Bangkok staycations are a bit of a novel concept for us. Normally, with a whole country to explore, staying in Bangkok wouldn’t be particularly high on the agenda.
Normally, of course, isn’t now. With a small number of Covid cases logged in Bangkok each day, travel elsewhere is a risk. With the merest trickle of international tourism, Bangkok’s hotels are turning to any and every avenue to for business. And voila, the Bangkok staycation is born.
We’re late to this party, as ever. Since mid-last year, hotels around Bangkok have been offering deeply discounted deals and perks for one night and weekend packages. Judging by the number of online posts with people lounging around in vastly oversized hotel bathrobes, these offers have been enthusiastically taken up by the Bangkok public.
For our first Bangkok staycation, we landed on the riverside boutique stylings of Riva Arun.
A Riva Arun staycation
The Riva Arun staycation package ticked a lot of boxes for us. Set just across the river from the world-famous Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun, Riva Arun is a small but perfectly formed boutique hotel with views to die for. Even better for us, it’s only around 20mins from home, making it possibly the easiest mini-break destination possible.
The Riva Arun staycation package, which we booked directly, included a one night stay in a room overlooking Way Arun, a three course meal for two, and breakfast. The total price – on Valentine’s and Chinese New Year weekend as well – was around 4,600 baht (£125). On a slower weekend or weekday it’d probably be under 4,000 baht all in. We only found W Bangkok as a better option price wise (see the bottom of the page for 4 more Bangkok staycation ideas!)
You could save a little by booking room only, but for a very easy escape we enjoyed having everything pre-arranged.
The Deluxe rooms at Riva Arun are dinky and well-designed, we particularly loved that the bathroom appeared to be in the wardrobe. But mainly about the view!
This part of Bangkok, in the heart of the temples and sights, is an old favourite of ours and is relatively lively even without the usual hordes of sightseers rolling off the boats. While there has always been a good selection of nice little restaurants and cafes around the crowded side-street, the last couple of years has seen a boom in stellar options like Supanniga Eating Room and Tana.
So it was nice to spend the afternoon wandering the side streets, grabbing some bites to eat and generally enjoying the riverside atmosphere and slightly quieter vibe of this part of town.
Of course, the main draw of a staycation is the part where you get to do very little and enjoy a bit of luxury, so that was the main focus of our stay. It’s an opportunity to not do much and simply enjoy the surroundings – checking in early and checking out late to maximise your lazing around time. It’s also amazing the difference a lack of travel time makes. We were on our staycation for under 24 hours overall, but it felt like a full weekend because there was almost zero travel, almost zero effort.
We spent most of our afternoon just relaxing in the room, taking in the sights of the river and watching the sun set and the lights go up on Wat Arun. This is a truly unique sight and really the main draw of Riva Arun. It’s got lovely design, lovely food, lovely staff, but mainly there’s just a little bit of magic in the view. Best enjoyed from your balcony with a couple of glasses of wine.
The dinner was also very good. A set three course meal served at the rooftop restaurant comprised some grilled pork skewers, then a really good confit duck green curry with roti for mains, and a cooling coconut ice cream for dessert.
Next day’s breakfast was the classic buffet affair but was of a good standard, and with check out at 12 we had plenty of time to go out in search of coffee at Port’s just across the road.
What with Sunday being Valentine’s day, it was a good excuse to stroll the 5 minutes down the road to the Pak Khlong flower market and pick up a few blooms.
And that was more or less it! An easy 20 minutes MRT ride later we were back home having had just a little dose of easy escapism during our Riva Arun staycation.
For ease, convenience and a nice way to recharge the batteries a bit, we really loved our night at Riva Arun and would recommend it for a staycation option. Up until now I’ve been a bit reluctant on staycations, but after this one we can definitely see the appeal! There are great deals, everything is nearby, and they offer just a little break from the norm with almost zero effort, plus they don’t have to cost the earth unless you want them to.
I came across a few good deals when researching ours so here are 4 more good-looking Bangkok staycation options:
4 more Bangkok staycation ideas
The Siam – B&B packages from 9,900 per night which includes a 3,000 baht dining credit, early check in, late checkout. High end luxury here!
Avani+ Riverside – from 3,800 inc. 1,000 baht dining credit, early check in, late check out
Siam Kempinski – from 3,800 inc. 2,000 baht credit (from what I could tell) before end of Feb – about 5,000 baht after
W Bangkok – until the end of March 2021 – 4,000 baht per night, but you also get a 4,000 baht dining credit…difficult to beat this one!