396 Maharaj Rd., Bangkok, 10200, Thailand
Originally built in 1908 and owned by members of the royal family from then till now, the Chakrabongse Villas is a special property steeped in history and preserved impeccably. There are only seven rooms here, all distinct in style, and the main house is still used by members of the family to this day. Peaceful, lush, and set against the banks of the Chao Phraya River, this small boutique is a precious and one-of-a-kind accommodation that you can’t find anything like, anywhere else.
Every room is individually designed--some with Thai stylings and others Moroccan in nature. The two gems worth splurging on though are the River View Suite and Thai House. The River View Suite is built out of a teak-wood Thai-style apartment with views of the river, a kitchenette, private patio, and sitting area. The Thai House is an Ayutthaya-styled accommodation raised up on stilts and overlooks the lush gardens and stunning pool.
All rooms come with Nespresso machines, complimentary breakfast, and a free mini-bar (minus the alcohol).
Like the bedrooms, bathrooms are all individually designed but most feature giant tubs, separate showers, and colorful tiles. Premium bath products are by Panpuri.
There isn’t really a lobby here, just a reception desk. You enter either through a gated wall on one side or the hotel’s pier on the river side.
The oval-shaped pool is surrounded by foliage and just big enough for swimming laps. There are a few loungers around the edges and guests can order food and drinks throughout the day.
Dining at night by the river is a romantic experience and the authentic Thai cuisine that’s served here is second to none--they even have their own cookbook! Tables are riverside or tucked under a veranda on rainy nights.
YOU SHOULD KNOW This spot is pretty mosquito heavy so ask for bug spray or bring your own!
Drinks can be had by the pool or at the restaurant. Order the Chakrabongse Cocktail which is a mojito-like concoction that’s divine.
Lush gardens and Instagram-worthy arches are splayed throughout the property. At night, hanging lights make the whole place look like it's out of a fairy tale.
Getting around this area by car can be a trafficky nightmare. Fortunately, you’re walking distance to many major attractions. If you want to get to the nearest Skytrain station, you should take the hotel’s boat to the Taksin Pier.
As it’s owned by members of the royal family, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that its riverside location is also right by the Grand Palace and some of the best temples in Bangkok. The hotel itself is in a tranquil little nook, but just beyond you’ll be inundated with foot and street traffic from the tourist throngs that frequent this part of town.
Eat Sight Story (5-minute walk) is a Thai fusion restaurant with a quirky and cool vibe that’s right on the river. Another river spot is Sala Rattanakosin Eatery and Bar (5-minute walk), which features amazing views of Wat Arun through it’s completely glass façade.
Above Riva Rooftop (3-minute walk) is on the fourth floor of the Riva Arun Hotel situated right on the river with great views and stellar cocktails. Eagles Nest Restaurant (5-minute walk) is another rooftop spot at the Sala Arun Hotel that features great views of Wat Arun and overlooks the river.
WHY WE LIKE IT
There’s truly nothing quite like Chakrabongse Villas. Rarely do you get an opportunity to stay at a hotel that’s owned and operated by a member of a royal family. The seven individually designed rooms are luxurious and feature all modern amenities. Service here is a premium (it helps only having seven rooms) and the restaurant serves one of the best authentic Thai meals in town. It’s a little on the pricey side, but you get what you pay for--and that’s total peace and tranquility.
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