Artistic hostel with a lively scene
Good vibes, funky art and a banging social scene all make Bodega Hostel a prime choice off Sukhumvit Road. While the cool young staff and fun atmosphere are the main draws, guests can also count on clean and comfy dorms at reasonable rates. Don’t be surprised if Bodega entices you to stick around longer than expected while forgetting all about Khao San Road.
Opened in late 2013 by three American brothers who are in cahoots with the original Bodega on Phuket, Bodega Bangkok balances the lively scene with a laid-back and artsy outlook. While hipsters will feel at home, the non-pretentious hostel welcomes all sorts of travellers. In a city where many hostels are operated like efficient factories, Bodega feels more like an easygoing neighbourhood pub.
Several street artists have added bursts of creativity around the always-evolving property. When asked about the skull-faced Skeletor that looms above the bar, staffer Brian told us that a Canadian guest had thought it would look good there, and the managers naturally agreed. She was one of many guests who have left their mark on this expression-encouraging hostel.
Bodega occupies a fairly large building at the end of a quiet side alley, its white stucco-esque walls and tall arching doorways reminiscent of Greek architecture. A wooden deck with sofas welcomes you to a spacious open-fronted common room with high ceilings, shared computers, tables and a well-stocked bar that makes it easy to meet other travellers and the enthusiastic hosts. Go for a bloody mary with breakfast, grab a “boozie smoothie” to cool off in the afternoon, then switch to cold beer or cocktails after dark. We’ve also heard good things about the food.
Air-con dorms are set next door, accessed by a separate entrance removed from the common area. This setup ensures a relatively quiet sleep, at least until any late-nighters might pile into their beds. Mixed and female-only dorms are available, both with several clean hot-water bathrooms attached to the rooms — no traipsing up stairs or through dark hallways to find a toilet here.
The large 14-bed mixed dorm room that we checked out was clean and straightforward, with thick mattresses on black steel bunks set over white tile floors. Set up fairly close together, each bunk comes with its own reading lamp, outlet and locker. Those wanting a measure of privacy might opt for Bodega’s slightly pricier six-bed dorm room, or go for a pod-style dorm at nearby 3Howw Hostel. We were told that private rooms will be available on the third floor once Bodega finishes renovating.
Though it takes a little effort to find, Bodega’s strategic location will give you a feel for one of Bangkok’s most popular expat areas. The immediate surrounds operate on a much lower key than busier roads in this part of the city, like Asoke-Montri and Sukhumvit Soi 11. Some interesting food options are found nearby, including several sushi joints (a lot of Japanese expats live around here), El Lugar Spanish Tapas and Pizza Mania, which delivers some of the finest brick-oven pie in the city.
An interchange between the MRT subway and BTS skytrain is a 10-minute walk away at Asok station, next to our favourite mall, Terminal 21. Great dining, shopping and nightlife abounds in this area, and it’s not too difficult to explore the Chao Phraya River, Chinatown and the historic district, then return to this hideaway rather than following the herd to Khao San.
To get here from Asok BTS station or Sukhumvit MRT station, head east for a few hundred metres down Sukhumvit Road and hang a left onto Soi 23. Take the first right after passing sleazy Soi Cowboy, and then follow the street as it cuts left. Walk a little further and you’ll see a sign for Bodega Hostel, set in the back corner of the second alley on the left.
Address: 120/13-15 Sukhumvit Soi 23, Bangkok
T: (02) 117 1012;
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º33'54.7" E, 13º44'22.67" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under 600B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
400/450 for six-bed dorm.
|300 baht||350 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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