Smart and spacious rooms
Oriental Heritage Residence offers well-sized and excellent value rooms, giving you easy access to Bangkok’s Silom and riverside districts without costing you the earth.
A leaflet in the hotel notes the address as being on Charoen Krung Road and goes on to declare the road as being the first ever built in Thailand, way back in 1864. While we’d take that statement with a heavy dose of salt, there is no denying this is a historic area of Bangkok and the hotel has done a terrific job fitting in with the surrounds. The low rise building is obvious when you’re walking down the other side of the road, but when you’re on the same side, the reception area is quite easy to walk straight past (as we did, only realising we’d walked to far when we arrived at Bangkok’s magnificent GPO which sites just down the road from here).
For the money, the rooms are oversized, with plenty enough room to swing a cat or play table tennis (bring your own table), but an important point to note here is that the toilet and shower are in a glass-walled amenities area. When we say glass-walled, we mean glass walled. There is a curtain that can be pulled across, essentially dividing the room in two to create more privacy, but, well, while we can perhaps see the appeal of a glass fronted tub or shower, a glass-walled toilet was a bit more head scratching. As we were travelling alone, this was no big deal, but given many of the rooms are in twin room configuration, if you’re travelling say with a colleague, you may want to keep this in mind.
Bathroom exhibitionists aside, we thought the room was great. Modern and spotless, with a large and comfortable desk suitable for working, flat screen TV, minibar, complimentary glass-bottled water along with coffee and tea making facilities. Our room had heavy dark drapes which delivered us to a decidedly late sleep-in. A word on sleep-ins, Charoen Krung can get very busy and while we can’t comment on the noise in the street-facing rooms as we had a room at the rear, we’d suggest going for a rear room just to be safe.
The location puts Oriental Heritage Residence about a ten to 15 minute walk from the closest BTS station (Saphan Taksin) and five to ten minutes to Silom. In the opposite direction you have the old GPO, now home to the TCDC which is well worth a visit. More generally, Charoen Krung has a more artsy character to it and it can make for a fascinating half day walk. The Bangkokian Museum is also nearby.
The hotel’s ground floor is home to a small cafe where breakfast is served. This is also where you’ll find the lobby, staffed by some of the friendliest and helpful desk staff we have ever encountered—we’re not exaggerating! If you’re looking to eat elsewhere, just around the corner sits Harmonique—a popular with tourists restaurant which still serves up some reliable dishes and, with its historic building, makes for a good spot to escape the midday heat.
For the standard, prices are very reasonable, though do shop around for a discounted rate. You are a bit of a walk from the mass transit but your baht will go a lot further here than in one of the more traditional hotels down on Silom Road. If you are looking for something more budget focussed but in the same area, consider New Road Guest House which is just around the corner.
Address: 1180 Charoen Krung Road, Bangrak
T: (02) 630 9040;
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º30'57.57" E, 13º43'34.36" N
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Room rates: 1,500B to 4,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Superior double room||1,850 baht||1,850 baht|
|Deluxe double room||2,450 baht||2,450 baht|
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
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