It’s hard to beat a water view and checking into a hotel with a view of the Chao Phraya River must be as quintessential a Bangkok experience as staying at a hotel on the Nile is a in Cairo. What I also love about this location is that you get the best of both worlds – glamorous and gritty Bangkok. Walk five minutes down the lane and you’re in the heart of Bangkok’s old town where gastronomic delights await you at simple eateries, from Thai-style roast duck to hearty Muslim curries.
This is a big hotel with 358 spacious, comfortable rooms – most of which boast breathtaking river views – including five different types of rooms and 35 suites, including the hotel’s famed Authors’ Suites. You don’t have to check into the romantic Joseph Conrad suite to soak up the hotel’s literary atmosphere, however – rooms are littered with glossy coffee table books and quotations from famous authors are left on your pillow each night – by your personal butler.
From the sumptuous lobby that is perfect for people watching and the cane chairs and tables outside the cafés and restaurants to The Verandah overlooking the river and the atmospheric Author’s Lounge, there are plenty of areas to escape to if you need a break from your room.
Eating and drinking
Although I wouldn’t recommend it when you have Asia’s gastronomic capital on your doorstep, you could eat here for a week and not get bored. The hotel is home to my favourite Chinese restaurant in the city, The China House, along with one of the city’s finest Thai restaurants, Sala Rim Naam, which has traditional Thai dancing performances. There’s also French haute cuisine at Le Normandie, Italian food at Ciao, seafood at Lord Jim’s, and barbeque at The Riverside Terrace. For fans of afternoon tea The Authors’ Lounge is a must, while there are few better places to watch the sun go down than on The Verandah overlooking the river. For a nightcap, sip a cocktail and see some jazz at Bamboo Bar.
Considered one of Bangkok’s (if not one of the world’s) finest spas, the elegant teak wood Oriental Spa is the reason some guests stay here. A pioneer of certain treatments and frequent award winner, the spa boasts a fairly new addition, an Ayurvedic Penthouse, with specialised staff dedicated to the treatments. If a workout is more your thing, the Oriental Health Centre has facilities for weight training, squash and tennis, and there are two swimming pools.
It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve come from or what you’re wearing, you can expect a warm welcome when you step out of your taxi or tuk-tuk. The service here is exemplary and should be the yardstick by which all other hotel service is measured – it’s truly memorable.
Who stays there
Affluent travellers with high expectations, honeymooners, couples celebrating anniversary, and those looking for special, once-in-a-lifetime hotel experiences.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Great views / scenery
- People watching
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Lavish and luxurious
- Myriad eating and drinking options
- Siam and Sukhumvit’s shopping malls aren’t close