Affordable and quiet with a pool
Our favourite out of the five properties run by the New Siam group, New Siam II Guest House is an affordable option for flashpackers and families keen on enjoying a swimming pool in a quiet location near Khao San Road, the historic district and the river. Though rooms are dated and staff could be friendlier, the value is still among the best of any budget hotel in this part of Bangkok.
The property covers two five-storey concrete structures connected by walkways, with the “front building” built more recently than the original. Newer rooms cost a bit more but we actually preferred the older room on our most recent visit thanks to additional natural light and a traditional Thai style painting rather than cheap fretted wood behind the bed.
Whether going for “new” or “old,” you’ll find that all rooms come with tile floors, 1990s-style boxy TVs, WiFi, fridges, safes, desks and minimal space in bathrooms sporting curtains that wrap around tiny hot-water shower stalls. Beds are reasonably comfortable and the rooms we saw appeared clean. Triple rooms with additional beds are also available, and New Siam II is a popular choice for families and older travellers on a budget.
On the open-sided ground floor stretches a reasonably well-maintained swimming pool that sweetens the deal considerably. We also like the many tables where you can have a beer, coffee, burger or green curry at any time from morning to night. Staffers we’ve encountered have been on the timid side, but they’ve never hesitated to show us rooms and reception is staffed 24 hours. You’ll also find a tour desk, ATM and convenience store on site.
New Siam II is well positioned on a quiet lane just off Phra Arthit Road. Head out to this street to find a clutch of trendy Thai restaurants and bars along with some good shophouse kitchens, and then pop over to the west side of the street to catch up with the river ferries at Phra Arthit Pier. Walk down the lane away from Phra Arthit Road and you’ll emerge near the quiet end of Soi Rambuttri; take a left and Khao San Road is a 10-minute walk away.
Breakfast is not included in rates, but guests can pay extra to join in the morning buffet at New Siam Riverside, a pricier hotel with river views located just across Phra Arthit Road. While that property isn’t bad, we find it rather overpriced given that you can pay a small amount more to stay at the nearby Navalai River Resort, which has considerably smarter rooms and a rooftop pool.
Also worth mentioning is the newest offering from this group: New Siam Palace Ville, which occupies another purpose-built concrete structure a few hundred metres south of New Siam II. It also has a pool to go with more modern rooms for around 1,500 baht, some with views of the Grand Palace.
Those looking for a cheaper stay could do worse than New Siam I on nearby Soi Chana Songhram, or the smaller New Siam III around the corner on Soi Rambuttri. Both of these are more straightforward budget guesthouses with basic rooms in the 300 to 700 baht range.
And if New Siam II is full, Mango Lagoon Place on Soi Rambuttri is a reasonable alternative with a small pool and more dated rooms at similar rates.
Address: 50 Trok Rong Mhai (corner of Phra Arthit Rd), Bangkok
T: (02) 282 2795; (02) 629 0101; F: (02) 629 0303
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º29'34.93" E, 13º45'41.45" N
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Room rates: 600B to 1,500B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room|
840/950 baht in front building
|780 baht||890 baht|
Triple room. 1,450/1,530 baht in front building
|1,250 baht||1,330 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