Utterly cutting-edge, yet with an extraordinary sense of calm, the Shangri-La has emerged as one of Bangkok's very best hotels, rivaling the more famous Oriental. The palatial marble lobby is illuminated by crystal chandeliers; the adjacent lounge offers a marvelous view of the Chao Phraya River through floor-to-ceiling windows. The peace of the gardens is interrupted only by the puttering of passing boats. The pool with its own mini-island is real showpiece. In the luxurious
Krungthep Wing, a separate tower across the garden, the rooms are larger and quieter, with balconies overlooking the river—a rare treat in Bangkok. Enjoy a drink at the elegant Long Bar and make sure to pay a visit to the fine chocolate confectionary.