Discover Traditional Thai Culture At Old Bangkok’s Chakrabongse Villas

A historic property in the heart of Old Bangkok.

Chakrabongse Villas, a historic property in the heart of Old Bangkok, awaits travelers with splendid accommodations and a rich royal history.

The main house of Chakrabongse Villas was built in 1908 for Prince Chakrabongse Bhuvanath, the son of King Rama V. The prince used the house for costume changes during royal ceremonies as well as leisurely activities along the river. Prince Chakrabongse had one son with his Russian wife, Prince Chula Chakrabongse, who lived in the house after the 1932 Revolution. Prince Chula Chakrabongse was a scholar and historian who published books about Southeast Asia through his publishing company River Books. Chakrabongse Villas continues to sell cultural books by River Books, including their cookbook of royal family recipes. Prince Chula Chakrabongse had a daughter with his English wife, Narisa, who is the current owner of the property.

Lady Narisa Chakrabongse began renovating the house and hosting friends and family at the villas during the 80’s. She enjoyed the liveliness of having guests so much that she converted the property into a small boutique hotel. Lady Narisa now divides her time between London and Thailand, and the main house is used exclusively by the family.

Chakrabongse Villas
Chakrabongse Villas. PHOTO Chakrabongse Villas

Chakrabongse Villas is calm and beautiful with endless charm. The villas are surrounded by lush gardens and bright, colorful flowers. A serene courtyard connects the main house with the other villas and the dining room.

There are 4 types of suites available on the property. The Thai House is a lovely traditional Ayutthaya-style wooden house on stilts with a large double bed, lounge space and private verandah. Staying in the old-fashioned house is romantic and quaint, as one gets a nice break from modernity. The Riverview Suite is luxurious while retaining traditional Thai-style teak décor. It comes with a double bedroom, kitchenette, study, sitting room, and private verandah. The Garden Suite also has a large double bedroom with a kitchenette and is located in the same building as the Riverview Suite. Finally, the Chinese Suite is the largest with two double rooms, a living room, and two private terraces. As the name suggests, its décor has Chinese influences with antique furniture and doors.

Chakrabongse Villas
View from the atop at Chakrabongse Villas.

The hotel offers private dining facing the beautiful Chao Phraya River, and the food is phenomenal. If you reserve to have dinner at the hotel, be prepared to have the best Thai meal of your life. Chef Wat, who’s in charge of the kitchen, uses old family recipes to cook food that was served in royal banquets. He shops for fresh ingredients each day and prepares a colorful array of salad, soup, curry and side dishes every night. There are only 2-4 tables set in the dining room every night, so guests must reserve one in advance the day of. Breakfast is also served each morning with the option of a Continental or Thai breakfast.

Amenities include a soothing salt water pool, lounge areas overlooking the river and moonlight canoe trips arranged by the hotel. The hotel also arranges dreamy weddings that include traditional Thai banquet food and rental of the entire property.

Chakrabongse Villas
Chakrabongse Villas’ pool.

Chakrabongse Villas has the most ideal location in Old Siam right along the river. It’s a short walking distance from the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and the Pak Klong Talad flower market. Chinatown is also a couple stops away by ferry. There are lots of bistros, restaurants and cafes between the many side streets leading to the river.

It’s the perfect place to discover the culture of Old Bangkok while staying in a historic institution itself. Chakrabongse Villas’ place in Thai history is the rich core value and sense of the hotel. After staying at a peaceful, traditional villa, visitors will walk away feeling like they’ve truly absorbed the authentic culture during their trip.

Chakrabongse Villas
Dinner at Chakrabongse Villas.

Nadia Cho

Communications Associate

As the empowered female behind the blog: International Women of Mystery, Nadia reps Team JST traveling the world in search of exclusive features on hidden gems and cool hotspots. You can find her exploring metropolitan cities or lounging on tropical beaches.

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