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Bangkok can be a divisive city: you either love it or you hate it. For some people it can seem like a hot mess, while others insist that it’s simply misunderstood. Like most major cities around the world, it can be a little crazy, but there’s lots of fun to be had in the Thai capital – not to mention amazing luxury experiences to discover. In this guide, I’ll be taking you through the ins and outs of Bangkok luxury travel, from the best hotels to the coolest experiences the city has to offer.
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Let’s start with where you’re going to stay. There are some incredible luxury hotels in Bangkok and honestly, if I took you through them all we’d be here all day. I’ve somehow managed to narrow it down to just three spectacular options:
The Mandarin Oriental is an iconic Bangkok hotel. It was the first luxury hotel to be built in Thailand and opened its doors in 1876. The property has undergone a fair few changes since then but a refined air of tradition remains. The Thai royal family are said to be big fans of the Madarin, which means it’s an A-list hotspot. You might just spot a Thai celebrity whilst you’re here…
The rooms at the Mandarin Oriental feel like works of art – achieving such a delicate balance between modern and traditional Thai decor is no easy feat. There’s also an amazing spa here, which I talked about in my list of the best medspas in Thailand, so there’s ample opportunity for pampering. Finally, the Mandarin is home to 11 restaurants, including Normandie, a world-famous Michelin star spot.
The Lebua State tower calls itself “the world’s first vertical destination” because you’ll basically never need to leave – it’s got everything. There are two luxury hotels in the state tower: Lebua at State Tower and Tower Club at Lebua.
Lebua at State Tower is situated on the 21st-25th floors, whilst the Tower Club can be found on the 51st-59th floors. The Tower Club is the more exclusive of the two, but both are amazing places to rest your head during a luxury trip to Bangkok.
In the tower, you’ll also find the Sirocco mediterranean restaurant which offers astounding panoramic views of Bangkok. There’s also Sky Bar, which is one of the best places in the city to grab a cocktail… but more on that later.
You might recognize the iconic golden dome from the movie The Hangover II which had scenes filmed here. Okay, so we all know that the sequel wasn’t a patch on the original… but it still makes the Lebua hotels a pretty big deal in terms of Bangkok luxury travel.
If you’ve been following me for a while then you’ll know that I love St. Regis hotels. In fact, I wrote this article all about my celebratory trip to the St. Regis Bal Harbour in my hometown of Miami. The St. Regis Bangkok is just as fabulous, with incredible views of the city and an amazing afternoon tea hosted daily from 2-5pm.
There’s no shortage of Michelin star restaurants in Bangkok, so fine dining is an integral part of Bangkok luxury travel. Here are three of the best places to enjoy a gourmet meal:
Paste takes traditional Thai cuisine and gives it a contemporary twist. What makes this place so cool is that the head chef is committed to discovering long-forgotten Thai culinary traditions and bringing them back to the 21st century. It’s an innovative restaurant that serves up picture-perfect food in a relaxed and comfortable setting.
As mentioned, this 2 star Michelin restaurant is a part of the famous Mandarin Oriental hotel. This iconic restaurant is the place to experience haute cuisine in Bangkok.
Elements blends French and Japanese cuisine in a way that’s… well, just delicious. If you sit on the deck, you’ll get to enjoy beautiful views of downtown Bangkok alongside your carefully crafted meal.
The Grand Palace is probably the number one must-see attraction in Bangkok. It’s an impressive complex of golden temples and royal courts, and it’s most definitely one of the best examples of traditional Thai architecture the city has to offer. A visit here is a great opportunity to learn more about Thai history – and snap some killer photos, of course.
Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn, is one of Thailand’s most famous landmarks. It’s a gorgeous white and gold structure that looks particularly incredible during first light. If you’ve got the willpower to get up at 5am to go see this magnificent temple, I highly recommend doing so. You’ll get to explore the temple without all the crowds, take stunning photos and watch the sunrise over the city from the top of the central prang.
Honestly, before I watched a Muay Thai fight, I was never one for boxing, MMA or any other types of combat sports and I really didn’t think I’d be into it but trust me, it’s an amazing spectator sport. You can’t help but get excited by the buzzing atmosphere and lightning-fast action.
Now, this isn’t just travel, this is Bangkok luxury travel, so I highly recommend securing yourself some VIP tickets. That way, you can sit ringside and enjoy a first-class view of the action. The Rajadamnern and Lumpinee stadiums are the best place to watch elite fighters engage in authentic Muay Thai.
Jim Thompson was an interesting guy. He was an American businessman, architect and Olympic athlete who later became a spy during the Second World War. In the postwar years, he moved to Thailand and became known as the “Thai Silk King” for his role in revitalizing the struggling Thai silk industry. At one point in time, he also owned the Mandarin Oriental hotel – yes, the very same one I recommended above!
Thompson designed and built himself a traditional Thai mansion in the heart of Bangkok in the late 1950s. In 1967, he mysteriously disappeared on a trip to the Malaysian highlands. The case was never solved, but many suspect foul play. His house is now a museum where you can learn all about his life and role in Thai society. Conspiracy theorists, this is definitely one for you.
The Anantara Siam is all about old-school elegance and charm, which means it’s the perfect setting for a good old-fashioned afternoon tea. The menu varies year round and fuses Western and Thai cuisine perfectly. It’s every inch a luxury experience, but at around $30 per person I’d say it’s a pretty affordable one, too.
Bangkok is famous for its glamorous sky bars, so a cocktail on high is an absolute must. Here are my favorite ones to hit as the city lights up:
The oh-so-imaginatively named Pink Bar is located on the 61st floor of Lebua State Tower. If champagne is your thing, this is a must! It’s a luxurious place to grab a drink and enjoy the spectacular city views, particularly at sunset. I’d highly recommend it.
Enjoy a spectacular sunset from the 61st floor at Vertigo. The bar is designed to resemble a ship, and is laid out with high platforms and low walls so that you can enjoy an uninterrupted aerial view of Bangkok – safely, of course.
If you’re still in the mood for more bubbles after Pink, here’s another place fro champagne lovers. This modern, elegant venue will make you feel as though you’re floating on top of the world as you sample exquisite artisan champagne cocktails.
Honestly, Bangkok luxury travel is something that everybody should experience at least once. Yes, this city is a heady mixture of heat, noise and concrete but there’s a certain magic to it, not to mention a plethora of luxury experiences just waiting to be enjoyed.
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Your Luxe Lifestyle was founded by luxury world traveler Isabella Garofanelli bringing you the very best the globe has to offer in travel, lifestyle, and wellness.
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