Situated on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River, the Royal Orchid Sheraton hotel shares its stretch of prime riverbank land with five other top quality hotels: the Peninsula, the Oriental, the Shangri-La, the Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa, and now the Hilton Millenium. Few cities in the world can boast so many fine hotels situated so close together in the heart of their city’s riverfront. And each of these hotels is special in their own way, no more so than the Royal Orchid Sheraton.

The Royal Orchid was built in a “Y” shape to give each of its 740 guestrooms their own magnificent view of the river. Its food and beverage outlets are exceptional and its recreational and meeting facilities make it a great spot to bring the family, or stage a conference. And that is beauty of this hotel: it is big enough to cater to both.

The hotel is situated close to Hualampong, Bangkok’s main train station, and it is also a short walk or tuk-tuk ride away from the Hualampong subway stop and the Saphan Taksin Skytrain stop. The average 27km door-to-door ride between Don Muang airport and the hotel takes 25 minutes, so you don’t have to worry about being stuck in traffic after a long-haul flight.

And directly in front of the hotel on the Chao Phraya riverbank is a ferry service that takes people across to the Thonburi side and the Klong Sarn market. The hotel can also arrange for you to take a longtail boat tour of the many fascinating klongs situated in and around the area.

The Royal Orchid boasts two swimming pools, the Royal Orchid Mandara Spa, a fitness centre, a jogging track and a tennis court, so there’s plenty of ways for you to burn off any excess energy you may have. And there’s also a bridge-link to the River City Shopping Complex, one of the region’s premier Antiques & Arts Centre. If they don’t have it, you probably won’t be able to find it.

The hotel has 16 meeting and function rooms, all fully equipped with the latest modern technology. The recently renovated Royal Orchid Ballroom (where former Prime Minister Jean Chretien spoke on his visit to Bangkok) is renowned for its lighting and audio-visual systems, which allow for highly effective presentations leaving a lasting impression. It can seat 1,250 theatre-style, or 800 banquet-style.

The hotel’s executive floors, 26-28, “The Towers”, act like a “hotel within a hotel” and offer an exclusive reception and lounge, which acts as business centre and quite possibly offers the best panoramic view of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. It also serves daily breakfast, evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, all-day tea and coffee, and it offers a laundry and pressing service, current magazines and papers, broadband access, use of “The Towers” boardroom, fax machine and even a shoeshine service.

The hotel has quite a range of outstanding Food & Beverage outlets, including ETC, a contemporary all-day restaurant featuring interactive cooking stations offering an extensive range of “World Cuisine” from Chinese to Japanese, Indian, Western and Thai. Thailand Tonight is an open-air Thai buffet on the bank of the river featuring a Thai Classical dinner dance show. Thara Thong, which is open for lunch and dinner, includes service with celadon china and bronze cutlery, giving you a glimpse of how members of the Thai Royal Court used to dine. And Giorgio’s (open from 6-10:30pm) is one of the city’s finest Italian restaurants and customers can choose to dine in either air-conditioned comfort or alfresco by the riverside.

The hotel's green area, directly behind the Portuguese embassy, is a great place to relax, read a book, lounge by the pool and generally just forget your worries while soaking up the sun and forgetting about the concrete chaos that has claimed most of Bangkok.

As no good city hotel can get away without having a quality spa these days, the Royal Orchid offers up its Mandara Spa, which features five double treatment rooms, three river suites and a deluxe garden suite opening into a private rooftop garden. Each spa suite offers panoramic river views and includes an oversized aromatherapy floral bath as well as a steam/shower room. The interior design uses a blend of river stones and water images in keeping with the tranquil river views. Plants hanging from the suspended light cables add warmth and a touch of nature to the treatment rooms. The Spa menu is a mix of both traditional and international health, relaxation and beauty treatments, including reflexology, detoxification baths and the Mandara’s signature Mandara Massage, employing two therapists for each guest.

Have problems sleeping? Well, you won’t at the Royal Orchid Sheraton. The hotel has been accused of being obsessed with helping people get a good night’s sleep. The result: a luxurious multi-layered custom designed bed that features an 11.5 inch thick, high coil count plush top mattress, crisp cotton sheets, a soft blanket, a cozy duvet and feather-down pillows. So, you won’t need to count sheep. The beds also feature a selection of duvet patterns in rich colour tones.

The Royal Orchid Sheraton has been on Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List for four consecutive years and also on Travel & Leisure’s List of Best Hotels in Thailand. Why not find out for yourself why these top quality magazines think so highly of Bangkok’s Royal Orchid Sheraton hotel?

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