Set along the bank of the Chao Phraya river, the Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok is a luxury five star establishment offering unbeatable views of the city.
I chose this hotel primarily for its great location, and wasn’t disappointed as it made the perfect base for our two-night stay in Bangkok. I’m not overly demanding when it comes to accommodation for short breaks, but the Chatrium was much nicer than I’d anticipated, and if I’m honest, almost too nice for what we needed!
I booked a ‘grand room with city-views’ (the basic option) and upon check-in we were lucky enough to be upgraded to the ‘grand one bedroom city-view suite’, which comes with a kitchenette, separate living area and private balcony – a very generously sized suite which feels more like being in an apartment than a hotel room.
The bedroom is surrounded by glass windows from floor to ceiling, meaning panoramic views of the city can be enjoyed from the comfort of the king size bed. The view from here and the balcony was fantastic, and it’s certainly worth paying a bit more for a river-view room, if you can.
Free wi-fi comes as standard, and room service is available 24hrs a day. Complimentary tea, coffee and bottled water is also offered in the kitchen and mini bar.
The bathroom has a great shower as well as a large bathtub, with the basin located separately outside.
The only strange thing I found with the room was the wall which divides the shower and bedroom – this was made entirely of glass and covered by floor-length Venetian blinds on the bedroom side. Other than letting your partner watch you as you shower (and toilet), I’m still not quite sure what this is for…?
I found the price reasonable for this area of Bangkok, paying THB 6,840 (approx. £136) for two nights in mid-March. I booked directly through Chatrium.com, which I’d recommend pricing up against comparison sites or travel agents – the cost was similar across the board, but the hotel offers complimentary extras such as THB 500 (£10) dining credit, late check-out and free drinks for direct bookings.
Great if you want to visit the temples in particular, as a free shuttle-boat service runs throughout the day from the hotel to Central pier next door. From here, you can get a Chao Phraya express boat further down the river to the Grand Palace, or catch a BTS skytrain at Saphan Taksin station for access to the inner city.
At street level, there’s also a 7Eleven and Starbucks next door to the hotel lobby.
From the airport, it takes about an hour to get to the hotel due to the heavy traffic, which you’re encounter no matter what time of day it is. If you’re not on a budget, I’d definitely recommend arranging private transfers from the airport – I was really grateful I did as soon as we walked into the 30°C heat at 6:30am, and was greeted by our private driver who showed us to a lovely air-conditioned vehicle. After a 16+ hour journey, the last thing you want is to wait for a minibus!
One of my favourite features of this hotel was the rooftop infinity pool, which made the perfect escape after a busy day of sightseeing in the city. Sun loungers were readily available (including some bean-bag ones!) and a pool bar can also be found nearby serving drinks and snacks to your seat.
Food and drink
We had a quick lunch in the Lobby Lounge downstairs which offered Thai dishes at reasonable prices (for a hotel). However, there are several other restaurants including Silver Waves on the 36th floor which serves Chinese dishes, as well as an outdoor eating/bar area located on the terrace along the river.
Breakfast was excellent and offered a wide selection of food, including noodles, rice and dim sum, as well as some more classic choices such as omelettes, cooked breakfast and fresh fruit. This wasn’t included in our room price however, and was quite expensive to purchase on top, costing THB 648 each (about £13) inclusive of 10% service charge and 7% tax. This might not sound like a lot, but our lunch at the Lobby Lounge was less than THB 500 altogether the previous day.
Don’t skip the breakfast, but it’s worth booking a room where it’s already included in the price.
A lovely hotel with incredibly spacious rooms and stunning views, in a good location made extra convenient by the free shuttle-boat service. Perfect for couples and those looking for a little luxury, at reasonable prices near the river.
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