I'll be staying in Bangkok with my boyfriend at the start and end of my 6 week trip. We're looking for a nice, clean, a/c hotel close to transport links and close to places we can eat in the evenings, ideally street vendors. Rates of around 500thb would be ideal.
The 500b pricetag almost dictates somewhere in the Banglamphu area (Khao San Road, Soi Rambutri). Have a look at http://www.khaosan-hotels.com/index.html getting kind of hard to find good and clean with aircon good location in that price range but particularly along Soi Rambutri there are still loads of such places. Also check here on Travelfish: https://www.travelfish.org/accommodation/thailand/bangkok_and_surrounds/bangkok/khao_san_road/all
I've stayed at the Mango Lagoon a bunch of times and it fits the bill although more like 700b. The New Siam II is also very popular and with a small pool. Transportwise you're then very close to the Phra Atit pier on the river with cheap river express boats down to Saphan Taksin and the BTS Skytrain.
I'm looking at staying at KT Gueshouse later this year (as recommended by exacto and other fellow TF'ers) - 650/690 baht for double (fan/ac). All reviews that I have read make it sound pretty good - plus free Wifi and a pool. It's not super central, and the MRT is a 10-min walk away, but that's OK with me, It's near Chatuchak market and the Or Tor Kor food market that was mentioned on another recent post
Raise your price up another 100 baht or 200 baht and stay in the Sukhumvit Road area near the Nana Skytrain stop. For the holiday of a lifetime maybe paying a little more might be worth it.
You can use the Skytrain to connect with several areas in Bangkok that tourists often head for. The Skytrain connects with the subway, the bus station at Ekamai and the Airport Rail Link. Skytrain connects to MBK, Patpong area, Siam and Chatuchak Weekend Market.
In the Sukhumvit area you can walk to restaurants, malls, street vendors, nightlife, etc. Besides the many street food vendors you also have food courts in malls and other cheap restaurants. Tops Supermarket has a small food court and the Foodland Supermarket on Sukhumvit Soi 5 has a restaurant open 24 hours a day - the Took Lae Dee Restaurant.
Suk 11 Hostel:
Orchid Group Hotels:
(Near Orchid Inn from above link, across from Swan Bar, 600 baht - with air, hot water, private bathroom, cable TV, safety box at reception Inside looks better than outside!)
Thanks for the replies
500b is just our ideal because we found some good places for that price in other areas of Thailand last year, but we've never been to Bangkok and we've got room in the budget up to 700b (or more in Phi Phi seeing as 700 got us cockroaches and rats last time!) so I'll definitely take a look at what you've all suggested.
I would also recommend the Banglamphu area, but would recommend the Samsen area a bit more.
You can walk to many of the main sites and, as mentioned, you're right on the river and the Chao Phraya Express boats.
Oh, and I also thought that the KT was a great place to stay. Not conveniently located to the sites, but it's in a nice area with some exceptional night markets not too far away.
If it is your first trip to Bangkok, then I'd recommend the greater Khao San Road area too but maybe just a bit away from there to escape the hassles yet still be close to the sights and sounds of the city. If it were my second trip, then I'd go with KT as mentioned above. It is in a very Thai area of the city, not far from the MRT and right on several good bus routes. There is a good day/evening market within a 5-minute walk and lots of other street food and street life. Good pool for swims and a nice massage place right next door. Friendly staff. Clean. Affordable. But again, only if I'd already had my Khao San/Rattanakosin/Sanam Luang experience already. The Suk 11 recommendation above is a good one too. Hope that helps. Cheers.
Most people have already given you pretty good advice, but I'll throw my two cents in anyway!
For the few times we stayed in BKK we opted for Four Sons on Khao San Rd and I think they have another place elsewhere too.