Good flashpacker value, with pool
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One of the best among several upmarket guesthouses near Khao San Road, Villa Cha-Cha is well-suited to flashpackers seeking a comfortable room and a swimming pool. With entrances both on Soi Rambutri and Tani Road, the top selling point is a huge expanse of common space, soothing and fairly quiet, within an easy stumble of the action.
Tucked between rows of shophouses on either side, Villa Cha-Cha hardly looks like anything from the street. A walk inside reveals a small swimming pool, large restaurant set around an old-style stilted wood house, several trees and lounges with day beds, funky fish paintings and traditional Thai statuary. Some have complained that the pool receives minimal sunlight, and the restaurant does toned-down Thai for Westerners.
After a brief exchange with a welcoming receptionist, we were swiftly ushered into a lift to check out rooms in the main multi-storey building. The drab, red-carpeted hallway lent the impression that rooms haven’t received the same loving attention as common spaces. We noticed that doors to the rooms, opened by only regular keys through locks on the doorknobs, seemed a bit wobbly.
Though perhaps overly cheery in terms of decor, the superior corner room (or “junior queen” as they call it) left us with a better feeling than the hallway. Clean and spacious, the room’s soft blue carpet was accented by a mix of lime green, white and dark-wood walls, with wide windows overlooking the pool. Though larger and also with a day bed facing the LCD TV, desk, fridge and tea kettle, another corner room was considerably darker. Only the priciest rooms come with safes.
Much smaller and with windows facing a sad-looking concrete wall, the economy room that we browsed had older grey carpet along with a smaller bathroom, though its attractive sea-green tiles matched those in the deluxe rooms. Some travellers have complained of mustiness, but this room smelled fine and seemed well-kept. It was also equipped with fridge, TV and air-con as standard.
While the value would have been questionable five years ago, today Villa Cha-Cha’s rooms are priced right about where we’d expect. You could save some cash by staying across the street at Pannee House or Thai Cozy House, both still in the flashpacker range, but then you lose the swimming pool and terrific common space. On the other hand, many have complained about Villa Cha-Cha’s policy of charging a 2,000 baht deposit, and its long list of rules will make some uneasy.
On Soi Rambutri, Sleep Within offers similarly priced rooms that are far more cramped, while D&D on Khao San proper bags you a swimming pool with views and slightly smaller rooms that are also clean and comfy. Head a bit further north to the Samsen Road vicinity for better value at some of the more intimate options. If you do go for Villa Cha-Cha, we feel that a splurge to one of the superior rooms is worth it.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 9th October, 2014.