Bangkok Hotels: From Budget to Luxury
Every now and then every traveller needs a break from places that smell of mould, cold showers that only dribble water, windowless box-like rooms and bugs of all sorts keen to share your private sanctuary. Yes, shoestring travelling can be mighty adventurous and save you money, but most people don’t really consider it sustainable for a long period of time. That is, unless they are willing to considerably lower their standards of living in order to prolong their travels – which is great too.
Bangkok hotels have a lot to offer. You can press the pause button and immerse yourself in the luxury bubble for a few nights, or you can crash in one of the budget options, where at least you know the sheets have been changed and the shower delivers.
One of the most famous and historical Bangkok hotels is the Mandarin Oriental, overlooking the Chao Phraya river and boasting several prestigious awards, including one for the world’s best hotel. It is the oldest hotel in Asia (opened in 1879) and has attracted many literary legends, including Somerset Maugham, Tennessee Williams and Joseph Conrad. You can look for inspiration amongst its exquisite suites and if money is not an obstacle why not splash 145,000 baht a night on the royal oriental suite. It just occurred to me that it would cost the same to stay in our current house for almost 2 years!
Bangkok hotels have many chic boutique-style options in their ranks. Boutique hotels have become very popular across Asian capitals, and offer somewhat more intimate, inspirational and stylish surroundings compared to the larger and more traditional hotels. Shanghai Mansion in Chinatown is an example of one of the themed Bangkok hotels, re-creating 1930s Shanghai and exhibiting Chinese art décor. The prices are affordable (from 1,266 baht according to their website) and who can argue with sleeping in a four-poster bed surrounded by oriental glamour?
Another top choice among Bangkok hotels is the Siam Heritage in Silom, which emphasises Thai style and hospitality. It of course includes a roof-top swimming pool and heated Jacuzzi. Exhale and relax! They offer special promotion prices (starting at around 2,200 baht) so you needn’t worry about breaking the bank to stay there for a treat.
Often mentioned is also Hotel Muse Bangkok, where from around 3,500 baht you get to experience the golden age of Siam and perhaps glimpse the romance of bygone days.
In case you are travelling with your furry friend, many Bangkok hotels offer pet-friendly options. It’s not only Hollywood divas who arrive everywhere with a handbag-dog under their armpit, so some hotels are catching on. Most however, have weight and size restrictions in place (an armpit dog it is). So we are praying that our puppy won’t grow to become a large beast who precludes us getting into any Bangkok hotels or guesthouses. I love the vitality of budget travel but I’m not ready for the streets.