“At night the city is hung with thousands of covered lights, that illuminate the wide river from shore to shore. Lamps and lanterns of all imaginable shapes, colours, and sizes combine to form a fairy spectacle of enchanting brilliancy and beauty. The floating tenements and shops, the masts of vessels, the tall fantastic pagodas and minarets, and crowning all, the walls and towers of the Grand Palace, flash with countless charming tricks of light, and compose a scene of more than magic novelty.” –Anna Leonowens: The English Governess and the Siamese Court.
With these words, the famous tutor of the children of Rama V describes the Chao Phraya River and its surroundings in her diary in 1870. To this day, the magic of Siam remains untouched among the fantastic buildings that adorn the majestic riverside. This traditional Thai resort is located on the West bank of the famous river representing Thai culture and history.
The luxurious resort consists of 396 rooms. Set within eleven acres of beautiful gardens that combine urban serenity with a lush oasis. Some key facilities include a rooftop tennis court, a beautiful pool with a swim-up bar. Ten restaurants offering international and Thai cuisine, an award-winning spa, and live entertainment.
Upon arrival, I was welcomed by staff who greeted me with a warm Thai smile. As I made my way into the lobby, the mystical sounds of gongs marked my arrival, seemingly playing in harmony. Check-in was carried out at the Executive Lounge by attentive staff. Coincidently Afternoon tea was served. I stopped for a quick bite of canapes, scones, chocolates, sandwiches, and fruit tarts. These delicious light snacks are served between 2-4 pm daily. Cocktails are served during sundowners from 5-7 pm. Light snacks such as vegetarian dim sum, Roast beef with asparagus and truffle mayo, bruschetta with heirloom tomatoes, fried calamari rings with mango salsa and more are available.
Anantara Riverside Resort Bangkok
As I made my way to the room, I saw a canal running from the Chao Phraya River through the resort. Fishes were waiting to be fed, with resident monitor lizards roaming the private gardens. With beautiful elephant sculptures all around, it immediately creates a tranquil mood. With such luxurious grounds, you could spend days just relaxing in the hotel.
As soon as I entered the Riverside Suite, I was greeted with luxurious fixtures from the entrance hall to the living room. The only one of 396 rooms, it’s very spacious and newly refurbished. The spacious suite offers comfortable sofas, a big TV screen, an office desk, a luscious king-size bed, a marble bathroom with double sinks, a separate bathtub and a rain shower. The Anantara Riverside Bangkok pays attention to every detail and offers exceptional service. Personal touches to the room included a large fruit basket, chocolates and cake to welcome me into the suite.
The suite is fully equipped with a top-of-the-line Nespresso coffee machine, a full bar for mixing cocktails, a refrigerator, chilled glasses, and snacks. Along the L-Shaped balcony spanning over both sides of the suite, you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the entire resort and stunning front-row views of boats sailing across the river. The interior is modern, combined with a wooden design, and a touch of traditional Sanskrit carvings and symbols adorning the walls.
The Anantara Riverside Resort offers a combination of old-world splendour and luxurious, modern comfort that makes Manohra Cruises – one of the best river cruises in Bangkok. I began the evening with a welcome drink and appetisers served by the river at Manohra Lounge before boarding a beautifully restored antique rice barge boat at dusk. The cruise was carved from teak and topped with a traditional reua krachaeng roof. These iconic vessels were once the primary means of transportation on the river, especially during the Thonburi period in the mid-1800s. During the golden era when Bangkok was a major trading destination.
The boat glides elegantly along the majestic Chao Phraya River, passing the Grand palace, Wat Arun, Guan Yu Shrine, Icon Siam and many of Bangkok’s iconic landmarks. I thoroughly enjoyed the multi-course fusion Thai cuisine, which featured Traditional Thai recipes such as Tom Yum Poh Taek (Spicy and Sour Seafood soup), Deconstructed Hor Mok (Pan seared Barramundi with coconut couscous), Gang Rawang Nua (Braised Wagyu beef cheek with risotto) and lastly mango sticky rice for dessert. This unforgettable journey along the legendary waterway is offered by the resort every evening from 7 pm to 9 pm. It’s a great way to spend the evening while taking in the cool breeze and historical spots.
Across from The Anantara Riverside Resort is Avani Riverside Bangkok located above a mall. Both hotels are within walking distance from each other, offering many dining and shopping options. I visited SEEN Restaurant, a trendy rooftop restaurant located at Avani. The vibrant restaurant has its own bar and pool, offering breathtaking views of Bangkok’s skyline with a live DJ and saxophonist. For dinner, I started with a Duck salad, followed by fish tacos, Truffle mushroom spaghetti, and a remarkable roast chicken (probably the best I have ever had!)
Anantara Riverside- Dining
In addition, the Anantara Bangkok Riverside offers 10 dining options to choose from, Italian to Polynesian. The Riverside Terrace, lit by torches at night, offers international cuisine and a seafood buffet accompanied by traditional dance shows. Brio is an Italian restaurant serving wood-fired pizza. Polynesian Trader Vic’s offers a mix of Eastern and Western cuisine. The restaurants are arranged around glass atriums that reflect their respective aesthetics. Minimalist rocks on pebbles in the first restaurant and carved tribal figures in a jungle setting at Trader Vic’s. Additionally, there are also a number of bars. From the pool bar to the Piano Lounge, which features well-known pianists and singers. There is live entertainment and a creative cocktail menu
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. The Breakfast buffet at Anantara doesn’t disappoint. The buffet goes on and around for what feels like miles. The lavish spread overlooking the river features Thai, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, and Western dishes. The Breakfast buffet offered baked beans, sausages, cheese, cold cuts, muffins, pastries, pancakes, waffles and an egg station. Thai traditional dishes rotate daily, I managed to try Pad Thai, Thai Laksa, Thai Fried Rice and many more. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a variety of Indian dishes consisting of curry, dosa and biryani rice. The Japanese station offered teriyaki chicken, chawanmushi and miso soup.
My trip would not be complete until I visit the 24 hours fitness centre, which offers state-of-the-art machines, equipment and also a sauna. This well-equipped gym offers yoga, Pilates and Muay Thai classes. Fitness enthusiasts can also visit the tennis court which is located on the rooftop.
A luxurious spa was tucked away amid lush tropical gardens. The most sought-after is the CBD treatment which starts with a massage using CBD-infused oil. Extracted from the cannabis plant. Legal in Thailand, Cannabis is rich in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory compounds and pain-relieving properties. The Treatment begins with a stress-relieving bath in a cannabis salt-infused bath.
Tired limbs are kneaded during a full-body massage, using either cannabis lavender oil to relieve redness and swelling or cannabis rice milk to improve skin elasticity and hydration. Combining the pain-relieving properties of cannabis with the art form of a traditional Thai herbal compress ball Luk Pra kob, results in deep relaxation, relieving stress along the back, which improves my emotional and physical well-being. The treatment concluded with a soothing cup of cannabis tea that relaxed my mind, body and soul.
Where everything is available and friendly staff are on call to provide 5-star service. I feel like every whim and desire was met. There is so much to see and do here, I felt like there was no reason to step out of my own private paradise. I simply do not want to leave! Anna Leonowens would definitely have written wonderfully about this resort if she were still here today!
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