Does budget dollars mean dingy rooms? Apparently not, when you’re in Thailand.
Though budget hostels aren’t as cheap as it used to be; the prices are still pretty good and matched with the Thai aspiration to provide first class hospitality, it’s raised my travel standards considerably.
And the design? Well, the Thai can be pretty stylish decorators.
My Top 3 Boutique Hostels in Bangkok:
1. Suk 11
Cost: 500 baht/ single ($16) and up
Location: 3 minutes from the Nana BTS stop.
Tucked away in a side alley of Bangkok’s Nana district, Suk 11 is a getaway from the madness of Bangkok’s streets and Nana’s adult amusement atmosphere. Yet, a hip and happening boutique hostel for backpackers, it bustles with travelers. The foremost thing you’ll notice about Suk11 is it’s fashion. The decor is earthy, with a bit of a jungle-house feel. But turn the corner and you won’t know what to expect next. The hallways sport a New York City- exposed brick design with wooden beam walkways, while the floor lounge areas is a curious Shangri-la filled with odd travel artifacts and memorabilia. The free breakfast spread of assorted fruits, puddings, croissants and jams left me wanting to sample everything! Meanwhile, the outdoor /indoor cafe area patio provides a relaxed way for travelers to connect.
I got a spacious single A.C. room with bathroom ensuite. Oddly, my shower and wash basin were on my outdoor balcony, where light was minimal and you’re fending off bugs in the dark. Though unique, I think it misses the point of a private bathroom; you can’t run naked to your room if you forget your soap and towel. Eventually, I ended up using the community bathroom for my showers. Otherwise, Suk11 is just one of those places that continually beckons your name.
Pros: Wonderful & free continental breakfast. Great location near Nana’s Skytrain stop. Like staying at a funky boutique hotel, 20s-30s crowd, great place to meet fellow travelers. There’s an entertainment/dvd room for those, who actually want to spend some time in front of the tube.
Con: Wifi only in lounge.
2. Lub’d Siam Square, Bangkok
925/9 Rama 1 Road, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand
Tel: + 66 (0) 2612 4999 | Fax: +66 (0) 2612 4449
Location: off the Siam Square BTS stop
It’s touted as ‘ “One of the Best Boutique Hostels in the World” by the Guardian‘. But Why? was the question I used to ask,… until now. Bangkok‘s Lub’d Siam Square (not to be confused with their other location, Lub’d Silom, which isn’t as accessible to public transport) might very well be the hostel dream of every Swedish flashpacker and budding architect with a flair for graphic design. Sleek, trim, minimalistic, futuristic. It doesn’t waste much in IKEA lines, color and curve. Simply stated Lub’d's trendy, urban decor rocks cool and makes you forget you’re in a hostel. The lounge/lobby area houses a bar/cafe and occasionally holds live entertainment. There’s an elegant outdoor deck which opens to the noisy streets of nearby Siam Square.
Although it is a hostel, it’s one which caters to a traveler’s need for independence. It’s got coin-operated washing machines and if you’re in the dorm, your card key allows you access to a bunk bed with it’s own reading light, plug-in electrical outlet and locker. Bathroom is gender separate and communal; however, each shower has its own private stall and changing area.
Pros: Cool design, free internet useage and wi-fi, open lounge with cafe/bar, outdoor patio area.
Cons: The wifi at the time didn’t work with my iPod and could only be used in the lounge area.
3. Smile Society
130/3-4 Silom Soi 6, Silom Road
Ph: # 6681-442-5800
Location: off the Siam Square BTS stop, it’s an 8 minute walk and tucked into the back of Silom Soi 6
Just 8 minutes off Siam Square, one of my favorite BTS stops, the Smile Society is sparkling with the fresh scent of “clean”. Straight out of it’s package, this newly-minted pad carries elegance with a relaxed, harmonious and homey charm. As a home away from home, it’s the type of place you’ll want to drop your backpack and anchor down for a while.
Well-maintained, Smile houses a restaurant which cooks vegetarian food and a lovely hardwood lounge area with free wifi and computers, coffee/tea on the second floor. It has a free community washer and dryer, which is shared with house-keeping. Each traveler gets an card key grants you security access into the building and floors and this also operates as your electrical key, to your room and bed outlet. Ms. Bee, who runs the quietly swish joint with her partner is full of helpful advice and generous with her smiles.
Pros: One of the cleanest and well-run places I’ve stayed at yet! Security is good as each guest is issued a card key to get into the building and upstairs. Has a restaurant next to the lobby which can prepare vegetarian food. Shower stalls provide body soap and shampoo.
Cons: Space in some of the dorm rooms can run a little tight.
What are your best Bangkok boutique hostels?
The White Sheets Reviews are Grrrl Traveler recommendations of guesthouses, hostels and hotels I’ve stayed at. Selections are based on their cleanliness (‘white sheets‘), service, hospitality and budget.