Huge pool and a bit of history
Once a Bangkok base for American and Chinese officials, the Capital Mansion emerged after much-needed renovations in 2010 to offer plush rooms and a massive swimming pool.
It’s now a good fit for flashpackers who appreciate properties with a bit of history.
The website Old Bangkok relates that shortly after the Capital opened in 1962, the US military leased the entire building to house personnel involved in the war against communist Northern Vietnam. In a twist of irony, communist Chinese officials took over the building after the US lost the war in the mid ‘70s, using it for the Chinese ambassador’s residence and office. The Capital even hosted chairman Deng Xiaopeng during an official visit in 1978.
In the ‘80s the nine-floor tower became a rundown serviced apartment building that stood as an eyesore along Phahonyothin Road, finally closing for major renovations in the late 2000s. While echoes of the ‘60s remain in the block-shaped windows and open-sided halls, the spacious rooms are now modern and comfortable. Decor is minimal, but perhaps the history brings some character.
All of the well-kept rooms come with tile floors, windows, small balconies, notably soft beds with quality linens and large hot-water bathrooms with modern appliances and showers behind glass dividers. In addition to the usual air-con, TVs, desks and free WiFi, extras include larger-than-usual fridges, hot-water kettles, microwaves and even some dishes.
A simple breakfast buffet is served on the ground floor to tables overlooking a pool that’s large enough to swim laps -- the surrounding loungers were empty when we passed through. Environmentalists will be glad to know that Greenpeace’s Thailand headquarters are found at the back of the building on the ground floor. You’ll also find a car park, security guards and snappy English-speaking staff.
While there’s not much to see and do in the immediate vicinity, you’ll find a bunch of good street food around Saphan Khwai BTS station, which is a 10-minute walk to the north. A 15-minute stroll south down Phahonyothin takes you to the Ari neighbourhood with its trendy cafes and bars. Check out Le Tada Parkview if you’re after a flashpacker-range hotel with a pool closer to Victory Monument.
Address: 1371 Phahonyothin Rd, Bangkok
T: (02) 278 7979; (02) 279 7070;
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º32'49.35" E, 13º47'18.62" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 1,500B to 4,000B
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Sgl air-con private bathroom||1,600 baht||1,600 baht|
|Dbl air-con private bathroom||2,000 baht||2,000 baht|
|Triple air-con private bathroom||3,000 baht||3,000 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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