The Riva Surya is a smart ‘flashpacker’ hotel by the Chao Phraya river, close to Khao San Road. Smart, simple rooms in colonial style, great views, a swimming pool and close proximity to Bangkok’s historic sites make this a good choice for visitors who want comfort amidst the area’s budget vibe.
The Riva Surya is less than five minutes’ walk from Phra Athit pier from where regular river ferries run down to the Royal Palace and Wat Po in just a few minutes. The Saphan Thaksin Skytrain station is a 25-minute boat ride away. It’s a short walk to the plethora of cheap bars and restaurants around Khao San Road.
Style & character
The 68-room Riva Surya started life as an apartment building before converting into a modestly elegant boutique style hotel with colonial era design elements. The lobby is all copper colours and mirrors, and segues into the pool area directly by the river. This gives Riva Surya a compact, modern resort feel – quite unique in the area.
Service & facilities
Service is friendly and helpful and the staff enjoy practising their language skills with guests. The freeform pool, with an adjacent children’s pool, is just large enough for a swim and surrounded by sun loungers. A well-equipped gym awaits fitness hounds. There’s no spa but massages can be enjoyed by the pool or in the privacy of one’s room.
The hotel arranges walking tours and boat charters to the canals in the area.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
The spacious rooms are smart and somewhat sombre with grey and white tones dominating the furnishings. The standard rooms face Phra Athit Road, while identical deluxe rooms, a far better choice, face the river. The latter come with larger balconies than the former. Large comfortable beds are complemented by arm chairs fit for a lord. All the usual facilities – air-conditioning, a safe, a tea and coffee maker, bath robes and slippers, a minibar, TV and an iPhone docking station – round off the picture.
Food & drink
The hotel’s restaurant, babble & rum, serves an eclectic mix of Thai and Western dishes, organic for the most part and largely sourced locally. For those unafraid of spices, salmon pad pirk kee nu (wok-fried salmon with chili and garlic, seasoned with oyster and soya sauce and topped with crispy kar lime leaf) is recommended. Amongst the comfort food, the pistachio lamb cutlets stand out. The spinach lasagne is another highlight.
The breakfast buffet is plentiful, if a little standard. The best place for a pre-dinner cocktail is The Garden, the hotel’s open air riverside patio lounge.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Wheelchair users can use a ramp around the side of the building to enter and the staff are very accommodating, but there are no dedicated rooms for guests with disabilities.
Some of the rooms feature connecting doors. Extra beds and babysitters can be provided and a children’s pool will keep the little ones entertained.
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