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Hotels

9 Bangkok Hotels Worth the Baht

To describe Bangkok in any singular word is an impossible feat. The Eastern City of Angels is cosmopolitan—but gritty; ancient—but increasingly modern; Buddhist—but nonetheless flashy. When it comes time to conquer the complex hub, you'll need a trusty home base, so we’ve rounded up 9 of the best hotels in Bangkok, from high-rises on the Chao Phraya to boutique sleeps just steps from the sights.

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Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Visitors to Bangkok will quickly notice that most hotels congregate along the banks of the bustling Chao Phraya River, and the Mandarin Oriental – now celebrating 140 years in the BKK biz – is no exception. Traditional Thai design (think lots of silk and teak wood) mingles with modern elements in 368 guestrooms and suites – most with river views. Onsite dining runs the international gamut with French, Thai, Chinese, and Italian options split between a handful of restaurants and lounges. A quick boat ride across the river, the holistic Oriental Spa offers Western and Thai treatments, and if you’ve never had a Thai massage – a multi-hour affair full of pressure point targeting and stretching – boy, now’s the time.

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AVANI Riverside Bangkok

We kind of have a thing for rooftop infinity pools – I mean, who doesn’t, right? – and the AVANI Riverside’s sleek little number is just the cherry on top of one of our favorite BKK contemporary stays. Every single modern room in the high-rise (think open floor plan, rainfall shower, stark white linens, and sleek fixtures) looks out on the Chao Phraya River from floor-to-ceiling windows, while a free hotel ferry means easy access to some of the city’s must-see sites. At night – as temps cool – the scene heats up again on the 26th floor. Guests and locals pour into Attitude, a lounge-style hangout that wows with live DJs, mixologist-created cocktails, and stylish, sculptural pendant lighting.

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Riva Surya Bangkok

If you’re in the market for something a little smaller than the Oriental or AVANI, Riva Surya promises comfort and simplistic chic style in a more manageable boutique setting. Location is truly everything here; you’re just a short walk from Khao San Road (backpacker/market stall/unconscionably-cheap massage parlor central) and the enchanting golden spires and buddhas of the Grand Palace, Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). But rest assured, luxe linens, the breezy Mezzanine Bar, and panoramic Chao Phraya views will have you happy to return to your temporary home after a day full of street food and sight-seeing.

RELATED: Your Perfect Week in Thailand

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The Siam

On three prime Royal Dusit district acres (also home to the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall and Wat Benchamabophit), The Siam turns heads with a slightly unconventional design that marries classic Siamese aesthetics and Art Deco-inspired interiors. Super spacious rooms fall into two refined camps: suites and pool villas, but both deliver oversized king beds, deep-soaking tubs, oriental antiques, and lofty ceilings. If you have a day to spare on hotel activities alone, it’s worth signing up for an intimate cooking class where you’ll accompany the chef – by Tuk Tuk, to the market to pick up your ingredients; getting your butt kicked (literally) in a personal training sesh at the onsite Muay Thai boxing ring; or indulging in a massage at the Opium Spa. The hotel also arranges full day excursions to the highly photographable Tha Kha Floating Market and Maeklong Railway Market.

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The Peninsula Bangkok

At the glamorous Peninsula Bangkok, guests don’t just sleep in style, they hit the streets and waterways in style – in the back of a signature Peninsula-green Tuk Tuk, or aboard a restored rice barge, that is. Here, even the most basic guestrooms come with river and skyline views, plus marble bathrooms (with mood lighting), walk-in closets, and Thai silk touches throughout. In need of some itinerary inspo? Hit up the concierge for recommendations on what to see/eat/drink/do – they’ll spare you the obvious (unless you’ve never been) and get down to off-the-beaten-path business.

RELATED: Explore Bangkok in Photos

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Hotel Muse Bangkok

A lavish duality of European and Asian influence can be seen in Hotel Muse’s guestrooms – each of which fall into six cosmological Buddhist categories. At the top of the pyramid is the Paranim Penthouse – favored among honeymooners thanks to three (count ‘em – three) balconies, a jacuzzi tub for two with BKK skyline views, and a spacious living room. Hanging out in the hotel for a bit? Stop by the Medici Kitchen & Bar (possibly the best Italian spot in town) for Tuscan fare; grab a steak at Chicago-style, flapper-inspired Babette’s; or head up to the 25th floor for the sparkling vista and a cocktail or two at the Speakeasy Rooftop Bar.

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Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok

The palatial 401-room Siam Kempinski revolves around a sweeping courtyard garden and multiple free-form saltwater pools. Stepping into the dramatic lobby – crossing through 45-foot glass doorways – you’ll find thousands (literally thousands) of paintings, sculptures, and objets d’art spread throughout. Elegant contemporary rooms – most with lush garden vantages – are similarly decked out in custom-made Thai art and silks. Sign up for the resort’s “Bangkok by Food” tour and you’ll be treated to famed BKK dishes like Pad Thai Pratu Phi while getting an insider's view of the city.

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Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit

Art Deco inspiration hits the City of Angels once again at the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit. The staggering limestone, steel, and glass tower takes equal design cues from French and Thai tradition. Sophisticated digs pull out all the stops in regards to of-the-moment tech (think: smart TVs and Bose music systems) while plush king beds and L’Occitane bath products promise a relaxing end to busy (and exceedingly hot) days. For stellar views of Sukhumvit Road, the rooftop bar, L'Appart – done up in Parisian Haussmann style – comes in handy. Oh, and the accompanying glasses of bubbly aren't too shabby, either.

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U Sathorn Bangkok

A quick look at the French Colonial design scheme U Sathorn’s got going on and you could easily forget you’re in Thailand, let alone Bangkok. Airy, light-filled rooms are a combination of white linens, country-chic accents, and space-enhancing mirrors. If you eat one meal that’s not Thai during your time in Bangkok (a lot to ask of you, I know) – let it be at onsite J’AIME. The restaurant comes straight from Michelin-starred chef Jean-Michel Lorain who brought along a menu full of Burgundy cuisine including sous-vide quail, pan-seared beef fillet, and wild mushroom ravioli.

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