Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort
Bangkok is a bustling Asian city where cutting edge modernity meets historic glittering temples and a fast fading more traditional way of life; it really is one of those places where there’s something for everyone. And for those of you in the mood for an ‘on holiday’ resort experience right in the middle of this sprawling metropolis, Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort might well be what you’re looking for.
Just as the name suggests, this resort hotel is right on the riverside, meaning you get to watch life on the Chao Phraya and enjoy easy access to the BTS via the regular shuttle boat and major tourist attractions that are reached by river taxi (the popular Asiatique is just over the water). Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort is also attached by a convenient walkway to the Riverside Plaza shopping mall with a selection of shops, cafes and restaurants.
Once you’ve checked in though, you probably won’t want to venture outside.
The resort is centered around the swimming pool area, which is one of the largest in Bangkok, there was a plentiful supply of loungers to relax on as well as a huge separate jacuzzi pool, all surrounded by tropical trees, plants and flowers to perfectly deliver that resort feel.
Our Deluxe Riverfront Room had its own balcony overlooking both the pool area and the riverfront, a very nice place to sit and enjoy the views. Inside, we had everything we could possibly need; a spacious bathroom with full size tub, separate rain shower, TV, and a coffee machine (as well as a kettle for tea of course) but we also had a Handy smartphone which we could use for unlimited calls, texts and internet, an incredibly useful resource when you’re out exploring the city.
But Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort is more than just a luxurious base to explore the outside attractions, it also offers a range of activities to keep you entertained during your stay, including a traditional Thai dancing show that can be enjoyed whilst eating dinner al fresco in the warm tropical evening air.
The Vegan Food
For breakfast we indulged in a vegan feast of food from around the world; we’re happy to report back that there were multiple options that were already or could be made vegan. With a little bit of help from a friendly member of staff, vegans can sit back and enjoy a delicious start to the day in The Market, Anatara Riverside Bangkok Resort’s international buffet restaurant.
Starting with a tasty noodle soup made with a clear vegetable broth and lightly cooked green vegetables which we enjoyed alongside a Chinese steamed bun called ‘bao’ filled with rich shiitake mushrooms, a kind of soft steamed white bread with an earthy mushroom filling. Or how about a decadently rich Thai red curry, packed with tofu and vegetables? This spicy, rich and flavoursome traditional Thai dish is certainly not to be missed for a wonderful chilli kick and a creamy coconut milk gravy enriched with garlic, lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves.
Of course there are Western options, a selection of healthy seed laden brown bread was vegan (make sure you check with the chefs exactly which bread is suitable for vegans as bread in this part of the world commonly has milk, butter or eggs in the ingredients) and this was the perfect accompaniment for tomatoes, baked beans and hash browns. Soya milk was available too, again always check that there is no dairy in the soya milk ingredients as this too is commonly added in Southeast Asia.
One of our favourite breakfast options was to head to the Indian section where there were pots of curry, spiced potatoes and delicious Southern Indian dishes to try. The ‘idly’, steamed rice flour savoury cakes accompanied by a ‘sambar’ curry and a fresh coconut chutney were delightful. Light, steamed spheres of tangy spongy cake to dip into a soupy curry flavoured with tomato, mustard seeds, chilli, tamarind and curry leaves. The curry was full of drumsticks (the seed pod of the moringa tree), lentils, potatoes and carrots, all topped off with a big serving of fresh coconut chutney.
One of the dilemmas when there are so many vegan options to choose from is that we don’t want to miss out on anything. On the one hand we want to fill up on all the delicious Southern Indian treats, but then there was a station with vegan sushi and plates of fried Chinese kale that had been flash fried with garlic that were sat waiting for us to eat, and stir-fried noodle mountains which involves getting to top them with crushed peanuts, lime juice and those sliced pickled chillies that are nothing short of addictive.
Not being able to decide on which vegan option to have is one of those wonderful vegan problems.
You might be surprised to hear that after the mini ‘eatathon’ we embarked upon at breakfast time, we still were able to squeeze in dinner, as lovers of really good Thai food, it was just too hard to resist the offer of being able to graze around the international buffet and also enjoy a few specially prepared dishes created by the chef.
A light, snow fungus salad? Spicy, zingy tofu ‘laab’ made with fresh coriander, lime juice and ground roasted rice and a ‘Pad Thai’ which was excellently prepared? A wonderful vegan version of ‘Khanom Jeen’ a white noodle dish normally not vegan but made cruelty free by mashing firm tofu into a rich red curry gravy, then topping with crushed peanuts for the kind of sweet, spicy luxury that we really love?
And there were vegan dessert options too. Lots of little sweet coconut milk and rice or tapioca creations housed in tiny banana leaf baskets. Now you see why it was hard to say no to anything?
Sat outside as the evening Thai dancing performance commenced, the river in the background and platefuls of exquisite plant based food on our table; we were two very happy vegans indeed.
The Vegan Essentials
There were already synthetic pillows on our bed, a perfectly comfortable and feather free vegan option that everyone can enjoy, however we couldn’t tell if the in-room bathroom amenities were vegan and so we just used our own.
The spa at Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort offers a range of treatments including those using traditional herbs and rituals, Thai massage is a completely vegan friendly experience that we love, although not for those who prefer a more gentle relaxing oil massage (these are available too).
Also, enquire about the Balance Wellness programme (avialable at all Anantara hotels and resorts) and allow the knowledgeable practitioners to guide you through a programme of holistic activities, treaments and nourishing and wholesome cuisine during your stay.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict
Check in to Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort for a resort style hotel stay that’s right in the heart of Bangkok, during your stay enjoy a selection of vegan food at breakfast and dinner including excellent quality, authentic Thai food as well as creative and varied international dishes.
We were guests of Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort
257/1-3 Charoen Nakhon Rd,
Khet Thon Buri,
Telephone: +66 (0) 2 476 0022
Cost From: £110 / $130