Thailand

Living Luxuriously in Bangkok: Five Star Hotels On a Budget

FINDING AFFORDABLE LUXE HOTELS IN BANGKOK

When I travel alone, I’m a pretty minimal person- always looking for the best deal possible, I’ll sacrifice many items of comfort if it means I can travel longer or see and do more.

The only time I’ve stayed in four or five star hotels have been for work trips, and once in Hong Kong when I travelled with a friend who very generously treated us to two nights at the extremely luxe Upper House.

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Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, is a bustling metropolis- to say the least. The intense, constant grid lock traffic is enough to cause sensation overload in even the most seasoned traveller.

Mix in the dozens of beautiful temples, vibrant street markets, hundreds of restaurants and cafes, and infamous nightlife, and you’ve got a city with more to see and do than anyone could possibly find the time for.

Bangkok attracts visitors from all over the world, including high end jet setters. It should come as no surprise some of the world’s greatest luxury hotels are spread out across the metropolis.

But, in Bangkok, luxury doesn’t have to mean $$$$$. On a flashpacker’s budget, I stayed at affordable luxe hotels in Bangkok.

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Planning out my  ‘spring trip’ initially, I decided to make Thailand my first stop, spending a day in Bangkok before flying north. In actuality, I ended up in Singapore and Kuala Lumpar first due to a last minute change of plans, but my plans for Thailand remained the same.

Coming into Bangkok, I looked forward to a night’s stay at the Banyan Tree- a “start your travels in comfort” gift from a close friend.

Admittedly, it doesn’t take much to impress someone when they’re used to staying in Airbnb studio flats or private bedrooms of hostels, but the Banyan Tree blew me away.

Home to some of Bangkok’s most spacious accommodations with all the amenities you’d expect of a 5-star hotel, staying there for one night was a serious treat.

The bed alone was one of the comfiest I’ve ever slept in- cozy enough for me to move my flight from Bangkok to Chiang Rai from morning to afternoon for the following day to take full advantage of the marshmallow-esque sleep situation.

No detail of luxury was spared- from a plush room to refreshing pool with a skyline view, delicious dining, and stunning rooftop bar. I loved my stay at the Banyan Tree, albeit brief.

And finding a great deal at Banyan tree for £95 a night seemed like such a steal.

Cue, my interest in finding affordable luxe hotels in Bangkok.

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Keen to experience just one more night of luxury, I searched amongst Bangkok’s other stellar hotels on a return visit to see if I could find a deal worth splurging for.

Sure enough I did- I managed a night at SO Sofitel, also located in Silon, for £120. Way above my normal nightly budget, it was a cost I justified knowing there’s nowhere else in the world I’d be able to experience luxury at such a relatively affordable price.

And, I’ve gotta say- after a hot, long morning touring a floating market and early afternoon spent running errands, coming back to the Sofitel and shooting up to the rooftop pool for a dip was the absolute best.

Like Banyan, no detail was spared when it came to comfort at Sofitel.

My only criticism would be the dining- there were much better options at Banyan. Although, the views of lush Lumphini Park from Sofitel’s rooftop pool and restaurant were killer.

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In my future stays in Bangkok, I turned to Warm Window Silom hostel to rest my head, but I’m so glad I spent two nights in enviable digs to experience affordable luxe hotels in Bangkok.

No matter what time of the year you visit Bangkok, you’ll likely return to your hotel a hot, sweaty mess. There are few ways to better cool off than a rain forest shower or plunge in a beautiful pool.

Best yet, most pools are reserved for guests only, which pretty much ensures you’ll have a serene experience.

And, with the spa and fitness facilities most luxe hotels boast, there are infinite ways to relax. I especially enjoyed the gym at Sofitel- it overlooked the pool and city beyond.

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If you’re visiting Bangkok and can afford it, I’d definitely hunt for deals at these five star properties on Agoda or Booking.com. It took me a few days/weeks of watching for prices to drop to a level I was comfortable with, but it did happen.

After all, Bangkok is known for being one of the best cities to experience a bit of the high life– luxury hotels are typically at least half the cost of their counterparts in other global cities, like New York, London and Tokyo.

I thought the experience at the hotels I visited was next level, but Conde Nast’s list of luxury hotels take it one step further than the properties I stayed at.

If you’re curious and willing to do the leg work in searching and then monitoring for a deal, I’d recommend filtering your search on sites like Agoda or Booking.com by star level, as well as any amenities you want to ensure are on site (e.g. infrared sauna).

And, you may have to be flexible with your dates to find the best deals. Staying at Sofitel on a Tuesday was far cheaper than a search I did for a Saturday that same week.

Bangkok is also the perfect city to book last minute.

With so many hotels on offer, there’ll always be something available, and many hotels, even luxe ones, slash prices the night prior or day of if they’re not fully booked.

Just be mindful of festivals or events happening in the city during your visit to ensure you don’t find yourself struggling to find somewhere to stay (e.g. New Year’s Eve, Songkran).

At the time of writing this, while traversing through Vietnam, I don’t have plans to return to Bangkok in following weeks. If I do make it back though, I’ll definitely be looking at five star hotels to see if I can snag any deals.

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Have you ever found a great deal on a luxury hotel you may not have been able to afford otherwise? What did you think of the experience? 

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