Classy heritage resort
The Raweekanlaya’s resort-style setup with rooms in a restored heritage mansion, a swimming pool and lots of open space makes it one of the more interesting midrange options in Bangkok.
In an entrance that reminded us more of an upscale Phuket beach resort than a typical Bangkok hotel, the experience starts with a large white-pebble car park overseen by polite security guards. From there we met a pair of helpful receptionists working out of a sala that appears to have been purpose-built to provide guests with a relaxing check in experience.
At the heart of the property stretches a large courtyard done up with flowers, old-style street lamps, several tables and open patches of grass shaded by old banyan trees. For us it called to mind the book, A Secret Garden. Loungers rim an infinity pool overlooking foliage that blocks the sunlight—a crime or a blessing depending on your viewpoint.
Six types of rooms come in a mansion built for a noble family with ties to King Rama VI in the early 20th century. The heritage was taken seriously during restorations: black-and-white photos of century-ago Bangkok line the halls; louvered shutters reach out from windows; and poems written by Rama VI appear on interior walls in elegant Thai calligraphy. Note that families will want to look elsewhere (the nearby Phra Nakorn Norn Len is great for kids), as The Raweekanlaya’s rooms were all designed for couples.
The least expensive “Montha rooms” are small and lack windows, which is the resort’s main drawback. They make up for this to some degree by way of spacious white-brick bathrooms with hot-water rain showers behind glass stalls, and the rates are reasonable considering everything else that the property offers. If possible, we suggest splashing out for a superior, deluxe or suite with more space and windows overlooking the courtyard.
All rooms come with flatscreen TVs, WiFi, safes, coffee/tea facilities, soft beds raised off hardwood floors and extras touches like umbrellas and rattan slippers. All but the cheapest rooms also have desks. Soft lamps hung from ceilings, flourishes of blue-and-white Chinese porcelain and more of the old photos finish off the graceful design.
The resort also has a small fitness room and spa focusing on Thai massage in the Wat Pho tradition. Up near the street, a coffee shop and an upscale restaurant draws locals to dine on the Thai and Western food. Surrounding the property are several typical Bangkok shophouse kitchens, and some quality riverside restaurants like Steve Cuisine are found a kilometre to the west.
While The Raweekanlaya’s location in the Dusit area is removed from central Bangkok and the main historic district, you can catch a river ferry at nearby Thewet Pier and it’s only a two- to three-kilometre journey south to Khao San Road and major attractions like the Grand Palace. Ananta Samakhon Throne Hall and other Dusit palaces are less than a kilometre northeast of the resort.
Address: 164-172 Krung Kasem Rd, Bangkok
T: (02) 628 5999;
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º30'18.16" E, 13º46'4.11" N
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Room rates: 1,500B to 4,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room||2,650 baht||2,650 baht|
|Superior double room||3,450 baht||3,450 baht|
|Deluxe double room||3,950 baht||3,950 baht|
|Deluxe Suite||4,350 baht||4,350 baht|
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
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