One of Bangkok's first boutique hostels
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One of two sister properties that helped pioneer Bangkok’s trendy hostel craze, Lub d Siam sports an industrial-chic design in a prime location. Not long after opening in 2009, it was one of only seven Asian hostels named as one of The Guardian’s “best boutique hostels” in the world. Loads of other slick hostels have opened in Bangkok since then; can Lub d still stack up?
The main common room occupies a not-too-big-but-not-too-small air-con space with cushy sofas, several shared computers, a tour desk and bar. You can also grab a seat at a terrace out front, or at a long communal table set up next to a punching bag in back. It’s a fine place to meet other travellers, though the larger Lub d Silom boasts more space and better common facilities. Key-card entrances and hallway cameras make for solid security. Staff are polite and friendly, but the info they provide can be hit or miss.
Immaculate dorms come in mixed with blue walls or women-only with a light-pink theme. Both options have only four bunks squeezed into small and dim polished-concrete air-con rooms that lack any hint of warmth. Mattresses are comfortable and each bed comes with private reading lamp, outlet and large locker located inside the rooms. While certainly not bad, Lub d Siam’s dorms are no better than average by modern hostel standards in Bangkok.
Accessed by concrete stairs that run up through an open central area, private double rooms come with a choice of small ensuite bathroom or use of the excellent shared facilities on each floor. Both come with tiny view-less windows and orange splashes to lighten up the polished concrete walls. Both also bag you desks, in-room safes and iPod docks, with a small LCD TV added in the deluxe version. Free WiFi is available on all floors.
Despite Lub d’s decent rooms and desirable location, the value is seriously questionable. We were quoted 800 baht for a bunk in a mixed dorm — an outrageous rate compared to many other hostels with good locations that sell comparable, if not better, dorms in the 300-500 baht range. If booking through Lub d’s website, you’ll find that dorm rates inexplicably jump between 440, 570, 620 and 800 baht. We’d only recommend it if you can secure the lowest of these.
We were also quoted 1,700 baht for a private room relying on shared bath. Walk two minutes away to Wendy House and you’ll find similarly small rooms with similar facilities, plus private bathrooms, TVs and buffet breakfast, for 300 to 800 baht less. Lub d offers free popcorn to guests: not quite enough to make up for the steep prices.
On the other hand, you really can’t ask for a better location. Lub d Siam is clearly visible from the train platform in National Stadium BTS station, with nearby Hua Chang khlong boat pier providing easy access to the historic district. Siam Square’s trendy boutiques are a stone’s throw away, with Jim Thompson’s House and BACC even closer.
Lub d Siam has been able to ride its excellent reputation born out of the days when it was one of the only “boutique” hostels in Bangkok. We appreciate how it was one of the first to the playing field, but with so many other good players now competing, it has arguably lost a place on the all-star team. With that said, it’s still worth considering for the convenience — and advance reservations are still recommended.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 12th February, 2016.