As the gateway to Southeast Asia, Bangkok has the important job of welcoming travelers from around the world to the region. So it’s a good thing this city has so many boss hotels. And as someone who gets asked for where to stay in the capital of Thailand recommendations often, I consider it my duty and pleasure to review options for you here. I know! I just give ’till it hurts.
While speaking at TBEX Asia, I had the pleasure of staying at an absolutely stunning hotel that rocked my socks off. Designed by Christian Lacroix and touted as combining French luxury and Thai culture, this might just be the swankiest place I’ve ever stayed in the city. SO Sofitel Bangkok, you are indeed a stunner.
The SO Sofitel is located in Sathorn, surrounded by embassies and just a short walk to the trendy neighborhood of Silom, which is home to some of Bangkok’s most celebrated bars and restaurants. The hotel overlooks Lumpini Park, Bangkok’s answer to New York’s own Central Park, and provides complimentary bikes for guests to explore the lush paths with.
There are four different room categories at the hotel, each representing one of the elements of the earth — metal, wood, earth, water. I was assigned to an earth room, inspired by a set of Thai caves and the ancient wall paintings that adorn them.
The dark and curving walls created a cozy vibe perfect for resting and recharging between conference sessions, while a comfortable office area provided a perfect space for working on my presentation. Also fantastic for renewing oneself after a busy day of urban adventures? The gorgeous soaking tub that was the centerpiece of the suite.
Free wifi was a given, while free minibar access was a welcome bonus.
SO Sofitel Bangkok is home to a trio of eateries — Red Oven, Park Society and Chocolab — only the first of which I extensively tested. That said, I did stop by Park Society for a rooftop drink at its buzzy bar one night, and I did swoop through the chocolate buffet at Chocolab for a sugar hit one morning.
Possibly my favorite part about waking up at the SO Sofitel Bangkok? Starting every day with breakfast at Red Oven. The breakfast buffet here might be the most impressive I’ve seen anywhere in Thailand — basically the highest compliment a breakfast lover such as myself can bestow.
If you need to work off some calories post-buffet, SO Sofitel has you covered. The onsite So Fit gym is not just gorgeously appointed with views overlooking Lumpini Park, they also offer fitness classes!
My biggest regret of the stay was that my schedule didn’t allow me to attend any, though I did sneak in two short workouts on the machines as well as a run in the stunning Lumpini Park. If you need to wind down after a workout, the onsite spa looked divine.
But as lovely and instagram-able as the rooms, breakfast buffet, and gym all may be — and lovely they truly are — the real jaw dropper is the thirty-two meter pool. Or, more accurately, the view, which takes in not just the treasure that is Lumpini Park, but also the Sukhumvit skyline beyond it.
While the pool was a relaxing haven during my visit, on the last Saturday of every month they turn up the volume for what is widely known as Bangkok’s hottest pool party, which hotel guests receive free entry to. Day drinking with that view? Here’s hoping I get the chance to hit it up someday in the future!
Room for Improvement
The drawbacks were few and minor — I disliked having to change elevator banks at the ninth floor lobby in order to get to my room from the hotel entrance, the immediately area around the hotel wasn’t super appealing (though nearby Silom is fabulous) and I wished the Skytrain was closer (though there was a subway stop a three minute walk away).
Mostly, I wish I’d had more time to stay and play at the hotel! Just walking into SO Sofitel Bangkok felt like a vacation, and I plan to return someday when I have more time to enjoy the amenities of this beautiful Bangkok hotel. With rooms starting at around $140 per night, it’s a little outside my usual target rate range (I’m always amazed by what you can get in Bangkok for under a hundred bucks) but the level of luxury does correspond to the price bump and I’d absolutely come back for a splurge.
Curious about the other objects of my Bangkok hotel obsession? Check out my reviews of the Radisson Blu Bangkok, U Sukhumvit, Luxx XL, The Aloft, The Four Points, Shama Suites, S15 and the trendy hostels in Silom. I can’t wait to see where I bed hop to next!
What Bangkok hotel do you think I should I add to my list?