Serviced apartments, guesthouse vibe
211/16 Soi Damnoen Klang Nuea (off the northeast side of Democracy Monument traffic circle, next to Sidewalk Cafe), Bangkok T: (02) 280 0588 F: (02) 280 0589
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Strategically located down a quiet alley off the Democracy Monument traffic circle, Ratchadamnoen Residence delivers very comfortable serviced apartments with an intimate guesthouse vibe. It’s one of a growing number of quality midrange choices for those looking to stay in the historic district, but away from Khao San Road.
Set in a nondescript renovated townhouse, the R Residence strikes a balance between modern and intimate. The aim is more for comfort than style, with bountiful sofas and easy-chairs to go with a communal computer and widescreen TV in the spacious ground-floor lounge. But this is far from a characterless hotel. Framed photos of black-and-white street scenes from the old days of Bangkok line the walls, and the helpful staff member who greeted us spoke good English.
This agreeable blend of functionality and a hint of boutique style continues in the small selection of rooms named after local landmarks. The rooms are massive, covering anywhere from 40 to 120 square metres, and most are partitioned into separate living and sleeping areas. They have a cool and airy feel, with white tile floors, light polished wood trim, a variety of lighting options and modern furniture in bold, neutral colours. We had a sense that rooms were furnished via one big swoop through Ikea, but there’s no denying the comfort.
Each room is very well equipped with air-con, WiFi, large LCD TV, fridge, coffee/tea facilities and kitchen sink, in addition to the bathroom sink. Some rooms also have microwaves and small balconies. Queen or king-size beds are soft, with high quality linens, and the modern bathrooms are immaculate. Rooms on the lower floors are a bit dark due to the building’s placement among taller structures. The accommodation we checked out was impeccably clean.
The cheapest superior rooms come in at 1,400 baht, while larger one-bedroom apartments go for 1,600; both good value for the size and comfort. Two-bedroom suites are also available in the 2,000 baht neighbourhood. The hotel is an obvious choice for families, but it’s also suited to couples and groups ready to pay a little extra for a big, comfy room. Discounts are offered for stays of longer than a week. Advanced reservations are recommended, as the hotel has a limited number of rooms and an excellent reputation.
As for location, the only potential disadvantage is Democracy Monument‘s tendency to be a magnet for anti-government protests. The area saw prolonged protests in 2010 and 2013, though at time of writing the area was clear. When it’s business as usual, you couldn’t pick a better base for sightseeing in the old city. Historic temples like Wat Saket and Wat Bovorniwet are a stone’s throw away, while the Grand Palace and Kan San Road are also within walking distance. This area also boasts some of the best food in Thailand, including several unforgettable eateries just south of the monument on Dinso Road — try Krua Apsorn or Arawy Vegetarian, for starters.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.