Bangkok is one of the world’s most fascinating cities. It is also one of the busiest. So how do you make the most out of a trip there with a family? The Peninsula Hotel is a great place to start.
The view from The Peninsula, Bangkok
Tuk tuks, street food, temples, rooftop bars, unfettered culture, scenic boat trips… The list of reasons to visit Thailand’s great capital city, Bangkok, is limitless – and once you have taken in those first sights and tried your first meal, you will definitely want to see and eat as much as you can. You will likely only have a few days in the city, since it is often seen as the gateway for travellers passing through to Thailand’s islands. But there is so much to enjoy here, consider staying at least four nights to pack lots of it in. Here’s our top ten reasons why a stay at the luxurious, yet family-friendly, five-star Peninsula Hotel could help you and your intrepid family to make the most of your trip.
1. A central location
The Peninsula Bangkok, is located on the banks of the Chao Praya river, opposite the tower with the Sky Bar (where they filmed scenes for the Hangover 2 film), and other luxury hotels, including the Mandarin Oriental and the Shangri-La – so you know you are in good company. You can take the BTS Sky Train from the airport, and a tuk tuk from the final station, Phaya Thai, or change train lines, to get to Saphan Taksin, where The Peninsula has a pier nearby for it’s very own ferry boats to and from the hotel. Arriving by public transport from the airport is a great idea, as the traffic in Bangkok is terrible. You will most likely arrive at the mooring hot and jet lagged, but sailing over on the boat, which is decked out with fairy lights, and stepping straight onto the grounds of the hotel – your worries will soon fade away. The best way to reach the hotel could be by booking the limo pick up service.
Tuk tuks and taxis are a brilliant, and cheap way to get around Bangkok. But you can catch boat buses up and down the river, from the pier opposite The Peninsula. For example, a ride to the Grand Palace, which takes about 15 minutes, will cost you around 15p each. Yet another super reason to rave about this hotel’s location – boats on your doorstep.
The Grand Palace, Bangkok
2. The hotel staff’s knowledge
Making an itinerary before you even set foot on the plane is a good idea. There’s so much to see, and with kids in tow and soaring temperatures – you need to plan in plenty pool time as well as temple visits. The concierge at The Peninsula, Bangkok is second to none. They will provide you with maps galore, alongside tailored directions, as well as activity suggestions.
I would recommend visiting the big attractions early in the day, which would include: The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, (which houses the reclining Buddha), and Chatuchak Market. Read our suggestions on where to put at the top of your sightseeing list, here.
The swimming pools at The Peninsula
3. They love children – but don’t sacrifice on luxury
This is the holy grail of parents who love to travel, but don’t want to compromise just because they have become parents. The Peninsula offers cookery classes for budding chefs, and touches such as setting up surprises like mini tents and balloons in your hotel room, An almost never-ending chain of swimming pools, with one being nominated as ‘quiet’, meaning the rest are for having a splashing good time in.
The night is calling!
4. Get a babysitter
There’s nowhere better than Bangkok to have a seriously unexpected night out. From glamourous rooftop terrace bars to neon sign loaded red light districts. Buckets of gin-filled cocktails along the Koh San road to champagne cruises. No-room-to-manouevure, bustling night markets to buzzing underground bars with ladyboy shows. It’s safe to say that although restaurants are a safe bet, Bangkok’s nightlife doesn’t necessarily provide the most savoury place for children.
That said, this doesn’t mean you have to miss out, should you so choose. The hotel provides a babysitting service, so you can visit the Sky Bar, just across the water (a ‘must-visit’ to see the sun set over the city), or take a tuk tuk to crazy Koh San Road. Whatever floats your boat... But be warned, once Bangkok has you, she won’t let go easily!
Asiatique - a fun night out
5. Go to Asiatique
Aside from restaurants, there is evening entertainment in Bangkok which is suitable, and brilliant, for children and families. Top of the list must be Asiatique, a harbour area which has been turned into a chic shopping and entertainment area.
There is a free boat for hotel guests from The Peninsula to Asiatique, every day. You must book your spots with the concierge as it will fill up.
A suite at The Peninsula Bangkok
6. Enjoy the luxury accommodation
The rooms at The Peninsula Bangkok are all large, completely luxurious and fitted with modern appliances. Our suite on the fifteenth floor had a dressing room and huge bathroom. The staff provide in-room baby amenities if you need them, including steriliser, baby toiletries, crib and blankets. You can also book corner suites with adjoining rooms - perfect for travelling with grandparents or older children.
The Peninsula's Sunset cruise
7. Relax... Visit the spa and take a sunset cruise
The Peninsula Spa has a world-class reputation, and for good reason. It is in a separate building to the hotel, behind the swimming pool area. You can book private suite rooms that have two massage beds, a changing room, steam room, shower and whirlpool bath. The perfect time to book that babysitter!
Also, the hotel offers a brilliant sunset cruise, (above) which can be booked through the concierge. Departing at sunset, daily, there is a bar onboard and you float past sights including Wat Arun and the Grand Palace.
The food and view from Thiptara restaurant
8. Eat, eat eat…
You will be spoiled for choice at The Peninsula Bangkok, with fine dining restaurants galore on site. All are family-friendly, and will really listen to what you would like and how you would like it cooked. No spice - no problem! But try to embrace the concoctions prepared by the chefs and the teams here, as they are masters at what they are preparing. We had the dinner of a lifetime at Thiptara, the hotel's traditional Thai restaurant. The food, the riverside location, the ambience... It is a brilliant way to introduce your children to Thai flavours, at their absolute best.
There is also an award-winning Cantonese restaurant, Mei Jiang, and the River Cafe and terrace, where breakfast is served as a buffet - the best breakfast buffet you will ever experience! You must try the raspberry jam doughnuts, the savoury dumplings and the selection of meats and cheeses.
9. Treat the kids to a cooking class
The hotel offers pastry cooking classes for kids, which will teach them how to mix, stir and knead - learning while having fun! The Peninsula Bangkok’s Pastry Chef will teach children how to make cookies, brownies, cupcakes and pizza. The children will receive a Junior Chef uniform to begin their fun cooking experience and select two menu items to create.
Cost: THB 1,500 (around £30) per child
- Two hours from 9:30 am to 11:30 am
- Advance reservation at least one day ahead, is required
- Minimum 6 years of age
- Subject to availability
10. Painting classes for the kids
Sign your children up for a two-hour class with The Peninsula Bangkok’s painting specialist, who will provide materials and step-by-step guidance to help children paint and create projects based on the history of Thailand.
Cost: THB 3,000 (around £60) per child
- The programme duration is 2 hours from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm or from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
- Minimum 6 years of age
- Minimum of two people
- Subject to availability and advance reservation of one business day is required
For more information, the latest rates and to book, visit The Peninsula Bangkok, online
A private spa suite at The Peninsula Bangkok
Room with bed and breakfast for two adults:
· Room rates from £229 (THB 11,500++) per night
· Room type = Grand Deluxe Room
Room for a family of four:
· Room rates from £229 (THB 11,500++) per night for two adults plus one child (age under 12) with complimentary extra bed.
· The breakfast for a child is not included. Guests pay half the price of breakfast at £10 (THB 488.40) net (full price = £17 (THB 830++))
· For a family of four, the hotel suggests that guests book two rooms at a room rate of £229 (THB 11,500++) /per room / per night as the hotel only allows a maximum of 3 persons per one room.
· Price: £197 (THB 9,999++) per person including beverages
· *24 hours advance reservations are recommended
· A minimum of two diners is required
Read more Thailand family travel articles...
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
* Ensure your Hepatitis A and tetanus vaccinations are up to date when travelling to Thailand. Other jabs may be needed depending on what areas you plan to visit, with malaria a risk in forested and hilly areas. Speak to your GP before you go.
* Bangkok and Hua Hin are warm year round, with temperatures in the late 30C in April, falling to 25C in December. Rainy season lasts from May to October, but this tends to present itself as bursts of tropical storms.