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A looming presence on the other side of the river, The Peninsula Bangkok was launched as a stupendous retreat to set the bar for all others in the city 2 decades ago. Indeed it has maintained much of its former vigour, and even as the original rooms are not entirely aligned with today's design sensibilities, it is still a grand presence that towers over the rest.

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Gourmet & Wellness + + +

Thiptara retains its alluring visage as a rustic open-air restaurant that serves refined yet homely Thai dishes next to the Chao Phraya. Afternoon tea, such an important tradition to Peninsula hotels everywhere, is a popular item here as well. The singular Peninsula Spa is a stunning wellness retreat that offers unusual treatments like The Essential Mind, which utilises the vibrational qualities of Tibetan singing bowls to tune one's chakra and general well-being.

Service + + +

Previously one of the city's most exemplary service team, a fall from height is somewhat palpable with inattentive doormen, clueless chambermaids and rigid service folks at River Cafe. Still, most of the staff are still committed to providing unforgettable experiences here.

Design + + +

A modish shell encapsulating rooms infused with heavy Thai influences, the Peninsula Bangkok was at the fore of its inception the very word on contemporary luxury. 20 years since that moment, the plushness is still perceptible with all the amenities and service check-boxes ticked but perhaps it is time to consider updating in-room accents like the rather stodgy sofas or the rusty tones all round.

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