Old school with a great pool
A throwback to the 1960s with revamped rooms and a great swimming pool, Hotel De Moc is a hotel with a story to tell.
The property opened under the name Thai Hotel in 1962, a period when the city began drawing crowds of US servicemen on leave from the war in Vietnam. In 1964 it appeared in Operation CIA, a ridiculous film set in Saigon but filmed in Bangkok in which a spy played by a young Burt Reynolds stayed in room 607 (do yourself a favour and watch that trailer). Renamed Hotel De Moc in the early 2000s, the place reminds us of another old-school Bangkok hotel, the Malaysia, with a renovated facade that still tips its hat to the 1960s.
Situated out front, the swimming pool is unexpectedly large for a hotel in this price range. Tall hedges provide privacy and plentiful loungers ensure that everyone gets a seat. Near the pool sits a relaxing cafe with a large wood terrace, and a second restaurant attached to the lobby provides buffet breakfasts which are usually included in rates.
Step past the retro fountain and portico to enter an airy lobby with some of the original trim still visible around the small lifts. After a slightly irritated grumble, a receptionist led us up to check out a standard room with high ceilings, a soft bed and floor-to-ceiling glass opening to a balcony with a couple of chairs and a table. We saw no grime on the artificial wood floors, though it was harder to tell in the dimly lit tiled bathroom equipped with a tub and hot-water shower.
All rooms come with TVs, air-con, desks, WiFi, cushioned chairs and soft beds, though a touch of art would help to offset the building’s utilitarian design. Rooms are all similarly equipped, with prices dependent on whether you’re in the front overlooking the pool (more expensive) or backside of the building. Family editions are also available.
The quiet and slightly out-of-the-way location puts you just over a kilometre northwest of Khao San Road, with a free tuk tuk shuttle making the trip easier. Walk straight south down Prachatipatai Road and you’ll arrive at Democracy Monument in less than a kilometre, or you could strike west into any number of lanes leading to the colourful neighbourhoods stretching up to Samsen Road.
Hotel De Moc has received mixed reports over the years, but the room, pool and atmosphere impressed us. The reputable group behind Buddy Lodge had recently taken over management at time of writing, so we’d expect more improvements in the future along with considerable discounts if booking online.
Address: 78 Prachatipatai Rd, Bangkok
T: (02) 629 2100-4;
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º30'14.58" E, 13º45'42.95" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 600B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard double room|
Add 100 baht for a pool view room
|1,400 baht||1,400 baht|
|Family room||2,400 baht||2,400 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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