Discover a riverside paradise amid the hustle and bustle of one of the world's most popular tourist destinations.
If you’ve ever visited Thailand’s capital city, you’ll be familiar with its busy streets, scorching heat and chaotic atmosphere. Bangkok is host to a local population of over 8 million people. Add in the constant and steady stream of tourists and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you first arrive – even if you’re a seasoned traveler.
The city is a vibrant metropolis filled with lively restaurants, markets and plenty of tourist attractions to explore. So if you’re looking for a somewhere to stay to give you respite from the hustle and bustle, yet still close enough to enjoy all that Bangkok has to offer, then consider the Anantara Riverside Resort and Spa.
The beautiful resort is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and set amongst 11 acres of leafy gardens – and it truly does blend urban living with tropical serenity. When I first arrive, I’m struck by the expansive grounds and lush surroundings. Having stayed in downtown Bangkok on my previous visit, the difference is vast and difficult to ignore.
With high season in full swing and the famous Loy Krathong festival coming up in a few days I’m told by the 410-room resort they are at capacity. However, wandering around the riverside retreat or using the facilities, it often feels like you have the place quite to yourself.
Cuisine from Every Corner of the Globe
With 11 bars and restaurants located within the resort itself, you really are spoilt for choice.
- Benihana - Enjoy the theatre of Teppanyaki or order sushsi and sashimi from the a la carte Japanese menu
- Brio – Experience homemade Italian cooking in a Tuscan villa setting
- Riverside Terrace – Watch a traditional Thai dance and take in views of the river, as you dine on a feast of international cuisine
- Trader Vics’s – For a more casual atmosphere and live music, this steakhouse and Polynesian restaurant also boasts Bangkok’s only woodfired Chinese oven
- Longtail Bar – As the sun sets over the Chao Phraya River, one of the best spots to sip a cocktail or have a light dinner is this pierside bar
- Dining By Design - For the ultimate in tailor made romance, indulge in a candlelit meal in a riverside sala or picnic under a banyan tree. Bring your fantasy meal to life – with a menu and design of your choice!
- Manohra Cruises – Jump on board a beautifully refurbished 100-year-old rice barge and cruise along the majestic Chao Phraya River by night taking in the main sites – while enjoying traditional Thai cuisine
The breakfast buffet also warrants a mention. It’s one of the biggest and best hotel spreads I have ever seen - catering effortlessly to every stomach’s whim.
From Spa Treatments to Sightseeing
Anantara Riverside boasts a range of great facilities, including a luxurious spa. I indulge in their Signature Massage – 60 minutes of sublime pampering that alleviates every ache and fretful thought. No detail is ignored, down to the home-brewed ginger tea to finish.
The large outdoor pool is ideal for spending lazy days reading and making occasional jaunts to the swim-up bar. There’s also a fitness centre and tennis courts complete with a rooftop view – if you’re feeling more active.
While it can be difficult to drag yourself away from the resort, plenty awaits you down the river. A complimentary shuttle boat service runs continuously every day from 7am through to midnight, which connects you to Bangkok’s extensive sky train network in just 15 minutes.
From there you can peruse one of Bangkok’s many shopping malls or open-air markets. MBK is my pick of the bunch for bargain clothing, accessories and souvenirs. If you’re there on the weekend, the Chatachuck Weekend Market is a must-see - with over 15,000 stalls spread out over 27 acres (prepare to be overwhelmed and to get very hot!). You can find pretty much anything and everything. Or you could visit cultural sites like the Grand Palace and Buddhist temples - be sure to jump in a tuk-tuk and try some Bangkok street food and on your way. You can also explore the city’s river canals – with long-tail tours departing directly from resort itself.
Whatever your choice, it’s an absolute pleasure to come back to the friendly faces and impeccable service from all the Anantara staff. Another beautiful Bangkok sunset beckons and the toughest choice you’ll face in this tropical retreat, is which restaurant to dine in next.
Take a look at our complete Bangkok Destination Guide here.