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Last updated: 31 July, 2022
Expert travel writer: Chris Schalkx

The fact that its lobby cafe and rooftop restaurant are perennially packed with clued-in locals is a testament to Kimpton Maa-Lai’s success in building a lifestyle hotel that is more than just a pretty place to rest.

This is one of Bangkok’s smartest five-stars, with just the right amount of marble and a great line-up of bars and restaurants where comfort food – not fine dining – dominates the menu.

Despite its location in the city’s ritzy Phloen Chit district, a Valhalla of pricy restaurants and high-end shopping malls, this swanky high-rise hotel feels much less pretentious than its five-star peers. And with Lumphini Park just down the street, a slice of low-key local life is never far away.

Thanks to its proximity to the BTS Skytrain station and thoroughfares connecting this part of town to the temple-studded historical quarter, it’s a great base from which to explore all corners of the city.

Surrounding area

Situated in the ritzy Phloen Chit neighbourhood, the Maa Lai’s surroundings are far less dense and messy than many of the hotels in the city’s downtown area. Although you’re a taxi ride away from many of the tourist sights, there are plenty of cosy cafes, restaurants and boutiques hidden in the alleys snaking off its main roads.

The five-star Kempinski hotel is next door; the hotels share a verdantly beautiful garden that is a wonderful oasis from the hubbub of the city.

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Key facilities

Airport transfers*
Beach: None
Fitness centre
Fitness classes
Golf course
Hot tub
Kids club
Parking: On-site (free)
Pool (adults only)
Pool (indoor)
Pool (outdoor)
Pool (kids)
Tennis courts
WiFi: Free

Food & drink

All inclusive
Kids menu
Restaurant on-site
Self catering
Additional charge

Room types


Room facilities

Air conditioning
Flat screen TV
Jacuzzi (private)
Pool (private)
Tea & coffee making facilities

Bedding options

2+ bedrooms
3+ beds
Connecting rooms
Rollaway/sofa bed

Bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Jim Thompson’s House

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand[2.1 miles]

The former home of silk magnate Jim Thompson – who mysteriously disappeared in the jungles of Malaysia – is a must-see for its well-preserved teak buildings and art.

Best for ages: 13+ | £4

Bicycle tours of Chinatown

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand[3.3 miles]

Bicycle tours through the back-alleys of Chinatown and Bangkok’s rural suburbs offer a fascinating peek into the daily lives of the city’s residents.

Best for ages: 13+ | £20 | 3-5 hours

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Overview >

Boat tours of Bangkok

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand[4.6 miles]

From fancy river cruises to public transport boats, seeing Bangkok from its many waterways gives you a whole new perspective of the city and lives of the locals.

Best for ages: 4+ | £3 | 30+ minutes

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Overview >

Other worthwhile experiences in this destination if you have the time or the interest, closest first

Luxury mall in Bangkok

Central Embassy

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand[0.7 miles]

Rising from the ground like a giant swirl of steel, this ultra-luxurious mall in Phloen Chit houses the typical Chanel, Hermes and Jimmy Choo, but is also an excellent spot to pick up smart (albeit pricy) souvenirs from homegrown luxury labels like Jim Thompson, Siwilai and S’uvimol.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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Overview >
Overhead view of the park, showing the lake in the centre and the distinct skyline in the background

Lumphini Park

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand[0.8 miles]

When you feel the need to escape Bangkok’s oppressive traffic fumes, Lumphini Park is a lush central oasis and a fantastic place for a stroll. Go early morning and late afternoon when locals come for sports and you’ll find elderly ladies practicing sword fighting and Tai-Chi.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free

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Overview >
Shrine gilded with flowers

Erawan Shrine

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand[0.8 miles]

The Erawan Shrine is the most important religious symbol in Bangkok – despite it actually being a Hindu rather than Buddhist shrine. Each day, there’s a constant stream of locals offering flowers or carved wooden elephants in the hope of having wishes (mostly financial) granted.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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Overview >
Brightly lit up Siam Square mall in Bangkok

Siam Square

Bangkok, Central Thailand, Thailand[1.3 miles]

Tucked behind Siam’s air-conditioned mega-malls, this labyrinth of alleys is a creative hub for artsy boutiques, trinket stores and beauty salons frequented by Bangkok’s hip young things.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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Destination guides including or relevant to this place to stay


Central Thailand, Thailand

From dazzling temples to dizzying nightlife, Thailand’s capital is a dish of delicious contradictions, and one of the world’s most dizzying, fast-paced cities.

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