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Best Top Luxury Hotels & Resorts in Bangkok 2024


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CHAKRABONGSE VILLAS (*****L): Lodging in a royal palace and receiving a princely treatment is everyone’s dream. “Secret Retreats” anticipated our megalomania, guiding us to one of the most inspirational properties from their catalog of ambrosial hotels, villas, cruises and restaurants. 

Spoiled by our three-week stay in the best five-star hotels in Asia, surprising us was a challenge. Yet, we knew that our taxi was driving us to chakrabongse villas riverside boutique hotel bangkok thailandan excellent address: in the heart of the fascinating old Bangkok, near the fragrant and so beautiful flower market, Museum of Siam, Wat Pho, and the Royal Palace. Along the lively riverfront. Our driver almost missed the elegant entrance gate, with a discreet plate indicating   “Chakrabongse House” (pronounce “Tcha-Ka-Bong”). No need to ring the bell: the efficient security officers already saw our car on the CCTV, letting it enter into a large courtyard used as a parking lot. A second gate opened to the Gardens of Heaven surrounding one of the most spectacular boutique hotel which we ever visited in our luxury travelers’ life.

An authentic aristocratic mansion, the “Chakrabongse House” stands proudly opposite the small reception office. Built in 1908 by HRH Prince Chakrabongse, it was originally used by the prince and his relatives to attended royal ceremonies in the Grand Palace, and also for picnics and excursions on the river. Later, after the 1932 revolution, it became the residence of HRH Prince Chula Chakrabongse, writer and historian. An illustrious member of the family of the Chakri Dynasty of Thailand,  Prince Chula was a grandson of King Chulalongkorn. The only child of Prince Chakrabongse Bhuvanath and his Ukrainian wife, Ekaterina (Catherine) Desnitskaya (later Mom Catherine Na Phitsanulok), whom love story sounds like a true reminiscence of the semi-fictional novel “Anna and The King”.

We have been lucky enough to visit the Chakrabongse House. This was one of our privileges during a tailored made stay. Still a private property, it is closed to the public and owned by Princess Narisa (Prince Chula’s daughter). The living room, cabinets and offices, corridors and large dining rooms feature the travel and sports souvenirs of this jet-setter and renowned car racer. A resident of the UK, he was actively supervising his cousin Prince Birabongse Bhanudej (“B. Bira“) White Mouse Racing team. Pictures of his races aboard his ERA car, ancestor of the formula one, are exposed in the living room invaded by precious books.  An author, he wrote a respected history of the Chakri Dynasty, and also “Blue and Yellow” (a biography about the race-car driver Richard Seaman), travel books (“First-Class Ticket”), his autobiography and some novels. This litterature is available from the “River Books” publishing house, operated next door by Princess Narisa.

Opposite the Chakrabongse House, lovely Siamese villas have been built to welcome the guests of this mundane and hospitable family. Including celebrities like Aung San Suu Kyi. Since a few years, this secret address operates as a boutique hotel. Besides the exquisite Phraya Palazzo, this is from what we know the one and only old Siamese riverside residence offering premium accommodation to the handful of lucky travelers who booked much in advance in one of the four suite/villas, or in the three smaller, yet deliciously cozy rooms.

We must have a good Karma: we could stay in the traditional teak “River View Suite”, with a huge terrace on the Menam Chao Phraya, and a romantic gazebo where our private breakfast was served at sunrise…when the opposite Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) and the Old Palace woke up. Tropical wood, precious silk, and Thai antiques alternate with modern paintings and Knoll Barcelona leather seats. Decorated, like the rest of the villas, by the “maîtresse de maison”, it didn’t make us feel one single minute staying in a hotel. A private house, indeed, it features a large double bedroom, kitchenette, bathroom, study, sitting room and a veranda. It has a direct access to the pier, where a chartered boat tour the hosts from the river to Thonburi most secrete canals and floating markets.

The Chakrabongse Villas owns a rare and splendid “Riva” from the 1960s. This is surely the unique hotel in the Kingdom having this magnificent “Rolls Royce of the Seas” at guest's disposal. The Riva cruise is actually fairly priced (THB 3,932.25 / USD 128 per hour during our stay in June 2019), making us feeling transported along the Chao Phraya like Brigitte Bardot and Gunther Sachs, in the nostalgic Saint-Tropez from the swinging 1960's. Selling like hotel cakes, the Sunset package, 2 hours with a bottle of Champagne, is charged THB 12,583.20 / USD 408. Unless you know a millionnaire in Monaco, Portofino, or Lago di Como, this will represent the best chance for you to enjoy the very unique Riva experience.   

Each villa is equipped with an individual thermostatic controller for air-conditioning and humidity,  TV/DVD with in-house movies, personal minibar, complimentary fax/printing on request, and complimentary Wi-Fi. We liked the wall of windows allowing a cinematographic panorama on the river from our bedroom and living room, and the intimate writing desk which would inspire a novelist. The place is ideal for artists, old-school travelers, and jet-setters, but also for honeymooners. The Chakrabongse Villas specializes in weddings, and the property is regularly hired for very exclusive parties. It is then totally privatized so that guests should not be bothered by the animation. Shouldn’t it be the episodic noise of the speedboats powerful motors, which didn’t disturb us though we stayed in the closest villa to the river, we spent four days in an oasis of silence and greenery. Which impressed us: so close to tourists’ haunts like the Grand Palace, and with popular markets opened day and night all around. The staff was nonobtrusive, though super-efficient. For instance, we sat each morning at the gazebo for our a-la-carte breakfast; five minutes later coffee, eggs, soups, and fruits were brought to our table by a ravishing feminine butler, who never forgot to drop a copy of the Bangkok Post on the table. Service in Thailand is good, everybody knows; but at the Chakrabongse Villas, it is definitely personalized.

Another example of the dedicated service. Upon arrival, we visited the friendly Chef Wat in his cuisine. He inquired about our preferences for dinner: did we like it “pet” (spicy), with lots of coconut milk, did we prefer fish, meat or vegetarian…? We just suggested that “Tom Kaa Khung” (coconut soup with shrimps) is one of our favorites, and let him design the rest of menu. Hired by Princess Narisa to take care of her private hosts and paying guests alike, which means princely, Chef Wat is a living encyclopedia of the Royal Thai Cuisine. He was a technical adviser to the richly illustrated “Riverside Recipes”, featuring the most secrete tips and tricks to help you cook the most sophisticated and fragrant Siamese specialties (it is on sale at the reception and at the River Books shop). The same day, at 7pm, our table had been elegantly set with candlelight in the small sala-style restaurant, positioned in the direction of the Temple of Dawn (for a breathtaking sunset that time). Very exclusive, dining is normally available for the residents only;  if the reservation allows (there are only four or five tables), outsiders can visit this highly reputed and romantic place. They pay twice the resident’s bill; which is positively selective…

The lushly, well-kept gardens with centenary trees diffuse the essences of a large variety of tropical flowers. It is magic to enjoy them after dinner, illuminated by guirlands, and animated by the songs of the frogs playing over the fountains and along the large salted-water swimming pool.

The kind of lodging which makes us like traveling, the Chakrabongse Villas is not more expensive compared with an international five-star hotel in Sukhumvit. Warmly recommended!

CHAKRABONGSE VILLAS: 396 Maharaj Road, Tatien, Bangkok 10200, Thailand.
PHONE: +66
2 222 1290     FACSIMILE:  +66 2 224 8248

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL BANGKOK AT CHAO PHRAYA RIVER (*****L):  Upon our arrival at The Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, nestled along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, we were met with a mix of excitement and weariness. Despite our anticipation of staying at the esteemed four seasons bangkok chao phraya best luxury palace hotels in bangkok thailandthird-ranked hotel on the World's 50 Best Hotels list, the fatigue from our long journey from Shanghai lingered. The hotel is located in a luxury compound, featuring a condo tower, and the ultra-classy and intimate Capella Bangkok owned by the same company. A bit off the beaten track, the district doesn’t boast many five-star amenities. The shops, street-food stalls, and restaurants close early by nightfall. Consequently, we didn’t venture much onto the streets, but rather enjoyed the comfort of the private (and complimentary) shuttle boat linking the closest BTS metro station (Saphan Taksin) and the fabulous Icon Siam luxury shopping mall, renowned for its top-rated shops and restaurants.

The colossal lobby of the hotel exudes a slightly cold, yet elegant ambiance. The magnificence of the hotel's architecture was apparent as we explored its corridors, with spacious walkways and lush greenery seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor spaces. We particularly appreciated the astonishingly cozy reception area and the ultra-courteous staff. The service was on par with that of a palace hotel during our two-day stay – flawless, reminiscent of our experience at The Mandarin Oriental a decade ago.

Our 125 sqm "Executive Suite" welcomed us with a stunning 7th-floor view of the river, momentarily lifting our exhaustion. The design isn’t comparable to the Four Seasons hotels we visited in Europe or the USA. Let’s call it more corporate. It could be likened to an InterContinental (yet an excellent reference!), or a Kempinski. Don’t expect the ritzy atmosphere of the Four Seasons George V in Paris, or Hôtel des Bergues in Geneva. We could have been anywhere in the world; not necessarily in Thailand. However, we did appreciate the superb bedding, the deep sofas, and the space dedicated to our comfort. The bathrooms, equipped with fragrant Bougie Byredo toiletries, are among the most impressive in Bangkok.

Before retiring for the night, we noticed a peculiar detail - a dessert plate adorned with what seemed to be our own portraits. A quick inquiry revealed the hotel's unique touch of personalization, where digital renderings of guests are fashioned onto welcome plates. It was a charming gesture that immediately endeared us to the hotel's attention to detail.

Within the hotel's confines, a plethora of dining options awaited us, each promising a memorable culinary experience. The breakfast spread at Cafe Madeleine was a sensory delight, featuring an assortment of mouthwatering delights from wood-fired pizzas to traditional Thai delicacies. Brasserie Palmier, overlooking the river, provided an elegant setting for French cuisine which we found a bit too "international", while Riva Del Fiume whisked us away to the shores of Lake Como with its authentic Italian offerings.

BKK Social Club beckoned with its chic ambiance and innovative cocktails.

The hotel's dedication to wellness shone through its urban wellness center, which offered an array of activities from muay thai boxing classes to indulgent spa treatments. The design of the rooms struck a harmonious balance between luxury and comfort, with thoughtful details like monogrammed linen napkins and locally-inspired decor.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this haven of luxury and indulgence, where every moment was meticulously crafted for our enjoyment.

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL BANGKOK AT CHAO PHRAYA RIVER: 300/1 Charoen Krung Road, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120 Thailand.
PHONE: +66 2 032-0888

THE MANDARIN-ORIENTAL BANGKOK (*****L):  Since 1876, and despite the fast development of more impressive and luxury hotels in Bangkok (Kimpton Maa-Lai, Chakrabongse Villas, Peninsula...) "The Oriental" (as still called affectionately by its returning guests) remains one of the best established five-star lodging in Bangkok, and one of most famous palace hotels in the world.

In the shadow of the modern, unsightly 1970s "Main Wing", stands the sublime "Authors' Wing": the original Dutch colonial pavilion, the oriental mandarin oriental bangkok best hotel iin thailand best hotel n the worldwhere the legend of "The Oriental" was born in 1876. More than 18 million dollars have been invested in 2016 to beautify what was originally a basic lodge, hastily built for the first adventurous travelers visiting Siam, after the Kingdom opened to foreign trade with the signing of the Bowring Treaty. Somerset Maugham, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and Graham Green inaugurated the crampy and mosquitoes infested wing. It now houses the roof-topped "Authors' Lounge": one of Thailand most photographed locations, it is world famous for its so unique, stylish, romantic -and pleasantly old-fashioned "High Tea". The dress code is as strict as in a London gentlemen's club. It brings The Oriental a few, yet bitter, claims in Tripadvisor: essentially written by tourists from outside the hotel, wearing short pants and sleeveless shirts,  courteously but firmly stopped by the efficient security staff. This policy meets the permanent satisfaction of the graceful Bangkok society, gossiping in the white rattan armchairs, listening to live soft music.  Our last visit, right after the renovation, was enchanting. As conservative as a guest of "The Oriental" should be, we loved the whiter shade of pale design so much, and feared some defacing; on the contrary, everything looks like more enchanting than before. Experienced eyes will notice a slight difference in the structure of the double stairs conducing to the newest, most sumptuous suites designed for "the 1%" (leading CEOs, statesmen, world famous artists, and wealthy honeymooners...) on a no-limit budget.

An authentic palace hotel, The Mandarin Oriental sells itself from the prestige suites first. We have inspected, and even stayed, in some of them (enjoying the noticeable "Captain Anderson" in the contemporaneous "Main Wing", for instance), and found them all different. Both in term of style and charm. But we mush aknowledge that those in the "Authors' Wing" left us voiceless. Totally privatized, the "Royal Suite" meets no competitor at all in Bangkok. This is simply the most impressive lodging in the Kingdom of Thailand. No picture and no words can describe the space, plush atmosphere, feeling of supreme power, and unmatched relaxation indulged during the exciting  exploration of the 326 sq.m of luxury. It has only one king-size bed: which might seem odd due to the volume of the suite. But it connects directly with the 2-bedroom "Ambassador Suite", which is not less ritzy, plus another bedroom for security or maids. Decorated in the royal colors of yellow and purple, featuring original mouldings, silver leaf, and imposing crystal chandeliers, the "Royal Suite" comes with no bling but a spontaneous elegance. The living room, and the ceremonial dining room (sitting 12 guests), have been designed for dignitaries. There is a private gym and a SPA treatment room (but no sauna nor steambath). This is also the place for wedding parties and fashion photo shoot. The bathroom would please the most megalomaniac guest, indeed!

Our December 2016 stay, gave us the opportunity to experience the same room like one year before. A "Premier Room", now rebranded into "Garden Room". Located in the "Garden Wing", the "boutique" section of the hotel, dating back from the 1950s, our totally refurbished room featured a split level layout. Covering "only" 35 sq.m, it really looked like a suite. Featuring a cozy bedroom and a lavish  marble bathroom, with stylish silver taps, on the mezzanine floor; and a colonial-inspired, chic contemporary living-room on the ground floor. It looks like an artist loft, with its floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the garden and river. The nook, once hosting the writing desk, has given place to a large bar filled with complimentary drinks from the best local and international brands, including beer, house wine... and a personal reserve of the yummy "Mandarin Oriental Bangkok" signature coconut ice-cream served with style at the swimming pool! Thumbs up for the initiative. Carefully displayed on the table of our living-room, we found a best-of all the bonuses expected by the experienced Oriental guest: wine, fresh snacks and tropical fruits, a welcome letter handwritten by the general manager, and an invitation to the fancy and exclusive "management cocktail party". Organized once a week, it allows the VIPs, suite and returning guests, to meet each other in the "Authors Wing", taste Thai snacks, wine and fine liquors, enjoy live Siamese music and dance, exchange their impressions and formulate any request to the management. There is only one hotel in the world organizing such a party, and we always calculated the day of our visit to make sure that we would not miss it. This is actually part of the folklore launched by Khun Kurt (Kurt Wachtveitl), "the man who did The Oriental". He retired in 2009, after more than 40 years devoted to "his" hotel (replaced by the dynamic Amanda Hyndman, who fell in love with the hotel when she was a young traveler).

Khun Kurt remains the special adviser and ambassador of a soulful hotel, with a very low turnover among the staff... sometimes working here for decades, and actually knowing regular guests' -including the Royal Family- personal tastes and special requirements!  The much devoted, anticipating service, always gave us the impression that we were staying in a royal palace. We have always been called by our name by the so friendly female head-concierge, and the discreet though efficient floor butlers (bringing us complimentary evening snacks, wine, and beautiful bouquets, or shining our shoes without any special request from our part!). We would like to understand how the lift-boy at the "Main Wing" (how many hotels still have a lift-boy nowadays?) can send the guests to their floor, faultless from the first until the last day of their stay? And also, why did the butler always emerged at the right moment to open our door? We had one secret revealed recently: there are motion detectors hidden in the rooms, to check whether it is occupied or not. The staff won't, therefore, never disturb the guests; rushing into the room as soon as they left to refresh it completely, everytime it looks necessary!

The hotel is located in the last area in Bangkok where oxygen remains more or less generously available... Let's cross the river aboard the hotel private teak-wood shuttle boat (also deserving the nearby BTS Sky Train station), land on the right bank, and visit the “Sala Rim Naam”: where royal Thai cuisine can be enjoyed in a typical “Sala”, with live Siamese traditional music. Next door stands the most prestigious SPA in Bangkok: an Eden,  made out of precious teak wood, devoted to relaxation, with a new Ayurvedic Penthouse where we had a well worth the trip 90 minutes massage and treatment, performed by selected Thai masseuses proficient in the Indian techniques of relaxation and soothing. Alternatively, the very complete and soothing 90 minutes Signature Massage is excellent (approximately USD 130, and worth it). This Thonburi bank is also housing the quiet Thai Cooking School, and the very high-tech and chic Fitness Club. Near to the school lives "Khun Tong Jah": a very talkative bird, who shall greet you with a phony "Sawatdee Khrap" ("-Hi!"), or "Khap Khun Krap" ("-Thank you")... if he likes your face and feels in a good mood.

Traditionally overpriced, always full for dinner (but with a reasonable offer at lunch time), “Le Normandie”, remains one of the most awarded French restaurants in South East Asia. "The China House" serves in style a most authentic Cantonese cuisine. Refurbished from its original, warm and picturesque design into quite a conventional coffee-shop, “Lord Jim” is an excellent alternative for both affordable and palatable international food. We actually prefer “Ciao”, the open-air terrace restaurant (opened during the “dry season” only), its palatable antipasti, pasta, and seafood, with a breathtaking view of the river which must be experienced after dark. Note that this is, with the "Riverside Terrace" (serving splendid chargrilled BBQ lamb and blue river lobsters in the evening), the last place where you could freely enjoy a good cigar; a strict law now takes over the gourmet and “aficionados”' freedom to smoke in air-conditioned and "public areas" (which, in Thailand, means everywhere!); even the now smokeless, freshly beautified Bamboo Bar, despite the entertaining live music, lovely jungle theme with deep leather sofas amongst palm fronds and authentic bamboo shades, lost part of its soul; with a clean air, the once so animated Oriental jazz-club looks like as aseptic as a Swiss clinic... Ironically the Habanos shop, with a selection of the best tobaccos from Cuba, stands next door!

Needless to say, The Oriental is one of the Top 10 most expensive hotels in Thailand; nevertheless,  it actually remain affordable to a large majority of travelers, so happy to spend only 50% of what they would pay in a Paris or London palace hotel, for more space and an unmatched level of service...   Those visiting Bangkok only once in their life should stay nowhere but in The Oriental!

THE MANDARIN-ORIENTAL BANGKOK: 48 Oriental Avenue, Bangkok 10500 
PHONE:  +662 659 9000      FACSIMILE: +662 659 0000 

Stepping into the cyclopean contemporary lobby, enveloped by a 19-floor atrium, seamlessly blended with traditional elements, we immediately felt the capturing fusion of refined elegance and warm Thai hospitality characterizing this highly reputed hotel. The attention to the lancaster bangkok best luxury first class hotels bangkok thailanddetail was evident from the moment we were greeted with a refreshing welcome drink, and the smooth check-in process by two charming hostesses in their red Siamese dress made us feel right at home.

Our super spacious 40 sqm "Deluxe Room", located on the 17th floor, had floor-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking city views. We immediately noticed the superb beige marble bathroom: unexpectedly ritzy in the cheapest category of rooms (rates are very attractive indeed!), it had separate toilets, a rain shower, and a tub. We quickly realized that the "iGlass" system, allowing us to switch the bathroom walls from transparent to opaque with a touch, and which we experienced for the first time a traveler’s life, added a futuristic flair to this trendy sanctuary of comfort and style. We liked the generous toiletry kits, replaced every morning by the super-efficient housekeepers.

The plush bedding, rich yet discreet fabrics, spacious writing desk and XL screen Smart TV,  not to forget a cozy sitting area where we could unwind after a day of exploring Bangkok, made this environment actually five-star. It had even what most of the top hotels in Bangkok are missing: an iPad-like tablet to control the light, air-conditioning, TV, order room service, and also to surf the web. That’s all 100 % perfect!

There is not much difference between "Deluxe Rooms" and "Executive Suites"; elevating the already high experience with its separate living area, and a Jacuzzi in the bathroom. Just like our room, booked with the "Club" extra, suites give access to the "Lancaster Club Lounge". A 19th-floor stylish and comfortable space, where we enjoyed light snacks and drinks, making it a great spot for casual meetings or simply relaxing. The lounge's chic décor and relaxed atmosphere made it an ideal place to catch up on emails or have a quiet conversation. The menu offered a variety of small plates, from savory tapas to sweet treats, all of which were expertly prepared and beautifully presented.

Dining at The Lancaster Bangkok was a highlight of our stay. We began our days with the sumptuous breakfast buffet at the "Siam Brasserie", where the variety and quality of dishes were impressive. From traditional Thai/Asian delicacies (noodle soups and Dim Sum for instance) to Western favorites such as pancakes and omelets, the options were abundant and catered to every palate. The expresso coffee is one of the best which we experienced during our visit to Bangkok; and the anticipating, courteous staff was always attentive and ready to propose a refill.

The high tea at the "Lancaster Bar" was a delightful affair, with a selection of exquisite pastries, scones, and teas that we thoroughly enjoyed right after checking in. The elegant setting, complete with plush seating in so British blue sofas and soft lighting, made for a relaxing and indulgent break. We  loved the experience, finding ourselves lingering over the delicate finger sandwiches and decadent desserts, savoring each bite. We particularly liked the rich selection of the rarest teas from China, India, and Sri Lanka. We enjoyed the atmosphere so much, that this is where we booked our dinner, letting the enthusiastic Executive Chef Appadoo Pravesh, who trained in the best palace hotels of Mauritius, his homeland, but also the best French restaurants, guide us through his specialties. We recommend the bespoke cocktails (try Negroni!), featuring unique flavor combinations and high-quality ingredients, and fine wines (some can be ordered by the glass), coupled with the intimate ambiance, made for a relaxing end to our days. The bartender was skilled and attentive, crafting drinks that were both visually stunning and delicious. The bill was more than reasonable.

The Viva Jiva Fit fitness & wellness center at The Lancaster Bangkok is one of the largest and most well-equipped we have encountered. With the latest exercise machines and a variety of fitness classes, it caters to both casual exercisers and fitness enthusiasts. We appreciated the availability of personal trainers who provided customized workout plans. The spacious and airy gym environment made working out a pleasure, and the state-of-the-art equipment ensured we had everything we needed for a comprehensive workout. We liked to relax in the sauna and large steambath. Ideal before a massage!

The rooftop infinity pool, offering stunning panoramic views of the Bangkok skyline, with a separate Jacuzzi, was a highlight of our stay. Lounging by the pool, sipping on refreshing drinks from the poolside bar, and taking a refreshing dip made for perfect relaxation. The poolside "High Bar" serves a selection of refreshing drinks and light snacks, making it easy to spend a leisurely day without leaving the comfort of our lounge chair.

The Lancaster Bangkok’s prime location made exploring the city a breeze. Situated near the MRT and Airport Rail Link (with complimentary shuttle service ), we had easy access to Bangkok’s major attractions.

A top choice for both leisure and business travelers alike, we rate our stay at The Lancaster Bangkok as absolutely outstanding.

THE LANCASTER: 1777 New Phetchaburi Rd., Bangkok 10310, Kingdom of Thailand
PHONE: +66 2262 8000

Familiarized with IHG hotels, that was our first experience with a Kimpton property. Well established in the USA, this IHG brand is reputed for its funky, pet-friendly hotels. We ignored that it came with a luxury that overpasses some InterContinental hotels, with kimpton maa lai bangkok ihg intercontinental best hotels bangkok palace luxury boutique hotels thailanda different concept. More family-oriented, less corporate (at least apparently). With a specific atmosphere, starting from the cool lobby with a permanent parade of high-so ladies taking along rare species of dogs, and eventually cats with a peerage, to the pet-friendly ground-floor «Craft» coffee shop: it has its garden-clad patio, with a dedicated place for a classy canine pee-break over the well-maintained grass! "Craft" is one of the most Instagrammed places in Bangkok, always elegantly crowded and exquisitely perfumed.

The action extends to the lobby lounge "Ms. Jigger", serving tasty and light Italian dishes (we recommend the signature Carpaccio with Organic Truffle Oil), up to the rooftop Bar Yard, located on the 40th floor of this «skyscraper boutique hotel», where the Bangkok well-born meet at night. It might take time and some influence to book, much in advance, a table with a view over the city that never sleeps... moreover since Bangkok is resurrecting after two years of quasi lockdown! We have been lucky enough to dine at the Bar Yard. The atmosphere is unpretentious and joyful, with groups of friends symbolizing the new generation of a wealthy and dynamic Thailand. Yet, we found the bill as light as a cloud. When beer is imported and relatively more expensive than expected, the BBQ meat, fish (we had squids), and quesadillas composing our combo could have pleasantly fed two empty stomachs. Setting the bill at USD 15 – 20 per person, including beer. Unimaginable in Paris, London… or even in Bangkok, in such a fashionable, most visited five-star restaurant. The first thing we do on our next trip is visit the Bar Yard again!

Let’s inspect the 321 rooms now. First impression: they are huge! We had a suite; but this wouldn’t have been any frustration to stay in the most standard category of rooms: «Essential Room» covering not less than 48 sq.m, with a cocoon-like vibe! What matters for us, in that kind of hotel is the view. And what a view, from the floor-to-ceiling windows! Located in the heart of Bangkok, the Kimpton Maa-Lai is part of a cluster of hotels and apartment buildings in the posh Phloenchit district. Our corner suite had a breathtaking panorama over the opposite US Embassy and its largest private garden downtown. A lung of greenery and lakes, the neighboring Lumphini Park, Bangkok’s palm-lined answer to Central Park in Manhattan, lies next block. Except for the Chao Phraya view from The Mandarin Oriental, no hotel, even The Lebua, can beat The Kimpton Maa-Lai.

Designed like a loft, bathed in shades of cream and indigo blue, with contemporary Asian art and a focus on comfort over any high-design frills, our 87 sq.m «Maa-Lai Suite» looked definitely like everything but a hotel room. An A-class residence. A home away from home (let’s rather say a mansion away from mansion…), that’s a real five-star luxury suite, with a separate spacious office area, as well as one of the airiest and most awesome bathrooms ever, with a sleek bathtub and a separate rain shower. Bespoke Harnn toiletry, exclusively designed for Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok, and colorful kimonos by Christian Develter for Tube Gallery, are some of the bonuses found in the suite. The king-size bed with a custom-made Simmons mattress, with luxurious 400 thread count linen, ranks amongst the comfiest in our traveler’s life. The Vifa Helsinki Sound System is a nec plus ultra in terms of music reproduction.

Of course, there is a Nespresso Coffee Machine which we never used, as nothing could beat the espresso which we enjoyed each morning at "Stock.Room". The voluptuous buffet (and «à la carte») breakfast is served in this welcoming food hall with an open kitchen, deli counters (including one Asian and Indian corner), juice bar, and coffee corner. Quality meets quantity, and it was so hard to choose between ideally textured Dim Sum, Bacon French Toasts (we never experienced that good!), super fresh chicken sandwiches, spicy Tom Yum Shrimp Soup, or a selection of salads with elaborated dressings. The eggs are purchased from organic farms. The pastry is exceptional. That’s one of the top-five best breakfasts in Bangkok, indeed. The restaurant is worth the visit for lunch or dinner, and we shall experience next time.

The fitness centre, with much space to exercise using the most up-to-date equipment, employs personal trainers and wellness gurus. The Thai Harnn SPA is much visited by local clien. It is regarded as one of the most elegant and professional in the chic Ploenchit district.

The urban infinity pool-side is relaxing. The water is a bit cold, as it is not bathed by the sun: Asian people avoid the sun rays, and they appreciate a shady bath at The Kimpton Maa-Lai. We liked the happy hours at the pool bar, with complimentary and generous flows of wine or beer for the hotel guests. The barmen, like the rest of the staff, are particularly friendly and motivated. The global service, from the lobby to the sky bar, by young and beautiful employees, is 10/10.

THE KIMPTON MAA-LAI: 78 Soi Tonson Lumpini Pathumwan, Bangkok, Thailand 10330, Kingdom of Thailand
PHONE: +66 (0)2 056 9999
TOLL FREE USA: 1-855-KIMPTON (546-7866)‎ - THAILAND: 800-444466

This sanctuary of elegance, and sophisticated eccentricity, lies in a diplomatic area in the heart of Bangkok. With its fusion of luxury, impeccable service, and a touch of East-meets-West charm, this remarkable boutique hotel captivates the senses and transports guests into a world where the concept of "dolce vita" becomes a reality.

A branch of IHG, Indigo mixes the solid American standards of luxury hospitality with a local boutique concept. Each hotel reflects the atmosphere of the indigo bangkok wireless road ihg intercontinental best hotels bangkok palace luxury boutique hotels thailandcity where it is located. We liked the Hotel Indigo Paris a lot. This time, it was to experience their sister hotel in Bangkok. It is larger, more luxurious, and, of course, more affordable. It is also more exuberant, with wood adorning every corner (the parquet in the rooms is particularly noticeable), a collection of objects related to radio (as we are on Wireless Road...), and ceiling fans in the large open-air corridors, allowing us to embrace breathtaking views of Bangkok on the way to our room.

Our abode for the duration of our stay was a 48-square-meter King Premium Garden View High Floor Corner Room with Balcony. As we stepped into the room, we were greeted by a sense of opulence and sophistication. The gilded sinks in the lavish bathroom exuded an air of elegance, while the tub provided a luxurious spot to unwind and soak in the panoramic city view. Gazing through the floor-to-ceiling windows, we marveled at the sprawling park surrounding the US Ambassador Residence, a reminder of the exclusivity and tranquility that awaited us. It was a real privilege to enjoy so much greenery in the center of the over-urbanized downtown. From our balcony, we could also see Lumpini Park: a haven for joggers... and a peaceful colony of monitor lizards, making it worth a visit. We liked the JBL speakers , and XL flat-screen TV. Trendy furniture, and intimate lightning system.

Ascending to the "Char Rooftop Bar", famous for its chilled evenings with a DJ and imaginative cocktails, we discovered a hidden oasis—the panoramic infinity pool. As we dipped our toes into the crystal-clear water, we were greeted by a breathtaking view that stretched across the cityscape. The pool's edge seemed to merge seamlessly with the skyline, offering a sense of serenity and tranquility high above the bustling city below. Lounging on the comfortable sunbeds, we reveled in the feeling of living the high life, sipping coconut milk, surrounded by luxury and indulgence.

Our mornings began with a feast for the senses at the "Metro by Wireless" café. A place where East meets West in perfect harmony, creating a culinary symphony that delights the palate. We indulged in the best Eggs Benedict in Bangkok, featuring tender salmon atop a smooth muffin, which we selected from the extensive selection of egg specialties à la carte. There is also a wide variety of Thai/Asian dishes (excellent Dim Sums!). The café's French and Danish pastries, delicate and flaky, added a touch of European decadence to the start of our day. Friendly and passionate Chef Jaime Rojas is the director of the gastronomic orchestra, making Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road much more than a hotel. His panoramic and romantic «Char» bistro-chic restaurant attracts all the foodies of Bangkok, even more than the hotel guests who should not miss his epicurean symphony of steaks and seafood specialties. The wine list is surprisingly affordable in a country where taxes make imported alcohol a refined sin for the happy few.

As Fellini once said, "La dolce vita," the sweet life, is a concept that embraces the joys of indulgence and luxury. Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road embodies this ethos, elevating every aspect of the guest experience to create a world of refined pleasure and ultimate relaxation. As we reluctantly bid farewell to this haven of elegance, we couldn't help but be reminded of the words of Fellini, who believed that true happiness lies in savoring the sweetness of life. Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road is the embodiment of this philosophy, inviting guests to revel in a world where luxury and tranquility harmoniously intertwine.

HOTEL INDIGO BANGKOK WIRELESS ROAD: 81 Witthayu Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Kingdom of Thailand
PHONE: +66 2 207 4999

This majestic hotel, that has witnessed the passage of time and stories of countless travelers, stands in the heart of Bangkok. A stone’s throw from Patpong Night Market, it is close to the fancy department stores and malls, banks and montien hotel surawong best luxury hotels five star hotels bangkok thailandleading companies offices, it has the Lumpini Park next block, and the must be seen Snake Farm just accross the street. Inovative and fascinating, then a bit tired by the years, this landmark establishment has recently undergone a remarkable transformation back to its glory and fame. In 2022, it emerged as a more luxury than ever five-star superior hotel, captivating the imagination of all who walked through its doors since 1967, in the crazy time of the Swinging Bangkok. That’s why we decided to book there in Spring 2023, and don’t regret our choice!

Strategically situated next door to both the BTS and MRT metro stations, it effortlessly blends modern convenience with a touch of timeless elegance. The hotel's exterior exudes a 1960’s urban architecture hard to find anymore in Bangkok; since most of the witnesses of this inventive epoch, when the most luxury and best serviced hotels in the world were located in Bangkok, have been demolished in favour of high rise, souless business hotels… This makes the Montien Hotel Surawong Bangkok an architectural monument.  While its interior boasts a complete redesign that leaves visitors in awe. Cyclopean ballrooms and meeting rooms are now adorned with opulent high tech equipment and intricate details, with some traditional Siamese precious handicraft mixing with collections of vintage cameras or vinyle records… It is done tastefully: giving such a smart touch to what would be otherwise austere meeting rooms!

The parqueted large rooms and suites welcome guests with the same air of sophistication. Five star, indeed, to their design and comfort! We booked a 30 sqm Deluxe King Size, treated to a visual feast with a large screen Samsung Smart TV that added a touch of modernity to the traditional Siamese frescoes adorning the hotel's corridors and rooms. It looks as if the hotel whispers stories of the past while embracing the present.

Our room was located on the 16th floor, greeting us with a panoramic view of the bustling city of Bangkok. The sight is awe-inspiring, as the vibrant metropolis unfolded before our eyes like a tapestry woven with the dreams of countless souls.

Thumb up to the lavish bathrooms, decorated with pristine white tiles, a bit like in the utterly luxurious Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, offering a sanctuary for relaxation. We liked the high quality toiletry by Charcoalogy, chosen by the hotel to provide its guests an anti-pollution and age defense detox. Everything is done for the well-being and health of the visitor.

Every morning we have been indulged in a pantagruelic buffet breakfast that left no craving unsatisfied. The Montien Hotel Surawong Bangkok renowned restaurants took us on a culinary journey, offering a variety of exquisite dishes. The signature restaurant, Ruenton, specializes in Chinese-Thai cuisine and, we can confirm after our sappy dinner there, is celebrated for serving the best Dim Sum in Silom, and arguably in all of Bangkok. Additionally, the Michelin Red Guide had bestowed an award upon Ruenton for its remarkable rendition of Chicken Rice cooked the Singaporean way, with a secret «Montien touch».

We found solace in the hotel's expansive Riviera-style swimming pool. Large and deep, it caters to both those seeking a refreshing swim and those desiring a challenging workout. With a glass of chilled Singha beer in hand, we liked to bask in the sun, our worries dissipating with each sip.

Note that the hotel has a very unique shrine, dedicated to the spirits of 3 children whose "Phi" (ghost) has been seen wandering here. Jook, Petch and Chat are celebrated since 40 years, impersonated into Doraemon dolls. Since, this shrine has a funny nickname as "Doraemon Shrine". Donating a doll to the spirits brings luck. When the shrine is full of dolls, the owner of the hotel will offer them to the orphanage. This is a dreamed place for Instagramming....

Remarkably, the Montien Hotel Surawong Bangkok, a Top 5 Best Hotels in Bangkok by Tripadvisor,  offers an astonishingly moderate price for a luxury experience of such caliber. Behind the scenes, a Swiss general manager tirelessly ensures the satisfaction of every guest. With an unwavering commitment to excellence, the anticipating staff caters with every need, leaving us with memories that would last a lifetime.

What we would like to call the "resurrected" Montien Hotel Surawong Bangkok stands tall as a testament to the harmonious marriage of tradition and modernity. Providing a perfect base for both leisure and business travelers in the vibrant city, it is a haven where luxury and affordability coexists, and where the words of John Steinbeck ring true: "Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury."

Bangrak, Bangkok 10500, Kingdom of Thailand
PHONE: +66 2 233 7060

SIAM@SIAM BANGKOK (*****L): Since more than a decade, this distinguished design hotel defies its competitors with so many particularities. With Siamese contemporary art everywhere. Cheerful frescoes decorate the walls of the public areas, corridors, and rooms. Odd statues, siam at siam siam best luxury design hotel bangkok thailandintriguing artifacts, and design furniture make the lobby one of the most original in town. The arrival at Siam@Siam Bangkok is impressive. Even for spoiled guests, inspecting luxury hotels all along the year. Though Bangkok isn't the «City of Smiles» since a decade, at least, the legendary Thai graciousness survives at Siam@Siam.

COVID 19 downgraded a lot the level of service in many hotels visited recently. We tested the Siam@Siam just before, then just after this destructive two years, and nothing changed! The notion of service is comparable with the Mandarin-Oriental! Upon arrival, the bellboy and reception staff immediately called us by our name. We just regret that the «My Club» Executive Lounge, for Club and suite guests, didn't reopened yet. It will surely be operating again when you read this review.  in Winter 2019, we loved being pampered in this cozy and delightful heaven, with a breathtaking city view. We have experienced many club lounges in Bangkok, and would rank it in the top 5 (with Sofitel So, Sofitel Sukhumvit, InterContinental, and Royal Orchid Sheraton). It had all day offering of coffee, tea, and snacks. Exclusive a-la-carte with buffet breakfast is served from 6 am until 10 am (that time we experienced "A la Carte", with a buffet section, breakfast at Chim Chim, downstairs, and found it exceptional: both in term of quality, and atmosphere). We checked-in at High Tea time (2 pm until 4 am), and found the tea set very stylish, with bitter chocolate cakes and yummy mini club-sandwiches. We also patronized the Happy Hours (5:30 pm until 7:30 pm), where wine (from the «New World»), fine liquors (Campari, Bacardi, Dewar's White Label), and really professional cocktails (prepared by the cheerful barmaid and club receptionist). The «Long Island» which we ordered was as well done as in Bar Hemingway at Ritz Paris. Though Siam@Siam has plentiful of other qualities, what would make us coming back is the club, indeed. Not to forget the strategic location, close to Jim Thomson's House, MBK department store, Pratunam Market.
It takes a five minutes walk to get to BTS station National Stadium: making any part of the city at a few minutes reach, even at the infamous peak hours.

We booked in 2019 in a «Grand Club Room», which we would rather call in Europe or the US an executive suite. It was located just next to the club lounge, which was most convenient. Large (48sq.m), it featured a separate living room with a large writing desk, and a comfy sofa; ideally designed for business meetings it has a Nespresso Coffee machine, and complimentary mini bar in which we found soft drinks and a small bottle of Freixenet Rosé Brut (a gift from the management). A set of fresh French pastries was delivered daily, in the evening. Stylish!: that was another proof of the definitely anticipating service.

Our room had a large private wardrobe to stock our luggage, and hang up our clothes at ease. Such a facility, ideal for a longer stay, is the characteristic of palace-hotels. We didn't use it much, but it actually brought a touch of chic.

The bedroom covered approximately 28 sq.m, with a super comfy
Sleep Comfort bed, and a plush bathroom with two sinks, a large tub, and shower. It had top-quality toiletries by Panburi: made in Thailand, this is one of our favorite brands. Nothing was missing, making the room experience faultless.

28 sq.m is the size of the Heritage Room, where we stayed in June 2022. It has nothing to envy to the suite in term of comfort, and the design features  fine furniture and larger-than-life artistic panels. Both categories of suite / rooms which we occupied grants access to My Club lounge, you won’t want to get out of.

Note that all rooms are quite different in term of design and size. Occupancy at the 10th floor is always higher compared with the rest of the hotel. This might sounds surprizing, as some rooms at this floor have a view limited to a corridor of greenery (no city-view). Extremely quiet and homey, they are often booked weeks in advance by returning guests.

The rooms and suites including «My Club» privileges, feature some extra luxury: a Marshall sound-system, for example.

Oddly there is no SPA; but the pool, next to the well-equipped fitness room, is amazing! We felt like swimming in the air, with Bangkok on the horizon.

Amongst its five bars and restaurants, Siam@Siam operates the remarkable fine-dining 25th-floor rooftop «Taan», where we spent a most enjoyable gastronomic evening. This is, with Le Du in Silom, one of the most attractive modern Thai Cuisine tables in the capital city. "Bib Gourmand" in the Michelin Red Guide Thailand 2022, it participates to the success of the hotel, which was fully booked during both of our pre and post COVID visits. Remember that advance booking is essential to enjoy Executive Chef Monthep Kamolsilp's exquisite cuisine. Alternatively, don't miss a quick bite at
Chim Chim. Supervised by the same team as Taan, this colourful all day hangout is reputed for pasta, quick bites, rich sandwiches, yummy pastry, and superlative brunch.

Siam@Siam is one of the finest hotels which we experienced in Bankok over many years. It has a twist of modern chic pairing the unique ambiance of the beating heart of the city. Let's call it the Mandarin-Oriental for the younger generation of globe-trotters.

SIAM@SIAM BANGKOK: 865 Rama 1 Road,Opposite National Stadium, Wang Mai, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330, Kingdom of Thailand
Telephone: +66 (0) 2217 3000
Fax: +66 (0) 2217 3030

SOFITEL BANGKOK SUKHUMVIT (*****L): After visiting the so trendy Sofitel So Bangkok, we were curious to compare the quality of this sister hotel, so well positioned in the heart of Sukhumvit. We were expecting a good but austere corporate hotel, and surprisingly sofitel sukhumvit bangkok best luxury palace hotel bangkok club lounge suite millesime loungeenjoyed a cocktail of French chic and Thai atmosphere. One of our top 5 best experiences in Bangkok this year, the Sofitel Sukhumvit, lavishly designed by the architect of the Peninsula Bangkok, reflects the high level of hospitality of a Parisian palace hotel like Le Bristol or Plaza Athéné a portion of the price, and with more staff to serve us.

Perfectly trained, naturally kind, attentive and smiling, the employees definitely enjoy their job... and their guests (a good mixture of businessmen and tourists). Check-in was a smooth as silk: promptly with the efficient clerks at the main reception desk, or in style if you booked a Club Millésime Floor suite or room. A little privilege, which allowed us to check directly at the very luxurious Club Millésime Lounge. Though relatively spoiled after spending a couple of months inspecting the best of Southeast Asian hospitality, we have been flabbergasted by the swank design of this modish lounge. No “faux pas”, but a sense of detail and comfort making the place actually tailored made for the businessman (we spent much time working there, pampered by the staff) and leisure travelers alike.

We liked the selection of magazines and daily international newspapers. The space generously allowed to relaxation and work, the sophisticated
“à la carte” breakfast with a French touch, served in style by sumptuous hostesses.  The soft drinks, and 100% authentic Italian espresso which we could order anytime free-of-charge.  The stylish high-tea with yummy “éclairs chocolate” and macaroons, better than Angelina or Ladurée Paris. The rich “Happy Hours” in the evening, providing gourmet snacks, a nice selection of wines and home-made cocktails to those who, like us, set the alarm of their clock to 6 pm not to miss the event. We sat at the ritziest lounge bar in the Kingdom, enjoying the same level of chic and social life like in real Parisian or New Yorker palace hotel. There are a business center and a nice meeting room which can be used one hour per day with compliments. Last but not least, the circular view from the 31st floor is worth the trip to Bangkok!

The 345 rooms are all supremely elegant. We appreciated the carefully waxed timber floor, modish furnishing, and the king-size bed made a comfy cloud: Sofitel is world famous for its legendary  “My Bed® “, whose concept is so exceptional that it equips the new Air France “La Première” first-class seats. You can choose your favorite type of pillow from and extended menu. The linen is the finest ever.

We could quickly inspect one of the 3 “Opera Suites” and 2 “Imperial Suites”, with terraces. We princely slept in a 60 sq.m two-room masterpiece “Prestige Suite”. Again, we felt very much in a palace-hotel, from the global style, plus small yet noticeable details like the selection of Hermès products in the refined bathroom equipped with TV. There are two other well sized Smart Led TV sets in the living and the bedroom, with a powerful Bose Lifestyle System. The writing desk is actually set for working, with much space and lots of plugs. The Internet is complimentary and fast: no need to pay an extra fee for the “Premium Bandwidth”. The espresso machine is professional.

The Club privileges include the dedicated service of a butler, and a so useful late check out until 16:00 pm (subject to prior reservation and availability). Style is everywhere at Sofitel Sukhumvit!

Of course, all facilities are here. A SPA, a state-of-the-art fitness club with a very efficient and courteous coach, a large and quiet pool (it is not heated; which is most pleasant during the hot season, and a little bit chilly the rest of the year).

Thumbs up to the F&B: the pride of the hotel. A Top 25 restaurants in Bangkok by Tripadvisor, “L'Appart” is a piece of France, perched on the 32nd floor. So spacious, so chic, with a lot of intimate corners for a business discussion or a romance, and “La Table du Chef” near the open kitchen, this is the signature restaurant at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit. We heard so much about the “Seafood Market” at “Voilà!”, that we skipped an invitation from a Michelin star chef in another hotel to see if the buffet could beat the one at the nearby InterContinental, which is a cornucopia of delicacies. The response is: yes, it does! Extravagant, super fresh, abundant, with blue lobsters from New Zealand, oysters from Normandy, shells from Brittany, fresh fish filets from the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean... and so fairly priced that we wondered: “-Where is the trick?!”. But no trick at all; ust one of the best dinners which we recently enjoyed in Bangkok. With a smart service, inspired by Laurent in Paris, or Hotel Hermitage / Société des Bains de Mer in Monaco, where the French staff has been trained long years before joining “Voilà”. Serving the royals in Europe, and serving us royally in Bangkok...

This is surely one of the best Sofitel in the world.

SOFITEL BANGKOK SUKHUMVIT: 189 Sukhumvit Road Soi 13-15 Klongtoey Nua Wattana
10110 Bangkok
PHONE:  +66 2 1269999    FACSIMILE: +66 2 1269998

SOFITEL SO BANGKOK (*****L): If hospitality were a religion, this cyclopean hotel would be a cathedral. One of the most luxurious and impressive hotels in Bangkok, both in term of volume and services, this brand new Sofitel So is a must-be-seen (and a must-stay!) in the vibrant capital of Thailand where hotels are growing like mushrooms.

The Sofitel So Bangkok is ideally located, with two facades -and entrances- on both major roads in the central Bangrak district: the busy
sofitel so bangkok best luxury palace hotels in thailandSathorn Road, and Rama IV which flows more freely and from where we always picked up taxi. Just cross it -if you dare!- and you get into Lumpini Park for jogging. Renowned architect Smith Obayawat created this impressive structure of contemporary sophistication: beguiling from outside, fascinating when inside, the 29-storey tower, with differing metallic shades and shifting glazed panels, creates the sensual illusion of curves.

Upon arrival, the smartly dressed -by Christian Lacroix!- nice looking staff was extremely anticipating. Escorting us up to the 9th floor discreet reception-desk at MIXO, Liquids and Stories vibrant social lounge; the ground floor, dedicated to some luxurious shops, with only the concierges and bellboys on duty, can't be described as a lobby. Check-in is softly and quickly managed above the clouds, sitting in a sofa, enjoying a glass of Blue Curacao cocktail concocted in a test tube, turning purple in our glass like in our childhood chemistry classes. DJ mixed lounge music, with quite a lot of French songs, followed us via the lift and the corridor until our “So Comfy” room, perched on the  28th “Water” floor. 

We became the privileged hosts of one of the Five Elements  -Water, Earth, Wood, Metal, and Fire- 238 guest-rooms and suites (up to 138 sqm) inspired by Thailand’s top design firms and an award-winning architect. The “So-Comfy“ “Water” rooms are reflecting sophistication and calm. Designed by Pongthep Sagulku of August Design, those 38 sq.m rooms are actually convenient and not crushed by  a more and more generalized trendiness where design harms to comfort. We liked very much the striking view of Bangkok from floor-to-ceiling windows, extending up to the onyx bathtub, in the marble walls connected open-bathroom. We have been impressed by the high-technology provided in this 21st Century room: the lighting is magic, somehow intriguing, but always efficient and so relaxing. The Samsung plasma TV is equipped with DVD player and  Apple TV; we used it quite a lot, as the Internet speed was from far the fastest which we ever experienced in Thailand. There is in fact a direct connection to a dedicated broadband server, only for the hotel, making streaming movies on YouTube as fluid as in Western Europe or in the USA. WiFi was also very fast, and complimentary. Those on a long stay, or visiting Bangkok for business, will like to know that browsing is not a frustration anymore. Though we didn't make much use of it, we noticed with satisfaction that the well filled minibar (soft drinks, water, but also peanuts and other small crackers) came also with the hotel compliments. The walk-in dressing-room with lots of storage space and a large safety-box showed, if necessary, that we were staying in a real palace hotel.

We had the chance to inspect further thematic rooms in this hotel mapped like a “Tree of Life”. Though our favorite category of room/floor are the warm and cozy “Water” and “Earth”, we would like to recommend the “Wood” to those looking for a more classical, somehow easier-to-deal-with design. Our next stay at Sofitel So will be definitely in the fairy-tale, magically designed “Earth” rooms: painted in a somehow hypnotic shade of blue, they won't please all the visitors, for sure. But we loved them at first sight: we would recommend them to honeymooners, for instance. Businessmen should straightly book in a “Earth” room.

No butler, but “gurus” in duty come up to the room within less than five minutes whenever you need them for anything, from room service to technical inquiry (surely related which how to use TV or lighting if you are not a geek...). All the guests are entitled to this service; the unique -we actually say UNIQUE- privilege at Sofitel So Bangkok is the fantastic “Club Signature Lounge”. From our longtime travel experience, we would say that only the neighboring Dusit Thani can compete in term of exclusivity. The size and design of the Club still give some advance to the Sofitel So: located on the 25th floor, it has plenty of tables and sofas with a view, plus a very unique panoramic terrace where we could smoke cigar “al fresco” after dinner. Club Rooms and large suites guests are entitled to use the Signature Lounge. This plush experience starts from breakfast (so rich!) till evening snacks (the staff visited our table plenty of time to refill our dish and our glass), not to mention high-tea with signature pastries and the best blends from Asia and India (great espresso coffee also!). The designer is... Christian Lacroix! Again! He painted the large colorful fresco next by the terrace; opposite, he drew his signature in red letter on the concrete wall. This luxury experience made us discover Bangkok in a new light, and comes atop all those sophisticated things which will make us come back, again and again, at Sofitel So. 

There is only one inconvenient in that kind of hotel: it features so many resources that time is not enough to enjoy all of them. We just could peep in the So SPA, located on the 11th floor, providing rejuvenating health & beauty treatments, involving refined French cosmetology. We would have loved to join one of those amok evening parties organized during the week-end on the 10th floor Infinity pool garden terrace. Or to exercise in the So FIT fitness centre, displaying iconic design and high-tech equipment with personal trainer. 

The hotel is well known by international gourmets and the local hight society for its discerning restaurants: Australian Executive-Chef Paul Smart worked with the chefs of El Bulli and cooked for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Room rate at Sofitel So Bangkok starts from THB 5,400++ (room only) for a “So Cosy Room“ during the low season, until THB 9,700++ (with Breakfast + Club Benefits) for a “So Club Room“ during the high season. Suites start from THB 11,700++ (with Breakfast + Club Benefits).

Five elements and five star, this is one of the leading luxury hotels in South East Asia.

SOFITEL SO BANGKOK: 2 North Sathorn Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
PHONE: +66 (0) 2 624 0000    FACSIMILE: +66 (0) 2 624 0111

THE SUKHOTHAI (*****L): Distinguished, refined, princely serviced, this legendary hotel offers the best of what one could expect in term of old school Siamese hospitality. Close to the animated Sathorn / Silom roads, with its trendy pubs, malls and firms headquarters, but remote enough from the street to provide a quiet environment in a nicely designed compound, this is one of our crushes in Bangkok.

Stepping into one of the most nicely designed lobbies downtown made us feel suddenly so Zen: feeling like in a temple of luxury. The design the sukhothai bangkok most luxury palace hotel in bangkok thailandis awesome. The music piping from the bars and restaurants sounds hypnotic. And the staff… Omnipresent, the most beautiful hostesses have been hired to welcome the visitor. The guest relations and F&B officers addressed us by our name a couple of hours after we checked in, competing in professionalism and style with the superlative Mandarin Oriental.

The Superior Rooms and Deluxe Studios ideally fit a short business trip; but like any authentic palace hotel, The Sukhothai illustrates itself by splendid and large suites. Famous artists and dignitaries book far in advance the 198 sq.m “Sukhothai Suite”, decorated with Jim Thompson silk, and featuring all luxuries… including  a grand-piano. The “Beaufort Suite” and “Deluxe Residence Suite” are equally top-notch, though we would recommend the surprisingly good value for money “Executive Suite”. We had been booked in this 76 sq.m, exquisitely decadent, open-plan bedroom-living room accommodation. With wild orchids and succulent homemade chocolates awaiting us on the large waiting desk, we got our initial impression confirmed that we were staying in one of the best-managed palace-hotels in the Kingdom of Thailand. We liked the complimentary Wi-Fi, the large screen Samsung TV with Bose home theatre system, the sense of detail brought to each piece of furniture and item featured in the suite, and superlative glass walled bathroom: huge, with a distinctive parquet and a walk-in closet, we would rank it in our top 5 the best five star hotels in the city.

Grand is the best adjective to describe this palace fitted for a king: with long corridors, refreshing open places filled with ponds and tropical flowers, and well-sized restaurants. F&B does count at The Sukhothai, attracting not only tourists but also many local patrons. If Celadon, where we enjoyed a toothsome dinner, initiates the gourmet traveler to the subtlety of the royal Thai cuisine, the rest of the restaurants and bars are leading venues for the local social elite and members of the diplomatic corps. The tastes of the world are provided at Colonnade, with a sushi making station, and a nice view of the ponds and gardens. This is also where the ambrosial breakfast is served. The Sunday Brunch at Colonnade is well known by all those happy few who circumvallated Southeast Asia. Same with La Scala: though we are more attracted by smaller, individually operated trattorias, all the comments received from some readers incite us to experience this premium Italian restaurant during our next stay in Bangkok. Salon is  famous for its “Chocolate Buffet”, Thimian for its pastries and macaroons, and The Zuk Bar is the place for a chic aperitif or cocktail.

The swimming pool is actually large (25-metre), with a relaxing Pool Terrace Café & Bar. The renowned Spa Botanica, and the modern and chic Fitness Centre (including a tennis court, squash court, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms), complete one of our preferred hotels in Bangkok.

THE SUKHOTHAI:  13/3 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
PHONE: +66 (0) 2344 8888    FACSIMILE: +66 (0) 2344 8899

LEBUA AT STATE TOWER (*****): Extraordinary, extravagant, exorbitant... the easiest way to review such a hotel would consist in concentrating superlatives. This is the place where each detail, each movement, each word has been thought up carefully to please much spoiled -though amazingly young- guests, conviced that they had already visited the best hotels in the world. The Lebua makes them change their mind... LEBUA_AT_STATE_TOWER_BANGKOK_TRAVELFIRSTIt took just a few years to build a universal reputation, rank atop, and get unanimous reviews in the medias worldwide. The tallest five star hotel in Bangkok? The most impressive concentration of staff we have ever seen? The largest rooms (which are all suites)? The highest terrace-restaurants? The most expensive dinner ever served in the World (at 1 million US$ a head!!!)? There is only one reply to this quiz: Lebua! 

The hotel extends from the 47th till 65th floors of a cyclopean neo-classic sky-scrapper, located right in the center of Bangkok, between Silom Rd shopping district and the Chao Phraya River. The lobby is warm, intimate: it made us feel like in a small luxury hotel: which the Lebua actually is, with only 198 suites. Our Three Bedroom Executive Suite was palatial,, with 266 Sq. M fitted for a king. Our check-in took place in the «intimacy» of a living-room which could host at ease a private party (which sometimes happens, when guests require a private in-suite chef to take care of their gastronomic entertainment!): it was flanked by a service kitchen, with a large refrigerator and all the kitchenware adapted for premium cooking sessions... Another particularity: we were kindly asked to sign up a discharge before we got access to our large, round shaped balconies with a stunning view of the Chao Praya River and the whole metropolis... Who would commit suicide, being already at Heaven in this dreamed hotel? 

The design of the suites is modern, trendy with large tables and sofas, elegant parquets and fine carpets. The king-size beds are as smooth as silk, with sweet linen and duveted mattresses. There is a Sat TV in each room, with DVD, and complimentary high speed broadband Internet. We liked the spacious marble bathrooms, with top quality Bvlgari amenities.  This glamorous atmosphere infuses a restful relief from the hot glare of the city. Service is anticipating and so discreet: we have never been disturbed, though the movement was permanent once we left our suite, which was cleaned many times a day, and generously provided with fresh fruits, fine chocolates and snacks...  Each morning was a delight: the Buffet Breakfast was sumptuous. We recommend the Dim Sums and the Sushis. It is served at Café Mozu (a place for belly dancing, each evening, in an atmosphere which remembered us the Buddha Bar in Paris), by one of the best trained -and beautiful- waitresses in Bangkok. They call each VIP -which means 100% of the guests!- by his name, and remember by heart any personal taste and requirement .  

The hotel pride remains The Dôme: located at the 51th-65rd  floor, this is a congregating of fine dining scenes under one roof. We had a wonderful gastronomic experience at Breeze. Seating in the open-air terrace, close to the stars, with a bird's eye glimpse of Bangkok. This multi-awarded restaurant, has been designed to revolutionize the Asian style seafood-dining, The steamed jasmine rice, mixed with abalones and lobster meat, and the Dim Sums are just sumptuous! This is, with Sirocco, Mezzaluna (the best Italian five star restaurant in town), Distil and the Sky Bar (unforgettable: perched on the 63rd floor), the only restaurants and bars in the Kingdom of Thailand recognized by Conde Nast Traveller 2005-2007. 

There is a pleasant Mezzanine floor open-air pool with Jacuzzi, a large Fitness Center with the ultimate equipment and kind coaches, and one of the most competent concierge in town offering very special services: like staff welcoming you directly at the plane, guiding you through the immigration and luggage processes,  while a comfortable air-conditioned limousine with a uniformed driver awaits for you at the gate... Such is Lebua, and such we loved it! 

Rates are variable, with attractive money saving  luxury packages. The Lebua at State Tower is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. 

Don't go to The Lebua to see Bangkok; go to Bangkok to see The Lebua! 

LEBUA AT STATE TOWER: State Tower 1055 Silom Road, Bangkok 10500  
PHONE:  +662 624 9999    FACSIMILE: 624 9998   

VIE HOTEL BANGKOK (*****L): With this sleek, new boutique hotel, Accor made one step further into luxury: The Mandarin Oriental, Dusit Thani or Siam Kempinski guests would find the same plush rooms, amazingly large suites, fine dining and level of service in this still vie accor five star luxury hotel bangkok thailandlittle bit confidential hotel as in the well established and much publicized high-end hotels in Bangkok. Maybe because it became one of them...

We have undoubtedly been positively surprised by VIE Bangkok: introduced as a boutique hotel, it has all what one might expect from a small, intimate property; plus all the advantages of a large palace hotel. With 154 rooms and suites, spacious in any category (38 up to 420 sq.m), featuring super high ceilings in the splendid Duplex Suites, the VIE doesn't look like that much boutique from outside; but once in the zen and human-sized lobby, the homey atmosphere popped up, and we felt so much pampered by the staff that, yes, indeed, boutique is a proper word to define this refined hotel managed by Accor, but owned by a local family which cares on each detail to make it looks like all but a chain hotel. We have already visited some M Gallery Hotels by Accor; VIE beats them all in term of luxury, and already received many awards (Best Boutique Hotel by, “Trendy in Asia” award by Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards, “Best Newcomer in Bangkok” by, “Best Urban Hotel” by Anywhere Magazine, etc).

We had been booked in a spacious suite. While many Western hotels like to describe and sell large rooms as “Junior Suites”, VIE renamed on the contrary its comfy and chic 81 sq.m suites as rooms (“Grand Deluxe One Bedroom with King Bed”)! We therefore got much more than what we would  have expected. Large living room with deep sofas and large writing deck, Panasonic flat screen TV in both living room and bedroom, super king bed with a nice selection of pillows, ritzy bathroom with Aigner toiletry; and everywhere that trendy, warm design reflecting a unique sense of hospitality. Lots of wood, leather, silk and fine cottons. Original drawings and artefacts everywhere in the rooms and public areas. And a quiet, relaxing atmosphere, though the VIE is located in one of the busiest and most sought after part of Bangkok: just opposite BTS Ratchathewi station, a short walk (or complimentary hotel “tuk-tuk” shuttle ride) to MBK, Siam Paragon, or Central World. Silom, Sathorn, Sukhumvit and the lovely Bangkok riverside area are just a few BTS/MRT stations away, connecting to rail link to airport. Room rate is attractive (you might like to choose a special package) and includes high-speed WiFi.

Chef Jerôme Chautard caters hotel guests, and visitors from outside alike, with his mouth watering Provencal style cooking. Originated from the gourmet city of Bourg-en-Bresse, trained in Saint Tropez, he brought a lot of his soul and much of  his skill to the La VIE Creative French Restaurant. Breakfast (one of the best in town), lunch and dinner are buffet style. Jerôme is always very much available in the room to guide the dinners through the Epicurean selection of the finest oysters, king crab legs, foie gras, Cordon Bleu, fresh fish, superb pastas, plate of traditional French cheese and light imaginative deserts. At about EUR 20 for dinner buffet, this is one of the best value five star restaurants in Bangkok. We really liked that much attended and popular place, and understand why it received the merited “Thailand’s Best Restaurants 2010, 2011, & 2012” award from Thailand Tatler Best Restaurant Guide. Alternatively, VIE has also a nice coffee-shop by the lobby, and a Japanese restaurant. There is a night bar with lounge music also.

Leisure are taken in serious consideration. The roof pool is pleasant and quite unique with a glass bay giving the impression that you swim up to the street. Relaxing in the cool water, observing the peak hours traffic jam and people running to the metro, is a selfish, though quite exciting pleasure... After a warm Jacuzzi in the well appointed fitness centre, we recommend a massage in the luxurious treatment rooms suites at VIE Spa. A one hour Thai or oil massage, performed by really kind and experienced professional masseuses, is worth every penny of the good value rate (about EUR 50). We found the place almost as luxurious as the Mandarin Oriental Spa, and the staff exquisite.

Surely one of the best five star hotels in Bangkok, it might have one competitor in Thailand in term of exclusive top class luxury: The V Villas in Hua Hin... owned by the same company, and also managed by Accor.

VIE HOTEL BANGKOK: 117/39-40 Phaya Thai Road, 10400 Bangkok
PHONE: + 66 (0) 2309 3939    FACSIMILE: + 66 (0) 2309 3838

SIAM KEMPINSKI (*****L): This brand new Kempinski, one of the most beautiful palace hotels in Thailand, can be called a landmark, indeed. So grand! Mid-way between the German neo-classicism and the Chinese opulence, the pharaonic architecture would impress the most spoiled guest. How many time, during our stay, did we lose our way in labyrinths of enchanting corridors, palatial lobbies, gargantuan restaurants and cascades of bars and lounges? Exploring the Siam Kempinski is an exciting journey across a jungle of luxury: featuring unique landscaped gardens with multiple swimming pools and outstanding water features,  a giant 900 m2 Grand Ballroom, exclusive kids club, ritzy spa & health club, seven food and beverage options and extensive meeting facilities... 

By contrast, the 303 rooms (including 42 suites), as well as 98 serviced residences, look like a homey, actually relaxing retreat. Matching the high standard of the hotel: with a hip, contemporary interior, warm parquets, high walls covered with precious wild silk, fabulous king-size bed, balcony with garden & pool view... And certainly the most spacious bathroom downtown: so large and richly appointed. «Boutique» by the design, palace-hotel by the concept, we actually liked our Deluxe Room: featuring a large LED flat screen with video on demand, Internet radio and media entertainment system, iPod connectivity, complimentary LAN and wireless broadband internet. As a bonus, all the items in the minibar (mineral water, soft drinks and beer) were provided free of charge; just like the Lavazza Expresso capsules for a premium coffee facility! If luxury is not enough, just book one of the Cabana Rooms, displaying private terrace overlooking the garden with direct pool access. Executive rooms and suites guests can enjoy the privilege of the exclusive Executive Lounge.  Opening offers and packages are available at fair price. 

Though we didn't experience the restaurants yet, judging from the extraordinary quality of the breakfast -one of thee finest ever enjoyed in Thailand- they must all offer splendid dinning. Which sounds like a necessary challenge: right in the heart of Bangkok, the hotel is surrounded by the best restaurants, and the high end Siam Paragon shopping mall, with plenty of gourmet resources, is located next door: an anticipating, elegant security guard will even stop all the cars to make you cross the street safely! Isn't it a five star service!? 

Needless to say that we warmly recommend this remarkable palace-hotel. 

SIAM KEMPINSKI: 991/9 Rama 1 Road, 10330 Bangkok 
PHONE: +662 162 9000   FACSIMILE: +662 162 9009 

THE PENINSULA (*****L): Since almost a couple of decades, The Peninsula Bangkok offers to the traveller a splendid riverside alternative to the legendary Oriental. Both hotels are facing each others: without the river Chao Phraya as a border line, sure a merciless war should had broken out already. Such a concurrence is a splendid opportunity for who is looking  for superlative service and comfort in Bangkok. According to us, the peninsula best luxury palace hotels in bangkokThe Peninsula quickly took the post position: it will do its very best to keep it. While The Oriental is located in a much congestion area, which is inconvenient for businessmen, The Peninsula stands on the Thonburi side of the river: traffic is still OK there, and the highway is accessible in a few minutes. There is a private pier and river shuttle, with check in/checkout facility on opposite bank. 

The lobby is palatial. Some find it quite cold; personally, we loved it distinction at first sight. The staff is extremely courteous: which is quite normal in a five star deluxe hotel in Thailand. One of the most impressive difference with other hotels of this category comes with the brand new Rolls Royce Silver Spur II, available for glamourous and top comfortable transportation (THB 1,800 per hour, inside Bangkok). The Dusit Thani used to have its Silver Shadow II fleet, but unfortunately stopped the operation five years ago. Distinctive travellers will hear with pleasure that the Spirit of Ecstasy is back in Bangkok !  

Rooms are exceptional. Large: about 46 sq.m. All with a dramatic view over the river. They are certainly the most sophisticated in town nowadays. They come with invisible fax machine, discretely integrated inside the desk. Besides the king size beds, a master switch controls light, air conditioner, and TV. Bathrooms would suit a Roman emperor. Made out of yellow and black precious marble, they are equipped with a TV set: having an aromatic herbs bath while watching a good movie is considered here as a basic facility. The suites are too new to get the charm of those at The Oriental or Dusit Thani; but on the other hand, they offer much  more luxury. Impossible to find more comfortable, glamourous and ritzy than The Peninsula Suite. Imagine a duplex, designed like a multimillionaire's apartment, with Chinese furniture and antiques, deep and smooth sofas covered with gold Thai silk, huge bedrooms (including a small one for the butler), a large dining room with separate kitchen, bathrooms with Jacuzzi and, last but not least, an open air sun deck with hot tub overlooking the river and the all city of Bangkok. There is no hotel in South East Asia, even The Raffles in Singapore, offering such a superlative suite. At US$ 2,600 ++ per night, happy few will still find it good value for money. Budget minded traveller will just refuse to believe it when we would reveal the promotional rate for a standard room: US$ 85 only ! We couldn't believe it ourselves; but the hotel needs to offer flat introductory rates to keep with its fame in an economically stricken Thailand. A Superior Suite is US$ 120...

The pool is a long and straight one, with some waterfalls: we like its design. The pool side is much pleasant: very tropical, with a its private “khlong“ (canal), and small lake with a Thai Sala. The fitness center is one of the best equipped and luxurious in Bangkok. It is equipped with Californian work-out equipment, and has a very pleasant hot tub. Of course there is a sauna, and all the basic facilities one could find in any international hotel. 

Fitted for VIPs, The Peninsula has its own helipad. Only the Shangri-La can compete with it on this matter. Before flying over Bangkok, the passengers can have a drink in the very high tech and intimate Paribatra lounge. We enjoyed the place very much, with its aviation related decorative items. 

We had delicious Dim-Sums, Egg Noodles with Seafood and Moon Cakes at the Mei Jiang: The Peninsula relaxing and smart Chinese restaurant was full the day of our visit. Excellent service: they even get some kind of a sommelier... specialized in tea ! The Cilandro is serving Thai specialities. For lunch, it displays a  superb international buffet. There is a terrace for outdoor evening barbecue. Such a luxurious place should have its French restaurant; it does not. As there is the top famous Normandy, at The Oriental, the management certainly preferred to offer a more relaxed alternative to smart dinners: with Jesters. There is some Philippe Starck's influence, indeed, in that trendy room, decorated with aluminium, painted steel, and high tech furniture. A large window faces the river. There is a live band. By night, it may be extremely romantic to have a candle light dinner there. They serve “Pacific Rim“ cuisine: we still ignore what it means... More details will be provided after our next inspection. 

Actually exceptional. 


THE PENINSULA BANGKOK: 333, Charoennakorn Rd, Klongsan, Bangkok 10600 
PHONE: +662 861 2888               FACSIMILE: +662 861 1112 

KLAPSONS THE RIVER RESIDENCES BANGKOK (*****L):  Tired of the hotels rooms, and looking for suites fitted for a king, at an unbeatable value for money? Then this newest, best top ten best-serviced apartment in Bangkok will match your requirement. We stayed river residences best cheap five star luxury suites serviced appartment hotels bangkok thailandpreviously at the next door Peninsula Bangkok and, astonishingly, found the same comfort and level of service at the more boutique River Residences. Located on the 23rd to 31st floors of the North Tower of The River Condominium, it features a collection of large suites, with a million dollar view on the river Chao Phraya. The 69 innovative units, lavishly crafted by William Sawaya, of contemporary design forerunner Sawaya & Moroni, provide a perception of real intimacy, with a discreet, discerning touch of modern luxury.

Each category of suite offers spatial functionality. We liked the huge balconies, the trendy American cuisine, and the washing machine with incorporated dryer, hidden in a discreet cabinet: we could manage our laundry by ourselves, just pushing one button. A detail for a businessman, maybe; but so useful when traveling with the family. The toiletry kit by Chopard, in the refined and large bathroom (with shower and tub), is so stylish that this is the first time in many years spend visiting five star hotels that we slipped a couple of bottles in our bag as a souvenir...

We loved the “River Suites” at first sight. Large, indeed: 230 sqm, housing three bedrooms (fitting family stay, or holiday with friends), a spacious living room, and even an attached library. The bonus is the view: the immaculate floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing optimal light, encircles the suite; making the guest feeling like embracing the river and the rest of the city. Even the best suites at The Mandarin Oriental didn't provoke such an impression! Each suite has a complimentary espresso coffee machine, large screen Sat TV, and of course WiFi.

The hotel has a gym, not less than 5 pools -indeed!- on the 5th floor, with a magnificent well kept garden. Plus one panoramic pool located behind the 23rd-floor trendy lobby: partly covered from the sun, with a breathtaking city/river view, it has a cool salted water, which we found particularly soothing during the hot season.

The BTS station Saphan Taksin stands 3 minutes away, using the complimentary hotel shuttle boat. The famous Asiatique riverside restaurants / shopping park can be reached from there within less than ten minutes.

Now, the big difference between The River Residences and the other hotels consists in the fact that you can”t book per night, but per period. A 30 days prepaid card, valid one year,  makes a five-star suite ridiculously cheap: starting from a little bit more than USD 60 / day... Which sounds the best value ever, in this category, for businessmen on a regular trip to Bangkok.

KLAPSONS THE RIVER RESIDENCES BANGKOK: 110/725 Soi Charoennakorn 13, Charoennakorn Road
Klongtonsai, Klong Sarn, Bangkok 10600
PHONE: +66 2 803 8100        FACSIMILE: +66 2 861 0366

JW MARRIOTT BANGKOK (*****):  Awarded as one of the Top 50 Hotels in Asia 2007 from Travel & Leisure, with a remarkable location in the business and commercial (prestigious shops, night market...) Sukhumvit district, right in the city center and well deserved by the Sky Train, this is one of our best tips in Bangkok.

The hotel took the best from America (excellent security, high tech everywhere, huge rooms...) and Thailand (palatial lobby, Thai design and superb service).  

We stayed in an Executive Suite: fairly well appointed, with deep sofas, CD player, a panoramic plasma TV in our large living room, plus a a 32 inches flat screen in our bedroom. The king-size bed was extremely comfy, with down comforters and custom duvets, and the bathroom large enough to accommodate a family... From the razors to the toothbrush or talc powder: nothing was missing in the extended toilet kit provided to the guest. All rooms feature tea and coffee facility and ironing board with a steam iron... Which we found very useful for a quick pressing of our jackets. Last but not least, the panorama over the city was fantastic.  

This five star environment is completed by a top comfortable Executive Lounge; its access is actually limited to a very limited number of happy few, and we immediately felt at ease there. This is the place for breakfast and complimentary drinks and snacks. There is high speed WiFi also: a pleasant place to work and communicate, indeed. 

Now, what actually makes the difference with other hotels is the breakfast, in the Marriott Café: we enjoyed it so much! The location if bright, pleasant, with a lot of families. You don't feel like in a corporate hotel (but is it so?). The buffet is gargantuan, with a variety of delicacies we found nowhere else in Bangkok. From the Scottish salmon to the Italian sausage, from the French « pain au chocolat » to the bagel, with a wonderful Asian corner (great Dim Sums and fried noodles with tiger prawns...). This is what would make us come back again, and again. The price of the breakfast, included in the room rates with some packages (or if you stay in the Executive Floor), is a great value for money. The impressive quality of the F&B comes graduating in the New-York Steakhouse, Man Ho Chinese Restaurant, TsuNami Japanese Teppanyaki Steakhouse (with all sorts of Saté and rare kobe beef), and White Elephant Thai Restaurant which are all very famous in Bangkok, and very much visited by expats and prominent Thai personalities. 

We also appreciated the express check-in and check-out, the very friendly and efficient concierges (the head-concierge is a « Clef d'Or », and can solve on the spot any problem the guest might encounter with the somehow sophisticated in-room high tech equipment), and the way the hotel staff cares about you security, even after checking out (taxi reference is taken, in case of any problem with the fare or lost item!). 

Price for a double deluxe room starts from THB 6,900 THB ++  to THB 8,000 ++. 

A remarkable hotel, well worth the stay. 

JW MARRIOTT BANGKOK :  4 Sukhumvit Road, Soi 2, Bangkok 10110 
PHONE: +662 265 67700      FACSIMILE: 265 67711 

REMBRANDT (****L): Those looking for a deluxe hotel with a warm, relaxed atmosphere, not to mention an amazingly good value for money, will like the Rembrandt. One of the most popular top class hotels in Bangkok, revamped with upgraded rooms (including nice family rooms), a stylish lobby-bar, and rembrandt_hotel_bangkok_travelfirsta well appointed Executive Lounge -with a stunning view of the city!- which we used very much during our stay. 

With its tall architecture and 407 rooms and suites, the Rembrandt looks like very much a corporate hotel; which comes quite correct, as many businessmen made it their home away from home. Nevertheless, this is also a perfect resource for leisure travellers looking for a softer notion of luxury. We found there one of the best level of hospitality we would ever expect in South East Asia; while there was no kind of plush ostentation at all. Except in the palatial «Rang Mahal» restaurant, the design remains «bourgeois» but not rich: making everybody feel at ease for a lovely holiday or business stay in the City of Angels. 

The rooms (30 Sq. M, with flat-screen TV, WiFi, large duveted beds...) are divided in different categories, though there is actually not a real difference between a Superior, Deluxe or Executive Room. After the refurbishment of the hotel, an egalitarian comfort comes to each floor. Nevertheless, we would like to recommend business travellers and couples, looking for a little extra and more intimacy, to rather choose the latest category: the 24th floor Executive Lounge is one of the most cosy in Bangkok (we have experienced almost all of them...). This is the place for separate express check-in and check-out, complimentary soft drinks and sweets all day long (alcohols and fine canapes are served in the evening), Internet surfing (you can use the two computers, or ask for your 24h free Wi-Fi password to the beautiful hostesses)... The Lounge is quite small, but well designed for intimacy and discreet business discussion. There is even a meeting room, which comes also complimentary. We liked the regular visit of the resident manager, F&B and general manager to greet the guests (some are regular since decades), inquiring on feedback or any special requirement: very professional and courteous, indeed. 

We also enjoyed the Rembrandt so much for its restaurants. F&B is brilliant and amazingly affordable; prices are miles away from those applied by the competitors. The legendary  “Rang Mahal” is the hotel pride: this is the most authentic and luxurious Indian restaurant in Bangkok. We had a dinner there, and were quite astonished to see that at least 80% of the merry dinners where Indians! So, no development concerning the quality seems necessary. “Red Pepper serves delicious Thai dishes in a lovely environment. It is most affordable, and captures a lot of hotel guests. “Mexicano” is a top 5 original Mexican restaurant in Bangkok. Da Vinci is one of the most authentic Italian trattorias in town. The “Café” is a coffee shop, with a piano-bar which starts to fill up from 6pm until late by night. Great atmosphere, indeed, extending to the lobby! 

The location of the hotel, in a quiet lane, a 3 minutes walk off Sukhumvit Road, is very central. Those walking down, will see many small bars, family restaurants, Thai massage parlours which are not so hanky-panky (and where a wonderful foot massage cost 5 EUR only...)... and maybe elephants (with their mahout begging some money to feed the animal)! Those feeling lazy can use the complimentary « tuk-tuk » to reach the Skytrain in minute: it makes Siam Square, Silom or the MBK Shopping center almost next door. 

This property is managed by a European / Thai team, whose efficiency is remarkable, and just joined the Warwick group of hotels.  From the concierge till the maids, the staff is gentle and efficient. The day of our departure, we asked for a late check out; back from breakfast,  we were surprised to see that our bedroom had been made up just like everyday, just to assure our complete comfort until our departure! This is the piece of detail which makes the difference between a good and an excellent hotel.  

The Rembrandt keeps on being posted in Tripadvisor as one of the most lovable hotels in Bangkok, which reflects very much our excellent impression. 

One of our finest addresses in Bangkok. 

REMBRANDT: 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18, Klong Toei, Bangkok 10110 
PHONE: +662 261 7100     FACSIMILE: 261 7017  

With 726 rooms and suites, the largest hotel on the banks of the Chao Phraya River remains one of the best addresses in Bangkok, after three decades, and despite the opening of dozens of luxury competitors. royal orchid sheraton and towers best luxury five star palace hotels in bangkokA non-stop success for this fairly priced hotel, always crowded with those expert travelers knowing that there is no more exciting place to stay in Bangkok than the riverside.

The BTS Taksin station (Silom line) is accessible within less that 10 minutes aboard a stylish complimentary shuttle boat, which we used many time for the pleasure of cruising on the exotic Chao Phraya. Chinatown is located almost next door, wandering in an undiscovered, still authentic part of the city, which the Royal Orchid Sheraton likes to show to his visitors: its lanes, animated by  local street-food vendors and friendly inhabitants living exactly like if Bangkok were still a Siamese village, all drive to the neo-gothic Talad Noi’s Holy Rosary Church. Erected in the 19th century, this Portuguese-Catholic is a splendor! The Siam Commercial Bank colonial building is not far. If shopping is your passion, the recently beautified River City is the ideal mall to find luxury fashion items at a good value price. It has also a lot of restaurants and riverside terraces.

There are two ways to discover the cyclopean Royal Orchid Sheraton. The first one, consisting in mixing with the flows of tourists, can be exciting: particularly at breakfast time, when the F&B team do the noteworthy record to seat and feed hundreds of guests! We surprisingly got a table within a couple of minutes, and didn't queue at the generously supplied food stations. The second one, which we recommend, is to make it in style. Booking a Club Room, feeling pampered the palace-hotel way, with a boutique touch. Located on the highest floor, with a memorable panorama over the river, the Sheraton Club Lounge makes Bangkok look magic at sunrise (breakfast time)  and sunset (snacks and cocktails time).

Access to the Club privileges starts at check-in, managed as quickly as courteously. We arrived a little bit after 2 pm, and could immediately engage in the afternoon tea, served with cakes and canapes. We couldn't miss the 5:30 pm to 8 pm cocktail, with a rich selection of hors d’oeuvres, wine from the New World (French wine was out-of-stock during our visit: showing that the Club lounge are distinguished connoisseurs...), and liquors from the leading brands worldwide. We liked the top-quality breakfast served in an intimate atmosphere by well trained staff. A variety of international and local newspapers and magazines is on display. Business guests can use the Club Boardroom, 1 hour per day. All complimentary, of course.

Located on the 25th to 28th floors, the 36 sq.m Club Deluxe Riverview Rooms showcase outstanding views of the Chao Phraya from floor-to-ceiling windows. We would just come back to the Sheraton for this million dollar panorama. Bright, with a trendy warm earth tone design, they have a ritzy marble bathroom providing all the imaginable toiletry a globe-trotter with a light bag might need. The safe is actually quite particular: located in a drawer, opening from the top. We didn't use the tea and coffee facility, as we preferred the excellent espresso from the Club Lounge. We liked the complimentary laundry/pressing services, with a generous allowance of three pieces per person per day.

The hotel has two pools. Sports swimmers will prefer the saltwater terrace pool. Yet the hotel main attraction remains since decades its amazing garden pool, surrounded by tropical greenery hosting a  family of peacocks! This looks like a little, unexpected Heaven! After swimming, we enjoyed the superbly equipped  Fitness Club (with a tennis court). We had not time for the Mandara SPA, reputed one of the best in the city.

The hotel houses four riverside restaurants, highly popular among Bangkok residents. Italian, Thai, Asian and International/BBQ cuisines are all excellent. We had a palatable, al fresco seafood experience at the chic and sleek Riverside Grill. Fair bill and relaxed atmosphere. Supremely attentive service, like everywhere in this caravanserai of luxury.

ROYAL ORCHID SHERATON HOTEL & TOWERS: 2 Charoen Krung Road Soi 30 (Captain Bush Lane) Siphya, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
PHONE: +66 2 266 0123

CHATRIUM HOTEL RIVERSIDE BANGKOK (****L): Being permanently ranked among the Top 20 best hotels in Bangkok by  Tripadvisor should be enough to attract any traveler looking for luxury and top-quality. The Chatrium Riverside, which we experienced three times already with an increasing pleasure, is one of the most impressive hotels in South East Asia. The location of this 36-story tower, with an elegant progressive architecture, is unbeatable: right on the chatrium_riverside_bangkokbank of the River Chao Phraya. Allowing a sweeping view of the «Menam» and the «City of Angels»,  from the oversized windows of the 396 rooms... which are actually lavish suites, covering from  60 Sqm. for a Deluxe Room, until not less than  460 Sqm. for the largest Presidential Suite in Bangkok.  

We booked a 120 Sqm Two Bedroom Chatrium Suite, which was perfectly suitable for a family stay. Just like all the suites, it featured a spacious balcony, floor-to-ceiling windows that afford optimal light, four-fixture bathroom with separate tub and shower, fully-equipped kitchen, and dining table. The beds are amazingly smooth and top-comfortable. Chatrium Suites features three zones, each with its own unique style of accommodation: Grand Floors (7-31), Executive Floors (32-34) and the Premier Floor (35). The outdoor Olympic-size swimming pool on the 6th floor, with a pleasant and romantic river view,  is easily accessible from all floors. Guest of the Executive Floor and Premier Floor are entitled to the exclusive «Club» complimentary privileges: breakfast at River Barge Restaurant or in the stunning «Chatrium Club Lounge», in-room hi-speed internet connection, one-hour use of the meeting room in Business Center per stay, laundry service for 2 pieces per day, late check out until 6:00 pm, and use of  the club lounge on the 36th floor. Tailored-made for the distinctive traveler, the recently upgraded «Chatrium Club Lounge» also hosts the Business Center and boardrooms: it offers VIP breakfast, all-day refreshments, and evening cocktails with canapés from 5pm to 7pm. A great place to socialize with the other guests! We like very much the «Chatrium Club Lounge» philosophy, and our personal experience through the years confirmed how well the Chatrium Riverside controls  the concept vs the competitors.  

Though, you don't need to be an executive guest to enjoy the splendid service which participates in the prestige of the Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok. We have been systematically called by our name by the staff, which is actually 5-star: from the security guard checking our taxi fare upon arrival, just to make sure we had not been cheated by the driver, till the extremely active and efficient room-division manager, we found so much kindness and respectful hospitality in this hotel! This was a good surprise, as the Chatrium is large and new. Two factors which, normally, do not facilitate a personalized service. It took short time to train the staff to a supreme efficiency: making the guests feeling perfectly at home. 

The breakfast, served in the River Barge restaurant, with its curved windows overlooking the river, is delicious. Note that it features plenty of Asian (Thai, Chinese and Japanese) delicacies. The place is very popular for its international cuisine and regional specialties buffet-style and à la carte. We had a great Sunday Brunch at Silver Waves: located on the 36th floor, this chic Chinese restaurant features authentic Cantonese cuisine served in a setting that affords breathtaking 360-degree panoramas views of the cityscape and the river. The selection of Dim-Sums is almost unlimited, and the quality is high end... for less than USD 20. 

The professional fitness-club is richly equipped with the lastest instruments available on the work-out market. Impressive! Another bonus is the classy, vintage teak-wood shuttle boat, linking the hotel with a too short -5 minutes- river cruise to/from the Taksin BTS - SkyTrain Station:  assuring that all points of the city are within reach. 

This five star hotel remains amazingly good value for money, with attractive rates and regularly updated promotions. 

Designed expressly to meet needs of discerning business and leisure travellers, the Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok is the new, and certainly the most brilliant, gem in the legendary Thai five star hotel industry. 

CHATRIUM HOTEL RIVERSIDE BANGKOK: 28 Charoenkrung Soi 70, Bangkholame, Bangkok 10120 
PHONE: +66 (0) 2307 8888, FACSIMILE: +66 (0) 2307 8899 

RIVA SURYA (****L): Modish, awesome, cool, trendy, but affordable: how comes we didn't know this riverside boutique hotel sooner? A chic dinner aboard the Supanniga boat, parking at the hotel pier,  was the starting point to our discovery. The so unique location, the riva surya best luxury boutique hotels bangkok riversideinventive design of the building, the pool which gives the impression that you are swimming in the Chao Phraya river... We had to spend a few nights in this four-star luxury getaway, indeed!

Far from the hustle and bustle of the city, Riva Surya is ideally situated close to The Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun. It takes less than five minutes to order a speedboat for an excursion along the picturesque “khlongs” (canals) of Thonburi. We liked to stay in the preserved, quiet and exclusive environment of this hotel, then venturing after dark into the touristy and badly cheap streets of Khao San Road. Though we have never been fans of this neighboring backpackers area, we must admit that some pubs and simple BBQ restaurants are quite atmospheric...before getting back to sleep in the luxury of our hotel!

This was always a pleasure to enter the appealing lobby after a long walk, greeted by the young and enthusiastic staff, and have a cocktail at The Garden or Mezzanine Bar, by the cool and so tempting riverside swimming pool. The hotel is actually worth for its riverside activities: like the gourmand breakfast (we liked the dim sums and the large choice of tropical fruits), and breezy dinner making us feel like on the deck of a cruiser.

The Babble & Rum Restaurant serves a reasonably priced Thai cuisine, based on fresh, local organic ingredients, in the rustic atmosphere of a market-inspired dining area. Seafood and western dishes are also proposed in the extended “à la carte”, with always a lot of promotion and daily offers.

The 68 rooms are refined and homey. Book a river view: the “sala” terraces are definitely unique. They are the closest to the Chao Phraya in all Bangkok. We felt like staying on a ship, indeed: with the non-stop animation of the “Menam” just opposite our sofa. We stayed in the best riverside hotels, but none can compete with Riva Surya in term of proximity. Besides the stylish design and location of the hotel, this is what would make us come back without hesitation.

The 40 sq. m Deluxe Riva Rooms and 48 sq. m Premium Riva Rooms are superb, with a perfect touch of each detail: five-star bathrooms,  400-thread count bed linens, entertaining system featuring LCD Sat TV and iPod docking station, and nice looking contemporary Siamese furnishings.

Very boutique! Very chic, the Riva Surya is tailored made for honeymoon or wedding. One of the most precious boutique hotels in “Venice of the East”, this is the pearl in the SNH Collection.

RIVA SURYA: 23 Phra Arthit Road, Phranakorn,
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
PHONE: +66 2 6335000     FACSIMILE: +66 2 6335050

PRAYA PALAZZO (****L): We  try to find out the convenient adjective to express our impression after our stay in this hotel; if “unique“ were not so neo-marketing nowadays, this would have been the ad hoc word. There is no place like that elsewhere in Bangkok. We praya_palazzo_bangkokcan't even call “hotel“ this residence, built in 1923, by Colonel Praya Chollabhumipanic: a Thai-Chinese millionaire and nobleman who worked closely with King Chulalongkorn. The “Ban Bang Yee Khan” (former name of the Praya Palazzo), last mansion of that kind surviving along the river banks, has lost none of its soul after a complete and faithful restoration, opening to the public in 2009 as a landmark of hospitality.

Everything goes different with the Praya Palazzo: our first contact with the hotel was... a boat. This is a delightful contrast, proceeding from the modern Suvarnabhumi International Airport and suffering the legendary Bangkok traffic jams, to have a vintage, beautiful river barge waiting for us at Phra Athit Pier, and to be presented with a well poured flute of chilled cocktail, and fresh perfumed towels over a silver tray! The palazzo is located on what many people like to call “the other side” of the river (actually Thonburi). It takes a couple of minutes to cross the Chao Phraya with a memorable view over the gilt temples, modest houses still surviving on both embankments, and the cyclopean and modern Rama VIII bridge. You are in Siam, much more than in Bangkok!

An island of serenity and luxury, the palace distinguishes itself from the environment. Impressive at first sight, it looks what it should hopefully become sooner or later: a Relais & Chateaux. Definitely different, it has no reception (just a small administrative office), and check-in is made in the discretion of the room. We booked in the “lowest” category: thus, our Superior Room was actually charming and looked indeed larger than the 25 sq. m. published in the Praya Palazzo homepage; this impression of fair volume came from the high ceilings and good design of all the guest-rooms. The comfortable bed and the subtle furniture are antiques. Some rooms even get a black Bakelite 1940's dial phone and furthermore hunted items from the past. Some bathrooms have old, plush tubs; some look more modern. All rooms and suites are different; guests should make up their choice in the photo-gallery according to their preference. Is it an advantage or disadvantage?; some of the 17 rooms and suites, like ours for instance, don't have a river view; they are the quieter ones, as the traffic on the Chao Phraya can be sometimes little bit noisy. Of course, the river view is more romantic for couples and honeymooners. The Praya Palazzo is one of the best choices for them, with the Mandarin Oriental; in some aspects, this colonial residence reminds us so much of the Old Wing at the certainly more ritzy and much more expensive Mandarin Oriental Bangkok. In both places you indeed feel somewhere! Moreover if you booked in one the suites, which are not so pricey. The high end 45 sq. m. Chao Phraya Suite reflects a early 1900's atmosphere: it has a splendid living room, and it overlooks the Chao Phraya. All the rooms are equipped with 29'' till 32'' LCD Sat TV, CD/DVD player (a selection of movies is available, for free), complimentary tea/coffee facility, a safe, and fine Harnn bath amenities. WiFi is unlimited and free-of-charge, in the rooms and public areas. Rates start from approximately USD 140 for a Superior Room up to USD 500 for the Chao Phraya Suite, depending on the season.
Many Thai and foreign residents in Bangkok come only to enjoy the restaurant. We found it is so stylish and romantic: with its gallery displaying old sepia pictures of the palazzo, its small library where you can read or borrow some books (again, just like in the Old Wing at the Mandarin Oriental...). Last but not least, the cuisine is delicious. We experienced some of the Thai chef's specialities, like the deep fried river prawns with red curry sauce, or the fried scallops with black pepper, and this was all yummy. USD 20 is an average bill for a good lunch or dinner with one glass of local beer or two: this is more than reasonable in a four star deluxe hotel. The service is classy, anticipating and kind, just like everywhere else in the residence.

The lush gardens all around the hotel, with pounds haunted by frogs, fishes and tropical birds, extend up to the large swimming pool by the river. The Garden of Eden!

Now, some might be little excited, but maybe also worried by the position of the Phraya Palazzo. You are in something like a peninsula of privacy and relaxation, in the middle of a totally amok city. Everything comes at a close reach: the Grand Palais, National Museum, Royal barges Museum, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Chinatown, Khao San Road (plenty of cheap restaurants, massage parlours and shops: very funny by night)... But you need to use the hotel boat. We stayed three days, and never got any problem with it. The crew is friendly and serious. You will be given a phone number (soon an intercom will be installed at Phra Athit pier): call it, and after a couple of minutes you will see the boat leaving the opposable bank, just to catch you personally. Night owls might dislike the fact that the service is usually interrupted after 12pm; but those who would like to enjoy Bangkok much further after dark can simply pass the word to the reception, and the crew will stay in duty just for them. What else?!

One of the most lovable hideaways in Bangkok, where guests want to return.

PRAYA PALAZZO: 757/1 Somdej Prapinklao Soi 2 Bangyeekhan, Bangkok 10700
TELEPHONE: +662 883 2998   FACSIMILE: +662 883 1855

LIT! (****L): Operating since 2011 and permanently on the top of Tripadvisor, this cool boutique hotel combines the international luxury of a four star superior hotel and a bewildering colorful design with a Thai influence. A rare, attractive concept, with one of the best locations lit hotel bangkokin central Bangkok: just off the hip Siam Square, opposite MBK (our favorite shopping center in Bangkok!), with a quick access to both Rachatewi and National Stadium BTS - Sky Train station (making Sukhumvit, Silom and Riverside areas a 10 till 15 minutes trip).

The 79 rooms and suites concentrate what any leisure or business traveller is looking for in Thailand: superlative facilities, and authentic hospitality with a smile and lots of anticipation. Visiting the Lit! homepage, promotions are extremely attractive for the Extra Radiance Rooms: discreetly designed to welcome in an abundance of natural light whilst preserving privacy, they are a good introduction to the Lit! supreme comfort. Superior categories of rooms, -Different Degree Rooms, Full Spectrum Suites, Triple Luxe Suites- barely more expensive, are equally comfy, though more spacious. We would recommend the very practical Triple Luxe to families, as it is features three queen-size beds, two sinks, and two TV sets.  The minibar is not cheap, but it includes a THB 111 complimentary daily credit: which is fine for those limiting their consumption to a coke or a soft drink. The bathroom comes with a relaxing lounge lighting (we showered in blue water!), and is separated by a  curtain. The warm intimacy of such a design will please very much couples, and the Lit! looks a dreamed place for honeymooners, indeed.

The hotel numerous facilities feature a stylish swimming pool, an elegant steam-bath designed in the Turkish style, the already reputed Kiriya SPA, and fine dinning though informal funky restaurants. The Fiesta Steppe juxtaposes a series of gently inclined terrace-like decks: bringing guests a uniquely relaxing space that has its own vivacious vibe. It serves up healthy cocktails, and light snacks in a fun and festive atmosphere. The cosy BCDE (Bistro of Creative Drinking and Eating) serves a cornucopia of modern and yummy interpretations of simple Thai and international dishes, with attractive wine pairing. It has the very unique particularity in Bangkok to propose surprising specialities of drinks and meals prepared with flowers as a main ingredient. This was the first time that we ate roses fried in tampura: delicious with a glass of sweet and fragrant hibiscus! 

The Lit! is lovingly and efficiently managed by the company owning the remarkable Let's Sea Al Fresco Resort (one of the very best hotels in Hua Hin), providing a daily shuttle bus to / from this superb royal seaside resort.

LIT! BANGKOK: 36/1 Soi Kasemsan 1, Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan,
Bangkok 10330
PHONE: +66 26 123456 FACSIMILE: +66 26 123222

MA DU ZI (****L): One of the most surprising, highly sophisticated small boutique hotels in Bangkok, located at the most vibrant intersection of the extravagant Sukhumvit area, Ma Du Zi comes with a touch of glamour, lots of luxury, and the intimacy of a family run property. Almost opposite the exit gate of both BTS and MRT metro station Asok, surrounded by banks, shopping malls, chain maduzi best luxury first class luxury boutique hotels sukhumvit bangkok thailanhotels and clinics (Asok is well known for its myriad of dentists and plastic surgeons), the low rise, modern building hides itself behind the closed gates of Heaven. Once in this sanctuary of luxury and tranquillity, stress suddenly vanishes and life passes by more slowly and peacefully.

This modern retreat boost a powerful Asian touch; somehow more Japanese than Siamese, with lots of wood panelling, sliding doors, almost secrete lounges (like the hidden check-in desk), nooks and crannies in the rooms... and a Japanese chef cooking essentially French cuisine! We liked the central bar separating the entrance (there is no lobby) from the restaurant-library, where plenty of art and travel books are available: the owners stand quite often behind the counter, pleased to communicate with their guests. Luxury hotels in Asia are often, first of all, real estate investments; this is obviously not the case at Ma Du Zi, where owners, management and staff are very much involved in pleasing the young and demanding clientele, mixing Westerners with a lot of Asian who obviously like the Ma Du Zi concept: tailored made for those wearing Brioni suits and driving a Mini Cooper...

The seven floors are not numbered, but lettered by level M, A, D, U, Z, I... We stayed U5, in a “79 Suite” (with reference to this 79m2 corner room size). There was a walk-in closet for our luggage and clothes, like in a grand hotel, and a large working desk covered with Italian leather and fully equipped with Free WiFi Internet connection (good speed!), Fax/printer/copy machine, and IP Phone. The equipment is so hi-tech, that the management issued a manga explaining how to deal at ease with the entertainment tools (42'' NEC plasma TV, Ipod dock station, CD/DVD with Bose surround sound speakers...), the professional “Francis!, Francis!” espresso machine using real beans for a real coffee (we started to get fed-up with Nespresso...), and the spacious bathtub with a powerful Jacuzzi (don't be surprised... the water runs from the ceiling, then overflows from the tub to create the sensation of an infinity pool!). The head-board of the 240cm super king size bed is covered with coconut shell, and the mattress is so smooth that we felt like sleeping on a cloud. Precious rugs are covering the parquets, and modern or ancient art items are exhibited little bit everywhere in the 40 rooms and in the public areas.

We liked very much the generously filled complimentary mini-bar, and were impressed by the efficient sound-proofing of the large panoramic windows: well appreciated at peak hours, when the traffic runs amok in Sukhumvit (which you won't notice when you go out: always use the metro to get anywhere in town, cheaply, quickly and safely).

Chef Yuya Okuda's “La Truffe” restaurant operates from breakfast (excellent and a la carte) until dinner,  by reservation only. Okuda has been educated mainly in Europe, and worked with the legendary Joël Robuchon (operating a dozen restaurants worldwide, including L'Atelier Etoile in Paris, and L'Atelier Hong Kong, with a total of 28 Michelin star!). Using the best ingredients from around the world, Okuda produces modern French cuisine with a Mediterranean touch, which we found young, light, fragrant and epicurean. Updated according to the seasons, the “a la carte” perpetuates some signature dishes like “Duck Foie Gras Terrine, infused with Port Wine, with Figs Jam and Mesclun Salad”, “Steamed Boston Lobster Salad, with Green Asparagus and Crab Meat, Basil Dressing”, “Oven roasted French Quail stuffed with Foie Gras, and Black Truffle mashed Potatoes” or “Warm melted 70% Chocolate Cake, with Mövenpick Vanilla Ice Cream”.

We discovered this trendy hotel checking the classy Secret Retreats catalogue, featuring a capturing selection of the most exclusive high end boutique hotels in Asia. Ma Du Zi is also part of one of the Small Leading Hotels.

MA DU ZI: 9/1 Corner of Shukhumvit Soi 16, Ratchadaphisek, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110
PHONE: +66 (0) 2615 6400      FACSIMILE: +66 (0) 2260 0658


SIRI SATHORN (****L): This boutique residence, displaying a modern, sober luxury after a recent refurbishment, gets a high reputation among business and leisure travellers. Spacious, designed for long or family stay, the Siri Sathorn serviced apartments are well located in the siri_sathorn-apartments_bangkok_travelfirstvery central Silom-Sathorn district. There is a complimentary shuttle bus to the nearby Skytrain and underground metro Silom -Sala Daeng lines; though the green Lumpini Park (ideal for jogging),  Patpong, the shops and banks are so close that we never used it during our stay.  

The quiet, almost somnolent lobby doesn't reflect the actual size of the residence. The 111 suites (ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments) are large and conveniently appointed.  We staid in a 100 Sq.m Two Bedrooms Designer Suite, which we would like to recommend to those travelling with a family. Immaculate, with classy furniture, well lit and spacious, it came with an immediate homey feel. Many expats have the same reaction, and book that category of apartment for long stay: they certainly like the full kitchen with a large table allowing to share a dinner with guests. Besides the well sized LCD TV, the soft matress of our bed and the   lovely bathrooms, what we found most remarkable is definitely the perfect isolation from the external environment: we have visited few, if none, hotels with such efficiently sound-proofed windows: many tuk-tuk were passing by the street, and a building was under construction next door... but not even a whisper came up to our room! We slept like babies!  

There is small, pleasant and inexpensive coffee shop, with a pool-side view, where breakfast is served by an anticipating, very courteous staff. The double espresso is delicious, and there is a good selection of fresh fruits cuts. We crossed by many expatriates there, living on a long-term at Siri Sathorn; though this was high season, we didn't see so many tourists. The place might be still quite confidential for leisure travellers. 

Rates are well balanced, at about THB 6000 for a One-Bedroom Suite, and THB 10,000 for a Two-Bedroom Suite. Including breakfast, Wi-Fi Internet, use of the fine fitness center, and shuttle van to the nearby shopping areas. Monthly updated promotions and money saving long term packages make this residence particularly attractive. 

A comfortable alternative to traditional hotels. 

SIRI SATHORN: 27 Soi Saladaeng 1, Silom Road, Bangkok, 10500   
PHONE: +662 266 2345   

RAMADA PLAZA MENAM RIVERSIDE BANGKOK (****L): One of the most pleasant, and definitely the most affordable riverside hotels in Bangkok. This lavish, yet family friendly five star hotel, managed by Ramada since 2008, offers an international quality of services in an authentic Thai atmosphere. It has one of the kindest and most anticipating staff in town. Nothing changed since our previous stay! We have been called by our name, each of our request was welcomed with a smile, and some small yet noticiable details made this well managed hotel a low-cost alternative to legendary hotels like nearby Mandarin Oriental: a glass a cold water and fresh towels presented over a silver tray to exhausted passengers on the shuttle boat on a canicular day is a kind attention that we noted only from one hotel in Bangkok: Ramada Plaza Riverside!

The 525 rooms and suites (featuring 23 rooms for disabled guests) have been designed classically and pleasantly. We felt like the practical American comfort, with a subtle Asian touch. Our Club Room, located on the 16th floor, overlooked the pool, allowing a breathtaking river view. Rooms have twin or king sized bed, coffee / tea facility, a large working desk, and are all en-suite with bath and separate shower. There is of course LCD Sat TV with indeed many western channels, a digital safe, and free high-speed WiFi.

Besides the service and location, what makes us come back to this ideal hotel is the new Executive Club Lounge. One of the best which we have experienced in Bangkok, it occupies the two top floors and has a unique river and city panorama. Club Rooms, Plaza Suites and Terrace Suites privileged guests can enjoy private check in / out, a refined privatized buffet breakfast, an elegant high-tea with a selection of cakes and canapés, and a much attended evening cocktails with quality imported wines and five-star “tapas“, fruits, and pastries which could replace a dinner at ease...  There is a pleasant, well equipped boardroom which clients can use for a business meeting 1 hour per day. In-room bonuses feature daily fruit basket and fresh flowers, privilege laundry/pressing services, city calls, turn down service, shoe shine service, and a most appreciated late check-out. All complimentary. Last but not least, Executive Lounge guests receive attractive discounted F&B offers. This lounge looks like Paradise in a paradisiac hotel!

Just like the lovely Terrace suites, the Presidential suite, located on the 16th floor, offers spectacular views of the river Chao Phraya from its large terrace, equipped with a private Jacuzzi. With two bedrooms, a large lounge and dining area, it is a very enjoyable for romance or business.  

Eight restaurants and bars complete the warm, friendly ambience of the Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Bangkok. Using fresh local ingredients, plus some imported delicacies for a finest cuisine, all of them apply a very reasonable policy in term of price: much cheaper than what one could expect in a luxury hotel. The new Eurasian Grill caters a high-end clientele, and the Ah Yat Abalone Forum Restaurant is well known for Chef Yeung Koon Yat's Hong Kong style cuisine, specializing in abalone. Our favorite bar is the romantic, cool Terrace@72 Restaurant & Bar: with its illuminated bar and chairs located in the open air, along the river. This is where we enjoyed one the best breakfasts in Bangkok (with a great Thai, Chinese and Japanese food corner): though serving more than a thousand guests every morning, the staff always recognized  us, remembering perfectly that we didn't like American coffee but double espresso. Extremely busy to serve everybody promptly, we always had a short discussion with a kind word from part of the anticipating head waiter. We had an inspection stay at the Mandarin Oriental after experiencing the Ramada, and the service and ambiance at the river terrace was quite similar (thought much more pricey at M.O). Service in the room was first class also: our kind maid inquired each morning and evening about any special request. The reception staff -and particularly the female concierges- was extremely kind and efficient. Five star, indeed.

There is a well appointed wellness & SPA, and a large pool which is not so much oriented to the sun, with quite cool water: so refreshing during the hot days, and ideal for children (and Asian guests, disliking sun-tanning). Those preferring «farniente» can use the spacious and airy sun-deck, with many beds along the river, just close to the pool. 

The riverfront is developping quickly with new, amazing projects. Making the hotel location definitely strategic. Away from the noisy downtown districts, it offers an enchanting seven minutes complimentary pleasant cruise, aboard the complimentary hotel shuttle-boat: transporting you in style to the Taksin Bridge BTS sky-train station and public speedboats station. Making all the attractions, shops, and business a few minutes away from the  hotel: avoiding the stress of the terrible traffic jams which participates in the infamous reputation of Bangkok. Moreover, the hotel stands in a very authentic, safe and friendly area which is well worth the exploration, away from the tourists paths. You will love the small temples, fresh fruits and flowers sellers, and the old Chinese shops all around. Last but not least, the new and so entertaining Asiatique Riverfront mall and night-market, with lots of inexpensive and good restaurants, is located next door!  

Rates vary according to the season. A Deluxe Room with breakfast costs about THB 4,000 in the low season,  till approximately THB 6,000 in the high season. Exciting packages and special offers apply. 

This remains since many years one of our favourite addresses in Bangkok.

RAMADA PLAZA MENAM RIVERSIDE BANGKOK: 2074 Charoenkrung Rd., Bangkorlaem, Bangkok 10120 
PHONE: +66 (0) 26881000           FACSIMILE: +66 (0) 22919400, +66 (0) 22911048 


COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT BANGKOK (****L): Located  in an elegant residential and diplomatic district, this brand new hotel stands behing the Four Seasons and Grand Hyatt Erawan: in a quiet « soi » (lane), deserved every five minutes by a complimentary shuttle rickshaw courtyard_marriott_bangkok(«tuktuk ») lifting the guests to the Sky Train (BTS) station Ratchadamri (Siam square and Silom line). The BTS station Chidlom (Sukhumbit line), opposite the Central Department Store, can be accessed by a five minute walk through a picturesque lane, featuring cheap local restaurants and cafés. The worth the trip Erawan Shrine (« Four Face Buddha »), with spiritual music and dances, stands 500 meters from the « Courtyard ».  

Located in an elegant building, with a hip lobby, this contemporary hotel, contrary to many « Courtyards », has been designed for corporate and tourists alike. The lobby staff, fluent in English, is anticipating and, during our four days stay, helped us on many occasions with an authentic kindness (helping us to pack fruits, to weight our luggage, etc...). There is a little shop (« MoMo Mart »  ), selling beverages, snacks and toiletry, at a very affordable price; we used it with pleasure, as there was no minibar in the room.  

We booked a Deluxe Room. Bright, intelligently designed, with a nice colors variation, we found it cool and trendy. The king-size beds are amazingly comfortable: this is a Marriott! There is a Samsung plasma TV, and   tea / coffee facilities. A glass (with adjustable blinds) separates the room from the bathroom: this is a new, hip tendency, which we found quite stylish. The selection of toiletries is excellent, and you can sit in the spacious shower. Internet is provided via the hotel cable network, or using WiFi external signals (like « True Internet », which is quite cheap).  

There is a convenient fitness room, and a very beautiful, large swimming pool. We enjoyed the Jacuzzi: warm and powerful, with waterfalls, it overlooks a private Siamese style private villa hidden in a green park. It was so relaxing, that we felt like miles away from Bangkok city center! 

We noticed that the hotel was popular with Asian guests (mostly Japanese and Korean). The breakfast was fitted  to please their taste, with a selection of mouth watering local specialties. Excellent fresh fruit juices, and remarkable service in the trendy Café MoMo which also opens for lunch and dinner. Last bit not least, it is actually inexpensive... 

The « Courtyard » features 5 well designed, high tech meeting rooms (390 sq m of total meeting space). 

Price for a double deluxe starts from approximately THB 3,700 ++  

A smart and affordable hotel. 

COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT BANGKOK:  155/1 Soi Mahadlekluang 1, Rajdamri Road,  
Bangkok 10330  
PHONE: +662 690 1888      FACSIMILE: +662 690 1899  

MARRIOTT SATHORN VISTA (****L): Executive services apartments by Marriott are always a nice alternative for those looking either for a long stay... or for suites sold out at the price of a superior room in an international five star hotel. With 32 floors and 186 suites, marriott sathorn vista executive apartmentsthis property remains amazingly intimate and homey: the rich marble lobby doesn't reflect the size of the residence, and the public areas are cosy and welcoming. Check-in is as kind as fast: we sat less than five minutes during the procedure, received a glass of fruit juice, a garland of fragrant flowers (a nostalgic tradition, little bit neglected by Bangkok hotels nowadays), and got into our apartment guided by a hostess.

Bright and trendy, all 1 to 3 bedroom suites (65 to 165 sq m.) are equally pleasant and luxurious. The largest come with a large walk-in closet. All have a washing and drying machine: very useful for those staying a few days in a warm and dusty city like Bangkok, changing clothes up to four times a day. The American kitchen is also an attribute to serviced apartments. Else, there is no difference with a high end hotel suite: smooth king-size beds with a selection of pillows, expensive fabrics and furniture, flat LCD screen TV in each room, large desktop... and a bird's eye view of the City of Angels. Do like us, and try to book on the highest floor.

The suites are sound-proofed, and the Sathorn district more quiet than what one could imagine: this is a residential area, with a limited number of attractions. Guests will like the relaxing atmosphere of the Marriott Sathorn Vista, its lovely pool (with green tiles... you feel like swimming in a pound. So exotic!) and its easy-going policy. Animation can be found just crossing the Sathorn avenue: Silom road, with its touristic and shopping attraction, plus plenty of restaurants, is located a five minutes walk. Metro (skyway and subway) stands 10 minutes to the top of the road (stations Silom / Sala Daeng / Lumpini), making any destination in this highly congested city at quick and easy reach.

Room service is reasonably priced. The Momo Café is also very good value, and therefore attracts a lot of outsiders looking for a light international cuisine. Long stay guests can use the exclusive Residents Lounge, where a full buffet breakfast is served in a family atmosphere.

With its qualities and so friendly, efficient staff, Marriott Sathorn Vista will be 100% perfect once Internet comes on a complimentary basis, like in most of the hotels nowadays. But it seems that it is already included in many packages: lots of them are extremely attractive, making this serviced apartment one of the most brilliant in Bangkok.

MARRIOTT SATHORN VISTA: 1 Sathorn Soi 3 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120
PHONE: +66-2-343 6789                                FACSIMILE:  +66-2-343 6790
TOLL FREE US: +1 800 060888     TOLL FREE THAILAND:  +1 888 236 2427

 TENFACE (****L): This hip boutique hotel opened a few months ago, targeting both tourists and business travellers, it will particularly 
please a younger generation of globe-trotters who will feel much seduced by the cool originality of the very particular concept. From the lobby till tenfacethe corridors, we saw visitors taking pictures; which is not so common... 

How could we describe the Tenface? Let's say that this is somehow an urban hideaway, situated just off Ploenchit Rd. A three minutes complimentary « tuk-tuk » ride from the hectic Sukhumvit Rd (where lots of bars, restaurants and shops await the tourists).  An oasis in the heart of the city,  Still quite hard to find; order their vintage Mercedes-Benz limousine at the airport or, after a treasure hunt,  feel proud for finally reaching the « soi » (=lane)  where this sanctuary stands. The Tenface is styled in an original way and bears absolutely no resemblance to other hotels in Bangkok,: inspired by the ten-faced giant Tosakan from the epic Ramakien, it is definitely boutique, cozy, refreshing and rejuvenating. 

At check-in, we were handed an elegant box, featuring toiletry... and an unexpected iPod Nano Video with AV dock and remote control. This is the first hotel we visited lending iPods to its guests. Second originality: the box contained also a sim card with a private cellular phone number, and a small credit on it. It made us reachable on the spot, anywhere in Bangkok, and we found it a rich idea. 

The rooms are actually suites. The Tenface is well fitted for long-stay, and comes with some of the particularities of serviced apartments. We had a one bedroom suite, covering more or less the surface of two single hotel rooms (61 Sq.m ): designed into an elegant and relaxing minimalist style, with a top comfortable king-size bed, LCD cable TV,  free broadband Internet Wi-Fi, and even an espresso coffee machine. From the bay windows we could see the contrast between the quiet, residential Soi Ruamrudee, and the nearby skyscrapers planted into the bustling capital city of Thailand. 

There is a nice fitness club, and a small though pleasant swimming pool. The Tenface is also home to the trendy Sita Bar, much visited by the new generation of Sino-Thai nice people, who like to see and be seen, mixing with the hotel guests enjoying elegant evening cocktails before heading to one of the supper-clubs or fashionable restaurants recommended by Pipek, the concierge and «entertainment guru», Note that the Tenface has its own, very affordable restaurant: the Wanara Eatery, serving light meals inspired by popular Thai specialties. 

Many promotion rates apply, making the hotel a very good value at about USD 120 for a one bedroom suite. 

A cool, interesting hotel. 

TENFACE: 81 Soi Ruamrudee, Wireless Rd,  
Bangkok 10330  
PHONE: +662 695 4242  FACSIMILE: +662 695 4240  

HANSAR BANGKOK (****L): A haven of elegance, sophistication and comfort, this monument of iconic design rises up through the Bangkok skyline since December 2010.  

hansar best luxury all suite boutique hotels bangkokSituated at on the centrally located Rajdamri Road in downtown Bangkok, Hansar is perfectly positioned to take advantage of everything the Thai capital has to offer. Mere steps away from the hotel, the Skytrain takes the guests in 3 minutes to Siam Square and the commercial and business heart of downtown Bangkok.  

The hotel features an array of innovative and highly spacious suites. Contemporary in design yet timeless in elegance, they have been designed for  business or leisure travellers and long-stay guests who are looking for something a bit different than the average hotel room. From the  59sqm Studio Suite, till the plush Vertigo and 129sqm Loft Suite, we have been seduced by the warm, trendy atmosphere: teak wood, precious silk, high-tech equipment and lovely decoration items bring a summit of refinement to the homey apartments. All include an intuitively designed workspace corner as well as an integrated kitchenette and dining area. This multifunctional space flows into an intimate relaxation and living area with a state-of-the-art entertainment system and a sublimely comfortable king-sized beds. The Vertigo Suites are particularly attractive. Designed for those seeking the absolute heights of urban luxury they distinguish themselves by an expansive living space, with floor-to-ceiling bookcases filled with contemporary artefacts, a sophisticated work area and lounge and entertainment space. Sliding doors open onto a uniquely cantilevered bedroom which seems to literally float over the city below. Throw open the curtains and take in the greenery of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club and the city below.  At the heart of the suite is the truly palatial bathroom, a world unto itself, featuring dual dressing areas, vanity stand, centerpiece terrazzo bathtub and a separate glass-walled rain shower – complete with its own surprising view. Completed with 50-inch flat screen TV with DVD player, iPod docking station and free high-speed Wi-Fi, all suites have been tailored made for a geek clientele. 

The Hansar Bangkok is managed by a former Kempinski F&B: which makes the dinner scene promising. We have not experienced yet  Eve restaurant, specializing in inventive Northern Mediterranean cuisine. The pleasant Lobby Bar opens on a quiet open-air terrace.  The breakfast, with freshly-baked pastries, tropical fruit and an extensive menu of Western and Asian specialties is served at Shine, by the large, lovely swimming pool perched on the edge of the cityscape.  

There is a nice, well equipped Fitness Centre. The LUXSA Spa offers an extensive menu of beauty and massage inspired by ancient Thai remedies and the latest international restorative techniques. 

Attractive rates make this luxury boutique hotel well worth a try. 

This is a one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. 

HANSAR BANGKOK: 3 Rajdamri Road, Bangkok 10330 
PHONE: +66 2209 1234    FACSIMILE: +66 2209 1212 

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS SIAM (****): Though we know and like the IHG hotels for decades, this is our first experience with the Holiday Inn Express concept: intended to target the "upper economy" market segment, offering limited service, at «low-price» (average rate was around USD 65 – 75 holiday inn express siam best luxury low cost hotels bangkokduring our stay in December 2022). This is rather mid-price in Bangkok, where the hotel is not suburban, contrary to most of the Holiday Inn Express in large capital cities worldwide, but strategically located in the heart of Bangkok. Close to leading shopping malls like MBK, Siam Discovery, Siam Paragon, and Central World. Pratunam biggest wholesale garment market in Thailand is a five minutes taxi drive away. It takes five minutes by BTS (elevated metro) to reach Lumpini Park: the green lung of Bangkok, with its pounds and giant Komodo lizards. Last but not least, fans of soccer will like to know that the Holiday Inn Express Siam is located just in front of the National Stadium. Our room had a breathtaking view of it and the rest of the city.

Besides the efficient and courteous service and the comfort of the recently refurbished rooms, what we like very much is the panorama. The highest the best, of course. The hotel has 23 floors and a rooftop garden.

We expected a basic, Ibis-style quality room; that was a good surprise to see that it was rather copied on the model of the lower category accommodation in a five-star InterContinental.

At the Holiday Inn Express Siam, only the size and the view (two windows instead of one) make a difference between a standard and a superior room, ideally catering to business travelers and short-term stays. We liked the trendy design and the large desktop. The super comfortable bed set next to the large bay window: from it, we could contemplate the city that never sleeps, waking up with the beautiful sunset over the skyscrapers… We noted that we could choose a smooth or firm pillow, and that the tea and coffee facility was generously refilled every day. The TV screen was as large as in a five-star hotel. Cheer up for the high-quality marble bathrooms, equipped with a 3-head massage showerhead The lighting was perfectly convenient and easy to use. The corridors, plunged in a blue light, brought some fantasy to this corporate hotel.

There is a small and cheap public laundry, where guests can wash and iron their clothes. The 24-hour fitness center is good; though it looks a bit small for a long-year-old high-occupancy 300-room hotel, it was empty during our visit.

A noticeable bonus: free breakfast is served to the guests in the Great Room on the 7th floor. It has a smoking section which we liked to use, as this is actually a terrace. We found it relaxing compared with the air-conditioned room, which looks like a bit of a metro station at peak hour if, like us, you are too distracted to check the instruction in the lift telling what time is the most appropriate for a quiet breakfast with a nice selection of food and coffee…

There was a rush of guests; yet the staff was always courteous and available. The public areas and rooms are amazingly clean. This all shows perfect management, which didn’t astonish us at all: the property is owned by the Amburaya Group, like the superlative InterContinental Pattaya Resort, one of our preferred hotels in Thailand.

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS SIAM: 889 Rama 1 Road, Bangkok, 10330 Thailand
PHONE: +66 22177555 (Best price guaranteed if you book online: 0800 022 2800)





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