Set on the quiet left bank of the Chao Praya River, this swish waterfront hostelry has long counted among the Thai capital’s most beloved boltholes. Spread across 37 storeys, its 370 rooms and suites – each with jaw-dropping river vistas – feel stately, and almost neo-colonial with their silk curtains, teak floors, marble and plush oriental carpets.
It’s an equally elegant, but decidedly more exotic, mise en scène at the resort’s Thiptara Restaurant, an al fresco eatery with candle-lit tables surrounded by lush greenery. The cuisine errs on the local with down-home dishes – including wok-fried cashew chicken, roasted duck marinated with red curry and steam sea bass in spicy lemon sauce – inspired by recipes passed down by generations of palace cooks. The cocktail list at the romantic River Bar, too, takes its cues from local tradition in signature cocktails like the Thaijito, made with home-grown rum, peach schnapps and fresh lime juice. At the spa, housed in a striking three-floor colonial-styled structure on the water, guests can indulge in myriad pampering treatments that run the gamut from a Himalayan crystal salt scrub to an Ayurveda facial or a unique mind healing programme.
The hotel’s sala-lined pool and state-of-the-art fitness centre offer further opportunity for mind-and-body reflection and repose – as do activities on offer at the Peninsula Academy, from an elephant ride across the Hua Hin Hills Vinyard, Muay Thai kickboxing and a master class in Thai herbs, rounding out the hotel’s thoroughly restorative offerings.