Ask any frequent visitor to Southeast Asia to name their favorite city, and chances are good they’ll say it is Bangkok . The city is known for its frenetic street energy, dynamic food scene, opulent temples and palaces, and a vast range of top-notch hotels.
Situated on the , the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, which took top honors this year, first opened as the Oriental in 1876. It’s played host to literary titans like Somerset Maugham, Joseph Conrad, and Graham Greene, as well as entertainment icons like Noël Coward. Today’s visitors get a sense of that storied past— especially in the guest rooms, which are accented with sumptuous Thai silk fabrics and teak furnishings.
Directly across the river, the Peninsula Bangkok (this year’s runner-up) won readers over with its immersive guest experiences, which range from private Muay Thai kick-boxing lessons to a tour through the backstreets of Bangkok to explore lesser-known temples and food stands. Back at the hotel, relax in your luxurious guest room, which has a marble bathroom, walk-in closet, and panoramic views of the river and skyline.
Claiming the No. 3 slot, Banyan Tree Bangkok occupies a soaring skyscraper in the tony Sathorn neighborhood, near Lumphini Park. Guests love Moon Bar, perched on the 61st floor atop the building — one of the best places in the city to take in Bangkok’s stunning sunsets. “The rooftop bar was the highlight of our trip,” said one effusive reader.
Here are the 5 top hotels in Bangkok in 2018 as rated by Travel+Leisure:
1. Mandarin Oriental
Although Bangkok is one of the busiest cities in Asia, the Mandarin Oriental is a veritable oasis of calm. Here, guests congregate in the restful Authors’ Lounge, a colonial-chic space serving traditional afternoon tea, and the holistic Oriental Spa, which is set inside a restored teak house and offers Western and Thai treatments (we love the full-body scrub of grated coconut and jasmine rice). Don’t miss dinner at Le Normandie, a Michelin-starred French restaurant with crystal chandeliers, white-glove service, and panoramic views of the Chao Phraya River through floor-to-ceiling windows.
2. The Peninsula
Guests to the 37 storey Peninsula Hotel will be impressed by the palatial colonial charm but its the faultless service and attention to detail that really awes and sets the benchmark for premium luxury hotels to strive towards. Shoes are polished at the touch of a button; your preferred newspaper is noted and delivered each morning, and your favourite breakfast spot is remembered for the duration of your stay. Every request is fulfilled and nothing needs to be asked for twice.This is the superior treatment guests can expect at The Peninsula. The breakfast buffet in The River Cafe – with a beautiful setting beside the Chao Phraya on one side and lawn on the other – offers a suitably impressive start to the day, while five further restaurants on site each provide something different.
3. Banyan Tree
A subtle mix of Thai and modern design embellishes the 327 rooms in the Banyan Tree Bangkok, inspired by the country’s heritage and accommodation offering floor-to-ceiling windows with fantastic views of Bangkok. There are seven room types; even the spacious Deluxe comes with separate living space.It is the little luxuries that help Banyan Tree Hotel stand out from the crowd, such as two televisions, a daily newspaper and a fragrant essential burner with a range of scents.If you are coming with family then the 119sqm Two-Bedroom Suites offer a home away from home. The Banyan Tree Hotel Spa is a calm oasis over three floors, the decor minimalist and Zen, with 16 spacious treatment rooms to allow privacy when enjoying luxurious pampering.
4. Shangri-La Hotel
Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok is one of the most luxurious five-star hotels in Bangkok and its Riverside location offers the best in terms of convenience and beauty.Located on the banks of Chao Phraya River, the hotel has simply stunning views of the river, both from the guest rooms and the lovely poolside area. The location also offers easy access to Bangkok leading shopping, sightseeing and business districts thanks to the adjacent Sky Train at Saphan Taksin BTS Station which enables guests to travel throughout the city with ease. Suvarnabhumi international Airport is only just 30-35 minutes away by car.
5. JW Marriott Hotel
Find the best of Bangkok right at your doorstep at JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok, from Bumrungrad Hospital and Terminal 21 to Siam Paragon, Nana BTS Station and the EmQuartier Shopping Mall. Step into a 5-star urban oasis graced with luxury amenities that pamper and inspire, with multilingual associates providing signature Marriott service at every moment. Unwind with indulgent spa treatments, lounge in a designer chaise by the palm-tree-framed tile pool or invigorate in our hotel’s modern fitness center. JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok’s beautifully appointed rooms and suites blend city center views with chic, contemporary design and the full complement of five-star perks. Distinctive dining ranges from a fashionably cool New York Steakhouse to authentic Chinese and Japanese delicacies and cozy cafes.