Get Pampered in Bangkok: The City's Most Luxurious Stays

One of the delights of visiting Bangkok is choosing a hotel, as the city offers some of the most luxurious and pampering sleeps in all Asia. There are great deals to be found here, and Bangkok is also one of the greatest spots in the world to splurge on luxury accommodation due to the quality and service available. You can opt for historical and long famed spots along the Chao Phraya River like the Mandarin Oriental or the Shangri La, which are iconic Bangkok lodgings, or try staying on the other side of the river at the Peninsula, or even further afield at the most exclusive of all Bangkok resorts, The Siam Hotel.

If staying downtown is more your thing, the prestigious St. Regis will pamper you silly, and you will also be well taken care of at the new urban chic resorts that represent the new young Bangkok, the Sofitel So and the W Bangkok, both of which feature cutting edge urban design. For a resort within the downtown, try the opulent Siam Kempinski, where all rooms cluster around a series of pools and yet one is literally inside of a shopping mall, as the prestigious hotel sits at the back of the glamorous Siam Paragon Mall. The Sukhothai sits in the business district along Sathorn Road, yet it is an elegant artistic and traditional Thai haven tucked in amongst the high-rises. There are an endless array of choices and they are all truly 5-star.


Taking its cue from the royal former Thai capital of Sukhothai, this hotel of the same name outdoes itself with pampering and pleasing design and service. Everything from the architecture to the replicated pagodas or statues found throughout the hotel are pleasant to the eye, and the charming contemporary Thai villas and suites overlook lotus ponds and courtyard gardens, making the entire property feel like a complete urban escape. The Sukhothai also is home to the award winning Celadon Thai restaurant, along with fine Italian cuisine at La Scala, and the hotel features one of the best Sunday brunch buffets to be found in the city.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: For elegance and tradition, The Sukhothai is both a haven and an institution in Bangkok.

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The Shangri La rivals the Oriental as Bangkok's most well known and notable place to stay, also located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. From its awe inspiring lobby to the luxury rooms in the Krungthep Wing with balconies overlooking the river, along with a real showpiece pool and terrace surrounded by tranquil gardens make this another excellent option for a splurge. The hotel has recently opened a new Long Bar out along the river, as well as a fine chocolate confectionary to compliment its already fine selection of top restaurants. As the Shangri La sits right next to the Saphan Taksin Skytrain station, there is no need for river shuttles or other time consuming transport connections.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: For old style elegance on the river, the Shangri La is one of Bangkok's best options.

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Hansar Bangkok Hotel
Photo courtesy of courtesy of Hansar, Bangkok

The Hansar prides itself as an urban boutique oasis. Set right in the heart of Bangkok, just steps away from the shopping meccas of Siam Paragon and Central World, and easily accessed by the Skytrain, the hotel is awash with convenience. Chic and modern, the 94 room suites all have free-standing terrazzo bathtubs and feature vertical gardens just outside. Each suite includes a complimentary mini bar, free wifi, and huge 50 inch flat screen televisions. Even the smallest suites in Hansar are enormous, with 59 square meters of living space, and despite the middle of downtown location, the nineteen floor hotel is tucked away in peace and tranquility. This brand new hotel is yet another fine addition to the choice of upscale pampering available in Bangkok.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: For downtown boutique with great city access and plenty of space, the Hansar excels.

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The Peninsula Bangkok
Photo courtesy of Peninsula Bangkok

Some argue that the Peninsula sits on the wrong side of the Chao Phraya River, across from the downtown sprawl. But the views from the west bank are actually far superior, taking in all of Bangkok's old "Venice of the East" grandeur and its best new modern architecture, while a private pier and 5 minute ferry service running throughout the day and evening gets rid of any notion of inconvenience. With Bangkok firsts such as televisions in the bathtub and "diva for a day" programs for young ladies, no stone is left unturned by the youngest member of Bangkok's luxury property scene, and with the level of pampering you will receive from the award winning staff, you might be tempted never to even cross to the other side!

Recommended for Best Hotels because: For the best stay on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, the Peninsula is at the top of the list.

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The newest of Bangkok's finest lodgings, the W is all about fashion. Traditional Thai is combined with cutting edge art and architecture to create a very trendy and chic establishment that features a stylish cocktail bar just next to the lobby with hipster DJ's and creative signature drinks. The rooms here are not classified as deluxe or superior, but rather as Wonderful, Marvelous, Spectacular, or Extreme Wow (which features 215 square meters of space, a 55" flat screen TV, along with expansive city views). The W also features the award winning Kitchen Table restaurant, where the international food servings are even more innovative and impressive than the suave design and surroundings.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: For its urban chic design and easy access to Silom Road dining and nightlife, the W Bangkok is a leader.

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Just perfect for an urban romantic weekend, the Sofitel So Bangkok is an elegant urban oasis that sets out to combine every aspect of the Bangkok experience. Designed by an elite group of Thai architects and interior designers, overseen by French haute couturier mogul Christian Lacroix, the hotel features rooms and public spaces designed around the theme of five elements. The rooms feature complimentary Apple Mac Mini's, and there are a staggering range of extremely romantic fine dining and drinking options on premises, including the Park Society and Hi So bar and restaurant, which offers moonlit cabanas and a glittering city view by night over Lumpini Park. The Sofitel So is minutes from the MRT subway Lumpini Station, giving easy access to all the shopping, dining and nightlife districts of central Bangkok.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: For swank design and the city's best view over Lumpini Park, the Sofitel So is the city's most elegant choice.

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For the ultimate in luxury pampering, try a romantic splurge at the Siam Hotel. Paying homage to the post-colonial early 1900's era of King Rama V, this ultra-luxurious boutique hotel is a design-lover's dream, and Bangkok's newest spot to lodge in sheer elegance. Vintage clocks, steamer trunks and straw fedoras are just some of the quirky antiques that grace the private villas that come with plunge pools and rooftop terraces. There's even a completely restored century-old teak pagoda-topped cottage that is the star piece of the resort. Everything here feels secluded and pampered, from the the first luxury Muay Thai gym in Bangkok to the Opium Spa with Sodashi therapies, to the gorgeous Chon Thai restaurant, which is set in old teak houses along the river. The Siam is the most expensive hotel in Bangkok, but you get what you pay for here; privacy, exclusivity and plenty of opulent charm.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: For private and exclusive elegance, the Siam Hotel is a perfect choice.

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The St. Regis Bangkok
Photo courtesy of Courtesy of the St Regis, Bangkok

With a location set right in the heart of central Bangkok, overlooking the Royal Sports Club, the Starwood's St Regis Hotel sets a new mark in elegance. This ultra fashionable player in the Bangkok boutique hotel scene offers 227 guest rooms and 51 suites, all elegantly decked out in exquisite contemporary furnishings, all featuring giant windows with wide city views. The infinity edge pool sprawls along much of the 15th floor, and the 12th floor Regis Bar also gives tremendous views of sunset, the city, as well as the horse races from the Sports Club! Entrance into the hotel comes straight out of the BTS Skytrain and the hotel's signature restaurant JoJo features the best Italian food in Bangkok. The central shopping and business districts are just 5-10 minutes away as well, making this a perfect urban retreat.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: For the most stylish downtown Bangkok Hotel, the St. Regis is unrivaled.

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Where else in Bangkok can one have a direct entrance into the swimming pool from one's terrace? Only at the Siam Kempinski, located just steps from Bangkok's most fashionable mall, Siam Paragon, yet a hidden away world of its own, and a great choice for a romantic treat. Tucked away in a peaceful niche, the Siam Kempinski is sophisticated and extremely stylish, with refined suites and serviced residences surrounded by landscaped tropical gardens and cascading water fountains and pools, making it a real oasis in the heart of town. The 303 rooms here are ultra spacious, and most offer balconies with garden views. The hotel is full of modern art paintings and sculptures, features a 900 square meter Grand Ballroom, and is home to one of Bangkok's most innovative restaurants, Sra Bua by Kin Kin, brainchild of the Michelin winning Danish chef Henrik Yde-Andersen, which offers molecular Thai gastronomy, the first of its kind in Thailand. Easy access via Siam Paragon into the Siam Skytrain station ensures a holiday in which Bangkok's legendary traffic will not be around to trouble and travail.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: For resort style relaxation combined with opulence in the heart of the shopping district, you can't beat the Siam Kempinski.

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This hotel on the Chao Phraya River, popular with visiting celebrities, still sets the bar for high-end Bangkok accommodations. The Author's Residence suites, made famous by visiting luminaries such as Somerset Maugham, Noel Coward, and James Michener, are opulent and elegant affairs, with huge writing desks that look out upon the Chao Phraya. The spa across the river is one of Asia's best, and the sumptuous breakfast buffet out on the riverfront is just one of the eating options that includes elegant exotic restaurants such as China House (Cantonese), Le Normandie (haute cuisine French), and Sala Rim Naam (traditional Thai). If your pocketbook can manage it, easily Bangkok's classiest place to stay.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: For the ultimate in service, location, elegance, and all else, you just can't top the Mandarin Oriental.

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Meet Dave Stamboulis

Dave Stamboulis is a travel writer/photographer based in Bangkok. Born in Athens, Greece and growing up in the U.S., Dave first discovered Bangkok while on a 45,000-kilometer bicycle trip and...  More About Dave