Tasteful Moroccan style
Dewan Bangkok is the first “Arabian-themed” hotel we’ve seen in Thailand that actually carries out this design in a tasteful way. More importantly, it offers rooms and service of a higher grade than many similarly priced hotels in the Khao San area.
Designers pulled off quite a transformation when they combined two pre-existing buildings, formerly broken into three shophouses, to create a single hotel that opened in early 2016. They added stucco-esque beige concrete to the exterior and placed an awning high above an entranceway that was once an alley slicing between the two structures. Starting with an Arabian dome-shaped gateway, this long corridor with mosaic tiled floors and greenery along the edges makes for a memorable first impression.
A lift leads up to 45 rooms divided into four classes, with added space being the main factor that differentiates them. We were impressed by one of the cheapest superiors with rattan mats on smooth beige floors, dark-wood beams along the ceiling and firm but comfortable beds punctuated by hanging lanterns on either side. Curtains open to reveal floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the street and surrounding rooftops, but balconies are not included.
All rooms come with air-con, WiFi, flatscreen TVs, fridges, safes and desks. Attached bathrooms are as slick as the bedrooms, with ceramic basin sinks and rainshower heads set in glass-walled stalls. Designers avoided the brazen colours and glittering surfaces that we’ve seen at other Moroccan or Middle Eastern themed hotels (check out the nearby Khaosan Palace to see what we mean). Instead you’ll see subtle patterned artworks and beige walls that we found calming and tasteful.
Atop the roof is a small swimming pool with loungers and a pavilion from where you can look down on the street. Take the walkway to the top of the connected building to find views of Wat Bowornniwet from a cluster of odd concrete booth-style seats draped in palms. Though we can think of better ways to design a fairly spacious rooftop, this is a fine place to catch a breeze and have a coffee.
The Dewan has a terrific location on Tani Road, which runs parallel to Rambuttri Road and is a five-minute walk north of Khao San Road. Despite this position so close to all of the nightlife, the hotel is far enough removed to stay quiet. We also like the more local feel of Tani and other nearby streets that fill up with clothing and food stalls geared towards travellers and locals.
The main disadvantage is that you’ll have to buy that coffee (and other food and drinks) elsewhere, as you won’t find any kind of restaurant attached to the property. This wouldn’t be a big deal to us considering the abundance of eating and drinking establishments found nearby, but some will find it irritating. We were however told that breakfast is available at the hotel.
Receptionists who spoke clear English were polite and helpful, though we were surprised to hear one of them say, “it depends on which website you book through,” when we asked about rates in person. After they dug up the walk-in rates, we found prices for roughly 500 baht less online.
While we prefer the similarly priced Navalai River Resort thanks to its riverside location, we feel that the Dewan beats the nearby Nouveau City Hotel, Chillax Resort and Baan Chart when it comes to medium-size hotels in the 2,000 to 3,000 baht range in the Khao San area. You also may want to consider Buddy Lodge if you prefer to stay on Khao San Road itself, or the Ibis Styles (formerly Viengtai Hotel) on Rambuttri Road if you prefer an international brand.
Address: 110 Tanee Rd, Bangkok
T: (02) 629 4610; F: (02) 629 4696
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º29'53.34" E, 13º45'36.66" 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||2,200 baht||2,500 baht|
|Deluxe double room||2,500 baht||2,800 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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