Sumptuous and soothing
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Have you ever dreamed of taking an ordinary old shophouse and turning it into a plush urban pad? The family who runs Loog Choob Homestay on the fringes of Bangkok’s old city did exactly that. What used to be a rundown, uninspiring building underwent a complete transformation, and the result is an intimate place to stay with no shortage of comfort or style.
The homestay occupies one of those not-so-attractive multi-storey concrete shell townhouses that were thrown up in endless rows all over Thailand in the 1960s and ’70s. But unlike its rundown neighbours, Loog Choob has made the most of this 50 year-old structure — and then some. The Thai words loog choob (or luk chup as we would transliterate them) are used for a colourful Thai sweet, but as a staff member told us, the same words spoken in a different tone mean ‘reborn child‘. In this case, the house itself would be the child.
Every inch was revamped with sumptuous dark woods and dark grey tiles, state-of-the-art appliances and furnishings, and soothing, thoughtful decor with a hint of edginess. Carefully placed works of art range from ghostly landscape paintings to hand-drawn pencil portraits of Gandhi, Einstein and other 20th century icons. The entire building is air-conditioned and impeccably clean, and a key-card is required to access the lift.
Common spaces include a fabulous lounge with LCD TV, DVD player and sofas, multiple shared decks, including a huge rooftop area, multiple kitchenettes where complimentary coffee, tea, croissants and fruit are offered, a ground floor library and reading room, a bathroom where guests are welcome to shower before or after checking in/out, and several corner nooks where you could easily disappear into a book or laptop connected to the free house WiFi. If you don’t have your own, a few communal computers are offered free of charge.
While the common areas are reminiscent of a high-end hostel, each of the five guestrooms wouldn’t be out of place in a luxury hotel. The cheapest double rooms are bright and moderately sized, especially when you consider the wide private balconies outfitted with potted plants and comfortable furniture. At 1,900 baht, these seem especially suited to flashpacking couples.
On the highest floor, the 80 square-metre family suite boasts a cushy living room that doubles as a master bedroom, a second smaller bedroom, two TVs and a spacious private deck for 3,800 baht. The massive bathroom includes a tub tucked behind a curtain that can be opened when you fancy a movie to accompany your soak. For 3,300 baht, the junior suite is a similar set-up minus the second bedroom. All rooms come with cable TV, fridge and safe. Ensuite bathrooms get high marks for elegant dark woods, ‘his and her’ basin sinks and rain showers.
As for location (see map), this stretch of Luk Luang Road doesn’t exactly burst with things to do, but Nang Loeng old market is a three-minute walk away and the Dusit palaces lie about 15 minutes to the north if going on foot. A 50 to 70 baht taxi ride can take you to Khao San Road, the BTS skytrain at Ratchathewi station, or many of Bangkok’s most popular attractions. Loog Choob is often full — reservations are a very good idea.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.