I love Bangkok. But Bangkok is a crazy city, so I like to balance things out by staying in a relaxing area. And there’s nothing more relaxing than being by the water. So whenever I’m in Bangkok, I try to find myself a riverside Bangkok hotel near the Chao Phraya river. This March, I stayed at the Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside, and I’m excited to tell you about it because I’ll definitely be going back there.
The riverside location
The Ramada Bangkok isn’t just near the river, it’s right on the river, with over 200 meters (over 660 feet) of river frontage on the Chao Phraya. It’s just a stone throw (or a complementary hotel shuttle ride) away from Central Pier, where all the tourist and commuter boats leave for trips up the river, and a short walk from Asiatique, a popular if slightly touristy night bazaar with plenty of food and entertainment options.
The view from our room: prime riverside location
Dining area with river views – absolutely amazing for sunset watching!
The riverside lounge area at sunset
The hotel’s own boat will take you to Central Pier, from where you can take a boat to Bangkok’s popular tourist attractions or catch the skytrain at Saphan Taksim station. Or you can be like me and take the boat just for the sake of being on the water, without a destination in mind.
Even better than just being by the water is the option to also be in the water. Bangkok heat can be oppressing, so being able to jump into this pool surrounded by exotic plants was wonderful. There were plenty of loungers around the pool and on that deck by the river one floor up, which was a great place to dry off and watch boats passing by.
The pool at sunset
The Executive Club at the Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside
Aside from being on the river, there was one other thing that really stood out about the hotel: its Executive Club. Set on the 14th and 15th floor, the Executive Club offers upscale accommodation and an Executive Club Lounge which served different drinks and snacks based on the time of the day and also housed a small business center. There is also a range of additional club benefits like use of the hotel’s boardroom and complimentary clothes pressing, as well as a number of discounts on laundry, spa and food and beverage services. And a final bonus of late checkout at 4pm, which we sadly couldn’t take advantage of as we had a flight to Ko Samui to catch (luxury problem, I know).
We stayed in an Executive Plaza Suite which came with a king size bed and a separate lounge area with a big sofa. There were two flatscreen TVs so on lazy evenings we could choose whether we wanted to watch TV from the bed or the sofa. The bathroom was big as well, with a walk-in shower, a bathtub and separate area with sink and amenities. It was great for two people trying to get ready at the same time. Our suite had large windows in both the bedroom and the living room, and absolutely stunning views of the Bangkok river and skyline. They were great during the day, but even better at night with the whole city lit up.
Our king size bed in the Executive Plaza Suite
Big doors separating the living area from the sleeping area. Being the one in the relationship that likes to sleep in, I definitely appreciated these, so I could snooze a bit longer than my boyfriend.
View from the bedroom to the lounge area: with TV and chaise longue in the bedroom, there was plenty of space to hang out in this suite
The lounge area TV and minibar. The minibar was stocked with the usual popular items, but also had a nice selection of teas which were refilled daily. I’m not a coffee drinker, so having a different tea to try every morning was great!
The fruit platter, which was part of the Executive Club benefits, was also refilled daily. This place never left us hungry!
The bathroom, with plenty of space for me to put all my lotions and potions.
Can’t beat this view! At night we often turned off all the lights in the suite and just enjoyed our incredible views.
The Executive Club Lounge & the foodie perks that come with it
I knew we were on to a winner when we were being escorted to the Executive Club Lounge for check in, and the friendly receptionist said “It’s afternoon tea time at the moment, would you like me to order you a tray of tea while you check in?” YES PLEASE! There are few things in life that I love more than afternoon tea, so there was no way I would turn down having afternoon tea while someone else processed the check-in for us.
So we sat at a little table right by the window, enjoying riverside views, with a huge tray of afternoon tea goodies in front of us, with absolutely no rush to complete our check-in.
Afternoon tea with a view. Pork saté with peanut sauce, Indian style wraps, crispy rice snacks, a selection of canapés, fresh scones, coconut macaroons, dark chocolate cake and berry cheese cake. Cream and orange jam were served on the side, as were limitless amounts of tea and coffee.
A closeup of the cakes, because why not?
The Executive Club Lounge served soft drinks, coffee and tea all day long, but also offered breakfast and evening cocktails with what the hotel called “light hors d’oeuvres”, but was really a full dinner buffet.
For breakfast, there was a buffet set up. Whilst the choices weren’t massive, the quality was top, and there were some items which really got me excited, like fresh, roasted young coconuts to sip on or fresh baked pretzels to complement my very German breakfast of cold cuts and cheeses. My boyfriend was more keen on the selection of proteins on offer, which included things like an entire leg of parma ham and slices of smoked duck.
In addition to the buffet, there was a selection of a la carte items made to order. We tried the eggs florentine with smoked salmon and the steak with fried egg, both of which were delicious. All in all, the breakfast was an amazing way to start our days of Bangkok exploring.
A small but fine choice of breakfast items, with a ham carving station in the center
For the protein fiend: Smoked salmon, carvings of Parma ham, and some sushi to round it off.
Sushi, salads and condiments
Then came the evening cocktail hour. It was advertised as “light hors d’oeuvres”, but could easily feed a crowd. There was free flowing wine and beer, and a selection of signature cocktails with rather generous amounts of spirits. We became big fans of the Margharitas, which were some of the best we’d had in our three months of traveling South East Asia (and let’s just say we tried our fair share of Margharitas throughout that time).
The food that was offered was also great: Mostly light food, making us feel a bit healthier after those Margharitas, very fresh, and different every day. There was always a selection of Sushi, different breads, cold meats and cheeses, as well as a selection of hot dishes and salads. Because we vowed to blog about our experience, we had to try it all.
A selection of starters: spicy thai salmon, smoked duck, thin sliced salami and sushi
Pork saté with spicy peanut sauce
The best dish we had at the Ramada Bangkok: a thai spicy seafood salad, made for us on the spot by one of the Executive Club Lounge managers
…and of course, the beverage accompanying all of this: Margharitas.
Breakfast buffet at the Terrace@72
In addition to the breakfast option at the Executive Club Lounge, the Ramada Bangkok also offers a large international breakfast buffet at its Terrace@72 restaurant, with both indoor and outdoor seating options. This restaurant is open to everyone at the hotel, so it can get a bit more crowded, but it’s also considerably bigger so the crowds can spread out.
Decoration at Terrace@72: a display of classic Thai ingredients
Thai staples: rice and chili
Dried chili, in case you want to spice up your breakfast!
A massive selection of Sushi, perfect for a second or third course of a leisurely brunch
German-friendly breakfast choices: cold meats and cheeses
The gym & spa
The Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside also boasts an entire floor of spa and gym options.
Both of us were particularly impressed with the gym, which featured a good selection of weight training machines, cardio machines and even a Smith Machine. I enjoyed running on the treadmills which were set right in front of huge windows with river views. After all the sushi, afternoon tea and cocktails, a workout was much needed.
The hotel’s Smith Machine, free weights and leg press machine, and me trying to balance out the cakes that came with the afternoon tea
For the pros, the Smith Machine was a welcome option, it’s quite rare to see one in hotel gyms
Me, running of the carbs I had earlier
In addition to the gym, there was also a pilates and yoga room which housed some fitness and yoga classes.
What pulls most visitors to this floor though isn’t the gym, but the Massira Wellness & Spa center. After all, Bangkok is famous for Thai massages and foot massages. Both of these are offered at the spa of course, alongside a range of other massage options, body treatments, facials and mani-/pedicures.
The spa also includes a sauna, jacuzzi and steamroom, if the Bangkok heat isn’t enough for you to break a sweat.
The spa’s lounge and waiting area, a relaxing place to hang out
One of the spa’s treatment rooms
The hotel advertises “luxury you can afford”. For me, being served complimentary afternoon tea while I wait for check-in to be completed is definitely luxury. And it’s affordable too: I just had a look at rates for next weekend and Executive floor rooms start at just over 100 USD. Considering everything that is included in the Executive Club perks, this is incredible value in my opinion.
This hotel is definitely worth checking out for your next Bangkok trip. For the riverside location, and for the value for money you get with the Executive Club benefits.
We enjoyed our stay as guests of the Ramada Plaza Bangkok Menam Riverside. All opinions are my own and I will only recommend hotels and activities I truly enjoy. If you’re as excited about this hotel as I am, check out their website for more info!