If a hotel was judged only on its lobby, the Shangri-La would score very highly indeed. It has one of the most amazing entrance areas, with a view over the hotel's gardens, pool and the scenic Chao Praya River. This is a good five-star hotel, with friendly staff and a helpful front desk. However, it does lack a certain "wow" factor which would place alongside some of the best luxury hotels in the city. It reminds me of the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel further down the river in that both hotels fail to capitalise on their spectacular settings and seem to be content to rely on big conferences to fill the hotel. For independent travellers there are better choices in Bangkok.