Luxury on the cheap: 16 incredible Bangkok hotels you can book with points

Aug 2, 2021

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Right now, Americans can only visit Phuket, Thailand, without a required quarantine. However, the country is hoping to open up other areas this fall. While we wait for news about Thailand’s reopening date, it’s not too early to think about your own personal return to this incredibly vibrant Southeast Asia destination. And what better way to reenter Southeast Asia than with a trip to Bangkok?

From gleaming gold temples and historic palaces to Michelin-starred restaurants and shopping malls so big they deserve their own ZIP code, Bangkok offers no shortage of adventure. And now that the massive metropolis is planning to reopen to Americans this fall, there’s no better time to pack your bags and explore one of Asia’s most fascinating cities.

But where should you stay? Bangkok also has plenty of stunning hotels — many of which offer quite affordable cash rates, so always check pricing before deciding to use up your points. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorites, including luxurious grande dames, urban skyscrapers and secluded, riverside estates.

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The best luxury hotels in Bangkok

The Peninsula Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of The Peninsula Bangkok/Facebook)

The Peninsula — one of Bangkok’s top hotels — succeeds in the difficult feat of melding ultramodern luxury with traditional Thai charm. Here, it’s nearly impossible to forget that you’re staying in Thailand, whether you’re lounging in a sala next to the lush outdoor pool, enjoying a five-star massage in the colonial-style spa or gorging on freshly cut mango at the over-the-top breakfast buffet. Better still: Because of the building’s unique W shape, every single room boasts a stunning view of the Chao Phraya River. Although the hotel is tucked away on the quieter bank, you can take advantage of free tuk-tuk and shuttle boat services to get where you need to go.

How to book: This hotel is a member of the American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program, so if you have either The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, you can use Membership Rewards points to book your stay or earn 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Either way, you’ll get exclusive perks like daily breakfast for two; a room upgrade upon arrival, when available; and a property credit, among other benefits.

Banyan Tree Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of the Banyan Tree Bangkok/Facebook)

Conveniently located in the Silom Sathorn district, one of Bangkok’s vibrant neighborhoods packed with restaurants, nightlife and shopping, the 61-story Banyan Tree creates plenty of buzz of its own. The Moon Bar (considered to be one of the best rooftop bars in the world) offers panoramic views of the sprawling cityscape alongside tropical cocktails and Asian fusion al fresco dining. Closer to earth, the pool on the 21st floor — where attendants dole out free, 15-minute massages — makes a popular daytime hangout.

How to book: Offset the cost of your stay by redeeming credit card points or miles. For example, when TPG checked the Chase Travel portal for Chase Sapphire Reserve cardmembers, we found one-night redemptions at the hotel in November from 7,358 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. (Here’s how to use the Chase Travel portal.)

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok)

Perched on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, the palatial Mandarin Oriental has earned a permanent spot in Bangkok’s history. Throughout the decades, the 145-year-old property — which recently underwent a renovation — has hosted royalty, celebrities and a number of authors including Joseph Conrad, Noel Coward and Gore Vidal. (Hence the swanky Authors’ Lounge, where guests and locals alike gather for afternoon tea.) Rooms here are decked out in turn-of-the-century, glamorous decor like silk fabrics and teak furniture.

How to book: Mandarin Oriental is also a member of the American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program, which is a perk for cardholders of either The Platinum Card from American Express or The Business Platinum Card from American Express. You can use Membership Rewards points to book your stay or earn 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Additional perks through FHR are daily breakfast for two; a room upgrade upon arrival, when available; and a property credit, among other benefits.

The St. Regis Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of the St. Regis Bangkok/Facebook)

You can expect understated elegance and gracious, friendly staff at The St. Regis, a minimalist, 228-room tower found in Bangkok’s luxury shopping and dining district. Spacious rooms and suites are swathed in a palette of beige, silver, gray and white, and the outdoor pool offers a quiet break from the city. Meanwhile, the chain’s signature butler service (which includes complimentary tea or coffee any time of the day, packing assistance and daily garment pressing) will ensure that you feel perfectly at home.

How to book: This Category 5 Marriott Bonvoy property will set you back 35,000 points per night on standard dates. If you carry the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card or the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, you can use the perk of an annual free night worth up to 35,000 points at this hotel. Cardmembers receive these certificates on their card anniversaries. Just remember to check cash prices before using your certificate. Cash deals can often be found in Bangkok, which means you may want to reserve your certificate for a stay at a more expensive destination.

 Waldorf Astoria Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Bangkok/Facebook)

A relatively recent addition to the Bangkok luxury hotel scene, the Waldorf Astoria opened in 2018. While there’s nothing particularly Thai about this hotel’s ultracontemporary design, the bright and airy lobby and rooms are a welcome, lavish escape after a day of sightseeing. Don’t miss the dramatic outdoor infinity pool on the 17th floor, dotted with floating cabanas, or the Loft, an art nouveau-style bar with floor-to-ceiling windows and an encyclopedic classic drinks menu based on the “Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book.”

How to book: For one night in a standard room, you’ll need around 80,000 Hilton Honors points. If you need to boost your balance, now may be a good time to add the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card to your wallet. You can earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months. This card comes with a $95 annual fee (see rates & fees).

Hotels with great value on points in Bangkok

Park Hyatt Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Bangkok/Facebook)

Offering phenomenal value on points, the entry-level rooms at Bangkok’s Park Hyatt rank among the largest in the city and feature unobstructed views and luxurious bathrooms. Connected to the exclusive Central Embassy mall and a BTS Skytrain (Bangkok’s mass transit system) station, it’s also hard to beat its convenient location. A 130-foot saltwater infinity pool and light-filled fitness center that overlooks the hotel’s garden terrace are the icing on the cake.

How to book: Get a free night here in a standard room for 20,000 World of Hyatt points. Book a suite for 32,000 points per night or a premium suite for 40,000 points per night.

Conrad Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of the Conrad Bangkok/Facebook)

As far as first impressions go, the Conrad won’t disappoint: From its ornate, three-story lobby to the massive palm tree-lined pool to the rooftop running track and tennis courts, the hotel exudes drama at every turn. If possible, book one of the recently renovated, premium rooms featuring universal adaptor connections, USB ports and digital televisions that allow you to mirror programs from your mobile phone. Although the Conrad isn’t located directly next to any public transportation options, it offers a complimentary shuttle that will ferry you to the nearest BTS Skytrain station.

How to book: Depending on your travel dates, one night here will cost between 12,000 and 40,000 Hilton Honors points.

Le Meridien Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of Le Meridien Bangkok/Facebook)

Located near the Patpong Night Market and bustling Silom Road, Le Meridien provides quick access to some of the city’s best bars and restaurants, including its own Latitude 13°, the winner of Illy’s Master Barista competition. Guests will undoubtedly notice the hotel’s bold design touches, including the stylish, art-filled lobby, frequent photography exhibitions and comfy round beds (available in certain rooms). One of the best deals in the city, rooms here also come with a sprawling buffet breakfast.

How to book: Le Meridien Bangkok is a Category 4 in the Marriott Bonvoy program so you’ll spend just 25,000 points for a night on standard dates.

The Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of The Athenee Hotel/Facebook)

Set on the grounds of a former Thai palace, it’s easy to feel like royalty when staying at the opulent Athenee Hotel. Each room and suite pays tribute to Bangkok’s royal heritage and is decorated with a romantic mix of 19th-century European and local Thai decor. Equipped with eight restaurants and bars, an outdoor pool and garden and a decadent spa, you’ll be hard-pressed to pull yourself away from your new home away from home.

How to book: This Category 5 Marriott Bonvoy property will set you back 35,000 points per night on standard dates. Or consider using a Marriott 35k free night certificate.

InterContinental Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of the InterContinental Bangkok/Facebook)

With 381 rooms, the InterContinental ranks as one of Bangkok’s largest hotels—but that doesn’t mean the service, quality and location of this property are anything less than top-notch. Boasting a luxury fitness center, a staggering array of on-site restaurants and a spa, the InterContinental can be a true steal when it comes to value on points.

How to book: While IHG uses dynamic award pricing, standard rooms here will typically cost about 28,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night.

Well-situated hotels for tourists in Bangkok

JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok/Marriott)

When you stay at the JW Marriott, Sukhumvit Road, one of Bangkok’s most popular shopping and commercial districts, is right in your backyard. Despite the hustle and bustle outside your door, everything inside the hotel feels like a calm oasis. Soak in the epic views from the newly renovated rooms or unwind at the gym under the guidance of a personal trainer. If you’re feeling hungry, the array of on-site restaurants offer everything from sushi to a New York-style steakhouse.

How to book: This Category 5 Marriott Bonvoy property requires 35,000 points on standard award nights.

Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit/Marriott)

The Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit lies within easy reach of Bangkok’s top attractions — simply walk across the connected skybridge to shop at the Terminal 21 mall or hop the nearby BTS Skytrain to quickly travel to landmarks like the Grand Palace and Wat Arun. In the evening, indulge in a cocktail in the Living Room bar where jazz musicians perform nightly, or relax in your spacious hotel room with stunning views of Lake Ratchada and the city skyline.

How to book: This Category 5 Marriott Bonvoy is available for 35,000 points on standard dates.

Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of the Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok/Facebook)

One of Bangkok’s newest hotels, the Kimpton Maa-Lai just opened in November 2020. Located next to Lumphini Park, it’s in an ideal spot for exploring everything the Thai capital has to offer. From an in-room manicure to a replacement for a forgotten toothbrush, staff is available 24/7 via WhatsApp to help with guest requests. Dog and cat lovers take note: It’s also one of the city’s few pet-friendly hotels.

How to book: IHG uses dynamic award pricing; standard rooms here will typically set you back about 20,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night.

The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok/Marriott)

Smack in the middle of the city’s shopping district, the Westin Grande Sukhumvit offers access to Bangkok’s top cultural sites via BTS Skytrain in a mere 10-20 minutes. The hotel offers the upscale lifestyle amenities Westin fans have come to expect, such as a Heavenly Bed and state-of-the-art fitness studio, as well as some local touches like a rooftop pool with a picturesque waterfall.

How to book: Rooms cost 25,000 points on standard nights at this Category 4 Marriott Bonvoy property.

The most intimate hotels in Bangkok

The Sukhothai Bangkok

(Photo courtesy of The Sukhothai Bangkok/Facebook)

Surrounded by 6 acres of manicured gardens, the Sukhothai hotel feels hidden away despite its location in the middle of the city. While you’re never too far from the action here, it’s easy to get lost exploring the grounds full of serene lotus ponds, Thai art and greenery. The rooms — some with private balconies — are equally peaceful and decorated in soothing tones and materials like black granite, polished teak and silky fabrics. If you’re lucky, you’ll be in town during the hotel’s annual guest chef series, the Art of Dining, which has hosted the likes of Ferran Adrià and Alain Ducasse.

How to book: Get a free night here with just 15,000 World of Hyatt points or book through the Chase Travel portal with your Ultimate Rewards points. Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can book nights here in November from 11,686 points.

The Siam Hotel

(Photo courtesy of The Siam Hotel/Facebook)

In urban Bangkok, the majority of properties are towering giants with 300-plus rooms, making intimate gems like The Siam all the more special. Found on a piece of prime, riverside land in the city’s leafy Dusit neighborhood, this family-run boutique hotel has 39 stylish rooms, including the capital’s only pool villas. Enjoy sunset and a refreshing drink on The Siam’s private pier or catch their free shuttle boat for a tour of Bangkok’s cultural highlights.

How to book: This hotel is a member of the American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program, so if you have either The Platinum Card from American Express or The Business Platinum Card from American Express, you can use Membership Rewards points to book your stay or earn 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Either way, you’ll get exclusive perks like daily breakfast for two; a room upgrade upon arrival, when available; and a property credit, among other benefits.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Surpass card, click here.

Featured photo by Justin Pumfrey/Getty Images.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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