Uber-trendy and intimate
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The Seven Design Hotel is what happens when a nondescript building in a busy urban area collides with a truly creative and imaginative eye. Six guestrooms plus one ground-floor lounge are designed to the tune of seven colours, each representing a day of the week in Thai culture.
All rooms are equipped with exceptionally cushy king-size beds on recycled dark-wood floors, free WiFi, safes and small cable TVs with DVDs available. The lack of in-room fridge is surprising in this price range. Rain showerheads and flat basins are cool bathroom touches. Most rooms come with mini-porches out the back, with the largest suite bagging you a fairly large private terrace with a few potted plants, chairs and a table.
While certainly comfortable, the cheapest orange edition is rather cramped and has wall-size windows overlooking reception — not the greatest setup for privacy. It’s situated on the second floor and, since there’s no lift, you’d have to deal with passing footsteps any time the other guests went to/from their rooms. Much better are the upper-floor rooms that provide a high level of privacy to go with the nifty design and comforts.
Down in the reception/lounge/gallery, bright swirling wall murals are punctuated by rotating art exhibitions; we arrived to find framed black-and-white photos of the Sukhothai ruins. Included breakfasts are served at a single rectangular table surrounded by cushioned booths and another small TV. This means that you’ll be (more or less) forced to shoot the breeze with other guests, which may be wonderful if you’re a socialite but could be painful for those introverts who cherish their quiet mornings.
While we didn’t meet the Swedish owner, the Thai woman who showed us around was lovely and overall the staff has a reputation for sincerity and helpfulness. The location is terrific. The immediate area hosts a bunch of good restaurants and it’s only a 10-minute walk to Phrom Phong BTS station, or 15 minutes to the livelier Asoke area.
The hotel occupies a small and drastically renovated shophouse-style building in the back corner of a quiet dead-end lane (it’s the first one on the left after entering Soi 31 from Sukhumvit Road). We’ve heard good things about neighbouring Wow Bangkok Hotel, though no one was around there when we last came through. There’s also the Davinci Suites across the lane, which goes more than a little over the top with its Italian street cafe theme but has reasonable boutique-y rooms for around the same price as Seven. S31 Hotel (cousin of S15) is a quality larger hotel at the nearby corner of Sukhumvit and Soi 31. If you like the Seven’s artsy design, you might also dig the Beat Hotel near Ekkamai BTS station.
The receptionist at Seven would only give us ballpark figures on high-season rates and an online search showed that rates are quite fluid throughout the year. Whether the Seven represents good, mediocre or not-so-good value depends on the rate you’re able to secure, so do some shopping around before you book.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 12th February, 2016.