The Best Hotels in Bangkok

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Updated: January 31, 2020

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Bangkok Hotels – Tips and Recommendations

The 25 Best Hotels in Bangkok

  • Click the hotel name to check prices on Booking.com – my favorite website for booking hotels. Book 4 to 6 months in advance for the best rooms and rates.


1. Mandarin Oriental Hotel
The best luxury hotel in Bangkok.
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 659 9000)


2. Anantara Siam
Hotel swimming pool surrounded by palm trees and skyscraper buildings
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. Wonderful outdoor pool. Gorgeous spa with adjustable hydraulic beds and inviting Roman style tubs. The 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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 126 8866)


3. Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort
Bangkok's Anantara Riverside Resort and Hotel
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/overnight 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).
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 476 0022)


4. Ammata Lanta Resort
Bangkok's magical Ammata Lanta resort-style hotel
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 175 1888)


5. Banyan Tree – Best Bangkok City Views
The sky-high Moonbar restaurant at Bangkok's Banyan Tree Hotel.
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 679 1200)


6. Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok – Best Business Hotel
Elegant hotel lobby with skylights, trees, and adjacent fine dining restaurant
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 254 1234)


7. Hansar Hotel – Best Urban Design Hotel
Bangkok's Hansar Hotel has spacious, open plan rooms.
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 209 1234)


8. Ariyasom Villa – Best Traditional Thai Villa Experience
Bangkok's AriyasomVilla Hotel
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 254 8880)


9. SO Sofitel – Best Innovatively Themed Hotel
Rooms at Bangkok's luxury SO Sofitel Hotel are designed around the Four Elements.
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 624 0000)


10. U Sathorn Hotel– Best French Colonial Design
The U Sathorn is the best colonial French-designed hotel in Bangkok.
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 119 4888)


11. Le Méridien Bangkok – Best Travel-Oriented Perks
Bangkok's Le Meridien Hotel has great travel-oriented perks.
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 232 8888)


12. Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel – Best On-The-Go Design Hotel
The Avani Riverside is Bangkok's best hotel for busy travelers.
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. The only hotel to have a car lift, and a ballroom with a hidden showcase kitchen that opens up for the surprise factor (weddings/events). 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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 431 9100)


13. Sukothai Hotel – Best Ancient Kingdom Inspired Hotel
Bangkok's Sukothai luxury hotel
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 344 8888)


14. The Okura Prestige – Best Thai-Japanese Fusion Hotel
Rooftop infinity pool amid the skyscraper buildings of Bangkok
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 687 9000)


15. Chakrabongse Villas – Best Aristocratic Residence Experience
Bangkok's luxury riverside Chakrabongse Villas
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 222 1290)


16. Shanghai Mansion – Best Vintage Chinese Design hotel
Shanghai Mansion is Bangkok's Best Vintage Chinese Design hotel
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 221 2121)


17. Riva Arun Hotel – Best Old Bangkok & River Views
Bangkok's riverside Riva Arun Hotel
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 recently constructed its own waterside dining front; a private pier with a café and open-air bar.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 221 1188)


18. Siam Kempinski – Best Palatial Resort-Style Hotel (& Best Shopping Location)
Bangkok's Siam Kempinski Hotel is in a great location for shopping.
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 allow guests to dive into the pool, directly from their personal private terraces. Has an exclusive tropical resort-feel, yet it’s 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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 162 9000)


19. Hotel Muse – Best 1920’s Themed Hotel
Hotel rooftop swimming pool with elegant chaise lounge chairs, set amid the Bangkok skyscrapers
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 630 4000)


20. W Hotel – Best Chic Hotel (With Two Distinct Personalities)
Bangkok's W Hotel has two distinct personalities: modern and traditional.
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 344 4000)


21. Shangri-La Hotel – Best Riverside Location
Elegant hotel lobby with plush velvet chairs, gold pillars, and floor-to-ceiling windows
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 236 7777)


22. St. Regis – Best Tradition & Bespoke Butler Service.
Bangkok's St. Regis Hotel has a golf club and bespoke butler service.
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 207 7777)


23. The Siam – Best Antique & Themed Pool Villas
Elegant hotel lobby with black and white checkered floors, and hanging ferns from a skylight ceiling
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 206 6999)


24. Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit – Best City Center Location
Grand hotel entrance, flanked by palm trees
Grand hotel with 420 rooms (40 sq m to 77 sq m) located in Asok, with a direct connection to the Skytrain and steps 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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 649 8888)


25. Oriental Residence – Best Long Stay Hotel
The Oriental Residence is Bangkok's best long stay hotel.
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.
(Hotel Phone: +66 2 125 9000)

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  1. Boutique Hotel near Khao San Road

    We love Khao San Road but returning now in our 30s we’d like to stay somewhere a little nicer but still walking distance to the bars, restaurants, and nightlife. What hotel do you recommend for the Khao San area. Preferably a 4-star hotel close to KSR.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The best hotel near Khao San is the boutique Riva Surya on the river (about a 10 minute walk to Khao San). A little closer (and a little cheaper) is the Chillax Resort. Right on Khao San is Buddy Lodge which has a younger crowd and slightly upscale vibe.

  2. 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 Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  3. Thailand in 8 or 9 Days

    Dave, I 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 Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  4. 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 Dave The Hotel Expert

      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).

  5. 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!

    Kris

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.)

  6. 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!
    Thanks

    Melissa

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  7. Doubletree Hilton or Courtyard Marriott in Bangkok

    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!

    Tracy

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  8. Best Bangkok Luxury Hotel for Family

    Dave,

    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.

    Thanks,

    Joel

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.)

  9. Bangkok Hotel with Good Location

    Hi Dave,

    Very informative Bangkok blog, 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 freshening 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 Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  10. 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.

    -Priscilla-

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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 Kayak.com (for flights) and Booking.com (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.

  11. 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.

    Giovanna

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  12. 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 Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.)

  13. 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 Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  14. 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. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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.

  15. 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!
    Tania

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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 Anantara, 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!

        Tania

        1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

          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.

  16. 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,
    Benjamin

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      –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.

  17. Bangkok, Pattaya, and Hua Hin with Kids

    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 Dave The Hotel Expert

      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 Intercontinental, Marriott, and Centara Grand (water park is great for kids).

  18. 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!

    Janet

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      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?

        Janet

      2. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

        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.

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