By Ashley Niedringhaus
August 19, 2014
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

From bedrooms dripping in Thai silks and teak accents to lobbies offering breathtaking views and exceptional service, Bangkok is home to some of the finest hotels in the world. The seemingly infinite number of posh places to rest your head certainly won’t disappoint visitors seeking luxury, and many of the hotels’ amenities here extend well beyond fancy toiletries and gorgeous swimming pools to include boat rides past Bangkok’s historic temples, culturally inspired cooking classes, and even Muay Thai martial arts lessons at a private gym. In fact, several of the city’s lodgings have made appearances on Travel + Leisure’s annual list of the World’s Best Hotels. These destinations work hard to create an oasis within the bustling city, and the five hotels listed here are also home to some of Bangkok’s most highly reviewed spas and restaurants. If you were traveling to a less exciting city, you might be tempted never to leave your room.

Mandarin Oriental

This world-famous 1876 hotel featuring stunning views of the Chao Phraya River has a long literary history, a 1930s-style restaurant, and beds adorned with Thai silk. Its garden pool and spa are a short ferry ride away. Don’t miss a class at the on-site cooking school, or a Singapore Sling in the Bamboo Bar.

The Peninsula Bangkok

Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, the spacious rooms at The Peninsula (especially those on higher floors) offer guests stunning views of the River of Kings and the Bangkok skyline. Beat the Bangkok traffic by using one of the four ferry boats that shuttle guests between three different piers nearly 650 times each day.

The Siam

The Siam is a beautiful, amenity-rich hotel designed by Bill Bensley that is equal parts compound and oasis on the river. During your stay, watch a movie at the private cinema or explore the hotel’s antiques collection. Full-day lessons are offered at the authentic Muay Thai boxing gym, and dinner at the Chon Thai restaurant should not be missed.

Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok

Make a reservation for dinner aboard the hotel’s private riverboat, the Horizon Club, and sail past beautifully illuminated temples as you eat. Then, exit the boat and you’re back at the charming and affordable (especially when compared to rates at neighboring properties) Shangri-La Hotel. Rooms in the Krungthep Wing feature balconies, and make sure to take advantage of the private butler service, riverfront swimming pool, and CHI spa.

The Sukhothai Bangkok

The Zen atmosphere at this downtown Bangkok hotel is anything but cookie-cutter, and the six acres of lotus ponds and gardens seem more temple-like than standard hotel. Rooms here are spacious—outfitted in earth tones and finished with teak floors—and the hotel’s impressive “pillow menu” ensures a good night’s sleep.