Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort Review
My husband and I chose Anantara Riverside Bangkok as our base in the Thai capital on our Southeast Asia honeymoon. This was my first experience of the Anantara brand and I don’t think it will be my last.
Anantara Riverside Bangkok is a five-star luxury hotel located on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok’s main waterway. Read on to find out more about what to expect during your stay.
*The hero image is from the Anantara Riverside Bangkok website. Other images are by Explore with Wonder.
Overview of Anantara Riverside Bangkok
Anantara Riverside Bangkok offers a resort experience in the heart of Bangkok. This is a different proposition to most other luxury hotels in this city. The idea is that you can explore Bangkok while having the option to retreat to an oasis of calm when you need to recharge.
Arriving at the resort, you do feel like you are a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. As you step through the doors into the air-conditioned lobby, you can enjoy the beautiful interiors with a traditional Thai touch. They feel bright and spacious. The latter is a special luxury in a metropolis with millions upon millions of people.
The riverside location provides a bit of coolness which is highly appreciated in Bangkok’s heat. The resort’s grounds are not huge, but there is still lots of greenery offering shade and a sense of calm. They also incorporate a canal that connects the Chao Phraya River with the world beyond the resort. It provides some visual interest and an opportunity to follow the Thai tradition to feed fish for good luck.
Anantara Riverside Bangkok has all the bells and whistles of a classic resort.
It boasts a large outdoor swimming pool and a jacuzzi. There is a good number of sunbeds around them, but, as usual, if you’d like to grab a spot, make sure to get there early.
I find that in many Thai resorts guests leave their towels on sunbeds in the morning and come back hours later. In theory, you are only allowed to leave your stuff for up to an hour, but this rule is rarely enforced. Thankfully, I didn’t notice too much of this annoying behaviour at Riverside Bangkok.
For those looking to stay active while away from home, there is a fitness club with equipment and daily classes. Guests can also take advantage of the tennis courts.
Anantara hotels are known for their spas, so not surprisingly, there is one at Bangkok Riverside. The spa menu features massages with signature Anantara oil blends, facials and body scrubs.
Many treatments are inspired by traditional Thai massage and beauty techniques. Prices are substantially higher than in traditional Thai massage outlets, which is to be expected in a setting like this.
Anantara Riverside Bangkok is also home to an outpost of BDMS, a private wellness clinic. Thailand is a medical tourism destination where wealthy visitors can access cheaper health check-ups, treatments and dental care compared to the ones back home. However, for an average Thai person, the amount of money charged for this is extortionate.
At the BDMS clinic at Anantara Riverside Bangkok, you can combine a health check-up, beauty procedures and wellness treatments with a holiday. It’s worth noting that scientific research has not shown any benefits of some of these treatments such as IV therapy. But to each their own, I suppose.
Rooms at Anantara Riverside Bangkok
We stayed in a Deluxe River View Room. Apart from the deluxe rooms, Anantara Riverside Bangkok also has a selection of junior and family suites.
Our room was spacious and beautifully decorated. Although modern in style, the space had traditional Thai touches such as rich dark wood finishes and elegant lamp shades. There is plenty of storage space including a large wardrobe and additional drawers. Guests can also enjoy tea and coffee-making facilities.
As we were on our honeymoon, the staff at the hotel left a little something in the room to make us feel especially welcome. It was a lovely heart-shaped red velvet cake and some welcome fruit. A small, but a lovely touch.
The bathroom was also spacious and had both a shower and a bathtub. The bathroom features mirrored walls to make it look even bigger. But be prepared to see your body from many different angles.
I unfortunately didn’t get to use the bath, but the shower had sufficient water pressure. It seems like an obvious thing, but low water pressure is a feature of many a hotel bathroom the world over.
I also find that many hotel rooms have insufficient lighting. However, that was not the case in our Anantara Riverside Bangkok hotel room. There were plenty of lighting options including a reading light by the bed. As somebody who enjoys reading before going to sleep, I always appreciate this small feature.
The small balcony was looking out onto the swimming pool and had a partial river view. It was great to just hang out there and watch the world go by. As I understand, the Deluxe Riverfront View rooms that are slightly more expensive come with the full river view.
Foodies have lots of delicious options at Anantara Riverside Bangkok. As we only had a few days in Bangkok and unfortunately couldn’t try out all the eateries.
The buffet breakfast is served at The Market restaurant. It boasts a large outdoor terrace with river views. Indoor seating is also available. The food selection was excellent and covered popular Western and Asian breakfast options. I especially enjoyed the pastry section with freshly made mini-pancakes and waffles.
For a light lunch or an afternoon tea, guests can check out the Maa Laa Café and Studio on the ground floor of the hotel (lower lobby). Brio, the Italian restaurant, is open for both lunch and dinner service.
If you fancy Japanese food, check out Benihana, a teppanyaki steakhouse that combines theatricality with high-quality meat and seafood. Anantara Riverside Bangkok is also home to the Riverside Terrace where you can enjoy international buffet dinners and a cultural Thai performance.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try any of these four eateries as we didn’t have enough time. What a great reason to go back though!
The resort also boasts three bars so getting a glass of your favourite tipple is easy. Located right on the riverfront, the outdoor Longtail by The River bar serves up cocktails and snacks. We did enjoy a drink there one night. It was so relaxing to watch the lit-up boats go by while enjoying a signature cocktail.
Other bars include the Loy Nam which offers drinks and snacks by the pool. The Elephant Bar oozes old-world charm and is perfect for a classy evening cocktail. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to visit these.
The dining experience we did get to enjoy was the Manohra dinner cruise. Board a vintage rice barge and enjoy Bangkok’s most famous sights along the Chao Phraya River.
During the cruise you will also enjoy a fine dining menu of elevated Thai favourites prepared from local ingredients. The food was excellent, and the team were incredibly welcoming.
The cruise was undoubtedly the highlight of our stay at Anantara Riverside Bangkok. However, you don’t need to stay at the resort to book a table there.
Additional Dining Options at Anantara Riverside Bangkok
Anantara Riverside Bangkok guests can also take advantage of the eateries and bars located in the nearby Avani Riverside Bangkok hotel including the pan-Asian Spice & Barley and SEEN rooftop bar.
If you want to treat your loved one to a super romantic experience, Anantara Riverside Bangkok can organise a special candle-lit dinner for two. Your own private chef will prepare an unforgettable meal that can be enjoyed at a traditional Thai sala or on board of a vintage rice barge. Contact Dining by Design to start planning your special date night.
Anantara as a brand aims to connect guests with local experiences. Thanks to this approach, the Bangkok Riverside resort offers a selection of unique private tours. Please note, these tours are not normally included in a stay and will cost extra.
Explore the less-visited side of Bangkok on the signature khlong (canal) tour. You will get to visit traditional canal-side communities on a longtail boat to experience a different way of life. The tour includes visits to the local temples and The Artist House, an arts community where you can enjoy a lunch and traditional Thai performance.
Other experiences include a tour of the off-the-beaten path Bangkok featuring markets, lesser-known temples and delicious street food. Art lovers should embark on the old town art experience to get to know the city’s creative communities and street art.
If you would like to learn how to make your favourite Thai dishes, you can join the Spice Spoons cooking class. The experience includes a visit to a market to shop for the ingredients followed by a cooking masterclass where you will learn make four dishes of your choice.
If you are looking for something active, Anantara Riverside Bangkok can help organise Muay Thai, Yoga and Tai Chi classes to help you stay in the best physical and mental shape.
Anantara Riverside Bangkok has a quiet location on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River. It is slightly further out than other riverside hotels. There is a small modern shopping mall right next to the resort that has a good selection of restaurants serving up different Asian cuisines.
There is also a handful of traditional eateries and Thai massage places nearby. However, all major Bangkok sights and famous areas are far away, so you will need to take some form of transport to get to places.
The hotel does address its slightly remote location by providing a free shuttle boat to the Sathorn Pier. From there you can either hop on the Chao Phraya Tourist Boat or Chao Phraya Express Boat.
These services will get you to Bangkok’s most famous spots such as the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Chinatown and Khao San Road. Keep in mind that they stop running by about 8pm. So, if you are staying out late, you will most likely need to get a taxi to get back to the hotel.
From Sathorn Pier you can also catch a free shuttle boat to the ICONSIAM, a riverside megamall and ASIATIQUE the Riverfront, a popular night market.
Alternatively, there is the Saphan Taksin BTS station right next door to the Sathorn Pier. It is just a short journey from the popular Silom and Sukhumvit areas.
If you only have a couple of days in Bangkok and your priority is to see all the big sights independently, Anantara Riverside Bangkok’s location is not ideal. The same applies if you want to make the most of the city’s nightlife. You might end up spending too much time travelling between places.
If you are planning to take your time in Bangkok and have at least a few days in the city, then Anantara Riverside Bangkok is a fantastic option. That way you will be able to experience the city and make the most of the facilities that the resort offers.
If you only have a couple of days in Bangkok and seeing the famous spots and enjoying nightlife are a priority, I recommend staying somewhere closer to all the action. Otherwise, travel might become annoying as Bangkok is a truly vast city and not all tourist spots are concentrated in one place.
All in all, we really enjoyed our stay at Anantara Riverside Bangkok. It was our second trip to the city, and we visited all the big tourist spots like the Grand Palace on our first trip. This time round, we wanted to take the city in at a slower pace. Although I wish we had more time at the resort, it was a great choice for us.
Want to book your stay at Anantara Riverside Bangkok? I recommend Booking.com for accommodation bookings around the world.
My stay at Anantara Riverside Bangkok was entirely self-funded. Room rates start from £131 / US $160
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