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Silom Art Hostel probably wins the prize for the most colourful accommodation in a city known for its bright and vibrant nature. It’s a solid choice if you prefer your hostel to be over-the-top funky but also quiet and secure. Just be sure to assess all of the different room options before booking, as some are quite good while others leave something to be desired.
Upon entering the lobby you’ll be met by a large mural of what appears to be well-dressed patrons at a cocktail party, if the cocktails were made with a few drops of LSD. Equipped with an upright piano, a small billiards table and furniture with legs fitted into Converse All Stars and cowboy boots, the ground-floor lounge feels like a young art student’s crash pad. Head upstairs to find chain-link hammocks, a 20-foot long daybed and a few shared computers. A small TV room, book exchange, laundry facilities and rooftop chill space round out a solid list of common spaces.
Beyond the quirky decor and furniture, the building has one of the most unusual interiors that we’ve seen in any Bangkok accommodation. An elevator with windows for walls takes you upstairs via an exposed elevator shaft. Look straight up from the ground floor and you’ll notice a beer-bottle chandelier dangling from the fourth-floor sunroof. Wall-size windows help keep much of the building bright and cheerful.
The cheapest mixed dorm room has no window and is outfitted with five single mattresses placed less than a foot apart on slightly raised platforms; if going this route expect zero privacy and close quarters with strangers. The pricier women-only dorm is much better, with wide windows, decent mattresses placed on standard bunkbed frames and even a shared desk and old barber’s chair to lounge on. There’s also a simple two-bunk (four bed) room with private bath — as a solo traveller we were offered this one for just 900 baht.
All dorm beds come with personal reading lamps, outlets and small lockers (bring your own lock). Separated by sex, the spacious, clean and modern shared bathrooms are outfitted with wood or brass sinks and plenty of hot-water shower stalls to go around. All guestrooms are air-conditioned, but the bathrooms are not. WiFi is free and guests can use dishes, a fridge and microwave in a small kitchenette.
The Art Hostel also delivers small yet flash private rooms that are similar to what you’ll find at nearby Saphai Pae Hostel, but cheaper. These come with wall-size windows, comfy beds, tiny desks and LCD TVs on walls adorned with drippy purple hearts. In the room we most recently checked out, the ensuite bathroom was divided into two little rooms on either side of the bed, one for the shower and the other for the toilet and sink.
The Art Hostel lacks the social scene of places like Lub d and HQ; on a few visits we’ve never seen more than a few guests and they’ve always been buried in a book or laptop. It’s a family-run place, with an older woman and her exceptionally helpful son running reception during the day. They’re both welcoming and have always been quick to show us around, though some guests have reported bad experiences with a night receptionist.
Silom Art Hostel is tucked down Silom Soi 14 and stays relatively quiet despite being so close to the lively nightlife and food scene of Silom. With Chong Nonsi BTS station a five-minute walk away, the location is optimal both for its immediate surrounds and as a base for exploring the city. A few little eateries are found right across the street, though we’d head over to the Silom Soi 20 street food market for a better selection.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 12th February, 2016.