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S1 Hostel

A sleek industrial design

What we say: 3.5 stars

S1 Hostel‘s bright yellow frontage is hard to miss amid the rather crusty backpacker district of Soi Ngam Duphli. Converted from an old guesthouse and opened after extensive renovations in early 2013, S1 is a flashy, modern and comfortable choice.

And the award for hostel with the most eye-catching exterior goes to ...

And the award for hostel with the most eye-catching exterior goes to …

S1 joins the ranks of several modern luxury hostels to have emerged in Bangkok over the past few years. Bright yellow might sound cheesy or tacky, but the hostel pulls off a rather sleek industrial design by contrasting the blazing fluorescence with dark greys, polished concrete, high ceilings, lots of natural light, contemporary art and Thai antiques that somehow fit seamlessly into the decorative mix.

A spacious ground-floor common area features sturdy wood tables and a long cushioned bench to go with a computer station, kitchenette and huge map of central Bangkok painted on the wall. The stairwell to guest rooms, laundry facilities and a wide rooftop terrace is reachable only after passing a secure key-card entrance. The whole building is air-conditioned.

In a corner of the upper floor, six-bed mixed and women-only dorm rooms aren’t exactly cosy, but they are spacious, spotless and well-equipped. While mattresses are firm and bunks lack privacy curtains, each comes with private reading lamp, electrical outlet and locker. Shared modern hot water bathrooms are attached to each dorm room — a convenient feature that ensures you won’t need to wander down a long, dark hallway in your jammies. Mixed dorm beds run 300 baht per night while the female-only room fetches 380.

Some rooms come with motivational (?) messages.

Some rooms come with motivational (?) messages.

Dorms offer solid value, but S1 really shines when it comes to private rooms. Spacious doubles go for 900 baht and triples for 1,200, and we found both to be very clean and bright, even if they lack warmth or elegance. All rooms come with TV, fridge and WiFi. Furniture and appliances appeared brand new in the rooms we checked out. For 600 baht, the guesthouse also offers similarly sized double rooms that are showing their age and come with old appliances. We were told these are slated for renovation in the coming year.

The atmosphere is more professional than homely, but the receptionist we met was polite and helpful. As we first entered the hostel, she was doing her absolute best to help a guest with information on getting somewhere in Bangkok. Though you might meet other travellers on the rooftop garden or in the downstairs lounge, S1 has more of a ‘keep-to-yourself’ vibe.

S1 Hostel: Cool, clean and spacious.

S1 Hostel: Cool, clean and spacious.

As for location, well, it’s Soi Ngam Duphli. This narrow side street tucked between Rama IV and Sathorn roads once rivalled Khao San Road for the title of Bangkok’s go-to backpacker district. As Khao San vaulted into the travel itineraries and fantasies of millions, Ngam Duphli became a rather tired stretch of old flophouses, bars and hotels. It still offers the same traveller-oriented restaurants and services you’ll find along Khao San, albeit in smaller numbers.

Highlights of Ngam Duphli include Bangkok’s most famous dive bar, Wong’s Place, and a tasty northeastern Chinese restaurant, Kiew Jeen. S1?s location near Silom, Lumpini Park and Lumpini MRT station make it a decent base for exploring the city. If you fancy catching a muay Thai match, Lumpini Boxing Stadium is also a stone’s throw away. And if you’re shopping for a hostel in the Sathorn/Silom vicinity, there are several more to choose from.


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Contact details:

35/1-4 Soi Ngam Duphli, Bangkok.  T: (02) 679 7777 

What we were quoted

Type of room Low season High season Notes
Dorm air-con 300 baht 300 baht 350 for women-only dorm
Dbl air-con private b'room 900 baht 900 baht

Added to Travelfish on: 5th November, 2013
Last visited or updated on: 15th January, 2014

Last reviewed by:
Usually found exploring Bangkok's side streets or south Thailand's islands, David Luekens is an American freelance writer & photographer who finds everyday life in Asia to be extraordinary. You can follow his travails here.
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S1 Hostel
35/1-4 Soi Ngam Duphli, Bangkok. 
T: (02) 679 7777 

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