The views of the longtail boats and rice barges plying the Chao Praya River are so captivating from the Shangri-La Bangkok guestrooms, you could be forgiven for sitting by your window all day long.
But many more places within this luxury Bangkok hotel – which boasts more than half a mile of river frontage – offer great views of Bangkok’s exotic river life too.
Long after you’ve returned home, it’s those mesmerizing views you can’t forget!
So when thinking about this Shangri-La Bangkok review, the hotel’s enviable riverfront location jumped out as the first thing to note.
Shangri-La Bangkok review
We’ve stayed at the Shangri-La Bangkok a few times now when visiting Thailand.
While there are several Bangkok riverside hotels, some are further away from the tourist sites or very expensive.
The Shangri-La, on the other hand, delivers the just-right combination of luxury, affordability and prime riverfront location.
Shangri-La Bangkok rooms
The 802 guestrooms are divided among two towers – the Krungthep Wing and the Shangri-La Wing.
All rooms and suites are decorated in contemporary Thai style.
They feature executive-size writing desks, flat-screen TVs, bedside control panels and bathrooms with large bathtubs.
The Krungthep Wing is smaller, more intimate and more exclusive than the Shangri-La Wing.
The décor is more traditional (think Thai silk wall coverings) and everything is a bit more luxurious. All rooms have balconies overlooking the river too.
The Krungthep Wing also has its own riverside pool.
The 25-storey Shangri-La Wing has 673 guestrooms and suites, some of which have small balconies.
Rooms in this wing sport a more modern décor than in the Krungthep Wing.
But Thai touches come through in the huge headboards topped with a carved teak panel.
We particularly like the Horizon Club rooms on the top floors of the Shangri-La Wing.
As a Horizon Club guest, you get a host of perks, including:
- Daily breakfast in the Horizon Club Lounge
- Afternoon tea from 2:00 to 4:00 pm
- Evening cocktails and canapes from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in the lounge (when Bangkok’s city lights are magical)
- Late check-out until 4:00 pm (subject to availability)
- Pressing of one suit
Krungthep Wing vs Horizon Club:
Some guests prefer the smaller, more exclusive and more private Krungthep Wing. It boasts its own butler service too.
But we liked the Horizon Club rooms – the service is top-notch and we were close to the main pool.
Surrounded by palm trees, bougainvillea, orchids and bird of paradise flowers, that organically sculpted pool by the Shangri-La Wing is one of the hotel’s key attractions.
Almost within touching distance of the river, it’s a welcome retreat to cool off and relax after visiting the Royal Barge Museum and other attractions in Bangkok’s sultry heat.
The built-in water bubble beds help soothe tired muscles too!
Stay a while and you’ll likely be treated to fresh fruit skewers or a cold towel by roaming pool attendants.
Fitness buffs look out at the pool and gardens too from the expansive gym.
Shangri-La Bangkok restaurants
You’ll find no less than six restaurants at the Shangri-La, including an Italian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant (which serves delicious dim sum) and the Thai-themed Salathip restaurant.
If you’re a Horizon Club guest, you face a tough choice come morning.
Should you eat a full buffet breakfast (complimentary) at the hotel’s somewhat busier, riverside terrace restaurant – and sample everything from fruit smoothies to dim sum to made-to-order omelettes?
Or should you enjoy the glorious views from the quieter top-floor Horizon Club Lounge with the included breakfast?
Maybe mix it up and try one venue one morning and the other the next.
For a romantic evening, the signature Salathip Thai restaurant is lovely.
It serves delicious seafood and coconut curries riverside in outdoor teak dining pavilions.
Be sure to try the red curry with roasted duck!
Entertainment is provided by classical Thai dancers.
Shangri-La Bangkok location
The largest hotel on the Chao Praya River, the Shangri-La Bangkok is close by boat to the the Grand Palace and the city’s other main historical attractions.
It’s also adjacent to the Saphan Taksin station for the BTS Skytrain. The Skytrain takes you to the Jim Thompson Museum and the downtown shopping areas.
Day trips to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya and nightly dinner cruises can also be booked on the 140-passenger Shangri-La Horizon river cruiser. (For the dinner cruise, see here.)
Experience more of Bangkok and Thailand!
Where else to stay in Bangkok? | The Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit is a grand place to stay (and close to some great shopping!).
Dining in Bangkok | Dine in the dark in Bangkok – it’s an eye-opening experience!
Phang Nga Bay | See stalactites and stalagmites. And squeeze through narrow tunnels to enter wondrous sea caves. Sea canoeing in Phang Nga Bay is a day trip of a lifetime!
Our top travel tips and resources
Here are our favorite travel resources:
Hotels: Booking.com is great for scoring a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)
Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).
Tours: For the best local food, walking and other guided tours plus skip-the-line tickets to attractions, check out GetYourGuide and Viator.
Car rental: Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.
Travel insurance: World Nomads travel insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, with coverage for more than 150 activities, as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
Vaccines and meds: We follow CDC travel guidelines to see what medications and vaccines are needed for trips. You can get vaccines at your pharmacy, travel medical clinic or doctor’s office.
Travel gear: See our travel shop to find the best luggage, accessories and other travel gear. (We suggest these comfy travel sandals for city walking, the beach and kicking about.)
Need more help planning your trip? Check out our travel tips and resources guide for airline booking tips, ways to save money, how to find great hotels and other crazy useful trip planning info.
Pssst! If you make a booking or purchase through our site, we may earn a small commission (at no cost to you). Thanks!
Photo credits: Shangri-La Bangkok. Their photos are prettier than ours!
About the authors
Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.
Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!
Monday 5th of December 2022
I understand the Krungthep wing is closed for renovations, and isn't due to reopen till next year, 2023 sometime.