All-round solid guesthouse
Named after the side street that it’s located on, Sam Sen Sam Place started out by offering cheap backpacker accommodation in a pair of attractive heritage houses. In more recent years the family owners constructed a four-storey building further back on the property, resulting in a wide variety of rooms with different levels of comfort and style.
Ice-blue-and-white or dark-green-and-cream paint cover wooden shutters and gingerbread woodcarvings on the two heritage houses. Reception occupies the ground floor of the one closest to the street, with varnished wood floors spanning a few quaint rooms and a common terrace upstairs. Considering how quiet the street is, you could pretend that you’re back in early 20th century Bangkok while relaxing beside a photo of King Rama V.
In the front house you’ll find two of the top-end “special president” rooms both offering plenty of space along with delicate carvings, smooth wood surfaces, fretted walls and classic shutters perched over the windows. You also get a roundtable, small bathroom with partitioned shower, TV, air-con and fridge. The mint-green edition has a long and narrow layout, while the other dressed up in peach comes with more windows.
Also in the old houses you’ll find a couple of air-con “deluxe” rooms that make up for limited space by way of heritage charm and stained glass above hot-water wet bathrooms done up in blue- or pink tiles. Keep in mind, however, that other deluxe rooms are set in the newer building and have a totally different look for the same price—be sure to request an old house if you prefer it.
Available with choice of fan or air-con, the cheapest rooms are situated off a first-floor hall or in the second old house. These are cramped and come with small ensuite wet bathrooms or shared facilities just off the hall. Every room is clean and has a window, hot water, free WiFi and firm but comfortable bed.
Further back in the newer building, lower-end air-con units with private bathrooms are also on the small side and lack the charm of the rooms found in the old houses. We did however like the modern deluxe rooms with lots of space, a window overlooking a small courtyard, spacious bathroom, flatscreen TV and desk. Be prepared to climb some stairs if you stay on an upper floor.
Multiple common areas include the aforementioned old-style terrace and courtyard but also a larger open-sided room with a book exchange, fish tank and several tables. This is where breakfast is served, though we’d skip it and save the 100 baht since the quality and selection is quite poor. The typically straight-faced owners often hang around reception and are happy to help guests.
When we inquired, walk-in rates were 60 to 400 baht cheaper than those found on the guesthouse’s website and other booking sites on the same day. As a walk-in we could also opt out of breakfast, an option not offered through the booking function on the guesthouse site. Value is perhaps questionable for the budget rooms with shared bath when compared to other guesthouses in the area, such as Lamphu House. Below we’ve listed the rates that we were offered as walk-ins under “Low” and the web rates under “High.”
A short walk further west towards the river takes you to a few smaller guesthouses, including the homely Baan Thai and Riverline. Further south near the canal, Viman Guesthouse has vintage-style air-con rooms in its own old wood house sold at similar rates as Sam Sen Sam, but the staff there speaks very little English and it’s trickier to find. Closer to Khao San Road, Laksameenarai is another option occupying an attractive heritage house.
Address: 48 Samsen Soi 3, Bangkok
T: (02) 628 7067; F: (02) 628 7887
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º29'54.04" E, 13º45'55.78" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 600B to 1,500B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dbl fan share bathroom||520 baht||580 baht|
|Dbl fan private bathroom||700 baht||760 baht|
|Dbl air-con share bathroom||720 baht||790 baht|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||820 baht||960 baht|
|Superior double room||1,100 baht||1,400 baht|
|Deluxe double room|
|1,400 baht||1,800 baht|
|Deluxe Suite||2,000 baht||2,400 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.
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