Where to Stay in Bangkok – Hotels for Foodies
The best Bangkok hotels for foodies range from atmospheric Shanghai Mansion, slap bang in the centre of Chinatown, to the sleek Como Metropolitan, home to Nahm, Bangkok’s number one Thai restaurant.
Heading to Thailand to eat your way through Bangkok? We don’t blame you. Home to fantastic street food, tantalising markets, mouth-watering food tours, excellent cooking classes, and superb Thai restaurants, Bangkok is one of the world’s best eating cities and eating is a perfectly good reason to book a flight to the Thai capital.
Where to Stay in Bangkok – Bangkok Hotels for Foodies
You need to choose where to stay in Bangkok carefully. Bangkok has some of the most horrendous traffic in Asia, with gridlocks the norm rather than the exception, along with some of the world’s worst taxi drivers. And there are few things more disappointing than being late to a restaurant you’ve had booked for months or being deposited at the wrong address. Finding yourself dumped in a dark, dead-end soi, miles from where you need to be, is not fun.
Fortunately, Bangkok also has one of Asia’s best rail systems. The brilliant BTS Skytrain and underground MRT systems will get you to most of the foodie hot spots you’ll want to go. For instance, Le Du, Namsah Bottling Trust, Eat Me, and Supanniga restaurants are all within walking distance of Chong Nonsi BTS, while Bo.lan and Soul Food Mahanakorn are an easy amble from BTS Thong Lor.
When it comes to where to stay in Bangkok, our best advice is to stay near a BTS station. Many of the best Bangkok markets, from Or Tor Kor to Klong Toey, have a BTS nearby. In the evening you can travel by train to the restaurant and have the staff call a taxi when you’re done, as there’s little congestion late at night. Alternatively, choose a hotel in a foodie neighbourhood, near an eat street or within walking distance of the restaurants, markets, and eat streets that you plan on eating your way through.
Based on that strategy, when it comes to where to stay in Bangkok, these are the best Bangkok hotels for foodies:
The Best Bangkok Hotels for Foodies
Chic Shanghai Mansion tops our list of best Bangkok hotels for foodies because it’s in the heart of Chinatown, so you won’t need to stray far to sample Bangkok’s most tantalising street food dishes and mouthwatering markets.
Just seconds from the hotel, there’s the ever-popular Seafood Paradise hawker stall, whose tables are packed every night. Another block away, Plaeng Nam Road is the address of our favourite khanom jeeb hawker outside Wat Yuan, and a little further down is Soi Phadungdao (AKA Soi Texas), which is as photogenic as it is aromatic.
We also love Shanghai Mansion because they provide their guests with a brilliant 12-page pocket guide to Chinatown that spends six of those pages reviewing the best Chinatown spots to eat with two maps identifying some of Bangkok’s most iconic street food eateries, such as Jay Puy Curry Shop.
With Chinatown on your doorstep you probably won’t be spending much time in your room, however, Shanghai Mansion does have some of the most atmospheric interiors in Bangkok with a central ‘courtyard’ with pond that’s dripping with colourful lanterns, and room exteriors that look like old Chinese shop-houses. Each of the plush rooms has a brocade-covered chaise longue, rattan furniture, retro prints on the walls, and all mod cons.
479-481 Yaowarat Road, Chinatown
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Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
We’ve stayed a few times at this Bangkok grande dame down on the lively Chao Phraya River and each time we do it’s like returning home. Service is endearingly old-fashioned, where staff call guests by name and butlers on your floor greet you each time you leave and return to your room.
Expect one of the most sumptuous and buzziest lobbies in Bangkok, the plushest rooms in the city, and gob-smacking river vistas. A highlight is the 140-year old heritage wing, beautifully refurbished last year, with its lovely, light-filled Author’s Lounge, a must for a decadent afternoon tea.
But the main reason the Mandarin Oriental is one of the best Bangkok hotels for foodies, is its location in historic Bangrak or Old Bangkok, just off Charoen Krung Road, the city’s oldest street, and address of some of Bangkok’s most historic eateries. Bangkok Food Tours run a fantastic walking tour of this neighbourhood, with stops at notable monuments in between tastings, including Wat Suan Phlu, dating to 1797, and the Catholic Assumption Cathedral, built in 1821.
The hotel is home to the Oriental Thai Cooking School, one of Bangkok’s finest and one of the world’s best. It also has a handful of first-rate restaurants. The standouts for us are China House (for Bangkok’s best Peking Duck) and Le Normandie (named a favourite by Chef Ton of Le Du in his recent Bangkok eating and drinking guide), while first-time visitors enjoy Thai restaurant Sala Rim Naam with its classical dance show.
While there’s more than enough to occupy food lovers in and around Bangkrak, the BTS/Skytrain stop of Saphan Taksin is just 10 minutes on foot, which is also where you’ll find the ferry wharf. Chinatown is a short cab ride away.
48 Oriental Avenue, Bangrak
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W Hotel Bangkok
Vying for second place on our list of best Bangkok hotels for foodies is the W Hotel Bangkok, which must be one of the best-located properties in this guide. There’s no better placed hotel for foodies planning on spending their time dining out at Bangkok’s best restaurants.
The W is located on the border of the Silom and Sathorn districts, which is where you’ll find Eat Me, Le Du, Supanniga, and Namsah Bottling Trust, while Nahm is nearby on South Sathorn Road, and Issaya Siamese Club is a fifteen-minute taxi ride away (outside peak hour, that is!). The street food in these neighbourhoods is also outstanding.
The Blue Elephant Cooking School, with its highly rated cooking classes (including an Ancient Thai Cuisine Cooking Course that we have our eyes on) is just down the road. The W also hosts the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in February. While that event is not open to the public, it’s just another reason why this is foodie central.
The W has a few culinary attractions of its own, including The House on Sathorn, a 140-year old restored mansion with an elegant restaurant, clubby bar and sunny courtyard which hosts afternoon tea; The Kitchen Table, a casual bistro in a striking space; and the Kitchen Pantry (which along with the Kitchen Table), offers one of Bangkok’s most lavish breakfast buffets.
The hotel is steps away from the overpass to the BTS Skytrain Chong Nonsi station, which takes you to Saphan Taksin and the ferry wharf and Bangrak in one direction, and in the other to Siam station and Sukhumvit Road.
106 North Sathorn Road, Sathorn-Silom
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COMO Metropolitan Bangkok
Home to Bangkok’s best Thai restaurant, Nahm, helmed by Chef David Thompson, and the first stop for visiting gourmands, the sleek COMO Metropolitan is another of the best Bangkok hotels for foodies. While you’ll need to book a table for dinner at Nahm when you book your flight, the advantage of staying here is that it’s not far to roll back to your room after you over-indulge (there is a lot of food on that tasting menu) and it makes it easy to get a table for lunch (because you will want to return).
The COMO also offers one of Bangkok’s most impressive breakfast buffets, with wonderful house-made breads, pastries and jams, and they serve up an exceptional eggs Benedict. There’s a good gym – adjoining the all-day-dining restaurant (as if we needed a reminder over breakfast!) – and a gorgeous big swimming pool so you can do some laps, burn some calories, and make more room for all those meals.
The minimalist rooms are very Zen and some of the most spacious in Bangkok, but we love the loft-style apartments most of all. They have a huge bedroom on a mezzanine level, high ceilings, stunning city views, and a great kitchen for when you return from Or Tor Kor market with shopping bags full of food and you want a night in. I have to say, they had a hard time booting us out after our last stay.
If you don’t mind a sweaty stroll, the COMO is within walking distance of the Silom-Sathorn districts and many of Bangkok’s culinary hot spots (see the W review above) while some of Bangkok’s tastiest street food can be found on nearby Convent Road. The underground MRT Lumphini station is a 10-minute walk along Sathorn Road while the BTS Sala Daeng station is a 10-minute amble along Sala Daeng Road.
27 South Sathorn Rd, Sathorn
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Immediately adjacent to the COMO Metropolitan, the Sukhothai Hotel is another excellent Bangkok hotel for foodies. In terms of location, it offers everything the Metropolitan does – close proximity to the best restaurants, terrific street food on nearby Convent Road, and easy access to transport hubs. (It’s a few minutes closer to the MRT than the COMO.)
Which hotel you choose is a matter of taste. Whereas the Metropolitan’s contemporary design is spare and understated, the Sukhothai, inspired by the early Thai kingdom of the same name, is imbued with touches of Old Thailand, from the brick chedis at the entrance, to the many ponds, statuary, carvings, and silk textiles.
The Sukhothai also has a wonderful Thai restaurant, Celadon, set in an elegant stand-alone restaurant in the traditional Thai style of architecture, surrounded by lotus ponds. One of Bangkok’s oldest Thai hotel restaurants, Celadon has been given a new lease of life in recent years with a reinvigorated menu of classic ‘Royal Thai’ dishes, including some specialties you won’t see on other menus.
Also in-house, the Italian restaurant La Scala is handy if you need a change from Thai, the breakfast buffet spread here is impressive, and the hotel’s never-ending Sunday brunch is popular with locals. There’s a tennis court, 25-metre swimming pool, and sizeable fitness centre where you can burn up some calories.
13/3 South Sathorn Road, Sathorn
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So Sofitel Bangkok
On the opposite (northern) side of Sathorn Road, the very stylish So Sofitel hotel is even closer to the underground MRT Lumphini station – just 3 minutes on foot – if every minute counts.
Technically located in Silom, the So Sofitel is a 10-minute walk to lovely La Table de Tee restaurant, and a further three minutes to Somtum Der, our favourite Isaan restaurant in Bangkok. Another 5 minutes along Sala Daeng Alley and you’re on Convent Road and street food central. Eat Me is around the corner, and Le Du and Namsaah Bottling Trust an easy amble from there. In the other direction on Silom Road is even more street food, including a top fried chicken cart.
Sprawling Lumphini Park, Bangkok’s equivalent of Central Park or Hyde Park, is across the road. Aside from opportunities for jogs and walks, the park offers plenty of shady spots to sprawl after an indulgent at lunch. The Park also has a food court with more terrific street food.
Baan Restaurant, owned by Chef Ton of Le Du, is a 10-minute mosey up the road. Just beyond Baan is Soi Polo, in an older Bangkok neighbourhood dotted with pretty good street food, including Polo Chicken.
The So Sofitel also has some rather glamorous eating and drinking outlets on site including the fancy Park Society restaurant; the posh Hi-So bar and terrace with breathtaking views of the Bangkok skyline; the Red Oven, which offers street food with a twist and doubles as the hotel’s breakfast venue; and the ChocoLab, with its very own workshop and chocolate-making classes. If you’re a chocolate-lover, this is reason enough to check in.
2 North Sathorn Road, Sathorn
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Dusit Thani Bangkok
Not far away on the corner of Silom and Rama IV roads, and also opposite Lumphini Park, the sumptuous Dusit Thani Bangkok couldn’t be more Thai in style. The décor of the opulent Thai Heritage Suites is inspired by the old Thai kingdoms and have the most character. All rooms have big windows with fascinating city and park views.
Silom’s countless street food stalls are down the street, the neighbourhood’s excellent restaurants are a leisurely stroll away, and Lumpini Park is opposite with its food court and exercising opportunities. Asia’s current number one restaurant, Gaggan, is a 10-minute taxi ride from the hotel (outside of peak hour that is!).
The hotel has eight restaurants, including Thai stalwart, Benjarong which serves updated classical Thai cuisine in a beautiful dining space overlooking a tropical garden. Shogun offers authentic Japanese and Thien Duong Vietnamese.
The underground Silom MRT is right outside, while the Sala Daeng BTS Skytrain stop (which takes you to Saphin Taksim and the river in one direction and Siam and Sukhumvit Road in the other) is a 3-minute walk away. The MRT will take you direct to Hua Lamphong station, Bangkok’s historic train station, and Chinatown.
946 Rama IV Road and Silom Road, Silom
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The luxurious Siam Kempinski hotel feels almost like a secret tucked behind Bangkok’s best shopping centre, Siam Paragon, and within a short stroll of half a dozen of Bangkok’s best malls. While this opulent property is perfect for those in the city for some retail therapy, it’s also one of the best Bangkok hotels for foodies.
Expect elegant accommodation (we love the loft-like duplex suites), Lavazza espresso makers in all rooms, and complimentary mini-bars (including cold beers). There’s a tranquil central garden of frangipani trees, a sprawling swimming pool that starts at the steps of the duplex suites, and a fitness centre with 26 machines and complimentary aerobics, yoga and Thai boxing classes, so you can work off some calories.
The Kempinski is home to Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, the city’s first gastronomic restaurant to experiment with Thai molecular gastronomy, and sister to Michelin-starred Thai restaurant, Kiin Kiin, in Copenhagen. There is a lavish breakfast buffet, superb brasserie, a lounge where high tea in offered the afternoons, and the 1897 bar, with a clubby vibe, which hosts live jazz.
Siam Paragon has a good food court and some of the best casual eateries of any Bangkok mall, including Bankara, a branch of one of our favourite Japanese ramen joints, however, serious foodies should make a beeline for Gourmet Market, Bangkok’s best supermarket. Terence and I lose hours here and in the cookbook section of Kinokuniya bookstore on the third floor.
There’s easy access to the Siam BTS station from the mall and from there you can take the Skytrain along Sukhumvit Road to more malls (Central Embassy has the fantastic food court, Eathai, focused on regional Thai cuisines, and Chef Ian Kittichai’s excellent Issaya Cooking Studio) and eating neighbourhoods, such as Thong Lor. In the opposite direction you can be at Mo Chit station in 25 minutes for JJ Market and foodie heaven, Or Tor Kor market, across the road.
991/9 Rama 1 Road, Siam
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A magnet for the fashion conscious, hip Hansar, is also another of the best Bangkok hotels for foodies. An all-suite property, with a stunning pool and some of the most spacious accommodation in Bangkok – the smallest is a whopping 59 square metres – each suite has a kitchenette with a fridge-freezer and stovetop. However, unlike some hotel-aparts that don’t provide hotel amenities, Hansar also offers complimentary mini-bars and bowls of fruit.
Located just off Rajdamri Road in downtown Bangkok, Ratchadamri BTS station around the corner although it’s only a 5-minute walk to Phloenchit Road, an extension of Sukhumvit Road. On the corner of Sukhumvit Road at Erawan Shrine there are stairs to the overpass between BTS Chit Lom and BTS Siam which gives access to Central World (and beyond that Central Embassy), Gayson, and Siam Paragon, and beyond that Siam Centre, Siam Discovery, and MBK malls. All have eateries and food courts, with Central Embassy having the best restaurants, cafés, Eathai, and Issaya Cooking Studio.
Gaggan is about 10 minutes by taxi out of peak hours. During Bangkok’s notorious gridlock, we recommend walking the 25 minutes. There are plenty of dining options in the surrounding area (we like La Monita Taqueria, if you’re in the mood for Mexican), along with restaurants at the Anantara Siam (formerly Four Seasons), St. Regis, Grand Hyatt Erawan, and Renaissance.
On site, Hansar’s fine diner, Eve, offers French-Med cuisine, while Arizuki, a branch of a celebrated Japanese restaurant of the same name, specialises in hakata motsunabe (a hot pot stew with beef offal).
3 Soi Mahadlekluang 2, Rajdamri Road, Chit Lom
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Apart-Hotels for Foodies
Because sometimes you want the best of both worlds…
Somerset Lake Point
Our home in Bangkok back in 2011, Somerset Lake Point has clean, spacious serviced apartments with balconies and spectacular views of Bangkok’s skyline. Boasting well-equipped kitchens and dining table and chairs, these are a great option if you’re staying in Bangkok for more than a few days.
Do some cooking classes – either at Issaya Cooking Studio or Cook with Poo – and buy some beautiful produce from Klong Toey market or even a good supermarket, and you can practice your new skills in your own kitchen.
Somerset Lake Point also has hotel services and facilities, a terrific swimming pool and a decent gym, but we used to enjoy walking across to Benjakiti Park where we’d walk around the lake with the locals.
Asoke BTS station on the Sukhumvit line, is just a 10-minute walk away and you have an infinite array of restaurants accessible from Sukhumvit Road, such as Bo.lan restaurant near BTS Thong Lor in the foodie neighbourhood of the same name, which is home to scores of great restaurants, cafes and bars.
41 Sukhumvit Soi 16, Asoke
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Sexier than Somerset Lake Point, this stylish apart-hotel has stunningly-designed rooms and a swathe of extras to tempt you to stay longer. The chic contemporary apartments are made for visitors intending to settle into Bangkok for more than a few days.
Thoughtfully appointed, with stunning city views from floor to ceiling windows and balconies, the one-bedroom deluxe ‘rooms’ have spacious living and dining areas and separate bedrooms, while the two-bedroom suites have kitchens and dining areas.
If you opt for the Executive package, there are loads of little extras, such as upgrades to higher floors, laundry service, and nice touches to make guests feel at home, such as unlimited daily refreshments. There’s also a good-sized swimming pool and spa.
Located not far from South Sathorn Road, Bangkok’s business and embassy district, it’s a short walk to both MRT and BTS stations, from where it’s either a SkyTrain or underground ride to the Sukhumvit shopping malls in one direction and river in the other. A taxi can get you to Bangrak and the Sathorn-Silom districts in 10-15 minutes outside peak hour.
36 Narathiwat-Ratchanakarin Road, Sathorn
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