The Best of Bangkok Hotels

Bangkok has some of the best hotels in the world, from the venerable old Mandarin Oriental to the newer but no less outstanding Peninsula. But not everyone can afford those, and there are lots of other options as well. Here's my current list of the best hotel options in Bangkok in several categories. For more ideas, see my complete lists of suggested Bangkok hotels.

The Siam
The Thai suite at The Siam hotel
Best Money-Is-No-Object Hotel
While the Oriental and Peninsula hotels have battled it out for the top luxury spot in Bangkok for many years, now there's a new kid on the block, and it's called The Siam. Like its older rivals, The Siam is on the river, only it's far up-river from the center of things, in the more serene surrounds of Dusit, near the palace where the royal family currently resides. The new-in-2012 sports the only private pool villas available in Bangkok.
Best Value-For-Money Budget Hotel
Of course, for most of us money is very much an object. There are some truly cheap hotel rooms in Bangkok, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. The cheapest rooms are often windowless, and far enough away from the center of things to require and expensive taxi ride for every trip, which might eliminate any savings. My pick for the best value for money, the Grand Mercure Fortune Hotel, is right on the city's subway line, sits above one of the city's best IT malls, and is across the street from another big new mall.
Best Place To Be Right in the Middle of Things
Bangkok is a city without a real center, or with several of them, depending on how you look at things. With traffic still a concern, the best way to be handy to everything is to stay near one of the train lines. In many ways, the Siam area satisfies many requirements for this category. The trouble is, if you do need a car or taxi the traffic around there can be a nightmare. So, my choice for this category is the Grande Centre Point at Terminal 21. It has direct access to both the Skytrain and the subway, and sits atop a mall filled with food options.
Best of the Boutiques
There are quite a few boutique hotels in Bangkok now. These are properties with less than 50 rooms offering something different from the standard 'corporate' rooms you find at most hotels, especially the big chains. These small properties cover a whole range of accommodation, from budget to luxury, so picking just one was perhaps the hardest selection to be made for this list. For now at least, my choice would be the Cabochon Hotel. With just eight rooms, it definitely qualifies as a small boutique hotel. Tucked away in a quiet alley off Sukhumvit road, the hotel is an oasis from the frenetic pace of the city, yet it's just a short stroll from the Skytrain as well as many restaurants and shopping malls.