangkok trip is easy to book by using (for flights) and (for hotels). Transportation to Pattaya can be arranged in a few minutes through your hotel (typically a taxi).

      6 days and 5 nights would be easy to fill in Bangkok alone. Pattaya (or Hua Hin) are options if you want some beach time. Kanchanaburi or Ayutthaya are good choices if you want something more cultural.

  10. Navalai River Resort in Bangkok

    Hi Dave, Very informative. I have provisionally booked the Navalai River Resort hotel. Is the Navalai River Resort a hotel you’d recommend? And I would like to take the Airport rail link and need to know where and how to get to this hotel. Help please.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The Navalai is a great choice if you’re looking for something more boutique and the location on the river and around bustling Khao San is lots of fun. This hotel isn’t near the Airport Rail Link however so your best bet is to take a taxi to the hotel from the airport. Taxis are readily available and easy to find at the airport – you can chose from more expensive but less hassle ‘official airport taxis,’ or go down to floor one of the airport to get a public taxi (make sure to ask them to use the meter if you take one of these taxis). Have some Thai Baht for the toll charges which is always paid by the passenger. If you’re set on taking the Airport Rail Link, you’d have to get off at Phaya Thai station and catch a taxi from there which, if you’re fresh off the plane would leave you more likely to get ripped off and would most likely be a bit of a nightmare.

  11. Good Place to Stay in Bangkok

    Hi Dave
    I am solo female looking for a hotel before starting teaching in Bangkok. I am looking for something chilled and a bit nicer to really relax before starting work. The only thing I will maybe want to do is visit temples, go to a spa, run in the park. Looking for a nice friendly area not too busy but like the idea of a few cool cafes around so I don’t feel completely secluded.
    Kind regards,
    Jenna Murphy

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Phranakorn Nornlen is a super friendly low-key hotel outside of the touristy part of Bangkok but still a short tuk tuk ride to sites and the river. Some good local restaurants and a few (western style) cafes are nearby. (The website is admittedly awful – to book you essentially have to email them and confirm dates.)

  12. Good Hotel on Khao San

    Hey thanks for your great website! We are looking at Chillax Resort in Khao San. We are going in May and staying in this area for sightseeing. I was looking at reviews last night and some weren’t great. Is this hotel OK for a couple or is there a better alternative?

    Ashleigh Murray

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The Chillax can be a good deal if you can find online discounts and it has a focus on romantic stays so it could be a good choice for you as a couple. For that price point (or a little below for a larger hotel) you can’t do much better, although you could try the Riva Surya which has a more subdued, chic style. Otherwise you’ll be looking at smaller, more boutique hotels – Arun Residence is the best choice and located on the river with views of Wat Arun and it’s walking distance to Wat Po. It’s not as streamlined or modern as the Chillax but it is quite romantic.

  13. One Day in Bangkok – Where To Stay?

    This site is so helpful, thank you Dave!
    My husband and I will be coming to Thailand the last week of April. We will arrive in Bangkok at 6 AM on Sunday and leave the following morning for Chang Mai at 845 AM, both flights through BKK. We hope to take in as much as we can in 24 hours in Bangkok. Would you recommend staying at a hotel closer to the airport for ease of dropping off luggage when we arrive and traveling the following morning, or would you recommend a hotel closer to the sites we hope to see (sounds like closer to Khao San Road area after reading this page). My head is spinning as there are so many great options of well priced hotels that look fabulous, but most important is efficiency/timing as we wish to make the most of our short time in Bangkok. We might even consider hiring a driver for the day per your tip above if you think it beneficial to stay further out and travel into town to sight-see? Any advice is appreciated!
    Thank you!
    Kristen Webb

    1. DaveDave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I’d recommend staying in town. Bangkok is usually very hot, it may rain and there’s so much going on all the time, all around that it’s convenient to have a hotel you can pop back into at any time to take a rest and re-coop – especially if you’ve just arrived from a red-eye. Even if you don’t need a break and just run around town all day, it will be nicer to graze all the street food, go see music, or whatever you end up doing that night, and have a place that’s quick and easy to get back to. The hotel may have good suggestions for you for places to eat, have drivers that they work with, and have other services that will make your stay easier and more efficient. At the airport the hotels are geared mostly to overnighters and not so much to sightseers. Transport to/from the airport in the early morning is relatively easy and your hotel will know what time you should leave and will help you make transport arrangements.

      As for a driver, yes that’s your best option to see as much as you can in a day. Plan out the places you want to go and set out a route with him in the morning. If you’re in a touristy area like Khao San a little hunting will easily find you a taxi driver that knows the sightseeing highlights that most people are interested in.

  14. Best Bangkok Hotel for a Honeymoon

    Love your site! Can you recommend a hotel for the first part of our honeymoon in Bangkok? We will be there for three days before flying to Koh Samui. I’ve looked at Lebu, Oriental, Anatara…can’t make up my mind! Would like beautiful views but also close to shopping or attraction. We are in out mid twenties. Thanks you so much!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Of the three you mention I would definitely pick the Oriental for a honeymoon stay. The Riverside Anantara caters to families and while it’s a beautiful property it lacks an intimate ambiance. And the Lebua simply isn’t as high standard as the Oriental (I’m assuming you mean the Mandarin Oriental although the Oriental Residence is a great choice too).

      If you like the idea of the resort-like feel of of the Antara, I’d suggest The Siam, which is far more geared towards couples and you still get views of daily life along the Chao Phraya River, of temples and whimsical Asia. It’s also designed by Bill Bensley, one of the best-known hotel designers in Asia and is loaded with style.

      The Mandarin Oriental is on the river but is more hotel than resort. It’s one of the best hotels in the city so you can’t go wrong. It’s in a highrise, but the interior is simply amazing and brings you back to the grand days of Siam when the likes of Audrey Hepburn visited. Think: louvered windows, lily ponds, and grand staircases. You get views of the river from many rooms and the service is top notch. I love the colonial style rooms in the garden wing but if you veer towards more modern tastes, the rooms in the main wing are larger and have a more contemporary style.

      1. Mandarin Oriental vs Oriental Residence

        Thank you so much for your reply! I’m sorry I didn’t realize there were two Orientals. I was referring to the Oriental Residence. The other two you mentioned, Mandarin Oriental and Siam, are unfortunately out of our budget. The ones in our budget are the Oriental Residence, Lebu, Anantara, the Marriott hotels, Banyan Tree, Hotel Muse, and Metropolitan. I apologize for not making that clear. That being said which one would you recommend? Really appreciate it!


        1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

          Ah OK, I’m sorry I didn’t get the right one! The Mandarin Oriental is one of the best known hotels in the city so when people say “The Oriental” they usually mean the Mandarin Oriental – so I’m glad I checked. The Oriental Residence is great too – but very different. The Oriental Residence are serviced apartments so even though the service has a great reputation, it’s not as full-service as a hotel. They are geared more to extended stays. That said, the suites are elegant, large, and have great views over the city. If decor and privacy are what you’re after it’s a very solid option.

          Of your choices however, I’d pick the Banyan Tree for a honeymoon. The rooms aren’t as big or bright as the Oriental Residence but they are more classically Thai. There are views of the river and more on-site services are available which will probably be more convenient for your stay. One of the dining options is on a riverboat which is really spectacular, plus there’s a well-respected spa. In all, it’s the hotel best for honeymooners and romance, of the hotels you mention.

  15. Bangkok Tailors, Family-Friendly Hotels, Babysitting

    Thank you for taking so much time out to respond to peoples questions.
    A couple others:
    – Do you have recommendations for tailors to get suits?
    – I am traveling with my 3 year old. Do you have recommendation for hotels which are very family friendly?
    – Do you know of babysitting services?

    Many thanks,

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      –Lots of good tailors on Sukhumvit. Heard good things about Crown Tailors.
      –Read Best Family Hotels in Bangkok
      –Any 4 or 5 star hotel will arrange babysitting for you, so that’s the way to go.

  16. Bangkok, Pattaya, and Hua Hin

    Hi Dave,
    Congratulations on an extremely informative blog.
    We have 2 boys who will be 7 and 4 years old, respectively and are planning on visiting Thailand in July. We have set aside 13 nights and are planning to visit Bangkok and Phuket. The kids like theme parks and water parks. So we are planning to visit Hua Hin and Pattaya. We are flying in from Hong Kong on Air Asia. So will be flying into Don Mueang Airport. How long will it take to drive to Hua Hin and Pattaya, respectively from the airport? What is the best way to organise transport from oversees? What 5 star hotels/resorts can you recommend in Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Phuket? We would prefer a more relaxing type environment. How many nights would you recommend staying in each of the 4 cities (Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Phuket)?
    Many thanks, Bob.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      From Don Muang Airport to Hua Hin and Pattaya it’s easiest to take a taxi (just walk out the door and there is a taxi stand, I recommend waiting for a taxi van to make the longer ride comfortable) or a hired car (try Oriental Escapes).

      The best hotels in Hua Hin are the Centara Grand Beach Resort and the Anantara Hua Hin Resort.

      The best hotels in Pattaya are the Sheraton, Marriott, and Centara Grand (water park is great for kids).

  17. Best Thailand Website

    Thanks for putting up this site! Best resource I have found on the internet.. thank you!

    Janet Chang

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Thanks Janet. I hope it’s helpful.

      1. 2 Days in Bangkok

        Hi Dave,

        I have spend at least 6 hours now and just cannot decide and will need your help. I thought it would be easy but it’s not. My dilemma is that we will only have 1.5 days in Bangkok and additional 1 day at the end:

        1.5 days in Bangkok
        2 days in Chiang Mia
        3 days in Phuket
        1 morning in Bangkok

        Question for you:

        1) Should we visiting the palace on the 1.5 days at the beginning? or the morning on our last day (flight leaving 1:30pm)
        2) Where would be a good location to stay on our last day so we can site see in the morning before our 1:30pm flight?
        3) During 1.5 days at the beginning, we want to go to Thonburi, that is a half a day trip right?

        As you can see, it is extremely limited time and I am just pulling my hair on what to do! This is our first time to Thailand and most likely our last as well.

        Thanks a lot for your help!


        1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

          Staying near Khao San Road is handy for seeing the palace (there are nicer hotels there too, not just budget hotels). Your last morning seems like a good candidate to see the palace, but you won’t have a lot of time. You should probably be leaving for the airport by 10:30 at the latest and the Grand Palace opens at 8:30. Yes, Thonburi should take half a day.

          1. janet

            Thanks Dave, leaving 10:30 for 1:30pm flight? Traffic problem? Is taking the train any better?


          2. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

            If traffic is bad then train is better. Problem is that train to airport is a long way from Khao San Road so you’d need to taxi to train, then train, so I’d go direct by taxi to the airport. I’d leave at 10:00 from KSR for a 1:30 flight.

  18. Hilton or Anatara Riverside Hotels?

    Dear David

    This is amazing

    Which riverside hotel would you recommend? I am looking at the Hilton or Anantara. Are they far from the train stations?

    Do you have a tour agent (english speaking guide) to recommend? Would like to plan a 4d3N stay there and looking at a nice romantic hotel with accessibility. Any assistance is much appreciated.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      If you have kids I’d go with the Anantara. No kids stay at the Hilton. Both are in similar locations on the opposite side of the river but the Hilton’s a little closer to the action. And it’s closer to the train station too – if you take a boat, but you probably won’t so in that case there is little difference. Both are great hotels.

  19. Chatrium Riverside in Bangkok

    Hello David,

    Thank you for this amazing article and the wealth of information you shared.

    My wife and I will be visiting for about a week in November. We would like to do sighseeing (temples, market etc…) and little relaxation. Currently we are looking to book the Chatrium Riverside. Wanted your advice if this a good hotel and location with accessbility to the city, good food, and sighseeing. Are we better off booking in the city or Sukhumvit area (any good hotels you can recommend).

    Thank You,
    Hiren Patel

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The Chatrium is nice. Huge pool. Suites are not 5 star, for sure, but roomy and fine if you don’t require luxury. Location is a bit out of the way but at the same time you’re right on the river which is a great way to see Bangkok and reach some of the top tourist sites without getting in a taxi. The Asiatique night market (more like an outdoor mall than a traditional market) is within walking distance. There are lots of places to eat there but as far as walking out your door and finding a lot of good local eateries you’re a little limited. If you want to be close to shopping and malls then Sukhumvit is better, otherwise Chatrium is a good choice – and good value.

  20. Galeria10 in Sukhumvit

    Dear David,

    Your blog is very informative! I have a couple of queries ref a planned visit with family in October,’15.

    1. Will Galleria10 Sukhumvit be a good hotel to stay in Bangkok? Is the hotel & area family friendly?

    2. We shall be going to Koh Samet. Is it a good destination? Is the Ao Cho a good resort to stay in Ko Samet?

    Will await your valuable insight.

    Thanks & regards


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      1) Galeria 10 is a good hotel and good value. 8 minute walk to Skytrain station (ASOK) and many places to eat.
      2) Koh Samet is not my favorite island but in October (the rainy season) it’s a good compromise as it gets less rain than other islands. The Ao Cho is nice.

  21. Bangkok and Pattaya

    Me, my wife and two teenage kids boy and girl are arriving in Thailand (Bangkok) on 17th October, 2015 at 0500, (DMK airport, from Bangalore in India) and the plan is for 2 nights in Pattaya and 2 nights in bangkok (flying out of DMK to Kuala Lumpur on 21 October, 2015). I have booked my hotel in Pattaya central for 17th and 18th, check out on 19th and check in at a Bangkok hotel on the same day. I’ll be grateful if you could help me by clarifying on the following questions in that order. Thanks thanks and thanks.

    1. What do I do until 2 pm check in time at Pattaya hotel?(I guess I should be reaching )attaya hotel well before 8 am). Will the hotel allow me to keep the luggage and some resting place (hotel vista)? I dont want to waste that time, hence the question. Or should I visit any sight seeing right away? Please help.
    2. Can you please suggest a high rise hotel with a balcony and view for a family of 4 (1 room) to enjoy in Bangkok? I have zeroed in on Siam /Sukhumvit/Khao San area after seeing your blog. Any decent and clean professional hotel in a good area that is 3 star rated max or may be 4 star if there is no 3 star (I dont want to spend too much on the hotels since we will be out shopping and sight seeing all day and just need to come back for comfortable rest.)
    3. I have a flight to KL from DMK airport (Air Asia) at 3 pm, when do you suggest we should be at the airport for comfortable check in procedure, and how to reach DMK from Siam/Sukhumvit.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      1. The hotel will definitely be able to hold your luggage while you go for a walk or get some breakfast. Send them an email or message through to tell them when you’re arriving. It wouldn’t be surprising if they had your room ready by the time you arrive (especially since it’s low season).
      2. The Fraser Suites Sukhumvit has large 2 bedrooms, a nice pool, good location, and good rates.
      3. Taxi is the best way for a family to get to either airport. I’d get to the airport between 1pm and 1:30pm.

  22. Ananatara Riverside, Shangri La, or Sheraton Grande

    Hello Dave,
    Thanks so much for such a great lot of information!
    I will be travelling with a female friend coming home to Australia after a month in Europe and we are stopping 1 night and 2 days in Bangkok. We are both 60 years old and don’t really want to shop much and as we are on our way home I think our main preference is to just chill out in a really nice hotel with a resort feel to it. I was thinking of somewhere on the river as opposed to the city centre. We may do a bit of sight seeing but not that much – we have both been to Bangkok before and have seen the major sights so really am looking at getting good sleep and rest before the next journey so we come home relaxed. I was thinking of Ananatara Riverside, maybe Shangril La or Sheraton Grande. We will be sharing a room so can afford to splash out a bit. Looking for a nice pool, good service and places we can eat (won’t eat at the hotel I don’t think). Many thanks for your suggestions here

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The Anantara Riverside and Shangri-La are the better choices for you. The Sheraton is more central and good for sightseeing and shopping but less good for relaxing. The Anantara Riverside has a more resort-like feel (huge pool) than the Shangri-La. The Shangri-La is more luxurious and has more choice for non-hotel restaurants nearby.

  23. Overnight Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai

    What a fantastic resource. Everything I have been trying to figure out- all in one place!

    I will be in Bangkok for the King’s birthday where can I find info on any festivities to see? Not having much luck with a straight search.

    I am a 55 YO female and will be travelling from Bangkok to Chiang Mai alone. I want to take the train and was wondering:
    1) Is it safe for a female to travel alone on the train?
    2) Is the day train on Saturday a better bet so I can see the countryside than an overnight train Saturday evening?

    Thanks SO much in advance for your response.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      1. Yes, I consider train travel safe (but, of course, use some good common sense.
      2. There is a trade off, but even with the night train you’ll get several hours in the morning to view the countryside (as the train will likely be several hours late getting to Chiang Mai).

  24. Chiang Mai Weather in November/ Train to Chiang Mai

    Hello David,
    Thanks for all the wonderful information. My husband and I are looking to visit Thailand from November 7-18th, 2015. We plan to arrive in Bangkok, stay for a couple of days to explore then take the night train to Chiang Mai. The hope is to explore the areas around Chiang Mai and take a 3-day excursion of trekking to Hill Tribe camps, elephant ride and white water rafting ( We would then spend more time relaxing (and eating! Lots of eating!!) in Chiang Mai before heading back to Bangkok to catch our flight home.
    In your experience, do you think we stand a good chance of decent weather at that time of year for those locations? Does this itinerary seem reasonable? Would you recommend that we book the night train in advance or do it upon arrival in Bangkok?
    Thanks so much for any insight and advice. Cheers!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The weather is usually good in Chiang Mai by mid to late November as the monsoon ends in late October/early November. But be prepared for anything including a good rainstorm. For the train I would try to book in advance (a big pain). If you can’t you’ll probably be fine booking after arrival in Bangkok as November is a quiet month. If there’s any way you could visit a week later you’d be able to see the wonderful Loi Krathong festival which happens on November 25th (and the week leading up to it).

  25. Ko Samui or Phuket in Early September


    Me and my husband and another couple (we are in mid 30s) are coming to Bangkok for 10 days (Aug 31- Sep 9) and I was wondering what places to visit. We don’t want to stay the whole time in Bangkok. We were thinking Phuket area or Ko Samui. Due to the weather which one do you recommend? Does it get that rainy early September and the seas rough? Thanks

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      There are no guarantees with the weather at that time of year but Koh Samui will likely have more consistent good beach weather. Both coasts could be beautiful or both could be rainy – it’s very hard to predict. The seas do get rougher off of Phuket more than Samui.

  26. Legacy Suites in Bangkok

    Hey David ,
    Need your help again, please let me know your views on Legacy Suites, Sukhumvit Soi 29? I will be travelling with family, so I need a good safe hotel and clean envoirment.

    Also if you know of any good hotels in the Sukhumvit area, that are conducive for family, let me know.

    Thx and Regards

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Nice place, good location, 5 minute walk (10 minutes with kids) to Skytrain station.

  27. Cheap Hotel near Siam Square

    Hi Dave,

    We are travelling to Bangkok this October for 4 days, can you recommend where is the cheapest accommodation in Siam Area where we can also arrange a tour package.

    Thank You!
    Krizzia Agbay

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Lub D Hotel/Hostel is cheap, clean, friendly, and has lots of travel info for guests.

  28. Bangkok with Family

    Hey Dave,

    Our family of four is traveling to Thailand end of next month, for about 10 days with the journey split into three destinations for three nights each. Wife and I are in our mid 40’s and kids are 10 & 7. We land into BKK on June 26th and head out to Ko Yao Noi, onwards to Chiang Mai on 29th late afternoon and then into Bangkok on the 2nd (afternoon). We head out late evening/night on Sunday the 5th.

    Would love to hear your views on:
    1. Things to do on Ko Yao Noi. We are staying at an independent beach front villa courtesy Airbnb. I heard it is rather calm and not too touristy yet, which is the way we like it and that there are boat rides and small hikes we can do around the island. On the day we depart, we may have few hours in Krabi afternoon/evening. Any suggestions?

    2. What hotels would your recommend in Chaing Mai? We are unable to decide whether we should be in town and closer to night market/safari and readily available transportation or if we would be better off in a resort a bit away (we considered Verandah for the look into the nature/mountains)… any suggestions on what is better and also what should look to do in three days. We thought we can do some temples, see an elephant camp (humane) and do the night market and night safari. I assume location and therefore travel is not much of an issue in Chiang Mai as much as it would be in BKK.

    3. Hotels and ‘which part of Bangkok’ to stay in? We would like to be able to reach out to sightseeing (temples, markets and definitely the floating markets) and some shopping. But want to be considerate to kids too in terms of allowing them some time to chill in the pool etc.

    Many thanks in advance. Brilliant blog by the way!


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      1. I’m not very familiar with Ko Yao Noi. The Krabi night market is great if you’re there at the right time.

      2. In Chiang Mai, the Yaang Come hotel is great if you’re staying in town. The Four Seasons if you want to be out in the countryside. There are several good elephant camps in the Chiang Mai area. I’d highly recommend a cooking course too.

      3. The Anantara Riverside is great for families. A little separated from the central part of the city but easy boat trips get you all around the main areas (except for the shopping and malls).

      1. Aditya

        Thanks a ton for your assistance.

  29. Hotel Good for Shopping

    hey David,

    Travelling from UK for the first time with 2 kids to Bangkok. Basically looking for Shopping Loaded Fun. Can you please suggest the best area for shopping and a few good hotels. Location must be child-friendly but not too expensive a hotel.
    ~ Mike

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The best shopping area in Bangkok is around Siam Square in the center of the city. The best kid-friendly hotel (that’s not too expensive) in that area is the Holiday Inn – it’s a short walk to many malls. Another good one (though the rooms are not as family-friendly) is the Pathumwan Princess Hotel which is directly connected to the MBK mall. You may also want to head to Khao San Road area for western clothes and touristy t-shirts where they have surprisingly good prices and a huge selection of stuff. (Viengtai is a great budget hotel for families in the Khao San area.)

  30. Trip to Bangkok, Ayuthaya, Chiang Mai, and Siem Reap

    Hi Dave,

    I am planning a family trip for 18 days in July. I am thinking of Bangkok, Ayuthaya, Chiang Mai, and Siem Reap. I read that Bangkok should be my base city but as I plan, the idea of flying back and forth from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Siem Reap seems time-consuming .
    1) Will you kindly recommend an efficient route (we are from US)?
    2) We are into culture and food. Would love your advise on where to go for street food in Bangkok.
    3) We are thinking of Ayuthaya as one day trip from Bangkok. Is this enough time to see explore all the sights (my son is into history)?
    4) We are thinking of 4 days in Bangkok, 1 day in Ayuthaya, 4 days in Chiang Mai, 4 in Siem Reap, then back to Bangkok to fly back to US. Somehow, I think this schedule could be more efficient. Please help.
    5) I am thinking of staying at Bangkok Loft Inn due to TA reviews and budget but is this location too far from all the temples, malls, and night market? If you think there is a better choice, please kindly recommend 🙂
    6) Please kindly recommend accommodation for Ayuthaya ( if you think it should be more than a day trip), Chiang Mai, and Siem Reap?

    I am sorry for the long questions. This is our first trip so I am nervous.
    Thank you 🙂


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Sometimes (usually the high seasons months of December, January, and February) there are direct flights on Bangkok Airways from Chiang Mai to Siem Reap but it doesn’t look like that’s currently the case. So you have no choice but to fly through Bangkok to get to Siem Reap. Air Asia has the best connection and gets from Chiang Mai to Siem Reap in 4 hours 35 minutes – not bad. I would taxi or bus from Bangkok to Ayuthaya, then overnight train to Chiang Mai, then fly to Siem Reap via Bangkok, and finally fly back to Bangkok and home.

      Soi 38 is great place to find good street food in Bangkok. Lots of locals but they get tourists too.

      Tony’s Place is my favorite hotel in Ayuthaya. Very friendly with a fun travelers’ vibe. But 1 day should be enough to see the sights of Ayuthaya.

      Bangkok Loft is not centrally located or close to most of the tourist attractions but the Skytrain is a 10 minute walk and taxi will get you into central area in 15 or 20 minutes.

  31. Money Exchange at Bangkok Airport Late at Night

    I will be arriving after midnight to the Bangkok International Airport. Do you know if currency exchange is possible at that time? thank you!
    Ms Montserrat

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Bangkok airport is busy all day and night and banks and currency exchanges are open all night. It won’t be a problem at all to change money, get something to eat, or get a taxi even when arriving after midnight.

      1. Ms Montserrat

        thank you Dave!!!!

  32. Relaxing Luxury Hotel in Bangkok

    Hi Dave, Great blog…Husband and I are going to Bangkok 25th of May for 3 nights. Any recommendations of luxury and hygiene hotel for couples please? We are looking for a relax holiday so maybe suggestions for good massage will be appreciated. Thanks, Kim.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The Anantara Siam is pure luxury in a central location. Great spa and massages. Huge swimming pool. An easy walk to Bangkok’s best shopping. (It used to be the Bangkok Four Seasons.)

  33. Budget Hotels in Bangkok

    Hi Dave,

    Great blog! Thank you so much for providing this information. My husband and I will be arriving and leaving from Bangkok (12/20/15-1/2/16). We would like to also visit Angkor Wat and Ko Samui. We are on a budget. My husband is comfortable booking a couple of nights in Bangkok and then just playing it by ear. My concern is that we are traveling during the busy season and that we will have difficulty finding decent (and cost friendly) places to stay unless we book in advance. What do you advise?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      You should always be able to find somewhere to stay in Bangkok even in high season. Just be sure to start hunting early in the morning in the streets and alleys radiating out from Khao San – there are lots of hotels many hidden done small alleys. If by budget you really mean mid-range hotels (not cheap backpacker places) then you’re better off booking in advance through or Agoda.

      1. Suzanne Raffeld

        Dave, thank you so much for your reply. I did mean more mid-range hotels so I will begin looking at

  34. Is On Nut Area a Good Location in Bangkok?

    Hi Dave. I’m traveling with my wife and 3 month old kid to bangkok for 4 days. And booked a studio near On Nut BTS station. Can you please guide me if it’s the right place to stay if I want to go around bangkok etc. Please let me know if any added idea you would like to suggest.
    Dr Fahad

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I would not call it a central location but it’s perfectly fine and being close to the BTS you can get to the malls and shopping of Sukhumvit and Siam Square in about 10 minutes. The tourist attractions along the river are a little farther away but nothing impractical. Be sure to check out the night market near On Nut.

  35. What Area of Bangkok to Stay?

    Hi Dave, a fascinating site. I will be travelling alone to Bangkok at the end of may for 10 days and I want to stay in Bangkok for a couple of nights at the beginning followed by a week or so at a beach area and back to Bangkok for a night to catch the plane home. I am 62 and retired and reasonably well travelled. I would like an area to stay in Bangkok that is reasonably easy to get to from the airport and that is near to some attractions. I’m not big on night life but would like a bit of action and some places to see. I would also like a beach area with some life how does Koh Samui fit that? how easy is it to get to koh Samui from Bangkok and which is the best way to do it.? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, John Fletcher

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I would stay in the areas of Sukhumvit (Skytrain connection to much of city) or Khao San Road (no Skytrain, but closer to Bangkok’s best sight-seeing). On Koh Samui both Chaweng and Bophut are great towns with restaurants and nightlife (more nightlife on Chaweng).

      1. Quickest Way to Koh Samui/Mid-range Hotels on Chaweng

        Hi Dave,
        Thanks for your prompt and helpful reply. Could you reiterate what’s the best way to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok? i.e. quickest cheapest most interesting? Also can you recommend any mid range hotels in Chaweng.



        1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

          The quickest way from Bangkok to Koh Samui is to fly: 1 hour flight. Many direct flights per day. Search for available times and fares (it’s not much more expensive than train and ferry which takes 15+ hours).

          The Beachcomber in Chaweng is one of the cheaper places on the best part of Chaweng beach. I stayed there a few weeks ago and it’s perfectly fine.

  36. Hotels for Kids in Bangkok

    HI Dave– I just thought I’d let you know that the Sheraton Sukhamvit has rooms with two queen beds that will allow two kids who are 12 or under. It won’t show up when you search for “four guests” or even “two adults, two kids,” but if you look at the terms and conditions, it’s allowed. I even called Starwood to double check. I was very pleased– we wanted a really nice hotel but didn’t want to pay for two rooms, and most don’t allow more than 3 guests in a room.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Great. Thanks for the info.

  37. Central Hotel in Bangkok

    Amazing info…but I need to customize it Dave. My husband and myself are in our 40s with our daughter age 16, are planning Bangkok and Pattaya in June.
    I am utterly confused while choosing a hotel… Should we book a hotel in Sukumvit? Or Siam? Or Silom?
    We would live to explore the local areas staying out of prostitution areas. Also we are pure vegetarians.
    Our hotel preference would be moderate/mid range.
    Please advise.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Both Sukhumvit and Siam areas are good safe areas without prostitution. Silom does have some seedier areas but is (generally) also good – though not as central. Vegetarian food is easy to find all around the city so I wouldn’t worry about finding places to eat.

  38. Bangkok Accommodations

    G’day Dave,

    Great site you have here very informative, just a quick question, after travelling to Koh Samui myself my girlfriend and my best mate and his partner and coming to Bangkok on the 4th of May, he really wants to stay on Khao San Road but the accomodation around the area seems quite ordinary, we are in our mid 20s and are looking for a combination of nightlife while still catching a few sights and sounds, Sukhumvit seems like the area I’m leaning towards. Are there any hotels in that area you recommend? Not particularly on a budget and finally after my friends leave on the 8th and myself and the mrs have 4 days to ourselves, is there anything in your mind we must do/visit as we really do have no plans yet.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Both Khao San and Sukhumvit areas are great places to stay. Khao San is fun and good for tourist t-shirts, bags, shorts. Sukhumvit has high-end mall-centered shopping and better hotels and restaurants. Khao San is closer to many of Bangkok’s top attractions but doesn’t have easy access to the Skytrain (which Sukhumvit does). In Sukhumvit I just stayed at the Radisson Blu which has a great location, beautiful pool, and wonderful breakfast spread. I loved it. The hotels on Khao San are much cheaper and less luxurious. Both Kanchanaburi and Ayutthaya are good day trips from Bangkok.

  39. Thailand in May

    Heya Dave, My girlfriend and I are travelling to Thailand on May 1st. We are planning to have a ten day holiday together. The idea was to check out the Krabi area, and then head up to Koh Tao. Do you recommend these spots during May? And then when she leaves, I am looking to find somewhere picturesque with good swimming and good food where I can write, swim and be away from too much busy-ness. Do you have any recommendations for a spot in May?
    Thanks man. Great site, lots of awesome info

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      May is hot but still a good time for beach weather in both Krabi and Koh Tao. For chilling out and inexpensive rooms nothing beats Koh Phangan.

  40. Large Taxi from Bangkok Airport

    Very informative site. Thanks. Quick question for you:
    My husband and 2 kids (boy 10 and girl 14) arrive next week at 4 pm. Sounds like rush hour! We are staying at the Chatrium Riverside Hotel. If we took Airport Express Train, we’d have to go from Phaya Thai to Siam, then Siam to Sapham Taksin stations then wait for hotel ferry with our luggage. A taxi seems easier but a friend told me that it might be hard to find one for four of us plus two bags of luggage (something about fuel tanks being in the boot/trunk) plus didn’t want to sit in congestion. Which would be easier in your opinion? Thank you!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Taxis can be slow but having to change trains is a pain too (with luggage). I’d go with the taxi. I was just at the airport this afternoon and there were lots of larger van taxis (which should be fine for a group of 4 with luggage). When booking at the taxi kiosk be sure to go to the one that says Van Only.

      1. Elizabeth

        Thanks so much!
        Liz in Sydney

  41. Bangkok and What Beach Area?

    Hi Dave,

    I am planning a trip to Thailand for our family ( husband and I in 40’s, son and daughter in late teens). I read that you think the best time is Nov- Feb so I am thinking in late Dec. This will be our first time and I would like to visit Bangkok and a beach area ( preferably not too commercialized). I have heard of Phuket but not much else. Given the time frame ( we will travel for two weeks) , where would you recommend in term of beach area ( I haven’t heard of Samui).
    In Bangkok, we would like to visit Grand Palace, temples, floating market, where should we stay in terms of convenience to these tour sites on a moderate budget? What is BTS mentioned in your site?

    Thank you

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      In Bangkok, staying around Khao San Road is great for seeing the things you mention above – it’s central, close to the Grand Palace and river, and it’s easy to arrange tours. The Viengtai Hotel is just a few minutes walk from Khao San on a quieter road. It has large family rooms and a nice pool. For beaches, Koh Samui is a great island and nice mix of tourist infrastructure without being too touristy (though Chaweng is very busy). In late December and early January it has good weather. If you do end visiting in November and early December then Phuket does have better weather. The period around Christmas and New Years will be busy at all the beach resorts and islands so book hotels and flights early if that’s when you go. BTS is the Bangkok Skytrain and stands for Bangkok Transit System.

      1. Loann

        Thanh you Dave!

  42. Thailand in August

    Hi David,

    Amazing site!! Just wanted I needed! My family and I are traveling to Thailand for the first time in August. Our route begins in Chiang Mai, then down to Bangkok and end it in Phuket – all spending 3 days each. I have a few questions: which areas would you recommend for us to stay in Chiang Mai and Phuket? I’ve heard mixed reviews about August in Thailand, what are your thoughts? Will there be a language barrier for foreign travelers? Also, how do you book a taxi or a driver for a whole day? Thank you !! Tracy

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      In Chiang Mai you want to stay in the central part of the city – many hotels can be outside the city and a long way from anything. Being in the Old City (anything inside the canal) or just across the moat is good. In Phuket, Kata and Karon beaches are both great but there are many good small beach towns. Weather in August can be a uncertain and seas around Phuket can be rough and not suitable for swimming (weather in Koh Samui is usually better in August). There can be some language barrie but all hotels and most restaurants have someone on hand that can speak some english – communicating in Thailand is not usually a big problem. Ask your hotel for help with finding a taxi or driver – there are lots around.

  43. Restaurant for Valentines Day

    Hi Dave , I like what you’ve done here, well done!. I fly into bangkok from phuket on valentines day. Could you suggest a dinner location/ activities for this special night . We are staying at the Center Point Tower Silom. Thanks !

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I’d make a reservation at one of the restaurants at the Mandarin Oriental. Great food and beautiful setting.

  44. Homey Place in Bangkok

    Hi Dave! First visit to Thailand; traveling solo. Was wondering if you could recommend a personal guide in Bangkok for my first day there. Also, I enjoy staying at more homey places (not backpacker style) that I’ve found on Airbnb although that doesn’t seem as popular in Thailand. Do you recommend any such places in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or in the vicinity of Krabi and/or neighboring islands? Thanks so much!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Phra Nakorn Nornlen is a very homey hotel in a quiet neighborhood of Bangkok you’d probably love. Can’t think of a similar place in Chiang Mai off the top of my head.

  45. Where To Go in Thailand?

    My name is also David wife and I are planning a trip to Thailand and we’d like to reach out to engage with you on helping us on our journey. We’ve both in our 30’s, very active, foodies and this will be our first trip to Asia.

    We have booked our flights in and out of Bangkok Nov 20-Dec 6. (Arriving in Bangkok on Nov 21).

    The only other thing we have booked is as part of this trip is a Similan Island scuba liveaboard departing from Thap Lamu pier, near Khao Lak on Nov 28 and returning on Dec 2.

    Ideally, we could spend some time in Bangkok & Chiang Mai, spend a day in Angkor Wat, and then end our trip with some time relaxing on a gorgeous and quintessentially Thai beach. We realize this itinerary would make it action packed and we’ll be up for it. Ok for local flights to save any time driving.

    More about us and how we travel:
    We tend to stay in more 4 & 5 star hotels and totally open to value conscious options in that range
    We do get “museum/temple fatigue” but we definitely want to see grand/important temples
    I want to sit ringside at a muay thai fight
    We want to visit the markets, learn about Thai cooking/ingredients
    My wife wants to spend some time at a humane elephant sanctuary or some sort of elephant interaction, as long as its humane.
    We don’t want to be in group tours. We have used personal local guides before and its been an amazing, enhancing experience for us
    We are ok traveling coach on local air
    We love immersing ourself in the local culture as much as possible
    We love outdoorsy activities (hiking, caving, etc) if it fits into the plan.
    We’ve heard differing things about Phuket vs. other beaches. We’d be ok to look at staying Krabi or another area as well.

    any thoughts or recommendations?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      My first thought is that you should plan on 3 or 4 days in Chiang Mai as it will have several things you’ll be interested in: hikes, elephants, and cooking courses. Taking the overnight train from Bangkok is interesting and doesn’t take up much time as you get a full day in Bangkok and arrive late morning to Chiang Mai. For elephant camps there are many good ones around Chiang Mai – Maesa is highly recommended. For cooking courses we did Zabb-E-Lee and loved it – but once again, there are many. Down south Railay is my favorite beach spot on the west coast of Thailand.

  46. Thailand in July

    Hi Dave .. Great sight .. Well arriving in Bangkok July 3rd from Beijing with my 16 year old daughter ..would like to see sights around Bangkok for a few days then we have till July 15th to head to the beach for snorkeling and swimming and maybe boating to some beautiful islands the pictures of Railey and Phi Phi but I’m hearing the weather not so great on that side in July should we skip that side and just do the gulf side .. The thought of sailing or boating around those beautiful islands in the background that you see on post cards is what I want …and swimming in clear beautiful water with lots of fish to see but all that seems to be on the Andaman ocean side that possible in July and where do we stay in the gulf and is it just as beautiful …. ..maybe you can clear up my thoughts ..Thank you kindly Anita 🙂 also we would fly to make it faster to get to the islands than the bus I’m thinking and should I book that from home.

    Anita from BC Canada

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The weather on the Andaman coast can be hit and miss in July. And while the you can get sunny beautiful days the sea is usually rough and boat journeys of any kind are regularly canceled due to choppy seas. Water visibility is often not good. The weather on the gulf coast is usually better (no guarantees of course). I actually prefer the islands of the gulf coast (Koh Samui and Koh Phangan) but they don’t have the same natural beauty with lots of small islands and imposing cliffs over the water. They’re beautiful but in a different way. You can take a tour to Angthong National Park from Koh Samui that does have a similar topography. Both Koh Samui and Koh Phangan have many great beaches. Good luck.

  47. Jon Wolf

    Hi Dave, looking to go bangkok then of to Ko samui and Kon phangan then Pattaya on the way back to bangkok on April 4th to 21st. Family holiday. Is walk in Accomodation and travelling alright over this period as its Songkran New Year Festival .

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I think it should be fine as long as you’re looking for budget hotels. Bangkok might be a small concern but even there I don’t see it being a big problem. If you want mid-range or luxury hotels you’re better off booking in advance through Good luck.

  48. Singapore or Bangkok

    Hi Dave,
    Love,love,love your site. Question? Do you have information on Singapore?
    Hubby and I have been to Phuket four times, our next trip we would like to try either, Singapore or Bangkok, what would you recommend?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I like Bangkok much more than Singapore – but that’s just me. Both are great. Raffles Hotel Singapore is one of my favorite hotels anywhere so would highly recommend a stay there. Good luck.

  49. Bangkok to Chiang Mai

    Hi Dave,

    I’m travelling next week to Thailand (8th oct) and the idea was to travel to Chiang Mai by train from Bangkok but I just read the news an it said that trains have been cancelled until end of October. How can I go to Chiang Mai? Thanks

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      There is still a train that goes part of the way so you can take it and then switch to bus – or just take the bus the whole way. Lots of flights too. Try Air Asia or Nok Air.

  50. Family of 4 in Thailand

    Hi Dave, thanks so much for all the work you’ve put in, the info here is outstanding. We are a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids under 8) planning on 7-8 days in Thailand after seeing family in Taiwan. We’re very interested in spending some time with elephants (preferably in an ethical environment) and got a recommendation for Anantara Golden Triangle. We don’t mind paying the price per se, just want to make sure its worth it and that we won’t be saddened at the treatment of the animals. Or would we be better off just staying in Chiang Mai (Chedi or Shangri La) and doing a day trip or two to a local sanctuary?

    Also we’d love to try to get some time in Koh Sumui, but we’re planning on being there the last week in November…. would you chance it with two kids, or will we all be sad and wet?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort is awesome and definitely worth the effort. But do be prepared for a bit of a trek to get there. The camps around Chiang Mai are great too so if you feel it’s too much getting up to Chiang Rai and then on to the Anantara then staying in Chiang Mai is perfectly fine.

      The weather in November will be better on the west coast so I’d recommend a stop in Krabi or Phuket.

      1. Jeff

        Thank you very much!

  51. Single Traveler in Thailand

    Hello Dave,
    I am planning a trip to Thailand for 14 days by myself. I would like to have an awesome time and see as much as possible in that period of time. From what I’ve read in the blogs is very confusing, people have completely opposite opinions about the same cities. I would like to experience uniqueness of this country like petting a tiger, touching elephant visit the market I read about maybe the floating market as well as having a famous Thai massage etc.
    I would like to be in a small group of people and to have an excellent guide which is able to show less touristy places at the same time. I would also like to arrage everything ahead of time so that I do not waise any time upon arrival. Is there a local agency you would recommend that can help me pick out tours that would be a lot more than experiencing everything from a bus and only visiting churches?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Contact Tours with Tong. Based on your interests, ask about day trips around the Bangkok countryside and to Kanchanaburi.

  52. Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai

    Hi Dave,
    Could you offer your thoughts regarding housing in Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai the last two weeks of the year?
    We are on a 6 month journey with our two daughters (2 and 3 years old).
    We will be in Southern Thailand the first two weeks of December and have found villas to rent.
    But, I have yet to find any villa type lodging in the North.
    My Mom and sister will be joining us so I’d like to find a place that would house us all.
    I’ve looked at the typical sites: vrbo and air bnb etc.
    Any thoughts? My Mom has been many times before but it is our first time to Thailand.
    Any accommodations that would house us all would be great.
    Thank you!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Dash restaurant rents out a nearby 3 bedroom, 2 bath, full kitchen house that can fit up to 6 people. It’s in a great location and costs 3000 baht per night. Book early for December.
      Good luck.

  53. Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Early December

    Hi Dave, my friend and I are travelling to Thailand at the start of December and flying into Bangkok. We are thinking of taking a connecting flight to Chiang Mai for a few days then return to Bangkok before flying home. We have 9 nights, what timeframe would you suggest for Chiang Mai? and how many days would be reasonable in Bangkok?
    Thank you

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I would do 5 nights in Bangkok and 4 nights in Chiang Mai. Hope that helps.

  54. Which Islands in Thailand in May

    I’m planning a trip to Bangkok and some beach time in May for 2 weeks, there will be 2 adults, 2 kids (4 &2) and 2 grandparents. For the beach stay I was looking to go to 2 places maby Krabi and Phuket? Which islands/beaches would you recommend to stay at, and if not Krabi and Phuket where you think is best? I will be having a ‘Milestone’ birthday as well so want somewhere nice and a bit of luxury whilst still kid friendly and the other place can be a normal resort if that makes sense. Also what will the weather be like in mid-end may?

    Are island hopping day trips to phi phi islands, james bond island etc easily accessible from these places?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I would focus on Railay beach near Krabi (incredible beaches, nice resorts) and Karon and Kata beaches on Phuket (a nice mix of budgets, great beaches, lots to do).

      The weather in mid-May should still be good (though hot and humid). Be prepared for some rain and the sea could start getting rough as the monsoon weather approaches.

      It’s easy to get to Phi Phi and Bond island – unless the weather gets stormy in which case the ferries will be canceled. But that doesn’t usually happen until July.

      Good luck.

  55. Connection Time at Airport

    Fantastic site! Everything is so informative and streamlined.

    Do you have any suggestions/recommendations on how soon to arrive at the various airports (specifically, Bangkok-BKK, Phuket and Samui) prior to a domestic flight within Thailand? How long are security lines, etc.? I will be traveling during the low season as well (late Oct. early Nov.) if that makes any difference in congestion or crowds.

    Coming from a major metro area in the States and as someone who arrives at least 2 hours prior to a flight here, I just want to prepared.

    Thanks in advance for any information you can provide!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Over the last 3 weeks I’ve been through security at Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket and check-in and security never took longer than 25 minutes. For Samui and Phuket I’d recommend arriving 75 minutes in advance. For BKK I’d say 90 minutes. But … of course … there are always exceptions. I’ve had to wait 30+ minutes (at a separate counter) to pay the extra baggage fee on Air Asia. So be prepared for anything. Cheers.

  56. Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui/Book Hotels in Advance

    Hi Dave,

    this really is a nice website you have. It gives a great overview of all information needed.

    I am visiting Thailand (together with my partner) from 26 December, travelling back to Belgium on 11 January. We have already plannend on visiting Bangkok and Chiang Mai till 1 January. The rest of our stay we would like to use for the south of Thailand. The places we had in mind here are Phuket or Krabi or both and Koh Samui.

    Do you think this is possible or is it a bit to much? I am struggeling with the most convenient order to travel to these places and the cheapest way in doing this also. We also need to keep in mind that we need to get back to Bangkok for our flight home. Would it be an option to rent a car (pick up in Phuket or Krabi and drop off in Surat Thani to take the ferry or is this not possible?)

    Also, do you advice booking the hotels out of Belgium before we leave or just see when we arrive in Bangkok?

    Any advice on this?

    Thank you.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hi Anke. I would choose one coast or the other (so Phuket and Krabi or Koh Samui). Getting from one side of Thailand to the other – though not far – is usually a full day of travel.

      For getting north and south: If you book early and get the cheapest tickets flying can be really cheap. Look at Nokair and AirAsia. Train is also cheap (and fun) but for these dates you’ll need to book in advance – and booking in advance from outside Thailand is a pain. Be patient with emails if you go this route.

      It’s fun to search for hotels in person but at this time of year things can be booked solid so I’d recommend having (at least) your first night pre-booked at any new town. You can search for something for the following days after your arrival. Some people do rent cars but I would be wary myself. Road culture is very different than in Europe or North America and drivers can seem, well, crazy by Western standards. There are buses from Phuket to Surat Thani or you can even hire a taxi to do the trip (which wouldn’t be as expensive as you might think).

      Good luck.

  57. Luxury Hotel on Phuket/Weather in November

    Hi Dave
    My partner Mike and I want to visit Thailand next year. We have decided on Bangkok and Chang Mai and want 6 nights on the beach. It needs to be fairly relaxed and quiet but we want to be able to go to restaurants that serve good food. I’ve looked at Kata beach in Phuket and in particular was recommended the Kata Palm Resort and Spa. I can’t decide if this will suit or to go to another island completely. I especially wanted something close to the beach and a bit of luxury approx £75-£100 GBP per night. Also time of year is something to decide… mid November seems to be the best time for us, what do you think weather wise?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The weather should be good my mid-November but you could still get some rain. The longer you can put it off the better the weather will be. Into early December the weather in Phuket is (usually) ideal and yet the big crowds (and prices) don’t arrive until mid-December. Kata Palm is great but, fyi, not right on the beach – it’s about a 5 minute walk or take a free shuttle. Good luck.

  58. Island Easy to get to from Bangkok

    We are flying to Bangkok on the way back from Tanzania. Family of 4 (children 15 & 10). We want to spend a week relaxing on a beach and are wondering which area might be best weather wise. We fly in dec 3.
    Thanks for your help

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The weather on the west coast (Phuket, Krabi, Koh Lanta) will be the best. Koh Samui and the east coast can sometimes have rain into early December.

  59. Living in Thailand


    I am considering moving to either Bangkok or Ko Samui for work. Great job…solid income. I’m a single, health conscious guy. My main concerns are meeting friends and a maintaining a healthy diet.

    What are your thoughts on Samui vs Bangkok?

    Thank you,

    Mark Churchey

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hi Mark. Both are great places. Bangkok is a huge city, Koh Samui is a tropical island – so very different. Bangkok is loaded with expats so you’d have no problem meeting people. Koh Samui has some long term residents but not nearly as many. A healthy diet should be easy in both locations. Not sure if that helps. Good luck.

  60. Weather in Thailand Late April and Early May

    Hi Dave,
    Very informative website! Glad I discovered it! My wife and I are planning a trip to Khao Lak in late April – early May. In fact, we’ve got reservations at JW Marriott Resort, Khao Lak. What will the weather be then…no heavy rains, hopefully? We intend to go on some day trips from the resort – which tour organisers are better – Khao Lak Vista Tours & Travel…or Eco Khao Lak Tours? Any idea of how much these tours would cost: (1) khao sok National Park (2) James Bond Island (3) Elephant trekking & bathing (4) Three Temples Tour and (5) Bamboo rafting? Have sent emails to both companies but can’t seem to get through.
    Even if we’re staying at the Marriott, it would be too expensive to take all our meals/drinks there. Are there any nearby economical restaurants and bars, and would they be safe in terms of cleanliness and hygiene? I’m particularly susceptible to the stomach bug.

    And how much would taxi or any transport cost between the
    resort and the downtown area?

    Would greatly appreciate all your help/knowledge on these matters.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The weather in Khao Lak in April and May will be nice. It’s the hot season and the heavy rains will not have arrived yet (though anything is possible). It should be great. I’m not familiar with the tour operators in the Khao Lak area. Tours are easy to arrange once you’re there if you’re flexible with your dates. It’s not high season when you visit so tours will likely not be fully booked.

      The JW Marriott does have a handful of restaurants nearby but most are in the main town and will require a taxi ride. This should cost around 300 or 400 baht. Taxi from Khao Lak to Phuket will be 1500 baht or more and take about an hour. Hope that helps.

  61. 3 Weeks in Thailand with 2 Kids


    Thanks for a fantastic site! We are planning a very last minute trip to Thailand for 3 weeks (leaving in 4 days hopefully) and your site has answered most of our questions.

    At this stage we are looking to fly into Bangkok, out of Phuket and do all the rest of the booking (travel to Chiang Mai, Koh Samui and Phuket as well as accomodation and tours) when we get there. We are travelling with a 5 and 7 year old. Any specific suggestions you would have?

    Thanks again

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hi Tania.

      Sounds great. I would book any air tickets as soon as possible. Flying from Chiang Mai to Samui (most go through Bangkok but there is at least one direct flight per day) would save a lot of time. There’s also a direct flight from Samui to both Krabi (one a day) and Phuket (5 a day) with Bangkok Air – which isn’t very far but when you do it by boat and bus it takes a full day of travel. Next I would book train tickets and try to do this the first morning you’re there by going to Hualumphong train station in Bangkok.

      I imagine riding an elephant is high on your list of things to do. Chiang Mai is the best place to ride an elephant, Koh Samui the worst, Phuket is OK but not as good as CM.

      Oh, and do a cooking course (preferably one that tours a market) – your kids will love it.

      Good luck.

  62. Phuket and Koh Samui in October

    Hi Dave,
    Thank you for very useful information. Me and my wife will visit Phuket and Ko samui in October from 8 to 20. Unfornutanely i had learned that in october sea can be rough in both Phuket and Samui. So which locations or beaches do you advice for relatively calm ones?
    Thanks. Sincerelely, Mehmet

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      In October I would recommend Phuket over Koh Samui (but both could have unpleasant weather – October is probably the worst month for beach time in Thailand). The monsoon season is coming to its end on the west coast and just starting on the east coast. In Phuket Kata is one of the calmer beaches. Karon beach is consistently very rough (so avoid). Hope that helps.

  63. Thailand and Laos in January

    We are looking to go to Thailand and Luang Prabang for 2 weeks in January. We are interested in culture and the people and some ancient sites. No beaches. We did an amazing 2 week trip to Peru independent travel with wonderful guides through a tour company who are experts on Peru. Should we do Thailand through a tour company? If so, do you have recommendations? Or is it easy to do it on our own?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Gap Adventures offer good quality tours of Thailand (with excellent guides) but I’d still do it on my own. Find local guides for each individual location (it does take some research) – it’s cheaper, funner, and more flexible (for the morning you just want to sit by the pool instead of getting on another bus tour).

  64. Family-friendly Islands in Thailand

    Hi Dave, congratulations on the excellent website!

    We spent New Year’s in Bangkok back in 2009 and it was awesome, so now we would to go back again this year; however, we would like to go to the beach this time. There are so many options that we have no idea where to start. We have two kids ages 14 and 4, so we are looking for somewhere that is child-friendly, yet somewhat lively. Any recommendation would be really helpful!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hi Andres.

      A couple suggestions: Bophut on Koh Samui, Railay near Krabi, Khao Lak just north of Phuket. All have a great family-friendly vibe with wonderful beaches.

      Good luck.

  65. Bus from Bangkok to Phuket

    Hi, I like to travel by bus from Bangkok to Phuket on 26 July and come back on 30 July by air asia. I already purchased air ticket for return journey but waiting to buy bus ticket. We are five family members including our 3 kids ( 11, 9 and 6 years). Please suggest us how to buy the bus ticket and cost of ticket. Thanks.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Go to the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok about an hour before departure. You should have no trouble getting seats for the next departure (especially in low season). Here’s information on departure times from Bangkok to Phuket. I don’t recommend taking the buses from Khao San Road which are run by private companies and have a history of theft. They’re also very cramped. So go to the bus station to get your bus.

      Good luck.

  66. Where to Stay in Phuket?

    Hi Dave,
    I would love to know where you would recommend for my partner and I (we are 22) to stay in Phuket as it is our first time and I have already spent hours/days trying to find the right place!
    We are very interested in staying close to the shops & beach, but not too close to hustle & bustle. We are staying for 7 nights and are looking for a modern, relaxing resort for approx $800 for the 7 nights.
    I have no idea which is better out of Patong, Kata & Karon Beach!!
    I would really appreciate and ideas you have!

    Thank you

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hi Alana. Kata has a slightly nicer beach (and is more calm during the wet season when the sea can be rough on Phuket’s west coast). Kata is a bit more intimate and romantic. Karon has more shops, restaurants, and bars. It’s a little closer to Patong. Patong is very touristy and a bit seedy but has the best shopping. The beaches at Kata and Karon are nicer than Patong. Hope that helps.

  67. Kid-friendly Beach in Thailand

    Great site! Meeting our son & his family (w/3 year old) in Thailand for Christmas holiday. (They are teachers in Bangladesh.) Looking for kid-& grandparent-friendly beach, walkable to local food & shopping, with interesting day-trips possible. Would love a house/villa where we could all relax together. Flying in/out of Bangkok, with a day or two there before hitting the beach. Any ideas?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I would search on VRBO and AirBnB. As for location, Koh Samui and Phuket are both kid-friendly places that are great at Christmas with nice beaches and a nearby airport. Hope that helps.

  68. Island near to Bangkok

    Hi Dave,

    What a fantastic blog you have here! I’ve just spent a lot of time reading through.
    My partner and I (Newcastle, Australia) are considering a visit to Thailand for our honeymoon in Sept/Oct (I know – not a great time) for 2-3 weeks. Neither of us have been before.
    We are after a relaxing time, hopefully near the beach somewhere. Can you offer any suggestions for us, as we are in two minds about going due to the time of year.
    We’d love somewhere with great food, not too touristy and reasonably private.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanking you. 🙂

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The north Gulf Coast doesn’t get the rain that south Thailand gets. Two good places Hua Hin and Koh Samet would probably be good. Koh Samet, in particular, has great weather all year round. It can get busy mind you, especially on the weekend, as it’s a short trip from Bangkok, but there are always quiet corners to be found if you’re looking.

  69. The Best Places in Thailand

    Hi Dave, Thank you for all the useful info!! Its Great! My Husband and I are looking to travel to Thailand December 15th ish to maybe January 20th. We are both in our early 30’S and are looking to formulate the itinerary loosely. Prob booking major flights and hotel around New Years in advance but kind of winging the exact days spent in each spot. We will be flying into Bangkok of course and would like to go north first, then make it to the beaches by the middle and end of trip. We are looking for fun, somewhat lively and unique spots while trying to avoid some of the overly touristy spots. We love reggae bars, beautiful scenery, decent amenities, spas etc.. Do you have any specific suggestions of places to visit along those lines? how many places do you suggest visiting in this timeframe? Are there any really cool places to spend New Years that aren’t rave like but still lively? Thanks so much for all your advice!!
    Jennifer H

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Two places I love that fit what you’re looking for are Koh Pha Ngan and the Ao Nang/Railay area. Koh Pha Ngan is more lively in terms of nightlife (though it’s easy to get away from the real party scene to the quieter north part of the island). Ao Nang has more to do (cliff climbing, island hopping, sea kayaking) but not as much partying (slightly older crowd too). Your general itinerary sounds good but I would mention that I quite like arriving at an island (especially Koh Pha Ngan) about a week before Christmas, scout the island looking for a cool place to stay that suits my vibe, then take it for a 10 day or 2 week period. For one it’s good to secure a place before Christmas and New Years. And two, with a little luck you’ll get to know everyone at the hotel (assuming it’s not a big resort, the cheaper the place the more people you’ll meet). If you ask (and I always do) the hotel will put together a dinner party for the whole gang (or as many as want to join in). It’s a great way to meet people and it’s something you only get if you’ve had a week or so to get to know people and plan it. It’s fun to hunker down in one spot over Christmas and New Years and it’s pretty common so there’ll be lots of people that have similar itineraries. (Which is why you don’t want to show up on Dec. 24 looking for a room.) Just an idea – the way you’re doing it sounds fine too. And admittedly the weather does tend to be better on the islands the farther into January you get, so that’s a small tradeoff. Good luck.

      1. Jennifer H

        You are awesome! I love the idea of staying in Koh Pha Ngan longer and have heard amazing things about Railay area too. Do you have any recs of specific fun little bars or places to stay that you love? Would it be rediculous to try to see Bali too?

      2. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

        There are no direct flights from Koh Samui to Bali so you would need to go through either Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, or Bangkok. A combination of Bangkok Airways and Air Asia would probably work best. You’re looking at a full day of travel each way but it’s doable if you have the time. For cool bars and places to stay I like exploring the area north of Thong Sala up towards and around the northwest corner of the island. Good luck.

  70. Weather in Thailand in March

    Great info here! My husband and I are planning 3 months in SE Asia. He is a scuba diver so thinking March 14 fly from Bangkok to Phuket. Rent a car and drive north a bit to Khao Lak. Stay there from March 14th until March 20th when we will drive down to Phuket to meet daughter and grandson. Husband will want to have some time diving in Phuket also. We will be in Phuket until March 30th when we head back to Bangkok. At this time of year is the western coast better than the east coast? I read some posts that said Koh Samui is nice until end April so now I’m confused. Will the weather be nice in KL and Phuket? We are coming from the cold and snow of western New York, US.
    Christine Filipski

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hi Christine. The weather should be great on both coasts in March. Most years, the storms don’t arrive until May or June – and even then the weather can still be beach-friendly.

  71. Luxury Resort in Thailand


    Thank you for this blog and your expertise. I am 46, business executive travel to Tokyo from USA for a week, and was thinking about bringing my wife along since she has never been to Asia. After Tokyo, I wanted to fly to either Bali or Thailand to get some relaxation and do some scuba diving. We are looking for a nice clean beach with luxury (money no object) resort with great food and no kids/singles looking to party all night. The big wild card is that we will be there Nov 11-16 and not sure of the weather and the rain??? Based on your previous recommendations, would you recommend Koh Phi Phi or Krabi “Rai Leh West on Railay Beach”???? which resorts are the most luxurious… Thank you Dave!!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      If your priority is a luxurious resort then Rayavadee Resort on Railay is fantastic and one of the best in Thailand. But … Railay is pretty mellow so if you’re wanting to party you might be disappointed.

      Koh Phi Phi is very lively by late November. The Phi Phi Island Cabana Hotel is the nicest hotel near the action. Far nicer is the Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort & Spa (which has its own in-house scuba school) – but it’s a 30 minute boat ride from the main area. So you might want to do a few days at each.

      The weather should be good (possibly great) by November but it’s still, technically, the tail end of the rainy season so don’t be surprised if you see a (brief) downpour or two.

      Hope that helps. Good luck.

  72. 2 Weeks in Thailand

    Hi Dave,
    What a great site. Very informative. My husband and I are planning to travel to Thailand for two weeks in December. What do you recommend as far as flying into Bangkok and departures from Los Angeles. We only plan on being in Bangkok for 3-4 days and going to different islands so I am not sure if we fly out of Bangkok as well or fly back home from the last island that we will visit? Which tours do you recommend as far as the tiger tours, elephant tours,the James Bond tour, etc?
    Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide us.
    Cristina Harman

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Wildlife tours are best done in Northern Thailand. There are lots of snorkeling and island tours (mainly on the west coast around Krabi and Phuket, not so many around Koh Samui) that visit different beaches, islands, and national parks. So many that it depends what you’re looking for. In general it’s best to spend more and go with a smaller group than a cheaper one with lots of people. The extra money spent is almost always worth it. There are no guarantees but most tour operators are reliable. If you’re on a budget and have enough flexibility (and patience to search them out) use kayak to look for tickets to Hong Kong or Seoul, then use Air Asia to fly into Bangkok but fly out from Phuket or Koh Samui back to HK or Seoul. If you can get a direct flight across the Pacific this make your trip home much faster than having to go back through Bangkok – and you might save some money. Good luck.

  73. Bangkok to Koh Samui

    We’re taking the train from Bangkok to Koh Samui. Is it best to buy the ferry ticket in Surat Thani or to purchase the train/ferry combo ticket from the train station in Bangkok?

    1. DavidDavid Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      It’s easier (and a little cheaper) to buy the combo ticket. When you get off the train in Surat Thani there’ll be people directing you to the appropriate bus (to take you to the ferry port). Flash your bus/ferry ticket at them and they’ll point you in the right direction. It all happens quite quickly so there isn’t a lot of waiting about – hardly time to go to the toilet or grab any snacks – it’s just bang bang you’re off the train, onto the bus and rolling to the ferry. Once you get to the ferry there usually is a bit of a wait. Good luck.

  74. Where To Stay in Koh Samui and Krabi

    Hi David, Thanks so much for sharing your wealth of information– it’s fantastic!
    We’re spending 10 days in Thailand in February with our 5 year old son. We have 2 days in Bangkok, 3 days in Chaing Mai and then 5 days left for beaches.

    I’m considering 3 days in Koh Samui and 2 in Krabi, but it may end up just being a lot of travelling. Any recommendations for a “base”?

    We’re very active and big foodies, so I’m inclined to pick somewhere with beautiful beaches and lots of activities (some at least appropriate for a 5 year old!).

    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

    PS I briefly considered Phuket, but we’ve been there before and didn’t love it. It was a little too touristy.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      With that amount of time I would do Koh Samui or Krabi but not both. I tend to think of Krabi and the west coast as more activity-oriented that Koh Samui. I think Koh Samui has better food. The beaches are great on both. Railay is a good base in the Krabi area. Bophut, Choeng Mon, or Chaweng are good beach towns in Koh Samui. Hope that helps.

  75. When To Book Hotels for Bangkok?

    Hi, My husband and I are going to Thailand from 2/14-3/3. Our route is Bangkok-Beachy ( not sure where yet)- Chiang Mai. I think…. Bc Im not 100% sure, most people that had experience Thailand told me not to book anything except the first few nights of hotel at Bangkok. Is that a good idea? Most people told me just book any hotels, trips, and excursion when I get there.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hi Sherri. Yes, I’d generally agree with that. It’s fairly easy to book hotels after you arrive and it also allows you to see the place you’re booking. The one downside is that you do “waste” some time looking for your hotels. When they’re booked in advance you can devote more of your time to sightseeing, relaxing, eating, sitting on the beach. Also, the best deals are usually found booking in advance through websites like – especially for luxury and mid-range hotels. Myself, I sort-of enjoy hotel hunting but can see how many would wish they’d done all that in advance. But definitely on tours and excursions, book after you arrive. Hope that helps.

  76. Beaches in May

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for the informative site. We are planning to spend a few days in mid-May on Koh Samui and were thinking of heading to Bophut and/or Mae Nam. Would you be able to advise if these beaches are OK for swimming in May or do they suffer from the low tides making swimming impractical?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I’ve been in early April and late June and July and both were fine so I’m thinking/hoping you’ll be ok.

  77. Weather in December

    Hi Dave,
    Really like your blog. My wife and I are planning to travel to samui on 6th Dec for a week. We have read that this is monsoons and not good time to visit. Just wanted to ask you if the sea is yet swimmable or will it be impossible to swim. Also will we be able to do any kayaking/snorkelling etc. I am worried that we may not be able to do any typical beachy activities. Is that true, or should not reallly be a problem. Also we planning to stay in Sala Samui or Zazen, which do you think will be better keeping weather in mind.
    Thank you very much for the help. Max

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      It should be good weather by early December though there are no guarantees and some years it can be well into December before the seas are calm and the cloudy days have passed (though the big storms should subside by November).

  78. Thailand in Late March and Early April

    Hi Dave

    LOVE your blog its been the most helpful by far!

    Myself and my boyfriend are planning our first trip to Thailand end March beginning April. As first timers we’re a little stumped.

    We’re looking to spend: 3 days on Chaweng, 2 days on Koh Phangan for the full moon party, 2 days on Koh PHi PHi, 4 days on Phuket and 4 days in Bangkok.

    Should we book our flights now or wait until we arrive in Thailand.
    Since our time in each place is limited should we book our accomodation now? (especially for the full moon party?Can you reccomend any 3-4 star hotels, close enough to walk to the party but far enough from the noise)
    Is Koh Phi Phi worth spending 2 days on or should we extend our stay on one of the other islands and only do a day visit to Phi Phi?
    Any interesting tours,sites,restaurants,shows,,bars etc you can reccomend? (we would also like to do a rural village tour of some sort).

    Looking forward to your advice and suggestions:)

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hi Leigh. Sounds like a great trip. I’d definitely book the flights as soon as possible as they can fill up quickly and once the cheapest seats are gone they’re not coming back. I’d book hotels in advance for Bangkok but the other spots you can get away with finding something after you arrive. (Though you do end up wasting some time hunting for hotels when you could be doing something else.)

      Three good mid-range places near the Full Moon Party on KPN are:
      Best Western Phanganburi Resort Koh Phangan
      Palita Lodge Koh Phangan
      Delight Resort Koh Phangan

      Another option, if you’re already in Chaweng and only interested in the party then you can take a motorboat over from Samui to Haad Rin in the early evening. The next morning take a return boat. Just an idea.

      The best place to see rural villages is in Northern Thailand. Not much to see on the touristy islands like Samui, Phuket, or Phi Phi.

      Good luck.

      1. Leigh

        Thanks so much David really appreciate your feedback and suggestions! 🙂

  79. Thailand in Late March

    G’day Dave! Congratulations and many thanks for a hugely entertaining and informative site!! We’ve never travelled OS, so it’s great to get a fresh & down-to-earth perspective on the experience 🙂

    We’re looking at a trip to Thailand in mid-late March with our 3 kids (aged 8/6/4) for a friend’s wedding on Lamai Beach and then a bit of an explore. At this stage, we have a VERY rough idea of a plan, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on how practical this will be with the aim of not arriving home exhausted and wishing we’d tried to stuff a bit less into our time. Our budget in the end will determine duration of trip (we certainly won’t be staying in 5-star digs), but hopefully 18-20 days. From your comments around the place I’m planning on roughly max $200/day including accommodation (excl long transport trips) when we get there…

    So, a rough plan is…arrive Bangkok, have a couple of nights there, fly or train to Koh Samui and stay 4-5 nights around the wedding, then somehow head up to Chiang Mai for a good week or so, back to Bangkok for a night or 2, then home to NZ.

    Online accommodation options seem to be a shade limited for families with more than 2 kids and we’re hoping to be able to find places where we can all squeeze into one room rather than have to split up nightly – so suggestions from yourself or other would be welcomed on this front too! Also on how much we should pre-book and how much to “wing it” in terms of travel & accommodation while we’re there.

    Sorry, big post, but fizzing to get locked in and underway!
    Thanks lots,

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The first thing I’d do is book your tickets for Samui to Chiang Mia ( as even now the cheapest tickets for March are selling out.

      I’ve never had to find rooms for 5, but in my experience most places should be able to accommodate you just fine. This is one advantage of “winging it”. You’ll be able to walk around the town and find the hotel that best suites your family. Pay a little more for the first night in a place (and book the largest room they have) then search about and find a cheaper place after you arrive. (Though, admittedly, this does eat up some time.)

      The outline of your plan sounds good though. It’s very easy to get around Samui so don’t feel you have to stay in Lamai to be near the wedding.

      Good luck.

  80. One Month in Thailand

    Fantasic Site! I’ve been told by the boss that I have a month in Thailand to plan for our family. Talk about overwhelmed when looking at all the options & places to stay.
    I do have one question/concern, since my 2 boys are between 2&4 years old. Do you know whether Koh Samui has medical facilities, in case they are needed?
    Justin from Bhutan

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hi Justin. If you look above you’ll see 2 suggestions for medical treatment in Samui (under Essential Info). They’re pretty good but anything serious and you’ll be airlifted out to Bangkok (where there’s top notch care).

  81. Thailand in October

    Hi Dave,

    We are planning to go to Phuket on October end (Oct 25-29). From there i want to go to either Koh Samui or Koh Yao Nai. Need your advice as which part will be good to visit during this time.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      There is a possibility the boats to Koh Yao Nai could be canceled due to rough seas at that time of year. The weather on either coast can be lousy in October. But it can also vary a lot on each side of the country – so you might want to hedge your bets and split your time between Phuket and Samui. Good luck.

  82. Thailand in July

    Hi Dave
    My husband and I both in our early 60’s would like to escape Melbourne’s winter for 2 weeks in July.
    We have not been to any Asian countries before. We like playing golf and thought 2-3 games each of the 2 weeks, relaxing by the pool and the option also to enjoy a lovely beach, some sightseeing and also some shopping.
    My initial thoughts were to stay at Koh Samui – though it appears there is not much choice for golf, whereas Phuket does have a number of courses.
    On the other hand golf does not have to be the main priority and I believe there is a 9 hole golf course called The Royal Samui Golf Club in Koh Samui.
    Where would you suggest we could stay that could meet our needs and also be a good introduction to enjoying Thailand without being overwhelmed?
    Your suggestions/advice would be very much appreciated.
    Thank you
    Karen Stuart

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hi Karen. I don’t play much golf but I think you’re right, you would find more courses on Phuket. I think Koh Samui would be a great choice too though. Lots to do and not as touristy as Phuket while stilling have a good tourist infrastructure, great hotels, and a good quality hospital on the island. Also, the weather in July will likely be nicer in Koh Samui than in Phuket.

      Hope that helps a little. Good luck.

  83. Weather in Thailand in Late November and Early December

    Hi Dave, I’ll be in Chiang mai mid-late November and wish to go to Ko Samui afterwards from roughly 2nd December for a week or so. I’m just concerned it might be too wet still. Would you suggest heading somewhere else? I’m 21, male and travelling by myself. cheers. Mark

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The west coast (Phuket, Krabi, etc) recovers from the monsoon a little sooner than the east coast so you might want to consider that. The rains should be ending by early December in Samui though so you should be OK.

  84. Day Trip to Koh Pha Ngan

    Is Koh Pha Ngan worth a day trip visit? We’re not interested in the Full Moon Parties but would consider a trip over for the day. Is it easy to arrange?
    Blakery family

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Scheduled boats to Koh Pha Ngan leave from Mae Nam, Bophut, Big Buddha Beach (Bang Rak) and Nathon. There are more than 10 a day so it’s easy to find some departure (and return) that works. There are also speed boats that will take you over from Chaweng or Lamai though these will be much more expensive than the ferries/scheduled boats.

      Is it worth it? I love Koh Pha Ngan but I’m not sure I’d recommend just a day trip. Go for a few days or a week and explore the island but for only 5 or 6 hours I think that time would be better used touring Samui which has more “attractions”. Koh Pha Ngan has more of a vibe which eludes the daytripper. The ride over is beautiful on a calm day though.

      Hope that helps.

  85. Booking Hotels in Advance

    We’ll be arriving in Koh Samui from Chiang Mai and going directly to Lamai to be near friends that are staying there. What’s the nicest resort in Lamai? We have only 3 nights there so are willing to pay more and have something truly luxurious. How far in advance should I reserve? Thanks, Heather.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The Pavilion Samui Boutique Resort in Lamai is fantastic.

      It’s hard to generalize (there will always be exceptions for finding the best rates) but I’d book as soon as you’ve confirmed the dates of your visit.

      Good luck.

  86. Around the World Stop in Bangkok

    Hi Dave
    Thanks for your advice in your blog – great work.
    I have a challenging request for you now:
    Need your help with hotels in Thailand.
    My girlfriend and I finish our 6 month world tour in Thailand
    We want to finish it with two distinct weeks. One at a fitness, possibly Thai boxing camp and the final at a relaxing spa resort (to recover from the camp mainly)
    It’d be great to get your ideas on where you’d recommend:
    We’re not too fussed where we go, however we would like luxury on our final week.
    We fly out of Bangkok
    Many thanks.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I can’t think of anything for the fitness camp but for the luxury resort – if I could stay anywhere – it would be the Four Seasons Resort in Koh Samui).

      If you want a great resort near Bangkok then nothing beats the Anantara Riverside Spa & Resort

      Good luck.

  87. Cheap Hotel in Bangkok

    Hi Dave, Need your help with hotels in Thailand. It’s my first holiday there with my wife and my 4 year old girl, this May (May 1-7).
    It’ll help if you could recommend:
    a) A budget hotel for a night in a central location (for sight seeing) in Bangkok
    b) A boutique or 4*/5* resort in Krabi for 4 nights-5 days. We could do two different hotels in two different parts of Krabi two night each. Would that be possible ? We would like to be in hotels that are quiet with easy access to the restaurants and cafes.
    Many thanks.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The Viengtai Hotel in Bangkok is great. Cheap, nice pool, great location. I suppose I wouldn’t call it quiet, but without paying for a 5 star hotel it’s hard to get quiet in Bangkok.

      In Krabi The Sunrise Tropical Resort is one of my favorites. It’s in Railay (not sure if you had a specific destination in mind but Railay is awesome). One thing to note: In Railay there are 2 beaches that are a 3 minute walk from each other. The Sunrise is located at the not-so-great beach that isn’t fit for swimming. On the plus side it makes it much cheaper (for a really nice place) than the hotels on the “nice beach”. It’s also much quieter. It’s a very short walk down a sort-of golf-cart path to the other beach.

      If you had to have the beach right at your door then the Railay Bay Resort & Spa is very nice.

      Good luck.

      1. MK

        Thank you Dave.

  88. Hotel in Paton

    Looking for a nice (boutiquish) place in Patong. We’re a little worried that Patong might be too touristy and wild for us so something a little removed and quiet would be nice. We’re a couple with no kids. We’ll be there for 5 to 7 nights. Budget isn’t a big concern, just want something nice. ideas?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Sounds like the Baan Yin Dee Boutique Resort would be the place. Probably not the best for kids – as it’s up the hill from the beach and has a calm quiet vibe – but perfect in your case. I hope that helps.

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