One signature element of a traditional Thai house is chan, or the terrace that connects small rooms or buildings together into a cluster residential structure. This architectural element is partly the inspiration behind the name of a new boutique hotel—Chann Bangkok Noi, which is situated by the mouth of Bangkok Noi canal, right before it runs into the Chao Phraya River.
“We call [the hotel] Chann because we’ve created four houses [that are] interconnected with this chan. “Chan,” however, could also imply the spot that connects, bonds the relations between family members,” explains Luchan Suewongprayoon, owner and restaurant manager. His family, who is behind many successful real estate developments in Khon Kaen and Bangkok, spent a long time looking for the perfect spot to build a riverside hotel. “We were looking everywhere—Charoenkrung, Charoen Nakhon—before we got here. When we first got here, there was almost nothing, only an abandoned structure. But once I climbed up to the second level of the structure, which is now the first floor, and got to see the view, I made the decision to build the hotel here,” the young owner relates.
"Chan, however, could also imply the spot that connects, bonds the relations between family members."
There are many reasons to love Chann Bangkok Noi. Its location, for one, is special: right at the intersection of the Bangkok Noi canal and the Chao Phraya. Second, the hotel boasts unbeatable views: the peaceful riverside community on the right, the Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital and Museum in front across the canal, and the Chao Phraya and Thammasat University on the left. You can gaze upon all these sights from the hotel’s private riverfront promenade (another reinterpretation of the word “chan”). The charming wooden structure has 22 cozy rooms and suites, each of which is carefully furnished with elements that were used to decorate old Thai houses. Imagine yourself back in time when waterways were the city’s veins and Bangkok was nicknamed the Venice of the East. Breathe in the peaceful atmosphere away from the hustle of downtown Bangkok. As far as staycation choices go, Chann is a no-brainer. The service is another highlight. “At Chaan, we guarantee you’ll be pampered with services and facilities that you can find at four-star hotels, except we’re a lot smaller and more private,” Krating affirms.
"We believe that, for Thais, quality time is the meal you spend with family, eating samrap. We’d like to celebrate that idea."
You don’t need to be a hotel guest to enjoy the delights of Chann Bangkok Noi—the first floor is also home to a Thai restaurant called Imm. “The concept for Imm revolves around samrap, a meal comprised of assorted dishes. We believe that, for Thais, quality time is the meal you spend with family, eating samrap. We’d like to celebrate that idea. We present old-school Thai food, not the royal type,” explains Krating. He adds that he and his kitchen team have developed the recipes by learning from their guests. “Conversations with our older guests have led to old dishes we don’t normally see in other Thai restaurants, like mee krob som sa (deep fried noodle with som sa citrus) or chamuang curry.”
To get to the hotel, visitors would have to take a five-minute walk. But Chann Bangkok Noi is soon offering a shuttle service from the nearby pier to its private pier.
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Ten years after it closed down, Prince Rama Theatre has been revived as a hotel called Prince Theatre Heritage Stay. Rebuilt with much respects to its original structure, the hotel has 26 rooms and suites, each decorated with elements that reacquaint guests with the hotel’s origins. The hotel also offers a walking tour that brings visitors to hidden gems around the neighborhood. Check out the cinema-themed bar for drinks inspired by movies previously screened at the theater.
Nestled on the left (and quieter) bank of the Chao Phraya River, near heritage community Lhong 1919, Amdaeng is the brainchild of award-winning advertising executives, Passapol "Lek" Limpisirisan and Wiboon "Min" Leepakpreeda. The eye-catching cinnabar-red boutique hotel houses ten guestrooms, and a restaurant and bar called NYE. Hotel guests are also entitled to exclusive access to the hotel’s rooftop bar.
The charming house King Vajiravudh granted to his beloved royal governess stands on a piece of land that is now home to Raweekanlaya, the latest boutique hotel operated by the TCC Group. Raweekanlaya still offers a tranquil hideaway setting with a leafy courtyard and glorious landscaping surrounding a picturesque swimming pool. The hotel’s design glorifies the good old days of the modern Rattanakosin era. Two separate wings house six types of rooms, each similarly decked with colonial details such as white wooden interiors and floral-patterned bric-a-brac.
64-172, Krung Kasem Road, Bang Khun Phrom, 0 2628 5999
Theatre Residence sits on the grounds once occupied by the former Patravadi Theatre—and before that, the residences of royal artists. The hotel sits on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in one of the oldest residential communities in Bangkok and within a neighborhood that is known for its amazing street food.
Hidden from the bustle and chaos of the main Phaholyothin stretch, this hidden gem offers guests a peaceful home away from home in stylishly converted Thai-style wooden houses. Airtel (its name is a play between “Airbnb” and “hotel”) incorporates the friendly and no-frills vibe of Airbnb accommodations while retaining the five-star service offered by luxury hotels. The common area also functions as a co-working space and a dining room. Airtel is also pet-friendly. Your stay promises to be paw-fectly memorable thanks to uber-cute Airy and Sparky, the owner’s Japanese Spitz and Labrador.
38 Supharat Soi 1, Phaholyothin 8, Phya Thai, 09 3571 0880. BTS Ari
Ba Hao, the new Oriental-themed bar in Charoenkrung that serves snacks and booze inspired by Chinese street eats, also functions as a boutique hotel. Its upper three floors offer accommodations that veer away from the Chinese concept. Two spacious rooms, also designed by hip design firm Integrated Field, strike the balance between retro charm and modern chic, and feature gigantic mirrors and terraces that look over Soi Nana.
8 Soi Nana, Charoenkrung. MRT Hualumpong. 08 1454 4959
Modena looks to please budget travelers who are not so fussy about frills but would rather not compromise on service quality and amenities. Located within walking distance from the Queen Sirikit Convention Center MRT and Klong Toei Market, the hotel catches the eye with contemporary, urban chic decor injected with pop art depicting Thai motifs (we’re talking tuk-tuks, old-school baskets and all that jazz). Ask for a room with a balcony that looks out to Sukhumvit’s skyscrapers.
2527 Rama 4 Road, Khlong Toei, 0 2033 0888. MRT Queen Sirikit Convention Center
Oozing hidden charm, its location by the Bangkok Noi canal is the main highlight at this new boutique hotel. Renovated from an antique house, Chann offers a selection of superior, deluxe and exclusive suites, the designs of which nail the balance between retro charm and contemporary chic. Most rooms include a private terrace for watching the procession of boats slowly making their way through the canals.
30/1 Somdet Phra Pinklao Road, Bangkok Noi, 0 2435 5997
K Maison Boutique Hotel exudes sheer elegance starting from the lobby. The design throughout is vintage-inspired, with three types of room decked out with earth-toned walls, classy furniture and marble bathroom fittings. Opposite is the hotel-owned café, which is popular among locals for brunch, not to mention its photogenic all-white setting.
116/17-21 Rangnam Road, Phya Thai, 0 2245 1953. BTS Victory Monument
Have you ever wondered how it would be to sleep in a Shakespeare-style setting or in surroundings inspired by your favorite Broadway musical? This cool boutique hotel, nestled among the capital’s dining heavyweights in the middle of Thonglor, boasts four themed rooms each one themed around a famous musical including Romeo & Juliet, Mary Poppins, Aladdin and the Thai period drama The Four Reigns.
205/22-23, Thonglor soi 9, Sukhumvit 55, Sukhumvit, 0 2712 5747. BTS Thonglor.
Praised as one of the most romantic hotels in Bangkok, Hotel Once is popular for its photogenic classic black-and-white décor. Perched on the top floor is Top Knot, a rooftop restaurant serving East-meets-West grub with stunning views of the Chao Phraya River.
2074/99 Soi Charoenkrung, Charoenkrung, 02 688 2596
You are in Chinatown after all so why not stay in a hotel that feels like it? Head to Shanghai Mansion, a boutique hotel in Yaowarat that transports you to the Paris of the East during the 1930s. Refurbished from an old Chinese theater, the sexy venue is filled with delightful Oriental details, vibrant colors and opulent furniture.
479-481 Yaowarat Road, Yaowarat, 0 2221 2121. MRT Hua Lumpong