Dependable budget guesthouse
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The New Joe Guesthouse isn’t very new anymore, but it’s still a reliable budget option with an inviting restaurant/bar and reasonable rooms. Some travellers will be thrown by the hidden-away location on Trok Mayom (the alley that runs parallel to Khao San to the south), though it’s a fairly quiet spot that’s only a two-minute walk from the action. You could do a lot worse than this.
Rooms are set in a six-storey cement building with faded red, white and blue window covers providing the only touch of colour. The 400-baht fan room that we checked out was decent for the price, with a rotating fan mounted on a sky-blue wall, softer-than-usual bed with better-than-usual linens and a couple of windows. The bathroom was so tiny that you’d have to be a contortionist to use it comfortably; so small that the sink had to be placed next to the bed.
On the other hand, the mini bathrooms allowed for the addition of balconies with a couple of stools but no real views. All rooms show some splotches on walls and grime in bathrooms that might put off squeamish travellers, though the one we peeped appeared to be well kept. If you have a nighttime flight and need a place to rest and shower, you can rent a room for the day (08:00 – 20:00) for as low as 250 baht.
New Joe’s popular garden restaurant has free WiFi, a well-used billiards table and bar that will deliver beer towers to your table. Some staff members are friendly while others have dealt with one too many surly backpackers over the years. In any case, there are enough of them to tackle most requests. You’ll also find a good amount of travel info in the always-bustling lobby.
Unlike many budget guesthouses that are walk-in only, New Joe has a functioning website and can be reserved through some of the booking sites. The nearby Sawasdee Banglamphoo Inn is a similar choice with significantly higher rates that get you a fridge and TV with no English channels.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 30th January, 2015.