A Room With A View At Riva Surya
Chao Phraya River, the bustling riverine thoroughfare is the lifeblood of Bangkok capital of Thailand. Properties along the river bag the best spot in the city on its prime real estate. We discovered a fabulous hotel called the Riva Surya, a wonderful little gem of a boutique hotel right on the bank of the river in close proximity to the city’s main attractions.
It is a stone’s throw from the lively entertainment district of Khao San Road and easily accessible to the city centre via the Chao Phraya passenger boats that take guests to the Saphan Taksin skytrain to the lively metropolis.
Style, Service and Smiles
The colonial-chic architecture of Riva Surya is influenced by “Tropical Colonial” style with a nod towards modernity. It is a country aesthetic in carved wooden shutters, window partition, shuttered doors and intricate Thai carvings. The simple style of the hotel belies the charming interior that has been tastefully designed to accentuate the cosiness and intimacy of the place. Modern artworks and artefacts are complemented with touches of Thai heritage.
We had a good feeling about the hotel as soon as we encountered the receptionists who welcomed us like long lost friends with their engaging smiles that radiated warmth and sincerity.
I usually judge a hotel, airline or any establishment by the conduct of their frontline personnel to gauge a first impression of the company. They certainly made a great impression on us! We were checked in without any fuss or delay and shown to our room.
A Room With A View
The 68-room Riva Surya is part of the Silver Needle Collection of unique resorts and boutique hotels in the Asia-Pacific region of top quality accommodation, facilities and service.
The cheerful and bright open-plan lobby leads to the river with a rear garden and swimming pool with cosy corners for guests to chill out. This riverside enclave is a wonderful place to enjoy a sundowner to watch the busy river activities of commercial and pleasure boats plying up and down the waterway.
The guest rooms are spacious with the Urban Rooms facing the street while the Riva rooms face the river. Our Premium Riva Room is a delightful haven elegantly designed with a ringside view of the Chao Phraya from the private balcony. It has contemporary Thai furnishings and a rather trendy glass-encased bathroom that bathes the room with natural light.
Thailand On A Plate
The hotel’s main eatery is the cosy and intimate “babble and rum” Restaurant sited by the river. The design of the interior takes its inspiration from the market place of Thailand, rustic and embellished with modern touches. It prides itself in serving fresh organic products locally sourced featuring authentic Thai cuisine with some western and Chinese food with “urban flair”.
We had a scrumptious dinner at “babble and rum” and they served the best Pad Thai I had ever eaten. It came with three fat king prawns on a bed of silky spicy and sensational rice noodles.
The pork neck salad had a garden-fresh taste that complemented the perfectly seasoned and spiced meat. The lychee roast duck red curry topped the bill with its full-on flavour of tender duck beautifully cooked to perfection garnished with local pea eggplants and cherry tomatoes.
We finished the meal with our favourite Thai dessert of mango with coconut milk sauce but without the sticky rice as we already had quite a lot of steamed rice with the meal.
Riva Surya is small but perfectly formed, a tranquil retreat in an urban surrounding. But the pièce de résistance of this little gem is the impeccable service and warmth of the staff, an attribute that no doubt has enticed repeat patronage from its guests. I know I will definitely stay at the Riva Surya again should I ever revisit Bangkok or “Krung Thep” – its Thai name for “city of angels”.
Our grateful thanks to Riva Surya for their warm and generous hospitality and for making our stay in Bangkok so enjoyable. www.rivasuryabangkok.com