Bangkok is truly a mysterious, messy and in all senses hot city. It’s therefore incredibly suitable that quite a bunch of hotels offer roof top pools, infinity pools and, in some cases, resort-like oases with vast waters surrounded by lush trees and flowery gardens.
And all this, in the middle of the bustling nine-million-inhabitants Thai capital.
On my latest, not last, Bangkok trip, I did some research, in order to present my chosen recommendations. All of those swimming pools are checked by me personally – and all pics are mine as well.
They are not presented in any particular order, and are all chosen for their excellent pools and strong personality, suitable for very different needs and tastes.
Bangkok’s top 10 swimming pools
1. SO Sofitel Bangkok
Here, playful Lacroix-design melts with the five Asian elements, amazing and unobstructed views over the Lumphini-park and some fun and colourful restaurants and bars. Once a month, you’ll have the all-Bangkok-gathering and infinity pool party here at the 10th floor at SO Sofitel Bangkok. The pool catches the last rays of sunshine in the evening sunset and is stunning all through the night, all the way to the pool bar; The Water Club. This is the choice for funky design-nerds and fun-loving-young-at-heart-couples. #sosofitelbangkok http://www.so-sofitel-bangkok.com/
2. Okura Prestige Bangkok
This is a smart, urban and Japanese-influenced haven of top class service and style. All seems to be steel, marble, 20 meters high ceilings, giant fresh floral arrangements – and endless water; the swimming pool on the 25th floor is, of course, a vertiginous and wonderfully cooling haven to sink into after a long day of meetings or sightseing. If time permits, do steal a few minutes in the gym – overlooking the pool – and the spa as well. Businessmen mix with elegant asians, families and young, well-off weekend guests. #okurabangkok http://www.okurabangkok.com
3. Grande Centre Point Terminal 21
This is really, in my eyes, a fantastic swimming pool with a four star plus hotel attatched to it. Don’t get me wrong: Grande Centre Point Terminal 21 is quite a normal, large and buzy hotel, right in a shopping center and virtually attatched to the skytrain station, attracting tourist groups touring in Asia as well as couples and families staying in the apartments. The hotel has no extravagant design ambitions, but when you reach the pool area, covering all the top roof and attatched to a kind of lush mini-park, you’ll get a positive surprise, both for your eyes and warm body. #grandecentrepointterminal21 http://www.grandecentrepointterminal21.com/
4. Siam Kempinski Bangkok
This is the only Bangkok hotel with swim out roooms, or swim up, as some prefer to call them. Anyhow, the Siam Kempinski pool is situatedin the gardens of the immense hotel yard, on the ground floor, in this popular resort-style hotel. You’ll find an oasis of a pool measuring 2025 square meters, with windling canals and sunbathing areas here and there. You’ll find a kids pool as well, but this is a family hotel so children are all over the place. Siam Kempinski is interconnected to one of the large shopping malls of Bangkok; Siam Paragon as well as to the skytrain. #siamkempinski http://www.kempinski.com
5. W Bangkok
In the middle of the business quarter of Sathorn, W Bangkok hosts a pool with a Dali-like sculpture, creating the shape of an eye when seen from the rooms above. The pool bar is utterly trendy, with mosaics and childish manga inspired decorations. All W Bangkok is plastic-pop-art fashionable with the very peculiar and funky W feeling that attracts arty-party couples and, in reality, quite a few businessmen. In the W spirit of summer glam and partying, you may enjoy the fake stars at the bottom of the pool and under-water DJ music. #wbangkok #w http://www.wbangkok.com
6. Peninsula Bangkok
This classic riverside hotel offers views overlooking the Chao Phraya river and Bangkok’s skyline – and all this from its 88 meter long river shaped pool. Starting in an orchid garden, the pool flows gently downhill, being crossed by footpaths that may be swum under, before widening into a rectangular shape overlooking the mighty Chao Phraya River. Enjoy the view of longtail boats and barges, then head to the Peninsula Thai restaurant, Thiptara, with antique huts and equally quaint river views. Guests are an international mix of families, and even more so well off couples enjoying classic, high level hospitality. #peninsulabangkok http://m.bangkok.peninsula.com/en/spa-wellness/pool
7. JW Marriott Bangkok
It’s not brand new, nor the most luxuriuos or spectacular, but JW Marriott has a nice, Thai flair in the lobby area with teak wood and thai textiles, and is to be found right on Sukhumvit Road. Mote importantly, JW Marriott hosts a hidden pool with adjacent jacuzzi, on the seventh floor. I must say that the pool area, with remarquably many orchids and grown up trees, looks much better than on the hotel’s own pictures. It may therefore be less crowded, since not so many bother to come here. But that’s a shame, since the pool is neat and staff utterly friendly. #jwmarriott #jwmarriottbangkok http://www.jwmarriott.com
8. Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road
Inspired by the former location of the official radio station on Wireless Road, Indigo is a hipster haven for young, urban outfitters. All decoration consists of eclectic semi-antique objects such as funky old radios, tape recorders from the 1970’ies and LP Players. (Must be very exotic in the eyes of the youngsters born in the 1990’ies, populating the hotel.) The pool has an urban atmosphere as well, with gold dots glittering in the sun from the deep blue tiles and views of the surrounding buildings. #hotelindigo http://www.hotelindigo.com/bangkok
In this new, four star hotel, you’ll get the best sunset infinity pool views of Bangkok. Since on the top 26th floor and with no surrounding high buildings, Amara actually offers sun all day long. Prices are moderate and the proximity to what many consider the heart of Bangkok: the night market of Patpong and Silom, is perfect. The hotel is part of the district of Bangrak, famous for it’s street food and nightlife. #amara #amarabangkok http://www.bangkok.amarahotels.com
10. Plaza Athenée
Located on the fourth floor, in the roof garden of the hotel, the newly refurbished lagoon-style pool of Le Meridien Plaza Athenée provides a tropical setting including a lovely Thai pagoda. The pool is tiled in deep blue colours and surrounded by an orchard of exotic trees and blossoming plants, including my favourite flowering tree: frangipani. Both kids and grown-ups appreciate the pool area, that stays open until 22.00 in the evening. #plazaathenee http://www.plazaatheneebangkok.com