A lovely vintage-style boutique hotel
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It’s not so often that we come across a “boutique” hotel that warrants the term, but Baan Tepa Boutique House in the low key historical district of Dusit gets it just right. With eight reasonably priced, artistically rendered rooms to choose from, this is an excellent choice for those seeking an intimate bed & breakfast experience with plenty of antiquarian charm.
Baan Tepa occupies an 80-year-old refurbished house with original teak wood walls, floors and staircases, plus antique shutters painted forest green in contrast with the cream yellow walls. Abundant trees and flower bushes provide shade in the courtyard where complimentary breakfast is served at round wrought iron tables.
With the feel of a relaxing countryside cottage, a ground floor shared living room has high ceilings, woven basket furniture, black-and-white framed photos of Thai kings, a computer and several bookshelves. It would be easy to forget that you’re in one of Asia’s biggest cities. Upstairs you’ll find a communal fridge and a series of hidden balconies and nooks that are perfect for a quiet hour of reading.
Named after historical Bangkok neighbourhoods like “Sam Pheng”, “Pahurat” and “Rajadamnern”, each of the eight rooms are different from the next. The first we checked out was the superior “Banglampoo” edition for 1,350 baht with ensuite bathroom. With deep burgundy walls, amber stained glass windows on vintage dark wood doors, silk bedspread, mosquito net, wall-mounted flatscreen TV and antique furnishings, we found it to be a very classy option for flashpacking couples.
Relying on shared bathroom facilities with lovely open-air garden rain showers, we also peeped the standard Dusit room that runs 1,200 baht. Bright and with more simple decor than Banglampoo, it features original teak wood walls painted off-white, several windows with understated patterned drapes, soft pink mosquito net and a tiny TV perched on a stack of retro suitcases.
While both of the rooms we saw are suited to couples, Baan Tepa also has a family room with two beds that goes for 1,500 baht. All rooms come with air-con, though the surrounding area is quiet enough that you could sleep comfortably with the windows open on cooler nights. As with most old houses, walls are on the thin side so you’ll want to keep voices down at night in respect of other guests (and hope they do the same for you). The staff member who showed us around was polite, but in a relaxed way that fit into the hotel’s soothing atmosphere.
Set down a leafy alleyway off Sri Ayutthaya Road, Baan Tepa is a stone’s throw from the Dusit palaces and a short walk from the National Library, Wat Benchamabophit and Thewet express boat pier. Khao San Road is a 20-minute walk to the south. The immediate area is one of Bangkok’s quietest, with centuries-old trees hanging over old buildings that can’t be built over a certain height due to a historical preservation law.
Overall, Baan Tepa is one of the best vintage-style boutique hotels in the flashpacker price range that we’ve seen in Bangkok. If you like this, you also might dig nearby Phra Nakorn Norn Len and Sam Sen Sam, or Loy La Long down in Chinatown.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.