Riva Arun Bangkok – The Hidden Pearl of Bangkok

7 October 2016


Slow Down Bangkok

After a 12-hour flight, we arrived in the big city of Bangkok. When we got off the skytrain, we were overwhelmed by the crowds, heat, variety of strange smells, enormous buildings and much more this big city has to offer! Bangkok is a huge metropolis that lives day and night and has more than 6 million inhabitants. Next to Singapore and Hong Kong is Bangkok one of the major trading centers of Southeast Asia. This huge and impressive city has a lot to offer, from huge shopping malls and beautiful skyscrapers to temples covered with gold and traditional local markets. We started our trip in the historic center of the city, THE mecca of many Buddhist temples.


Hidden Pearl

Riva Arun Bangkok is a modern luxury boutique hotel with 25 rooms, situated at the Chao Phraya River in front of the famous Wat Arun temple. It offers the ideal place to escape from the hectic city life of Bangkok. This hotel is best described as cozy, luxurious, private and modern. Because the hotel is brand new, open since August 2016, it is still undiscovered. That’s the reason why only a few taxi drivers know where the hotel is located. One tip: if you are going to Riva Arun, take a map with you with the hotel on so you can give this to the driver. The hotel is situated very close to Wat Pho, also known as the Reclining Buddha, so you can always use this as a reference point.


The street where Riva Arun Bangkok is hidden


Map with all the cultural hotspots and hotel

Top Hotel on Prime Location


View from our hotel room in Riva Arun Bangkok

This charming hotel located in the heart of the old part of Bangkok, within walking distance of several major attractions such as Wat Pho, Wat Arun, The Grand Palace and many more. Perfect for those who like to soak up the Thai culture and dive into the wonderful world of Buddhist temples. Who is curious about the new part of Bangkok, can easily go there by ferry river. This is only a few steps away from the hotel Riva Arun Bangkok, so you definitely have to go there to take a look. We have used the river ferry to visit different places, such as the giant Chutachak market and Wat Arun temple. It is a pleasant and quiet ride that takes you only a few bath, so I highly recommend it. We thought it was really great that this this kind of transport was so efficient and cheap! Be aware of the change you get, because they dare to return underfunded. Quite by accident we discovered the ‘Tha Maharaj Mall’ on the Chao Phraya River, which is also the pier to cross over the river. There are many cute restaurants, bakeries and small shops. It’s a very nice place to walk by in the evening or if you’re looking for a nice souvenir. In the meantime, it’s clear that this hotel is on the perfect location, right in the historic center of Bangkok! You can reach Riva Arun Bangkok by taxi or skytrain. By skytrain you have to drive to the end station ‘Phaya Thai’ and afterwards you can take a tuk-tuk or taxi to the hotel. The 2nd option is the cheapest but taxis with meters, are not that expensive.



Chinese Elements with a Modern Touch

Riva Arun Bangkok has a wonderful interior with elements of the “Chino colonial ‘style, combined with a modern twist, this all designed by the renowned architect Stephen O’Dell from New York. These elements can be found in the wooden interior and the special ironwork, which gives the hotel a very distinctive look. We definitely love this style!



The typical mint green color from Wat Arun, which you can find through out the whole interior of the hotel

There are six different rooms and suites, namely Arun Studio Riva, Riva Arun Superior, Deluxe Riva Arun, Arun Suite Riva, Riva Riva Arun Arun Jacuzzi Suite and Jacuzzi Premium Suite. We stayed in the Riva Arun Deluxe room with a view of the Wat Arun temple and the Chao Phraya River. All rooms have high-speed Wi-Fi, air conditioning, hairdryer, mini bar, flat screen tv … We found the rooms very comfortable, spacious and bright. The beautiful views over the historic center are definitely a big plus for this cozy and luxury hotel. Each room has a balcony, which is great! The bathroom includes nice features such as lighting under the sink and an overall sleek modern interior. A funny detail: there is a large window in the bathroom, so the neighbors can watch when you come out of the shower. Fortunately, the hotel provides curtains,bathrobes and slippers so problem solved ?! riva-arun-0001 riva-arun-0035riva-arun-0032riva-arun-0050 Riva Arun Bangkok has a bar on the ground flour, where you can enjoy a cool drink, and also a lobby. Perfect if you want to do some work or just want to sit down for a while. These areas are in the same style as the rooms, which makes a beautiful entity. riva-arun-0419 Our room also gave us the opportunity to sound the start of an unforgettable trip with a glass of champagne and a fresh piece of fruit! CHEERS!


The champagne was already cold 🙂

Service with a Smile

We had heard that the Thai population was known for their kindness, hospitality and especially their smile. Thailand has been nicknamed the “Land of Smiles”. This is definitely not stolen! Once we got there, they organized a warm welcome for us with a nice cup of tea and something sweet. For those who did not know, they make excellent cold tea in Thailand! While enjoying our delicious Thai cup of tea, they will bring your luggage to your room and you can fulfill the necessary documents. The staff at Riva Arun Bangkok is very friendly, welcoming and very helpful. They are always ready to help you or give information about the environment or sightseeing. Note, you will be treated like a king or queen by the staff of the hotel, so you can have some ‘withdrawal symptoms’ have when you return home . If you want to take a taxi, this can easily be organized by the hotel. They will ensure you a taxi for a fair price, that is ready as soon as possible. You can also take a local tuktuk, someone of the hotel wil join you so he can negotiate about the price with the tuktuk driver. In this way, discussions about the price can be avoided. Always make sure that you have a taxi with meter, otherwise you’ll pay probably too much for a small distance. The hotel has consciously chosen for no pool or gym, with the idea to offer their guests 2 hotels for the price of 1. If you wish to continue your daily workout or to take a refreshing swim, you can always go to the sister hotel Riva Surya Bangkok at the Phra Arthit pier a little bit further. This hotel is, like Riva Arun Bangkok, also located on the water so you can still enjoy the refreshing breeze. Personally, we haven’t missed this at all. If you stay in this part of town, your days will be busy. There is so much to see and to do in this part of town, you need more than 24 hours a day.

Enjoy Excellent Food and a Wonderful View

The restaurant ‘Above Riva‘ is a rooftop restaurant where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner. This, surrounded by the beautiful views of the river and the historic center of Bangkok. We looked right on “The Grand Palace” during our lunch, which we also visited afterwards. This is one of the highlights of Bangkok, you certainly need to see. If you want to know more about ‘The Grand Palace’,  check out the 2nd vlog! You will find both traditional Thai and Western dishes, there is choice for everyone! The chef prepares delicious combinations of flavors, using fresh products from the local market! We highly recommend the famous ‘Twist Thai Cuisine’, which is also a delight for the eye! An important tip: always ask for non-spicy dishes. Even then, there is a chance that your tongue is on fire and will start sweating. For those who don’t believe me, just have a look at the video 😉



Onze eerste Thaise lunch was al meteen een succes ! ??Alleen wat pikant… ? Toch wat aan mispakt ! ? #hothothot #hetisdemerckxinthailand

Een foto die is geplaatst door Het Is De Merckx (@hetisdemerckx) op

Breakfast consist of buffet and à la carte dishes. The buffet contains of a variety of cereals, various fruity juices, nuts, fresh fruits, breads and sweets such as croissants, muffins, pastries … If you would like something extra, you can still order an à la carte dish. Here, you can choose between American breakfast (ABF), traditional Thai breakfast and Western breakfast. You can expect a hearty breakfast, so you can continue all day! Riva Cafe is located on the Riva Arun Pier, but this was still under construction during our stay. We are already looking forward to the result. If we travel again to Bangkok, we’ll go and have a look!


View from the restaurant ‘Above Riva “, with a clear view on Wat Pho and’ The Grand Palace ‘


A glimpse of what can be seen in ‘The Grand Palace’

Dinner with Will Smith?!

We were invited to eat dinner in the Supatra River House Restaurant. This is a top-class restaurant, located on the Chao Phraya River, where they mainly serve exotic Thai cuisine and seafood. The restaurant was the former home of the famous Khun Ying Supatra Singholaga, she was a successful businesswoman and advocate for the women’s rights in Thailand. This characterful restaurant is well established in Bangkok since 1998. There are three dining areas; The Terrace overlooking the river, Baan Thai with a private dining area and balcony, Baan Khun Ying with a scenic river view and of course air conditioning. We made the choice for Pamelo Salad, Grilled Prawn driver, Roasted Duck Surry and steamy rice which was recommend by our hotel Riva Arun Bangkok. Personally, I’m not an easy eater, so I had high expectations! One by one, these dishes were excellent. The exceptional combination of tastes and flavors were excellent chosen, all your senses were stimulated! The service was again perfect, as we know it in Thailand. To give an example: they refill your glass, when it’s only half empty. Or as you put down your cutlery, after a certain passage, you will get back all clean cutlery. All this literally in seconds! We can say this is not the case in Belgium not so;) The restaurant has its own traditional boat, so they are able to pick up their customers at the pier and take them to the Sumatra River House restaurant. This gives an extra dimension to the restaurant, we were surprised by this special attention.


The Supatra River House restaurant

A final tip: every Saturday night the restaurant showcases Thai classical dance by Patravadi Theaterif! Who is curious about these exotic and delicious meals, should definitely take a look at the video!

We can highly recommend this hotel! This was our first experience in Bangkok & Thailand and it was unforgettable. A luxurious pearl on a prime location with great service and a personal approach! Thanks again to Joy and her fantastic team!



Riva Arun Bangkok: 392/25-26 Maharaj Road Phraborom Maharajawang Phra Nakhon
Bangkok 10200 Thailand
Phone:+66 (0) 2221 1188
Supatra River House restaurant: 266 Soi Wat Rakhang, Arunamarin Road, Siriraj, Bangkok Noi,
Bangkok 10700 Thailand
Phone: 662-411-0305

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