Riva Arun is a small, smart riverside boutique property, located in a historic Chinese shop house right in the heart of Bangkok’s historic centre, facing spectacular Wat Arun. It features just 25 bright rooms and a beautiful roof terrace restaurant with a tasty Thai-Western fusion menu.
The hotel is within walking distance of Bangkok’s main historic monuments, including the Royal Palace and Wat Po. Rajnee pier is also just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel and connects guests by river ferry to Saphan Thaksin and the Skytrain system. Once a Chinese trading community, the riverfront around Riva Arun retains some of its traditional charm.
Style & character
Riva Arun started life as an old Chinese shop house. Elegantly restored, the hotel’s tropical Chino-Colonial design harks back to the turn of the 20th century, but with a modern twist. Chinese antiques blend effortlessly with modern, state-of-the-art facilities and a minimalist ambience, conceived in white and green tones reminiscent of Wat Arun.
Service & facilities
Service is friendly and helpful and staff are happy to explain local attractions and transport options to guests.
Riva Arun lives off its setting and smart rooms, and facilities are basic. Guests can use the swimming pool at the hotel’s sister operation, Riva Surya, a 15-minute boat ride down river. In-room massages can be arranged and the hotel offers river boat tours of the canals branching off the Chao Phraya River.
- Room service
The studio rooms are very compact, spotless and smart with large windows, comfortable beds, a safe, a minibar, TV, plenty of mirrors and views of the quiet alley that leads from the rivers to Maharat Road from a narrow balcony. The bathrooms are tiny, but clean.
The Deluxe rooms are definitely a better option, a little larger and the same facilities, all with outstanding river views. The interconnecting Grand Deluxe Jacuzzi rooms are much larger and feature broad terraces with a hot tub from where guests can enjoy stunning views of river life.
Food & drink
The Above Riva rooftop restaurant has stunning 270-degree views of Thonburi, Wat Arun and Wat Po. Under the monicker Twist of Thai, a great selection of Thai classics has been given a funky European kick. The crispy duck and foie gras salad makes for a great starter as does the pepper beef tataki with truffle mash potato and stir fried leek in sweet soya butter sauce. Amongst the main dishes, the green curry duck confit, slow cooked in olive oil with avocado, served with roti and baby aubergines is a highlight as is the snow fish on potato puree with a delicious tomato based sauce and baby carrots. All this can be rounded off by Apple Strudel, chocolate soufflé and for traditionalists, mango and sticky rice.
The lunch menu consists of Thai standards like chicken satay and crab friend rice and comfort food such as chorizo and leek quiche or fish and chips. Breakfast comes as a modest buffet of bread, pastry and cereals, salad and fruits along wiith some à la carte egg options.
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