Bangkok places to stay: Avani Riverside features one of the city's best rooftop bars and pools

Our rating

4 out of 5

The place

Avani Riverside Bangkok

The location

On the banks of the Chao Phraya river, the Avani sits one block back from the river behind its sister property, the Anantara Riverside. On the other side of the hotel, busy Charoennakorn Road features an abundance of small local restaurants for those looking for more adventurous, authentic dining options.

The space

Opened in 2016, the hotel featured 251 rooms taking out the top 15 storeys of a 26-storey tower. The lobby on the 11th floor is a large, modern space with high ceilings and windows offering views of the river and beyond.

The hotel sits above the Riverside Plaza, a small shopping centre featuring various retail offerings including several restaurants and fast food outlets. The hotel itself features two restaurants along with a takeaway pantry and a rooftop bar.

The rooftop also features the hotel's spectacular infinity pool, offering beautiful views of the river and city skyline. It's unsurprisingly popular with the selfie crowd, though this can result in you having to dodge selfie sticks if you want to swim a lap. The gym on the floor below also offers great views and there's a spa here featuring all your Thai massage needs.

The room

My king room features a large bed, armchair with a small table and a large desk running along the wall. The subdued tones are in contrast to some of the louder decor one sometimes finds in Thai hotels, offering a relaxing respite from the busy city and heat.

The luggage storage, wardrobe and safe are integrated into the bathroom, which may bother some guests who prefer to have their items closer to hand. There's a large shower but no bath. There's an evening turndown service and staff keep the room well stocked with complimentary bottles of water.

A neat and surprising feature is that the hotel provides a smartphone, with a 4G connection, for guests to use during their stay, even outside the hotel. While it comes with various apps, the greatest benefit is using it as a Wi-Fi hotspot for your own phone, allowing you to access the internet when you're out and about. It's an increasingly popular feature in high-end Asian hotels. Here's hoping it catches on in Australia, too.

The food

A buffet breakfast is served in Skyline, adjacent to the lobby, with a huge range of Western and Asian options (they even have Vegemite). Eggs are cooked to order, so there are no soggy dishes of scrambled eggs sitting out. Attitude, the rooftop bar and restaurant, is unsurprisingly popular, given the spectacular views. The menu is more influenced by American tastes than local ones, with various steaks, pork ribs, popcorn shrimp and other modern dishes. There's also a small takeaway cafe in the lobby for hot drinks, sandwiches and other bites.

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Stepping out

Neighbouring sister property the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort has its own dock, so it's a short walk from the Avani to catch a boat up the river. The hotel offers a canal tour by longtail boat, taking in sights such as the Grand Palace. At night, a dinner cruise aboard a restored wooden rice barge takes guests on a two-hour cruise of the river, offering views of an illuminated Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), while offering a multi-course Thai meal. There's also a free shuttle boat across to the Asiatique night market, featuring more than 1500 stores and 40 restaurants.

The verdict

The Avani Riverside is a fine addition to the Bangkok accommodation landscape, offering modern style without sacrificing comfort.

Essentials

Rooms at the Avania Riverside start from $173. See https://www.minorhotels.com/en/avani/riverside-bangkok

Highlight

The rooftop pool is one of the best in the city.

Lowlight

In this era of reducing waste, it's a bit annoying to have nearly full bottles of drinking water removed and replaced unnecessarily. At least they're made of glass.