PHOTO: Shutterstock

Fodor's Expert Review Chakrabongse Villas

396 Maharaj Rd., Bangkok, 10200, Thailand See on Map

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.

room

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).

Fueng Fa
Photo: Fueng Fa
Thai House Suite
Photo: Thai House Suite
Garden View Suite
Photo: Garden View Suite
River View Suite
Photo: River View Suite

bathroom

Like the bedrooms, bathrooms are all individually designed but most feature giant tubs, separate showers, and colorful tiles. Premium bath products are by Panpuri.

River View Suite
Photo: River View Suite

lobby

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.

pool

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

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!

drinking

Drinks can be had by the pool or at the restaurant. Order the Chakrabongse Cocktail which is a mojito-like concoction that’s divine.

grounds

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.

LOCATION

Getting Around

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.

Restaurants

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.

Bars

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.

QUICK FACTS

4 rooms, 3 bed-and-breakfast rooms
Breakfast Yes
Lunch Yes
Dinner Yes
Bar No
Cafe No
Room Service No
$$$
Pool
Free
Free Parking
No

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 02-222–1290;02-622–1900

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