Just after Christmas 2021, we left for Thailand, pretty much the only Southeast Asian country that had started welcoming tourists again. Of course, traveling in Covid times is always 10 times more difficult, but we managed to get through the stages of applying for a “Thailand Pass”, booking our PCR tests before departure and at the arrived relatively easily, and we were all ready to go. Then a friend of ours went to Thailand in mid-December, tested positive upon arrival, and entered quarantine for 10 days, so the possibility of the same thing happening to us suddenly became very real. And then Omicron came along and we were really freaked out! Also, the Thai government has changed the rules so that you have to take another PCR test on the 5th day after arrival. It was a little stressful, but we thought we were going to keep going and hope for the best. All this to say that if you are going to Thailand while these restrictions are in place, make sure you book yourself a nice hotel on arrival – one very similar to The Peninsula Bangkok – as this will at least make the experience somewhat nearly as smooth as possible.
Arriving on an overnight flight, we were met at the airport by The Peninsula team and taken straight to the hotel (that’s the rules). Rather than having to travel to the hospital for our PCR test, The Peninsula has its own small testing center in a converted hotel office. Being seen through the process by hotel staff instead of suddenly being in a chaotic sleepless hospital was a huge plus. After a quick test, you are taken to your room where you have to stay while you wait for your results, another reason why having a nice hotel is beneficial, as you could stay there for 24 hours.
The peninsula is located right next to the Chao Praya River that meanders through Bangkok, and if you get one of the higher floors, you’ll get stunning views of the river and the city below. The location may not be for everyone as it is across the river from most tourist activities you might want to do but we loved it as it was much more peaceful and relaxing than many other areas, and the hotel has its own fleet of boats that take you to the other side in minutes.
The Peninsula is a large tall building with rooms of various types, ranging from the basic double room to large two-storey suites. If you’ve stayed at a peninsula before, you’ll recognize plenty of design touches in the rooms — sleek wood paneling, plush sofas and armchairs, understated color palettes, and a few decorative touches such as a porcelain vase, elephant sculpture, or the painting, just to make sense of the place. There’s always something a little old school about The Peninsula, but we love it, and it’s so welcoming, cozy and warm, it’s always a great place to start a trip. Beneath it all, there are also plenty of smart tech touches – remote-controlled curtains; lights and air conditioning controlled by a console next to the bed; and every connector imaginable, including Chromecast, to play Netflix or other services on the large flat-screen TVs in every room.
Outside of the rooms, The Peninsula makes the most of its riverside location. A stunning swimming pool stretches from the back of the hotel’s garden to the river, almost giving the impression that you’ll be swimming among the boats that go up and down all day. Several large daybeds line each side of the pool and there are also free activities to get involved with throughout the day like water aerobics, pilates, and meditation.
The riverside restaurant is the other highlight here. The beautiful outdoor terrace is open for lunch and dinner and is also where the Peninsula breakfast is served; We’ve seen quite a few breakfast buffets in Southeast Asia, but the one at The Peninsula is still a cut above, and the Bangkok property is no different. You can find absolutely anything you can imagine here – from dim sum and rice dishes to omelettes, fresh fruit, cereals and pastries – and everything is absolutely perfect. We suffered from severe jet lag so found ourselves coming down for breakfast as soon as it started at 6am, when the sun was still rising behind the skyscrapers on the other side from the river. Not a bad way to start a day in Bangkok.
We absolutely loved our time here and there’s also so much to do and explore at The Peninsula that we didn’t even get to visit, from the spa and gym to the after-tea. noon and guided outings around the city. If you are traveling to Bangkok soon, treating yourself to a stay at The Peninsula is definitely something we can highly recommend.
333 Charoen Nakhon Rd, Khlong Ton Sai, Khlong San, Bangkok 10600, Thailand