A sky-high luxury retreat in Bangkok
Towering at 61 stories high, Banyan Tree Bangkok is a uniquely narrow hotel that has been a fixture of the city’s skyline since it opened in 2002. The luxury hotel’s most noteworthy attraction is its iconic rooftop hot spot, Moon Bar, arguably the best place in town to admire sprawling Bangkok from above. Banyan Tree’s stately accommodations with spectacular views of their own make the hotel a great pick for stays in Thailand’s capital. The orchid-filled Banyan Tree lobby bustles with both business meetings and intrepid travelers coming and going throughout the day. Those weary from a long flight can check in quickly, grab a drink from an easy-access bar just steps from the reception desk, book a traditional Thai massage at the spacious spa or hit up one of the 10 onsite dining options.
The Bangkok hotel’s 327 guest rooms are located on floors 15 through 58, guaranteeing you a spectacular view no matter your room assignment — expect glimpses of the buzzing cityscape, lush Lumpini Park or the winding Chao Phraya River from floor-to-ceiling windows. Families will gravitate toward the two-bedroom suites while hotel enthusiasts may enjoy the Banyan Tree Club Room options, which come with access to the lounge, where you can get free breakfast, refreshments and local Thai beer. All rooms have lots of rich, dark woods and plush neutral colors, feature authentic Thai touches like silk paintings and SangSom rum in the minibar.
The Food and Drink
While you may toast to your room with a view, reserve some time to savor a drink on Bayan Tree’s rooftop lounge. Built on the hotel’s former helipad, Moon Bar is one of the city’s most refined sky bars — there’s no gaudy neon here and instead of listening to blaring house music, you can appreciate the hush of being up 61 floors above the city. Thailand’s stifling heat is no match for the cool, high-altitude breeze, making Moon Bar a pleasant nightlife spot in Bangkok. Take in the twinkling city below with a cocktail or two before heading a few floors down to one of the hotel’s restaurants for dinner. Bai Yun serves contemporary Chinese cuisine and has breathtaking city views on both sides of the restaurant thanks to the hotel’s narrow design. Head to Romsai for international cuisine, and to Taihei for sake and shochu.
For a quintessential Bangkok experience, book a Chao Phraya river dinner cruise at Apsara, a teak rice-barge-cum-restaurant. The jewel of the dining experiences, though, is Saffron, a sophisticated spot that features Thai specialties you won’t soon forget.
The Bangkok hotel is centrally located in the embassy district, making it a convenient accommodation choice for various types of travelers. If yoga and muay Thai classes at the hotel fitness center won’t do, take to nearby Lumpini Park in the morning to jog with the locals. A short taxi ride will get you to the Saphan Taksin bridge to hop on a water taxi. World-class shopping can be found just 15 minutes away at super mall Siam Paragon.
The 16 treatment rooms at Banyan Tree Spa span across three floors and offer holistic-themed treatments performed by expert therapists. Refresh with services like the signature Tropical Rainmist, which combines a rain shower, steam bath and an invigorating body scrub. The dim, peaceful treatment rooms are particularly rejuvenating after a day in the frenetic city. The pool on the 21st floor is a special place to be when the sun begins to set on the hotel’s surrounding skyscrapers — the glowing mirror-like façades make for an epic backdrop for a late afternoon swim.