Private rooms in hostel city
Set in a warren of lanes where you cannot throw a cat without hitting a hostel, Once in Bangkok Guesthouse offers no-frills budget rooms for those who prefer some privacy.
The mid 20th century building has an unusual curved shape to follow the pavement at a corner where Samsen Soi 4 bends to meet another lane. This makes for some oddly shaped rooms that come with a choice of shared or private bathroom. We suggest parting with the extra 150 baht to snag the “double with balcony,” which makes up for minimal interior space with a street view from chairs on a slender balcony.
The cramped rooms come with either double or twin mattresses set on platforms raised only slightly off the floor. Hanging light bulbs and old-fashioned hat racks with a few hangers are the only other furnishings, and we wouldn’t mind more of the paintings of Bangkok scenes to brighten up the painted concrete walls. But rooms appeared well kept and the rates are reasonable when comparing to similar properties in the Khao San area.
Brushed concrete bathrooms, whether shared or private, come with adequate space (perhaps too much given how little there is in the bedrooms) and modern appliances, mosaic-tile floors and hot-water showers. While the shared bathrooms we popped into smelled fresh, the private one was a little musty.
The ground-floor lobby opens to the street and here you’ll find a few vintage round tables for enjoying the free instant coffee, tea and biscuits. Each room is also allotted a small safe guarded by receptionists and a security camera in the lobby. Cheerful staffers do their best to make guests feel at home. From late night to early morning, they lock the doors and provide guests with a code to get inside, and their phone numbers in case of emergency.
In this same neighbourhood you’ll find Blue Chang House, another small guesthouse with rates starting at 800 baht; we thought the rooms there were decent but didn’t get much enthusiasm out of the staff. Otherwise you could try to score a private room at nearby hostels like The Oasis or Bewel, or walk all the way west and cross Samsen Road to find Sam Sen Sam Place.
Inquiring as walk-ins at Once in Bangkok, we were offered rates that fell 70 to 150 baht below the rates available online on the same day.
Address: East end of Samsen Soi 4, Bangkok
T: (091) 736 1874; (095) 901 5363;
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º30'8.07" E, 13º45'44.91" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 600B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dbl air-con share bathroom||580 baht||650 baht|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom|
800 baht with a balcony
|600 baht||750 baht|
|Triple air-con private bathroom||1,150 baht||1,150 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