In a city where every street has the potential to turn into a touristic spot with endless dining and shopping offerings, the Chao Phraya River is arguably one of the best destinations in Bangkok for any type of travellers. Leisure travellers who want to explore the the city’s history and culture can simply hop on a long-tail boat and cruise along the river to visit The Grand Palace and famous temples, while business travellers can unwind at a riverside bar and families can spend time at a hotel pool — there’s something for everyone in riverside Bangkok.
Of course, luxury hotels located along the Chao Phraya River are dime a dozen, offering al fresco dining by the river, spacious outdoor area and rooms boasting the most exotic views. The Peninsula Bangkok, a legendary five-star hotel situated on the west side of the river, is no exception — but what sets it apart is the unparalleled hospitality that defines the brand’s core value, which has not failed to impress discerning travellers in the past 20 years.
Situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, The Peninsula Bangkok offers guests easy access to the city’s iconic attractions, shopping districts and vibrant nightlife. The Saphan Taksin BTS station is just five minutes away on one of the hotel’s signature green-roofed shuttle boat service, or for those who feel like splurging on a grand entrance, the hotel’s magnificent vehicle fleet guarantees a luxurious transfer for guests by vintage Rolls-Royce or custom-crafted BMW 7 Series limousine. Alternatively, travel in style with a helicopter transfer direct from the airport — a Peninsula signature — which, apart from the over-the-top experience, is the most efficient way to arrive the hotel from its rooftop helipad, without Bangkok’s notorious traffic hassles.
Uniquely designed in a W-shape so that all 370 rooms and suites command magnificent views of Chao Phraya River and the Thai capital’s skyline, The Peninsula Bangkok is the epitome of a global hotel brand that embraces Thai-inspired elegance.
We spent our stay in the Deluxe Suite, which was generously sized at 74 square metres, with highlight features including customised Peninsula in-room technology — a set of well-thought out electric controls by the bedside table with settings for the curtains and mood lighting; well-appointed interiors with Thai teak flooring, sensuous handmade silk furnishings, Asian artworks and a dining table for four, all contributing to an irresistible oriental charm. For bigger groups, we’d recommend booking a stay in one of the grand Duplex Suites on the 36th and 37th floors, which comes with a magnificent three-bedroom residence featuring a private terrace with an outdoor Jacuzzi, enabling guests to experience a kaleidoscopic Bangkok sunset in privacy and comfort, virtually unheard of in a hotel in the city centre.
While the functionality and interiors of the Deluxe Suite exude the ambience of an upscale residence, we particularly liked the luxurious marble bathrooms, featuring a bathtub in the centre, two vanity units on both sides, built-in television above the bathtub and stocked with Oscar de la Renta products. The suite also comes equipped with a separate powder room in addition to the master bathroom. Whereas some hotels seem to have a divide between the living room area and the in-room experience, The Peninsula Bangkok offers a seamless experience, in which every space feels equally posh and up to the same standards.
Drinks & Dining
Seeing as F&B being one of The Peninsula Hotels’ strong suits, the Bangkok property boasts a diverse variety of cuisines for guests to mix and match dining experiences.
The hotel is home to three main venues for food and drink: Mei Jiang, the hotel’s award-winning Cantonese restaurant, is currently serving up Thailand’s first Cantonese degustation menu, rooted in beloved Cantonese flavours and ingredients; Thiptara, a Thai riverside restaurant surrounded by stately banyan trees that serves home-style Thai dishes crafted from recipes relied upon through the centuries by Royal Palace cooks in traditional wooden pavilions; and The River Cafe & Terrace, an all-day dining destination where guests go for the breakfast buffet and a selection of Thai and Western offerings. The last of these also houses the River Bar, an ideal spot to while away the evening and sip Thai-inspired cocktails. Our favourite is Thaijito, a refreshing blend of Thai rum, peach schnapps, fresh lime juice, lime, mint and pineapple.
Exclusive: The Peninsula Bangkok’s 20 experiences
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, The Peninsula Bangkok has curated 20 Amazing Experiences, an immerse programme that combines the very best of Thai history, culture, cuisines, spirituality, spa and wellness Bangkok to showcase the Thai capital’s most iconic experiences and hidden treasures.
As one of the hotel’s 20 Amazing Experiences, the hotel is offering a Muay Thai programme that combines martial arts and traditional healing to create a unique experience of Thai culture through wellness. Taking place on the terrace of Thiptara, guests will be coached by a certified Muay Thai coach and learn Thai kickboxing techniques amidst tropical gardens overlooking Chao Phraya River. After a 60-minute workout, guests can relax and rejuvenate in The Peninsula Spa’s whirlpool, sauna and steam room before enjoying a 90-minute traditional Thai massage.
Another unmissable experience is Bangkok Blossom, a tour consisted of a visit to the city’s famous flower market, Park, Khlong Talat, by long-tail boat along the river. Firmly off the tourist trail and led by a knowledgeable guide, the excursion is a perfect opportunity to understand the spiritual significance of Thai flowers, interact with local artisans, flower traders and market stalwarts, and even try your hand at the revered folk custom of threading jasmine to make fragrant garlands to take away as a colourful memento.
Health & Wellness
Wellness is The Peninsula Bangkok’s forte, and no guest should miss out on their world-class spa treatments. Housed in a three-story Thai colonial-style building, The Peninsula Spa is a peaceful haven comprised of a 88-metre three-tiered outdoor pool, an updated gym with state-of-the-art equipment, steam rooms, 14 private treatment rooms and 4 suites with jacuzzis overlooking the river.
While spa and wellness treatments layering Thai, European and Ayurvedic philosophies are on offer, there’s nothing we’d recommend more than the signature 120-minute Peninsula Sleep Ceremony: an aromatic bath using ESPA’s soothing bath oil to ease tired and achong limbs, guided meditation and breathing techniques to release physical and emotional anxiety, a hot stone body massage to release harmful toxins and muscular tension, completed with a soothing face and scalp massage to relieve tight jaw and forehead muscles. We’ve had many, many massages, and this was without a doubt one of the best we’ve had in Thailand.
Any skeptics who doubt a classic chain hotel can offer a memorable stay will be proved otherwise at The Peninsula Bangkok. What makes the hotel truly unique is the simple fact that it delivers on the promise of legendary hospitality, with thoughtful, almost intuitive touches that constantly exceed expectations, not to mention the top quality of its accommodations, facilities and dining venues. After 20 years in Bangkok,The Peninsula Bangkok continues to offer enriching programmes designed to incorporate the Thai culture into guest experience, making it more than just another five-star property.
The Peninsula Bangkok, 333 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan, Bangkok, +662 020 2888