Bangkok’s Best New Hotels

Courtesy of W Bangkok

These are big times for Bangkok: With freshly opened shopping centers like Central Embassy and Siam Square One, condos, the BTS Skytrain transit system, and a wealth of new hotels on the horizon, now is the perfect time to start planning a trip to Thailand. Within the last couple of years, these new hotel properties have caused quite the buzz around the city. With five-star luxury stays, contemporary designs, and rooftop infinity pools, these hotels are Bangkok’s best newcomers.

By Lawrence Ferber

Courtesy of Hotel Indigo Bangkok

Hotel Indigo

Anchored on one end by Lumphini Park and the other by the luxe Central Embassy, Bangkok’s Wireless Road has transformed from a leafy embassy row to a happening new restaurant and shopping zone. Opened in January 2015, the 192-room Hotel Indigo—InterContinental Hotels’ design-boutique brand—is dramatic and chic, with décor that pays tribute to Bangkok’s past and future. The cavernous lobby displays a Sam Lor, a 1930s bike-powered predecessor to the motorized Tuk Tuk, while rooms boast oversized vintage street photos. Conveniences include a 24th floor fitness center, infinity pool, and Thailand’s aromatic Panpuri bath amenities.

Insider Tip: Try street food from all around Thailand in an upscale, uber-hygienic, artful setting at the Eathai food court in the “HI-SO”—short for high society in Thai culture—Central Embassy shopping center.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bangkok Travel Guide

Courtesy of Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok

Radisson Blu Plaza

Located midway between the Asoke and Phrom Phong BTS stations on bustling Sukhumvit Road, the Radisson Blu opened its doors in April 2014. Cool tones with measured color splashes dominate the 290 rooms and suites, which start at 388 square feet in size with large windows. Comforts include complimentary WiFi, rooftop wine bar Vintage, and an outdoor, Miami-style pool and bar.

Insider Tip: Not leaving Bangkok until after dinner? The hotel offers a late checkout at no extra charge, until 6 pm, although it’s subject to availability so be sure to request in advance.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bangkok Travel Guide

AVANI Bangkok Riverside

AVANI Bangkok Riverside

The Chao Phraya River’s iconic Mandarin Oriental and Peninsula hotels are being joined by new luxury properties, including a complex from Thailand’s homegrown AVANI. Projected to open sometime in 2015, AVANI’s 224-room hotel will occupy the uppermost 14 floors of a 26-story tower that will also house retail, dining, and event spaces. A rooftop pool, bar, and grill will offer twinkling river views, while water shuttles provide transportation to the BTS Skytrain and Saphan Taksin pier.

Insider Tip: AVANI debuted its first Bangkok property, the 568-room AVANI Atrium Bangkok, in December 2014.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bangkok Travel Guide

Courtesy of Sofitel So Bangkok

Sofitel So Bangkok

Overlooking Lumphini Park, Sofitel’s design-centric (and W-esque), 237-room five-star is playful and decidedly “HI-SO” with stylized staff outfits and a 25th floor lounge by Christian Lacroix. For a food-fix, the rooftop bar, Park Society, is fabulous, and the chefs at the lobby’s Chocolab create cocoa masterpieces each day. Rooms are broken into five elemental themes—earth, metal, fire, water, and wood—interpreted by five Thai designers, respectively, while property perks include free minibar items, free use of the hotel’s bicycles for a ride around the park, and an outdoor, 104-foot, low-chlorine infinity pool, which hosts a “So Kool” pool party one Saturday a month.

Insider Tip: Treatments in the forest-themed spa are 50 percent off during the monthly pool party due to the clamor. Bring earplugs or earbuds and enjoy!

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bangkok Travel Guide

Courtesy of W Bangkok

W Bangkok

Opened in December 2012, the W brand’s conveniently situated 403-room Bangkok property serves as a magnet for fashion, entertainment, and art lovers (ELLE Fashion Week events take place here). W’s chic, playful design riffs on Thai iconography: a pair of glittery, stuffed Muay Thai gloves on beds and a wall of blinking Tuk Tuk lights facing the lobby’s elevators (it’s a favorite spot for selfies). The outdoor pool, framed by a metallic eyebrow, is beloved by sun-worshipping guests.

Insider Tip: Health Land, a well-known, clean, and inexpensive massage and body treatment facility, is just a few minutes’ walk down Sathorn Road. The one-hour therapeutic massage, which costs $12 dollars before tip, is excellent for knocking out jetlag and post-airplane stiffness.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bangkok Travel Guide

Courtesy of Grand Swiss Sukhumvit 11

Grand Swiss Sukhumvit 11

A five-minute stroll from the Nana BTS station and Terminal 21 shopping center, this 144-room four-star property opened in May 2014. There’s nothing specifically Swiss about it per se, and, in fact, the rooms are dominated by muted yet distinctly Thai artwork and patterns. Perks include floor-to-ceiling windows, 40” LED TVs, and, in club floor rooms, complimentary WiFi, afternoon tea, and more.

Insider Tip: Families traveling with young children will appreciate the hotel’s free breakfast for kids under four and babysitting service (the latter requires 24-hour advance notice).

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bangkok Travel Guide

Courtesy of SALA Hospitality Group

Sala Rattanakosin

Facing the iconic, ancient Wat Arun, this intimate, 15-room riverside resort opened in April 2013. Crafted from a brick warehouse and two shophouses, dwellings are uncluttered, appointed in minimalist dark tones with remainders of the original structures’ gritty supports and brick. Ten suites boast floor-to-ceiling riverside views, with window-facing daybeds for drinking in the spectacular views.

Insider Tip: Regardless of whether you check-in as a guest, the rooftop bar and restaurant—British chef Tony Wrigley presents creative, locally-sourced Thai-fusion dishes that earned a spot on Bangkok Post’s Top 2014 Restaurants list—is a must.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bangkok Travel Guide

Courtesy of U Sukhumvit Bangkok

U Sukhumvit Bangkok

Opened in April 2014 on Sukhumvit Soi 14, and located about five minutes from the Saen Saeb Canal and river taxi, this budget-friendly 82-room resort embraces a slight club vibe (a giant mirrored pillow hovers above the check-in area). Guests are entitled to use rooms, available in six design schemes that pay tribute to Thailand’s four distinct regions, for 24 hours after check-in—a brilliant hook that applies to the entire U brand. The second level’s open kitchen Uzzie restaurant, an infinity pool, 24-hour gym, and complimentary WiFi round out the comforts.

Insider Tip: A hotel Tuk Tuk provides complimentary transportation between the U and the Sukhumvit Asoke BTS station and adjacent, airport-themed Terminal 21 shopping center—bizarrely, there’s a reproduction of the Golden Gate Bridge on its food court level.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bangkok Travel Guide

Courtesy of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel & Spa

Bangkok’s Four Seasons, one of the city’s most venerated, centrally situated five-star properties, adopted a new name, identity, and management in March 2015. Now the Anantara brand’s fourth Bangkok property, its 354 rooms remain gorgeously appointed with stunning contemporary takes on traditional Thai elegance, color, textures, and detail. In-house restaurants, Spice Market and Biscotti, offer top-notch Thai and Italian cuisine, respectively, and the spa—now also under Anantara branding—is outstanding.

Insider Tip: Four Seasons loyalists should keep their eyes peeled for the debut of its sparkling new Chao Phraya riverside hotel and 73-floor residential tower, slated to open in 2018.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bangkok Travel Guide

Courtesy of Hua Chang Heritage Hotel

Hua Chang Heritage Hotel

Located just a couple of minutes from the Bangkok Art & Culture Center, MBK Center, and Siam shopping complex, this 80-room upscale hotel is discreetly tucked behind the Hua Chang Bridge— meaning “elephant head” in English. Opened in 2013 within a former magazine printing plant, its rooms blend classic Thai style with contemporary, minimalist design, and splashes of color inspired by the Thai lotus. Amusingly, the doorbell sounds with traditional music, while room numbers are listed on hallway floors as if street addresses. The hotel also boasts a sprawling courtyard pool.

Insider Tip: Hungry? Walk north over the bridge and look left for a combination massage parlor/hole-in-the-wall restaurant with a giant green sign. Try the amazing Tom Kha Gai soup, rich with chicken, galangal, kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass for just $2.50.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bangkok Travel Guide

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