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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.
925/9 Rama 1 Road, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand
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.
130/3-4 Silom Soi 6, Silom Road
Location: 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 tiny cafe, which cooks vegetarian food if you ask and a lovely hardwood lounge area with free wifi and computers, coffee/tea on the second floor. It has a community washer and dryer. Each traveler gets a card key granting 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 is full of helpful advice and generous with her smiles. Rooms run a little cozy but still by far, one of my favorite places based on friendliness, location convenience and cleanliness.
Pros: One of the cleanest and well-run places I’ve stayed at yet! Shower stalls provide body soap and shampoo. 7-11 store is at the corner, food hawker stalls nearby and Patpong Night Market not more than a block away.
Cons: Space in some of the dorm rooms can run a little tight.
For more hotels and hostels in the downtown Bangkok area, check here.
What are your best Bangkok boutique hostels?
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