Cushy digs on Khao San
A large, comfortable and well-established hotel situated right on Khao San Road itself, Buddy Lodge is the original property from a group that also runs at least three more hotels and roughly a dozen bars and restaurants in Bangkok. Unexpectedly classy rooms, several extras and great value make it a go-to option for flashpackers.
The six-storey brick building dominates the eastern end of the strip and, in addition to the hotel, contains coffee shops, tattoo parlours, tailors, ATMs, fast food joints and the raucous Brick Bar at the back. Music from there can be heard until around 02:00 in lower-floor rooms, so those not looking to stay up should request a room on one higher floors accessed by a lift.
Though the building shows its age in hallways, rooms dressed up in a tasteful colonial theme are some of the most inviting we’ve found in the Khao San area. Soft mattresses with quality linens are placed on dark-wood frames over varnished wood floors. Walls painted to the tone of French vanilla ice cream embrace the soft glow of antique-ish lamps and desks that look like they should have feather pens dipped in inkwells on top. Deluxe rooms come with a tad more space and four-poster beds, but are otherwise similar to superiors.
The clean rooms bag you air-con, WiFi, flatscreen TVs and good-size bathrooms with hot-water showers partitioned behind tile dividers. Safes and fridges with minibars are stowed in cabinets, and French doors with louvered surfaces open to small balconies; head for the higher floors to get a view beyond the next building. While the walk-in rates listed below are reasonable, we found discounts of 25 percent online—and these rooms are a steal at those rates.
That’s especially true when you consider Buddy’s small but popular rooftop swimming pool rimmed by loungers with a view to Wat Bowornniwet’s gold-tinted chedi. You’ll also find a well-equipped fitness centre and staffers offering typically helpful service. After years working on Khao San, the British guy at reception still manages to greet guests (and anonymous travel writers) with a positive, service-minded attitude.
In recent years, the Buddy Group has really exerted its influence elsewhere in the area. First came Buddy Boutique Inn, a smaller hotel without a pool over on Chakrabongse Road, and then the group gobbled up bars and restaurants like the long-running Tom Yum Kung and The Club Khaosan, which is one of the only bonafide nightclubs found right on Khao San Road.
In roughly the same price range, Sakul House over on Rambuttri Road offers similarly comfy rooms with a more modern look, but does not have a pool or fitness centre. You might also consider the pricier Indochinese themed rooms at Baan Chart, which is around the corner from the west end of Khao San Road; or slightly pricier options like Dewan Bangkok and Navalai River Resort.
Address: 265 Khao San Rd, Bangkok
T: (02) 629 4477; (02) 629 4499; F: (02) 629 4744
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º29'54.7" E, 13º45'30.24" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 1,500B to 4,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Superior double room||1,700 baht||2,100 baht|
|Deluxe double room||2,200 baht||2,500 baht|
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Khao San Road