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Roadbook Journal: Room Boom

Roadbook Journal: Room Boom

We couldn’t possibly list all the city’s excellent stays, but Veronica Inveen highlights a few of her fave luxury hotels in Bangkok and previews the next-gen five-stars coming soon.

One city, tens of thousands of hotels. If you are anything like me and live for cloud-like beds and that famous Thai hospitality with a VIP bent, then Bangkok is a luxury candyland that, bonus, has long averaged some of the most affordable rates in the region.

It wasn’t always thus: most of these shiny hotels have only been built in recent years to accommodate the massive tourism boom in what has been the world’s most-visited city for three years running.

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Back in the 70s, five-star hotels in Bangkok were limited basically to the iconic Dusit Thani, with its tropical midcentury architecture that, especially as it nears its demolition date later this year, makes me nostalgic for the romance of a bygone era, and the Mandarin Oriental, the 127-year-old grande dame that has just closed one wing for a renovation—both of these brands acknowledging the need to upgrade with the times. Whether or not you stay at MO, stop by historic Bamboo Bar: jazz starts at 9 p.m. and the martinis are on point.

Next door is the Shangri-La, which, despite being enormous still charms with its location amid the narrow streets of Charoenkrung. The masses may be impressed by lebua at State Tower‘s cameo in The Hangover 2, but the insider’s secret is that the circular skyscraper is stocked with awesome, exclusive bars and restaurants, including one of the city’s only Michelin two-stars.

Rooftop bar at lebua at State Tower. Photo: Charles Dharapak

Another treasure trove of hotels is in shopping mecca Ratchaprasong, where you’ll find the St Regis, offering a sweet view over the verdant Royal Bangkok Sports Club, and the resort-like Anantara Siam and Grand Hyatt Erawan.

The newest kid on the block is the towering Waldorf Astoria—wait until you see the golden-accented rooms and Gatsby-worthy champagne room.

Old Jay would also fit in well at the Park Hyatt’s Art Deco-embellished roof bar. I also love their white-washed and soft-curved spa, which uses organic products from local brand Panpuri. A block over, the final touches on Rosewood have just been completed. Top suites boast private pools that seem to cascade off the skyscraper, which is designed to look like a pair hands forming the traditional Thai greeting.

Both are super accessible to both Suvarnabhumi airport and Don Muang, as they’re right next to a highway exit and they have direct access to the BTS Skytrain, which connects to the airport link.

But not all urban five-stars are fancy high rises. Just look upriver towards The Siam, a glam 39-room, neo-traditional-Thai hideaway on a quiet patch of the Chao Phraya.

Back in town, keep your eyes out for Capella, set to open in the second half of 2019, another refreshingly boutique riverside dame planned to feel like a luxe pied a terre. Also in the pipeline: its neighbor, the uber-opulent Four Seasons, and the Orient Express, which will top Thailand’s tallest building, Mahanakorn.

From your cloud-like bed above the clouds, it’ll be easy to cherry-pick your next stay from among the ever-blooming vista. Bargain hunters, take note: average rates are likely to be rising with the skyline, but you can’t put a price on champagne brunch-fueled progress, right?

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Roadbook Journal: Room Boom

We couldn’t possibly list all the city’s excellent stays, but Veronica Inveen highlights a few of her fave luxury hotels in Bangkok and previews the next-gen five-stars coming soon.

One city, tens of thousands of hotels. If you are anything like me and live for cloud-like beds and that famous Thai hospitality with a VIP bent, then Bangkok is a luxury candyland that, bonus, has long averaged some of the most affordable rates in the region.

It wasn’t always thus: most of these shiny hotels have only been built in recent years to accommodate the massive tourism boom in what has been the world’s most-visited city for three years running.

Back in the 70s, five-star hotels in Bangkok were limited basically to the iconic Dusit Thani, with its tropical midcentury architecture that, especially as it nears its demolition date later this year, makes me nostalgic for the romance of a bygone era, and the Mandarin Oriental, the 127-year-old grande dame that has just closed one wing for a renovation—both of these brands acknowledging the need to upgrade with the times. Whether or not you stay at MO, stop by historic Bamboo Bar: jazz starts at 9 p.m. and the martinis are on point.

Next door is the Shangri-La, which, despite being enormous still charms with its location amid the narrow streets of Charoenkrung. The masses may be impressed by lebua at State Tower‘s cameo in The Hangover 2, but the insider’s secret is that the circular skyscraper is stocked with awesome, exclusive bars and restaurants, including one of the city’s only Michelin two-stars.

Rooftop bar at lebua at State Tower. Photo: Charles Dharapak

Another treasure trove of hotels is in shopping mecca Ratchaprasong, where you’ll find the St Regis, offering a sweet view over the verdant Royal Bangkok Sports Club, and the resort-like Anantara Siam and Grand Hyatt Erawan.

The newest kid on the block is the towering Waldorf Astoria—wait until you see the golden-accented rooms and Gatsby-worthy champagne room.

Old Jay would also fit in well at the Park Hyatt’s Art Deco-embellished roof bar. I also love their white-washed and soft-curved spa, which uses organic products from local brand Panpuri. A block over, the final touches on Rosewood have just been completed. Top suites boast private pools that seem to cascade off the skyscraper, which is designed to look like a pair hands forming the traditional Thai greeting.

Both are super accessible to both Suvarnabhumi airport and Don Muang, as they’re right next to a highway exit and they have direct access to the BTS Skytrain, which connects to the airport link.

But not all urban five-stars are fancy high rises. Just look upriver towards The Siam, a glam 39-room, neo-traditional-Thai hideaway on a quiet patch of the Chao Phraya.

Back in town, keep your eyes out for Capella, set to open in the second half of 2019, another refreshingly boutique riverside dame planned to feel like a luxe pied a terre. Also in the pipeline: its neighbor, the uber-opulent Four Seasons, and the Orient Express, which will top Thailand’s tallest building, Mahanakorn.

From your cloud-like bed above the clouds, it’ll be easy to cherry-pick your next stay from among the ever-blooming vista. Bargain hunters, take note: average rates are likely to be rising with the skyline, but you can’t put a price on champagne brunch-fueled progress, right?

More stories in Roadbook Journal

Explore more with Roadbook Experiences

Book first-class Roadbook Transport

SUBSCRIBE TO THE ROADBOOK JOURNAL

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