Hot New Hotels: Sala Bang Pa-in

The minimalist riverside retreat offers a more relaxed approach when it comes to seeing two day-trip destinations from the Thai capital.

The terrace of a River View Pool villa at Sala Bang Pa-in. (All photos: Sala Hospitality Group)

If you’re planning to balance a city break in Bangkok with some downtime in the fertile hinterlands north of town, Sala Bang Pa-in may be just the ticket. Perched at the tip of an island in the Chao Phraya River not far from Bang Pa-in Palace, a onetime summer retreat for the Thai royal family, the hotel is also an ideal base for exploring the UNESCO-listed ruins of Ayutthaya’s old city, just 20 kilometers upstream.

Slated to open on May 1, this property by Thailand’s homegrown Sala Hospitality Group will be its ninth in the country and the fifth small hotel under the Sala Boutique portfolio, which includes Sala Rattanakosin Bangkok — a renovated four-story shophouse that’s also on the banks of the Chao Phraya.

Sala Bang Pa-in is the latest collaboration between the Sala Hospitality Group and Twitee Vajrabhaya Teparkum from the Department of Architecture Co., a Bangkok-based design firm which was also behind Six Senses Samui and Sala Phuket Mai Khao Beach Resort. Teparkum and his team have given the 24 rooms and pool villas a stylish, minimalistic look characterized by off-white walls, gray textiles, and light wood elements.

A River View Deluxe Terrace room at the hotel.

The spa-inspired bathroom of an 86-square-meter River View Pool villa.

Guest quarters are also fitted with high-end sound systems with smartphone connectivity, LED TVs, and more state-of-the-art technology, while the spa-inspired bathrooms feature a freestanding tub and rain shower. The hotel’s 10 villas all include spacious riverside terraces complete with daybeds and private plunge pools; families and groups of friends will want to book the three-bedroom River View Presidential Pool villa, which commands views of the Chao Phraya on three sides and offers 484 square meters of indoor and outdoor living space.

When it comes to recreational activities on site, guests can enjoy in-room spa treatments and take a dip in an outdoor pool that stretches 30 meters along the riverfront. Also facing the water is Sala Bang Pa-in Eatery and Bar, where the menu incorporates both Thai and international delights prepared with ingredients grown in the hotel’s own garden. The drinks list, meanwhile, features wines from around the world, craft beers, and creative cocktails.

Travelers bedding down at Sala Bang Pa-in will also be treated to complimentary transfers to and from the nearby palace. Daily sightseeing tours and sunset cocktail cruises are a must aboard the property’s 12-meter (40-foot) wooden motorboat, which was specially built by craftsmen in Ayutthaya, while an eight-meter (26-foot) speedboat will be available for half- and full-day private charters.

Rates start from THB 5,180 (about US$165) net per room per night, inclusive of breakfast and a river cruise to Bang Pa-in Palace.

More information here.

The pool and outdoor deck of a River View Pool villa at Sala Bang Pa-in.

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