Modern hostel across from the train station
326/1 Rama IV Rd, Bangkok T: (02) 639 1925
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Located across the road from Hualamphong rail station and on the doorstep of the same named subway stop, @Hua Lamphong Hostel offers spic-and-span dorms and private rooms with a fair amount of extras that we wouldn’t expect for the budget prices. It doesn’t win big style points, but for those seeking a modern and efficient place to stay away from Khao San Road, this is a solid choice.
We found it refreshing that three-year-old @Hua Lamphong doesn’t attempt to separate itself from Bangkok’s growing hostel pack with over-the-top artsy decor or a hippie-club-house atmosphere. While there is no doubt a place (and a clientele) for the city’s more ‘out there’ guesthouses, there are also plenty of budget travellers who simply want a comfortable, clean and straightforward hostel where taking care of guests’ needs is the first order of business. In this respect, @Hua Lamphong delivers.
The six-bed mixed dorm has a rather utilitarian feel, but it goes above and beyond when it comes to functionality. Each bed is outfitted with a private lamp and electrical outlet. Individual lockers are big enough to fit an average size adult — and their backpack. And an ensuite bathroom that ensures you won’t need to wander down a hallway in the wee hours is equipped with four hot showers shared among the six beds.
Also with an ensuite bathroom, the four-bed mixed dorm on a higher floor fetches 400 baht per bed. It has all of the same features as the six-bed edition but gets you more space and a balcony overlooking the train station and Rama IV Road. The entire room is frequently booked in advance — not a bad plan for a small group of backpackers.
The one potential disadvantage with @Hua Lamphong’s dorms is that both are mixed, which means guests will typically need to share sleeping and bathroom space with members of the opposite sex. With that said, the bathrooms are partitioned into individual shower rooms with adequate space to wash up and change clothes in private.
@Hualamphong also offers three private rooms with ensuite bathrooms and a similarly functional set-up. The smallest comes with nothing more than two single beds and a window, but it’s a simple, comfortable choice for 690 baht. A standard double for 950 baht and a deluxe corner double at 1,050 are both very spacious, the only difference being a tad more room in the deluxe. Each comes with soft double beds, desks, fridges, safes big enough to fit a laptop and wide windows with views of Hualamphong station. While they don’t exactly burst with character, all of the private rooms offer excellent value.
A bright second-floor common space has couches and bean bag chairs to go with a large LCD TV and a foosball table. More couches, tables, a cafe serving coffee, Thai and Western food and four free communal computers are found in the airy ground floor lobby. We found the English-speaking staff to be patient and helpful. WiFi is free and works well throughout the fully air-con building.
While @Hua Lamphong is an obvious winner for travellers who have a late-night arrival or early morning train to catch, the hostel also makes a strategic base for exploring the city Chinatown is a 10-minute walk away and both Ratchawong and Marine Department Express Boat piers, where boats can be caught for Khao San Road and several of Bangkok’s key attractions, are 15 to 20 minutes away on foot. Silom Road, Lumpini Park and an interchange with the BTS skytrain are two stops up the subway line.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.