A new crop of small hotels offers plenty of bang for your baht.
VIE HOTEL BANGKOK
Vibe Modern and sleek. The all-glass Vie was designed with the views in mind—each of the 154 rooms has floor-to-ceiling windows. In the lobby, an illuminated concierge desk changes colors from deep orange to bright green, and chandeliers are strung with bare lightbulbs.
Neighborhood Steps from Siam Square, which is surrounded by hip boutiques and bars, such as the duckpin-themed SF Strike Bowl.
Top Amenity Vie Spa, with a glass-enclosed room just for quick foot massages.
Info 117-39 Phaya Thai Rd., 011-66/2-309-3939, viehotelbangkok.com, from $120.
Vibe Blissfully Zen, with pale-yellow walls and sconces shaded with rice paper and linen. Beds in all 52 rooms have white headboards with hand-carved flowers; balconies in 22 of the superior rooms overlook the Saen Saeb Canal and the Krai-Sri Noi temple.
Neighborhood Students pack the streets 24/7 in this part of Ramkhamhaeng, just down the road from Assumption University. Open-air food courts in the area serve dishes from across Thailand, such as khao soi, a northern-provinces soup made with crunchy noodles.
Top Amenity A traditional meditation garden in the interior courtyard.
Info 5 Soi Ramkhamhaeng 23, 011-66/2-369-2407, jlbangkok.com, from $40.
Vibe Traditional meets quirky. The hotel's name comes from the multifaced giant from the Thai legend called the Ramakien—hence the large statues of the monster in the lobby. The 79 rooms (all are suites) have murals of warriors on horseback galloping across the walls and canopied beds with bold black-and-white sheets.
Neighborhood In the heart of the business district, near the popular Ratchaprasong boutique shopping area.
Top Amenity The blue-tiled heated outdoor pool.
Info 81 Soi Ruamrudee, Wireless Rd., 011-66/2-695-4242, tenfacebangkok.com, from $104.
Vibe Futuristic. The lobby shines with pink lighting and silver leather sofas. In the 62 rooms, averaging about 700 square feet, there are chairs upholstered in tiger prints and two 35-inch plasmas.
Neighborhood A quiet side street off busy Sukhumvit Road. The boulevard has a thriving nightlife scene—hundreds of clubs line the strip.
Top amenity Shiraz Bar, on the ground floor, which stocks a dozen types of its namesake red.
Info 23/8-10 Sukhumvit Soi 7, 011-66/2-651-2592, macboutiquesuites.com, from $68.
Sacred sight The world's largest solid-gold Buddha (over 12,000 pounds!) finally has a home worth its weight in gold. Bangkok's 700-year-old deity will live on the top floor of the Phra Maha Mondop shrine and museum when it opens this month.