Riva Surya, Bangkok
If you want to experience a little bit of everything on your visit to Bangkok, then Riva Surya is a fantastic hideaway in which to base yourself. The hotel has the best of the capital's chaos and calm on its doorstep, fronting the sleepy Chao Phraya River but also being only a few minutes' walk away from the buzzing Khao San Road, where life seems to whizz by at a hundred miles an hour. It's only a handful of paces from the Phra Athit river pier, too, where you can catch a ferry to the city's many palaces, temples and other historic sites.
The Riva Surya has been part of the regeneration that the Chao Phraya's waterfront has undergone over recent years, where houses and shops have been transformed into trendy apartments, cafés and galleries. This hotel is no exception, an apartment building converted into a stylish boutique hotel, with its rooms a harmonious blend of modern comforts and traditional Thai touches. Whatever you have planned in Bangkok, you can be sure the Riva Surya won't be far away.
Each one of Riva Surya's 68 rooms is incredibly spacious, with the white and grey tones running throughout giving them an understated elegance. They combine modern comforts (the bed linen has a 400-thread count) with colonial-era influences and traditional Thai touches throughout. Most rooms also come with balconies.
The Urban Rooms are the smallest and, as their name suggest, look out onto the leafy Phra Athit Road. On the other side of the hotel, the Riva Rooms all have glorious riverside views.
The hotel's only restaurant, babble & rum, has an impressive range of food. It prides itself on the locally sourced produce which features in its dishes, against a rustic and contemporary atmosphere. The menu draws influences from all around the world, including authentic Thai dishes, traditional tastes from the rest of Asia and some European favourites thrown in for good measure. During the day, babble & rum is a charming café where you can enjoy an artisanal coffee on the outdoor terrace overlooking the river.
Riva Surya also has a Riverside Bar, which is a great spot for a cocktail (there's a well-stocked list to choose from) to watch the sunset cast an amber glow over the water each evening.
Riva Surya is equipped with a modern gym with windows looking out over the Chao Phraya River, so you can work out to gorgeous riverside views. But the real allure of Riva Surya is its excellent location in Bangkok. On its doorstep, Phra Athit Road is a laid-back medley of cafés, bars and antique shophouses, while the lively Khao San Road is just a 10-minute stroll away. Established nearly 150 years ago, today the Khao San Road is a hive of activity, a street packed with buzzing cafés, restaurants and bars where it's fascinating to watch the different people this area of Bangkok attracts mix together. The hotel is also close to a river ferry terminal, so you can easily reach the capital's signature sights, like the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Wat Pho temples and the Bangkok National Museum.
If Riva Surya's riverside location wasn't relaxing enough, then its outdoor pool looking out over the Cha Phraya will help you feel even more tranquil. The hotel also has its own spa, so you can enjoy a soothing massage after a busy day exploring the city.
Where is Riva Surya?
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