The best places to stay in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)

$

Shambara Bangkok

“Quintessentially Thai in the heart of the backpacker ghetto.”—Stuart McDonald, founder, independent travel site Travelfish (www.travelfish.org). Long a backpacker favorite for its location, communal atmosphere, and nine clean, compact rooms; shared bathrooms. Book ahead.  138 Khao San Road, Banglamphu; tel. 66 (0) 2282 7968.

Suk 11 Hostel

In a quiet soi just off the Sukhumvit commercial strip; the 70 or so stylish, clean but small rooms with and without bathrooms are in several mainly wooden buildings around a central courtyard. Breakfast included. Social without the sleaze; welcoming vibe and great price for the location.”—Stuart McDonald.  1/33 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (Soi Chaiyot); tel. 66 (0) 2253 5927. www.suk11.com

$$

New Siam Riverside

On the banks of the Chao Praya, this is the pick of the myriad Banglamphu options. The 80 rooms are clean, well equipped, and a great value. Nice riverside pool. Ask for a river view room—well worth the few extra dollars. 21 Th Phra Arthit; tel. 66 (0) 2629 3535. www.newsiam.net

Shanghai Mansion

“A Technicolor reimagining of pre-Mao Shanghai.”—Philip Cornwel-Smith, editor, Time Out Bangkok. New boutique hotel; 55 rooms of Oriental kitsch—trippy colored prints, windows, and silks mixed with Chinese-style furniture. A taste of 1930s Shanghai; located in the heart of bustling Chinatown. Big discounts online. 479-481 Th Yaowarat; tel. 66 (0) 2221 2121. http://www.shanghaimansion.com/

Luxx

One of Bangkok’s new boutique hotels. Zen style in the 13 rooms; teak barrel bathtubs and plenty of wood and chrome. Pool, restaurant, and central location that’s far enough off busy Th Silom to avoid most of the noise. 6/11 Th Decho; tel. 66 (0) 2635 8800. www.staywithluxx.com

Reno Hotel

“Retro hideaway a short walk to Bangkok’s big shopping malls; ideally situated.”—Stuart McDonald. Long-running hotel that has (mostly) had a makeover; ask for a renovated room. Chic foyer; short walk to high-end Siam shopping district and Jim Thompson’s House. Pool is a great retreat. Good value. 40 Rama I Road, Soi Kaseman; tel. 66 (0) 2215 0026. www.renohotel.co.th

La Résidence

Twenty-six individually styled rooms, which use bright colors and Thai motifs to create different impressions—from European salon to living room. Central Silom location; sophisticated but unpretentious. 173/8-9 Suriwongse; tel. 66 (0) 2233 3301. www.laresidencebangkok.com

$$$

The Eugenia

“It’s like being in an explorer’s lounge; totally unique flavor.”—Mason Florence, founder and publisher, Bangkok 101 magazine. Boutique luxury from the imagination of the “Taiwanese Indiana Jones”—Eugene Yu-Cheng Yeh. Most of the 12 suites have four-post beds, antique desks, and beaten copper bathtubs. Refined service; free soft drinks; great fleet of cars—take a spin in the 1955 Mercedes. 267 Soi Sukhumvit 31, North Klongtan; tel. 66 (0) 2259 9017. www.theeugenia.com

Triple Two Silom

Bangkok’s original boutique hotel; 75 rooms where clean lines are embellished with marble, rugs, and modern art. Equipped for business or pleasure travelers. Meeting facilities. Central location, though must go next door to use pool or gym. 222 Th Silom; tel. 66 (0) 2627 2222. www.tripletwosilom.com

Millennium Hilton

“Surprising new vistas of the river and skyline from the less-developed Thonburi side of the Chao Praya, and equally dramatic interior spaces.”—Philip Cornwel-Smith. Opened in 2006, all 543 rooms have views of the river and skyline. Modern rooms with open-plan bathrooms; beach bar (with sand) and panoramic views from penthouse ThreeSixty bar. 123 Th Charoen Nakorn; tel. 66 (0) 2442 2000. www.hilton.com

Chakrabongse Villas

“You might be staying in a palace, but it feels engagingly like home.”—Philip Cornwel-Smith. Prince Chakrabongse’s 1908 riverfront residence, converted into three luxurious Thai-style teak apartments, all in classic Thai-style—ornate carved wood, hand-woven silks—but with modern fittings. Overlooking the Chao Phraya and Wat Arun. Meals cooked to order; garden pool. Book well ahead. 396 Th Maharaj; tel. 66 (0) 2622 3356. www.thaivillas.com

Four Seasons

Set around a rain-forest-like open-air atrium, the 358 spacious rooms and bathrooms mix modern style with Thai flourishes—lots of silk and colorful Thai paintings. Central location near shopping and business areas, and BTS (monorail). Chic bar and several notable restaurants. 155 Th Rajadamri; tel. 66 (0) 2250 1000. www.fourseasons.com/bangkok

$$$$

The Oriental

For years the Oriental has been classed among the world’s best hotels. Dating from 1876, what is now the Author’s Wing has its classic colonial suites named after former guests: Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene, to name a few. Communal spaces are a bit cramped, but it’s the history you’re here for. Posh but impeccable service; nearly 400 rooms, aging but mostly gracefully. 48 Oriental Avenue; tel. 66 (0) 2659 9000. www.mandarinoriental.com/bangkok

The Peninsula

“Super luxury without pretensions; satisfying attention to detail.”—Philip Cornwel-Smith. Towering over Bangkok from across the Chao Phraya River, the Peninsula combines 370 large and tech-filled rooms with classic service; views of the city and the river are spectacular. Top-notch restaurants and spa. 333 Th Charoen Nakorn; tel. 66 (0) 2861 2888. www.bangkok.peninsula.com

Sukhothai

“Absolutely exquisite in an understated way; luxurious but low-rise—no soulless towers here.”—Mason Florence. Ed Tuttle’s fusion of classic Thai architecture with a modern, minimalist style, all in six acres of central Bangkok garden space. Classy service, 210 sumptuous rooms, sublime pool. Celebrated restaurants. 13/3 Th South Sathorn; tel. 66 (0) 2344 8888. www.sukhothaihotel.com

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