As a once frequent visitor to Bangkok, every time a friend goes on holiday to, I’m usually first on their hit list for accommodation advice. I bloody love Bangkok, in fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s one of my favourite cities ever! But there’s literally hundreds of places to stay; Agoda, Trip Advisor, Hostel World is teaming with suggestions… so here’s a few of my choices to help you on your way…
For all the Backpackers and thrifties out there… low budget Bangkok can be a bed bug mine field. We once checked out of a very prominent hostel, right in the middle of the night, after we turned our pillows over to discover them teaming with the little blighters. It just so happens that the place I’m going to recommend was the very place that rescued us from our 12 am accommodation hunt.
New Siam Hotel (it’s more of a guesthouse) is situated right off Soi Ram Butri (the next street down from the famous Khaosan road). It’s so close to Khaosan that you could roll round to it, but the short distance is enough to cut out the noise, and set the cleanliness standards a bit higher. It’s basic, the beds are clean, the showers are good, the rooms are all private. Soi Ram Butri has a little all vegetarian/vegan food stall right outside, there’s a little lady that shuffles her cart about there selling iced coffee for 50p. It’s an 40 baht tuk tuk ride to the palace and Wat Pho.
New Siam have actually opened another 4 guesthouses (aptly named New Siam 2 and New Siam 3, etc) really close by, but this is the cheapest. Another perk is that I’ve never once not been able to just swan into reception and book a room right there and then.
PRICE (per night):
Fan room – 330 baht (about £7)
Air-con room (all with private bathrooms) – 750 baht (about £15)
Mid range budget
Let’s get something straight. £35/£40 at home won’t get you a travel lodge. £35/£40 in Bangkok can get you a sweet ass hotel. I found a good load of the decent deals are kicking around the Pratunam area of Bangkok, which works out well seeing as thought it’s smack in the middle of the main tourist shopping areas (I’m talking malls, not markets).
My hotel of choice is the Centara Watergate Pavilion hotel. The Centara chain is pretty big news in Thailand, it has a good reputation amongst the Thais. Even better is that it’s right across a big set of crossroads from the Platinum malls (floors and floors of wholesale clothes, bags, shoes, you name it). The platinum mall has a large eatery floor at the top, with a fully vegan stand selling full meal for as little as 40 baht (80p give or take).
Don’t be fooled by the mediocre entrance. Lifts take you up the large open lobbies, they sign you in with little purple glasses of deliciousness , and bell boys run around getting your bags to your room (the last time I was there they had some guy kicking about just to push the elevator button for me). Rooms are bright, spacious, modern, clean and new feeling. Every time I stay at this place I can’t believe what I’m getting for my money!
PRICE (per night)
Superior room without breakfast – 2300 baht (about £46)
Superior room with breakfast – 2600 baht (about £52)
I’m throwing in a second mid range recommendation, just because I loved the aesthetics of the place, and because it’s so different from the ‘chain’ feel of the Centara hotels (which aren’t to everyone’s taste.
The Shanghai Mansion Boutique hotel is located right in the middle of Bankok’s China town. The building is great fun, inspired by the building’s theatrical roots and the colours and stylish mood of 1930’s Shanghai. Coloured lanterns, big dark wood furniture and bird cages (don’t worry.. the birds in them are fake) decorate both the communal spaces and the rooms alike. Kimonos, satin slippers and in room spa services give us that wonderful stereotypical oriental feel that you want to find in such a big Asian city.
Location is wonderful for exploring the China town area and history, but be warned, it was nigh on impossible for me to find veggie food in the area (outside the hotel) when we were there (and that was with my Thai being strong enough to ask!). HOWEVER, take yourself there during the ‘Jay’ festival (vegetarian festival running around Sept/Oct depending on the year) and the place is teaming with vegan street food. It’s a Chinese religious festival, so it makes sense that the entire area converts to it during the duration.
Superior room (including dinner or spa package) – 2800 baht (about £56)
Treat yourself budget
Saved my fave until last. The Banyan Tree luxury hotel is utter bliss. My main tip… book yourself a club or suite room.. just do it! The club/suite guests get whisked away to their own check in lobby on arrival, get a separate dining area, complimentary food/drink on arrival, and pretty much everyone just trips over themselves to help you during your whole stay.
Everything smells amazing, room service change little details in your room every day (I won;t ruin the surprises), the rooms are huge, bath tubs are either walk in or are big tubs right in front of your window looking over the city. The hotel boasts a few bars, but the rooftop one has spectacular views over Bangkok, with the building being on of the city’s tallest. The location isn’t as brilliant as the other two, but if you can afford the hotel fee, you’re probably not gonna care about the hundred baht or so taxi fare to tourist spots. I’ve sent many a friend there, they’ve never wanted to leave.
PRICE (per night):
Varying largely date by date from £120-160
*Note: Prices were accurate at time of post, but may vary during season peaks/ hotel changes.