Bangkok is huge and to put it bluntly, choosing a hotel in the wrong area can ruin your stay. So where should you base yourself? That really depends on what sort of stay you’re after. If you’re a foodie looking for a place with loads of trendy restaurants and bars, Sukhumvit is the area for you. If shopping is your reason for visiting Bangkok then it’s got to be Siam. For a vibrant nightlife scene then say sawadee to Silom. However, if it’s a more cultured stay you’re after, then it’s got to be on the banks of the Chao Phraya.
The riverside is not only a beautiful area, it’s also home to Bangkok’s historic roots . It’s the best place to explore the magical capital’s three major sights – the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and the National museum. And it’s here you’ll find one of our favourite hotel’s in Bangkok – River Surya.
A boutique 4 star hotel offering dreamy views across the water, River Surya is an idyllic urban getaway, offering easy access to Bangkok’s historic past from a vantage point of the city’s sophisticated present.
The hotel is located on Phra Athit Road which is one of the hippest streets in Bangkok. Lining the street is an abundance of cute cafes, groovy bars and local eateries. With it’s thriving music scene and eclectic mix of clientele, the area has a unique and inviting vibe that attracts locals and tourists alike. It’s also right next to Khao San road – supremely handy as you can make the most of the area’s budget vibe while staying in a gorgeous hotel. As mentioned, this charming hotel lies on the banks of the Chao Phraya river and is surrounded by some of the city’s most treasured historical sites. You can jump on a river taxi boat right outside the hotel to explore the city and easily nip up to Chinatown in a tuk-tuk or taxi.
CHARACTER & STYLE
This much coveted spot on the riverside has been owned by the same Thai family for generations. The lack of a larger hotel group’s corporate standardisation is apparent in the furnishings and flourishes – and is very welcome indeed, instead making use of a sophisticated, unique style with contemporary Thai decor. Ornate carved wooden beams and panels line the walls and ceiling. Exotic fresh flowers and scented candles add warmth. The outside area of the hotel encourages guests to make the most of the sweeping view of the river, with plenty of tables, chairs and sun-loungers fringing the decking.
All the stylish rooms are simply decorated in muted colours and contemporary Thai furnishings. The Urban Rooms offer views of Pra Athit Street, with airy, shuttered balconies that are perfect for people watching. The riverside rooms offer wonderful views of the water and are full of natural light. Everything about the rooms, from the vast, nap-encouraging beds to the roomy, walk-in shower, makes you want to spend time in them.
The pool stays open until 9pm so you have plenty of time to enjoy a relaxing swim after a day of traipsing around Bangkok. There’s no spa but massages can be enjoyed in the privacy of your gorgeous room. And if wandering around the city isn’t enough fitness for your, there’s a small gym open from 6am – 10pm.
FOOD & DRINK
Breakfast at the River Surya hotel is one of the best things about the hotel. You can start your day by watching rice barges chugg down river and water-taxis carrying commuters whilst enjoying a bountiful buffet. The hotel’s restaurant, babble & rum, offers all day dining, dishing up Thai, Asian and European selections, all served with a contemporary urban flair. The Garden deck is perfect for enjoying cocktails while watching those magnificent Bangkok sunsets. If you venture outside the hotel, Phra Athit Road offers a myriad of dining options. For a quick bite we recommend Khun Deng Guay Jub Yuan for noodles. For a more substantial meal, head to foodie favourite Krua Apsorn, which serves up simple but supremely delicious Thai food.
The riverside is one of the best places to stay in the city. Bangkok’s history is rich and diverse, and demands attention. The heat, humidity and hecticness of the city demand the fresh, cool breeze only a river can offer. Put these two together and the answer is obvious – River Surya.
Address: 23 Phra Athit Rd, Khwaeng Chana Songkhram, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Disclosure: IDEAL Magazine stayed as a guest of the hotel