Best Bangkok hotel swimming pools range from luxury towers with rooftop infinity pools boasting dazzling panoramic vistas of the Bangkok city skyline to charming Chao Phraya riverside boutique hotels offering water views from your sun-bed.
I have to confess that I’m a water baby. I spent my childhood splashing in the shallow waters of backyard blow-up pools. In my twenties, spent my lunch hours doing laps in the work pool, and when we lived in Abu Dhabi spent weekends at our rooftop pool. I’m currently dreaming of a beach holiday lying by a great big pool.
We just spent ten days in Thailand’s capital working on a magazine story on Bangkok restaurants and I was very envious of the people paddling in the pool at 137 Pillars Suites and Residences, above, which has not one but two of the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools – both stunning infinity pools offering sweeping city views. Sadly, we were working and there was little time for relaxation.
A hotel with a swimming pool is mandatory when you’re on holidays, especially in steamy Bangkok. Even if you’re planning to be out and about most of the time, eating, sightseeing and shopping, there’s nothing like a cooling dip after a sweaty day on Bangkok’s muggy streets.
Travellers from Europe and North America, in particular, seem to struggle with Bangkok’s weather. Although Europe and parts of the USA have higher temperatures than we do in Southeast Asia right now, it’s Bangkok’s humidity that visitors find challenging. So book a hotel with a pool. You’ll thank me later.
Best Bangkok Hotel Swimming Pools from Rooftop Infinity Pools to River Views
These are our picks of the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools.
137 Pillars Suites and Residences Bangkok
This lavish hotel in the quiet residential backstreets of hip Thong Lor has not one but two of the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools. There’s a stunning 20-metre infinity pool on the rooftop for guests booked into one of the 34 Suites, that is especially stunning if you swim to the end and look back to the sun-beds and two shaded cabanas. It’s open 24 hours and has a low glass barrier that adds drama. The second pool, above, is on the 27th floor outside Nimitr restaurant and accessed from Marble Bar. It’s also a stunner. My only quibbles: there weren’t enough sun-beds at either pool, although most of the ‘swimmers’ seemed to be there for selfies and weren’t staying long.
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Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok
This sumptuous urban resort secreted away behind the Siam Paragon shopping mall hides away one of the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools at the centre of the property. It’s actually not one big sprawling pool as first seems, but rather several pools, including a children’s pool, set picturesquely within the lush landscaped gardens. We were very spoilt when we stayed here and had a spacious Duplex Cabana, set over two floors, and could step right outside our door and directly into the pool. As you’ve guessed, I swam like a fish during that stay. There are sun-beds scattered within the gardens, some under the shade of trees, and while I loved the civilised opening hours (from 6am to 10pm), the best thing was the bird-song. It really is an oasis in Bangkok’s concrete jungle.
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Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort and Spa
Located on a serene part of the Chao Phraya River, the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort boasts one of the very best Bangkok hotel swimming pools – an absolutely enormous jade-coloured pool set within lush tropical gardens of towering coconut palms and frangipani trees. There’s more than enough sun-beds to go around, even when the hotel is busy, and the pool is so large than even when it’s crowded with kids, you can still find somewhere to do laps or simply swim around them. While I know you’re going to click through and look at the hotel location on the map and go “nah…”, there’s a complimentary 15-minute shuttle boat every 20 minutes to very convenient Saphan Taksin station and Bangkok’s central pier for Chao Phraya River taxi boats for river rides and canal cruises.
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SO Sofitel Bangkok
The chic Sofitel So Bangkok – where hotel staff wear Christian Lacroix – easily has one of the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools overlooking Lumphini Park. Located on the tenth floor and extending over a whopping 32 meters or 104 feet, the stunning infinity pool has a near-invisible glass barrier so it seems as if you really could just swim over the edge. There are breathtaking views of the city skyline and if that weren’t enough, music is piped into the pool so there’s an underwater soundtrack and after dark LED lights pulse through an array of luminous colours. If you prefer your hotel pools be kept for swimming, note that the hotel holds its monthly SO Pool parties with DJs, an open bar and much boisterousness from 1-9pm on the last Saturday of the month.
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Okura Prestige Bangkok
Located on an upscale section of bustling Sukhumvit Road known as Phloen Chit, near the embassy district and posh shopping malls, the luxurious Okura Prestige provides some pretty stiff competition for the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools title with an even more dramatic infinity pool than 137 Pillars. Like the latter’s rooftop pool, it has a low glass barrier so from within the water it appears as if the pool is just floating in the sky. The pool is also cantilevered, jutting out from the 25th floor. Check out the video! While the pool is not terribly wide, it’s a generous 25 metres or 82 feet in length, which means you can actually do proper laps – as long as you are prepared to push the selfie-takers aside. There are more sun-beds than at Pillars and the pool is open from a respectable 6am to 10pm.
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The Sukhothai Bangkok
You’ll know from my recent post on the best hotels in the world for serious swimming that I like to do my laps and will always opt for size over views, so I’m a huge fan of The Sukhothai’s big emerald green swimming pool which is easily one of the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools. It’s 25 metres or 82 feet long and it’s also wide so it’s easier to escape the selfie-takers than it is in long narrow pools. There’s also an abundance of sun-beds, so no need to leave your towel on one before you go to breakfast. Located on Sathorn Road in Bangkok’s business district, where you’ll find a few of Bangkok’s best luxury hotels, including the Banyan Tree and Como Metropolitan, The Sukhothai is one of the older, more established luxury lodgings, so rooms are super-spacious, service is outstanding, and there’s an excellent Thai restaurant on site.
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The Siam is the very best of the best Bangkok riverside hotels, so it should be no surprise that it’s also home to one of the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools. This intimate luxury hotel in the royal Dusit district is distinguished by its flamboyant Bill Bensley design inspired by the Art Deco jazz age. While the courtyard and riverview pool villas all have private plunge pools – as does the lovely Connie’s Cottage, a century-old traditional teak house – it’s the waterfront infinity pool that is a bigger appeal for me. Located on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, at 22 metres by 3.5 metres the black and blue striped pool is long enough for laps plus it offers bustling water views. My only quibble: the 7am-7pm opening hours won’t suit early-birds who enjoy a pre-breakfast swim.
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COMO Metropolitan Bangkok
There are four things that made the COMO Metropolitan one of my favourite hotels in the Thai capital – the first and foremost was the fact that it was home to Thai cuisine master David Thompson’s Nahm restaurant, which Thompson first opened in London in 2000 at COMO’s Halkin Hotel, and after that, the wonderful loft suites (more like apartments), the excellent breakfasts, and – outside Nahm – the big turquoise pool, which for me is easily one of the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools. At 25 metres in length it’s large enough for laps, and the sixteen sun-loungers have been enough to go around whenever we’ve stayed. Sadly, Thompson decided to leave Nahm earlier this year to focus on his own company and other projects, but fortunately the swimming pool is still there.
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The Peninsula Bangkok
It’s certainly not the biggest, longest, highest, or most dramatic – rather it’s the setting that makes The Peninsula’s three-tiered pool one of the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools. Firstly, it’s the location of the pool in the frangipani-scented garden on the hotel’s ground level on the Thonburi bank of the Chao Phraya River, with views of the bustling action on Bangkok’s historic waterway and the handsome heritage buildings, including the Mandarin Oriental’s old wing, on the other side. Then it’s the setting itself, which is so quintessentially old-school Thai with the garden of palm trees, banana plants and potted ferns, and pairs of sun-beds beneath traditional Thai salas offering shade. The River Café and Terrace are also close by when you feel like a papaya salad for lunch. The opening hours from 6am to 9pm call for both pre-breakfast laps and an evening dip in the pool.
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Hansar Hotel Bangkok
The Hansar Hotel has to have some of the Thai capital’s most well thought-out suites, with superb attention to detail (although service was uneven when we stayed soon after the property opened). It also boasts one of the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools on its eighth floor with Rear Window views. It’s a stunning looking pool with pretty cobalt blue and black tiles and it’s lengthy enough for laps but not wide enough to escape the selfie-takers, so swim early in the morning or after dark. Sofas and sun-beds on the wooden deck overlook the pool, and while we loved the over-sized towels, the pool doesn’t get sun all day so this isn’t a pool if you want to work on your tan.
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The St. Regis Bangkok
The opulent St Regis Bangkok is blessed with another of the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools with plenty of sun-beds with parasols on the wooden decks overlooking the pool, the Royal Bangkok Sports Club’s golf course across the road, and the stunning cityscape beyond. This is a good-sized lap pool plus there’s a jacuzzi for a water massage to relax bodies weary from walking the city streets all day. I like the more civilised pool opening hours of 6am to 8pm, which allows for a pre-breakfast or post-sunset swim, which I strongly recommend – because after dark when the pool is illuminated, it looks like a starry sky.
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AVANI Riverside Bangkok
You can expect to find another of the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools with even more gobsmacking views on the 26th floor of the AVANI Riverside Bangkok. Located in Thonburi, on the other side of the Chao Phraya River, the stunning rooftop infinity swimming pool is 25 metres or 82 feet in length and due to its height it really feels as if you’re swimming on the edge. The hotel has 248 rooms and only 14 sun-beds so it’s one of those hotels where you need to rise at the crack of dawn to bag a spot if you want any time in the sun to work on that tan.
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The eighth floor of the Sivatel is home to yet another of the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools, an aquamarine-tiled pool which at 22 metres or 72 feet is a respectable size in length and long enough to do laps. Plus they have marked swimming lanes on the pool floor. That there’s no glass barrier between the pool and sky, which adds some drama to the scene – as do the jaw-dropping city views – but don’t worry, there’s a staircase and corridor to keep you safe. The hotel has just 75 suites and about 20 sun-loungers so there’s enough to go around.
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Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn
Located in Bangkok’s business district near the more famous Lebua at State Tower, the Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn has another of the best Bangkok hotel swimming pools on its 14th floor. I haven’t included this striking infinity pool for its size – I think it’s too narrow, so it’s not great for laps when it’s full of selfie-takers – but rather I’ve popped it at the end of the list for its sheer drama and jaw-dropping views. My other gripe is that there aren’t anywhere near enough sun-beds although Instagrammers love it for the black nest-like seats and those stunning views.
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