Bangkok is one of the most visited and the busiest cities in the world. The capital of Thailand has more than 4,000 hotels to select. Hence somehow you would like to be in a secluded, secret area, which brings you back to the old sweet days when life took place on the river, so Amdaeng Riverside Hotel is the place to be.
SETTING THE SCENE
Hidden in the small corner left bank of Chao Phraya River, Chiang Mai Street, this rubicund, Victorian gingerbread-building is a true gem, so extremely tranquil and scenic that you could easily relax and breathe in the pleasure when you visit hectic Bangkok. This 10-room boutique hotel can be a trick to find but it is snuggled adjacent to the hip Heritage Community Lhong 1919, another must-see when you’re in the city. This old-school neighbourhood is full of history that takes you back to the fascinating days of Bangkok. Amdaeng literally means (title of a) “woman” since the Ayutthaya era, consequently the 100-square-metre brick-red architecture is designed to represent the femininity, exoticness and the sexiness of a lady. Daeng itself means red, which is crafted as the hotel’s signature shade from the main building to the swimming pool.
Most of the rooms are designed to face the river in order to indulge the best atmosphere of nostalgic Bangkok. With the mixed vintage mahogany decoration from Thai, Chinese, Indian and European quirky pieces, the spacious area is playful, stylish and sensual. Acclaimed as “the most romantic hotel in Bangkok”, this lodge is perfect for couples who seek something trendy yet soothingly comfortable at the same time. I spent one night at Amdaeng and was blown away, and wished I could stay longer. The white antique-looking bathtub is comfortable and allows you to sink in and see the outdoor spectacular view at the same time. The bath products smell like heaven and can be very pampering. The balcony is extraordinary with the view of the river and two golden temples on the other side of the bank. During the day, you could easily imagine you were lost in ‘The Merchant of Venice” (of the East) from witnessing the river’s lifestyle and culture by glancing passenger taxi boats to cargo ships along the stream. At night, the whole serene scene turns into live entertainment from the stylish river cruises to the colourful dinner boats with the flashing sparkling lights. And don’t worry, all those buzzing sounds end by 10pm so that you will have a peace of mind.
If Amdaeng’s architecture represents the sense of femininity, its macho-designed restaurant “NYE”, pronounced Nai, symbolises its contrasting. Black was chosen as a main theme for the dining area indoor and alfresco area right by the riverfront. The counter bar is embellished in Chinese-style porcelain, white and blue with a hint of gold adornment. While the menu is mainly Thai, the dishes are adventurous, appetising, very thoughtful and most importantly represent the ancient way of Royal Thai cuisine. We ordered spicy roasted (shredded) duck salad and it was full-flavoured, bursting with freshness and spices. While westerners always pair duck with oranges, Thais embrace the bird with lychee for the sweetness addition. Deep Fried Pork Belly with lemongrass is also a fun fare to share with friends while enjoying the river atmosphere. It also offers a variety of curry dishes with Indian influences and I had Massaman Lamb curry – so tender and aromatic. It’s better to start the night with a powerful cocktail and end with many glasses of wine for better sleep. The breakfast is also served by the river at early dawn. I got up at 6am to adore the Bangkok sunrise and it was no disappointment. I chose an American-style breakfast. The eggs were fried to perfection, and the homemade sausage was scrumptious as well.
WHY I’D RETURN
It is no surprise that the charm of Chao Phraya flowing against the vital colour of Amdaeng would always bring me back here any time. Staring at the river for hours made me appreciate the present and the past even more. Henceforth, the future is already recharged from this relaxation. The staff’s warm hospitality eases Bangkok’s heat and frantic atmosphere. The location also plays the key if you want to get lost in the old-world, iconic Bangkok and explore the excursion you never imagine this City of Angels has to offer. Amdaeng will be the great stay if you look for an alternative Krungthep.
ONE OR TWO QUIBBLES…
There should be tanning beds by the swimming pool to lounge around and enjoy the beauty of the sun and the shade of Bodhi Trees.
AMDEANG BANGKOK RIVERSIDE HOTEL
A: 12/1 Soi Chiangmai 1, Chiangmai Rd. Klongsan, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
T: +66 (0) 2162 0138
Text by Dussadee Oeawpanich