Deservedly excellent reputation
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Quiet location, immaculate accommodation, exceptional service, classy decor and intimate atmosphere: that’s Baan Manusarn‘s simple recipe for success. From the friendly greeting to homely common spaces and spotless corners, it’s easy to see why this cosy bed and breakfast has earned such a phenomenal reputation after just two years in business. This is one spot that you’ll want to book ahead.
From the street, Baan Manusarn is easy to miss thanks to an unassuming frontage with only a small sign that has a few letters missing — the only flaw we could find. While not as picturesque as some of the area’s heritage architecture, the B&B occupies an old white wood-and-cement house with wide concertina doors opening directly onto the footpath. The front room hosts an inviting cafe run by a very cheerful barista who makes a mean iced-green-tea.
The two women who showed us around were among the friendliest and least pretentious hotel staff we’ve come across in Bangkok. We arrived to find one of them going the extra mile to help a guest with onward travel plans; she let him in on several different transport options without attempting to sell commissioned tickets for tourist buses. The overall atmosphere is laid-back and soothing, with staff doing a fabulous job of making guests feel at home.
In fact, the “at home” feel is one of Baan Manusarn’s main selling points. A ground-floor living room is outfitted with classy carved-wood furniture placed around a coffee table where fresh newspapers are offered each morning. Complimentary breakfast is served at a glass table near a small but charming garden area. You’ll also find free WiFi, two shared computers and a well-equipped communal kitchen where coffee, tea and fruit are free at any time. Guests are welcome to leave their luggage and take showers in a first-floor bathroom after checking out.
A flight of stairs takes you up to the four guestrooms, each with shiny dark-timber floors, a tasteful oil painting of water lilies above a comfortable bed, air-con and large satellite TV with DVD player and several movies available. Think minimalist, spacious and elegant. Rooms in back have extra-large terraces overlooking the garden, while those in front come with smaller balconies perched over the street.
While two of the rooms have private hot-water bathrooms, the other two share a single bathroom situated between the two rooms and accessed by doors on either side, which could be a tad awkward. These are often rented out together as a single family room; one comes with a king-size bed while the other has two twin beds. There’s no price difference for shared or private bath, so you might request private unless booking for one large group. We were quoted 600 baht less than the rates posted on the hotel’s website, but even at full price, it’s tremendous value.
Baan Manusarn also enjoys an excellent old city location on a quiet side that shoots eastward from Thewet express boat pier, which is no more than a two-minute stroll away. Directly across the street, several market stalls specialise in potted plants, including many orchids and other flowers, and just beyond the adjacent canal lies Thewet wet market.
Both the Dusit palaces and Khao San Road are no more than 15 minutes away on foot, with the river boats providing easy access to the rest of Bangkok. A few riverside restaurants are clustered around the pier, including the excellent Steve Cuisine, and loads of local-style eateries are found on nearby Samsen Road.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.