The big, brassy Shangri-La, on the banks of the Chao Phraya, boasts sprawling grounds and a jungle of tropical plants and flowers surrounding the resort-style pool. Rooms are in two connecting wings, both with river views; the newer Krung Thep Wing has slightly smarter rooms, and guests in suites have access to a private pool and dedicated concierge. All rooms—a whopping 802 of them—have teak furniture, larger-than-most bathrooms, and tasteful Thai touches. The views are better from the higher-floor deluxe rooms; some have either a balcony or a small sitting room, making them closer to junior suites—and a good value. The location is great but the level of service is average, leaving guests to feel lost in the shuffle of a rotating schedule of big gala events and huge conferences. The hotel’s greatest flaw is that, when compared to legacy properties like the Mandarin Oriental, it fails to really shine.