Bangkok is one of those cities where you probably could spend a lifetime trying out all the great hotels there. There are more 5-star hotels than in any other city in the world, and those 5 stars are worth so much more than anywhere else. Bangkok is the global reference for the hotel and hospitality industry. Great quality at great prices, so no wonder this city is becoming one of the most visited places on earth.
Now, among these hotels, there are a few that kind of stand out. One of these places is the magnificent Shangri-La, and I have been so lucky to host an event there a while ago. Set along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, it offers a unique atmosphere and a quiet oasis in the middle of this bustling city.
It’s more, staying at the Shangri-La to me always feels like being in another city, but not in busy Bangkok. I don’t know whether it’s the special feeling of being close to the water, or the natural barrier the water creates, separating two parts of the city, but it feels kind of magic. And when in Bangkok, this is often exactly the kind of place I seek.
As in all Shangri-La hotels, the entire complex is luxurious, covered in marble and thick carpets. The lobby is gigantic, and offers a fine coffee and chocolate bar with views on the gardens and the river. A few feet down, by the pool, families play with their children, and businesspeople unwind from their day with a cocktail sitting on the pool edge.
The rooms are fantastic, and if you happen to be given a river view corner suite, you even have a small balcony (where the picture at the top has been taken from). In any case, make sure you have a river view room, as the view really makes a difference. The bed is great, and the heavenly marble bathrooms leaves nothing to wish for.
When it comes to food, you’re in heaven here. Several restaurants make the choice really difficult, but I kind of prefer its main restaurant, Next To. It is called like this because it is “next to” the river. A daily buffet is served there, both lunch and dinner, and it offers remarkable choice and quality. Their Indian chef is incredible, and so are their Thai curries, of course. Oh, and to make things complete, you can also enjoy Breakfast here. The other restaurant, Angelini, is more sophisticated and offers Italian cuisine. The Thai restaurant, I can’t remember its name, was beautiful but the food quite disappointing.
The hotel’s vicinity offers hundreds of dining opportunities, though. Try the amazing view from the other side of the river in The Peninsula Hotel’s restaurant by the river. Or, same side as the Shang, at the Mandarin Oriental in one of Bangkok’s premier dinner buffet offerings. The choice is yours!