Bangkok is one of the world’s busiest, most vibrant (and at times chaotic) cities. All the more important, then, to have a peaceful oasis to return to at the end of the day — and luckily, the luxury hotels in Bangkok are are world-class. They also cost a fraction of what they would in many other major international cities, making them accessible for foreigners who can’t always afford this level of luxury.
Considered the Grand Dame of Bangkok hotels, this luxury property sits along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, with knockout views from rooms as well as the hotel's elegant bars and restaurants. The rooms here are fit for royalty, with even the standard Superior rooms decked out in dark teak decor and elegant bathrooms. The hotel has one of Thailand's best spas, a world-class fitness center and tennis court, and several large swimming pools. The restaurant options here also rank as some of the best in town. The only potential drawback to staying here is whether or not your pocketbook can take the hit.
Sandwiched between the U.S. and Dutch embassies in Bangkok's leafy and residential Lumpini neighborhood, the Oriental Residence Bangkok is home to 145 luxury apartment-style residences that attract both long- and short-stay guests. Even without its romantic, French-inspired decor, the hotel would be impressive as the home of Michelin-starred chef Henk Savelberg's Thailand outpost; these, together with a stylized roof deck pool, modern fitness center overlooking the city, two other restaurants and bars, and full kitchens in every room cement its place as a truly luxe and discreet destination. That the nearest skytrain station is within walking distance (as is verdant Lumpini Park) is just icing on the cake.
The Peninsula is one of Bangkok's more elegant luxury properties. Traditional, understated rooms feature marble bathrooms with large tubs, living quarters with large writing desks, and excellent river and city views. Numerous features include the Cantonese Mei Jiang fine-dining restaurant, the riverside Thiptara Thai, a huge swimming pool, an upscale fitness center, and the Peninsula Spa. The only downside (beside steep prices) is that the hotel is located on the west side of the Chao Phraya River. However, a shuttle boat quickly brings guests to the east bank, where most of Bangkok's main attractions are located.
The 300-room Siam Kempinski is one of Bangkok's most opulent hotels. It's a five-pearl property located smack in the city center, behind the Siam Paragon luxury mall. Elegant rooms -- set around a garden oasis with saltwater swimming pools flowing through it -- are decked out in contemporary Thai decor and feature silk curtains and paintings as well as amenities such as daily stocked minibars and big flat-screen TVs. Some rooms give direct access into the large meandering pool that is the centerpiece of the property. There is a bright, well-equipped fitness center with shiny wood floors. Siam Kempinski is also the home of the acclaimed Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, by a Michelin-rated chef. The opulence here comes at a hefty price tag, but it is comparable to other five pearl elite properties in the city. With its gardens, pool, and private feel, this is more like an island resort than a city hotel. Wi-Fi is free throughout.
The 420-room Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit is a luxury hotel set in the heart of Sukhumvit Road, near some of Bangkok's top dining, drinking, and nightlife venues. The hotel is right by the BTS Skytrain and MRT Subway making for convenient access around town, and there are hundreds of shops and restaurants just outside the hotel. The rooms here were renovated in 2014; beds feature 300 thread count sheets, bathrooms have separate showers and tubs, and there are large flat-screen TVs and work desks. The hotel has a spa, swimming pool, and fitness center, and is home to a large selection of bars and restaurants including Rossini's Italian, Basil Thai, and international buffet at the Orchid Cafe, plus drinks in the stylish Living Room Bar. The hotel is in a great location for those who like nightlife, although it is near the red light district and can be a bit seedy at night.
The InterContinental Bangkok is a top-notch hotel located in the heart of central Bangkok. With a Skytrain entrance just by the door, guests can avoid Bangkok's infamous traffic, and the city's best shopping, dining, and drinking are all within walking distance. The rooms here are extremely spacious, well appointed, and feature LCD TVs and iPod docks, as well as comfortable Posturpedic mattresses. The resort has a host of tasty restaurants, from Chinese to Italian, to a high-end steakhouse, and there's also a state-of-the-art fitness center. The hotel also is well-prepared for business visitors with some of the best meeting and conference facilities in the city. The only blemishes on this stylish place are its high price tag and the dense traffic zone it sits in, making taxi rides during rush hour unbearable.
The 802-room Shangri-La is one of Bangkok's most opulent hotels. This huge five-pearl property sits right on the Chao Phraya River, with great views as well as easy access to the river ferry and skytrain station connecting to the rest of the city. All rooms and suites here are elegantly furnished with contemporary Thai decor and include large bathtubs, executive-size writing desks, electronic safes, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and bedside control panels. While the standard rooms only have partial river views, the others feature sweeping Chao Phraya vistas. There are excellent facilities here ranging from two gorgeous swimming pools to the award winning CHI Spa, and fine dining options include Italian, Chinese, and Thai in some of the city's most upscale restaurants. The price tag isn't cheap, but compares favorably to neighboring five-pearl properties, and the views and elegance make this one of Bangkok's best hotels to splurge on. Wi-Fi is free.
The Le Meridien Bangkok goes for unique design and decor, from the stylish, large tinted glass windows in the lobby, to the rooms, which feature floor-to-ceiling windows for viewing Bangkok's cityscape. Some of the rooms, along with the spa, feature circular beds, a novelty in Thailand, and there are plenty of other artistic touches to attract guests, such as photo exhibitions in the suave lobby bar and a sleek rooftop deck with a 20-meter lap pool. The hotel is well located near the Sala Daeng Skytrain and Silom Metro stations, and the Silom District, with numerous restaurants, bars, and clubs. Le Meridien boasts some of Bangkok's largest and best conference rooms and meeting facilities in the area, but nonetheless also attracts leisure travelers. The only drawback (well, at least for some) of this stylish spot is its proximity to the legendary Patpong red light entertainment district.
With a look created by French fashion icon Christian Lacroix, the Sofitel So Bangkok attracts luxury-loving young travelers with its trendy interiors and myriad amenities. Set in the heart of Bangkok, on picturesque Lumpini Park, the distinctive building offers stunning views from many rooms and all common areas, which include an outdoor rooftop pool, the acclaimed Park Society bar and restaurant, and a decadent spa. Each room is outfitted according to a theme -- Water, Earth, Wood, or Metal -- and comes with a soaking tub and Apple TV entertainment.
The JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok is a trendsetter for luxury and still offers home-style comfort in central Sukhumvit. Rooms are elegant and cushy with marble bathrooms featuring soaking tubs and separate walk-in rainfall showers -- street facing rooms pick up street noise. JW’s Health Club and Spa houses a large workout room and dance studio, along with a full-service spa and snack bar. There are eight restaurants and bars, serving a variety of cuisines. Free Wi-Fi and valet parking are available, in addition to an outdoor pool and hot tub surrounded by green space.