Bangkok has never been a city renowned for its hostel offerings – with private rooms available in guest houses around Thailand’s capital for far less than you’d shed on a simple dorm elsewhere, it has never seemed like a gap that really needed filling. All the same, cost aside, there’s something to be said for the social atmosphere of a hostel, and for the ease of making friends at the start of your travels. These days, Bangkok certainly isn’t missing out on the trend for hostels to move into the boutique bracket – here are four of our favourite hostels around the city, and none of them are around Khao San Road – the famous area for backpackers to hang out!
Yim (which translates as ‘smile’) may be slightly off the usual path for travellers visiting Bangkok but, directly opposite the MRT subway station at Huai Khwang, it’s easily accessible. Just a few steps on the subway will land you at Sukhumvit or Silom, while Hualamphong train station is also within easy reach by MRT for a ride out of the city altogether. This bright and cheerful hostel, with its montage of Instagram photos as a backdrop to the reception desk, prides itself on its use of local materials such as bamboo, fabrics and tiles to recreate what it calls a Thai urban style boutique hostel from a converted 1970s building.
Rooms, which all come with a window view of some outside greenery to brighten things up, vary from mixed and women’s-only four and six-bed dorms with en-suite bathrooms and modern pod-like wooden bunks that afford more privacy than most, through to twin and double private rooms with either a balcony or a ‘bamboo garden’. Double rooms have private en-suites while twins share bathrooms just outside the rooms. All rates included linen, free wi-fi and plenty of power sockets to charge devices. Yim boasts a café as well as a kitchen and dining area, and hosts occasional exhibitions by local artists and photographers. Art really shines through everything in the trendy yet relaxed interior – we also love the box of used city maps left behind by previous travellers for you to make use of as you navigate Bangkok.
Rates start at 450 baht for a 4-bed mixed dorm, up to 1,900 baht for a private double room; all rates include breakfast.
A stone’s throw from the Saphan Taskin ferry pier on the Chao Phraya river, and not far from where we start most of our Bangkok walking tours , Glur makes the perfect base for you to whiz around Bangkok without ever needing to set foot in a taxi. The plush vintage looks in the downstairs 24-hour coffee bar are to die for and, while the bedrooms are are a brighter, rather more functional affair, there’s plenty of colour being splashed around and lots to love. Bunks in the X and X-bed dorms are big on comfort: they feature pull-across curtains for added privacy, a reading light and two charging points beside the bed, plus spacious under-bed lockers. Meanwhile, the double bedrooms tucked away near the rooftop come with private bathrooms and sport an awesome duplex layout.
Free laundry services and hairdryers are available, while the shared shower rooms have funky tiled walls. There’s also a shared kitchen and outdoor sun deck to enjoy; what’s more, Glur places strong emphasis on cleanliness, with the entire hostel getting a top-to-bottom clean on a daily basis. As well as its signature coffee bar that gives reason enough to visit even if you’re not staying here, Glur offers free wi-fi to all guests, breakfast available 24 hours a day, and onward bookings for buses, boats, trains and Bangkok tours.
Rates vary with availability, but dorm beds go as low as around 250 baht, while private rooms run from 850 baht up to around 1,150 baht.
The consistent traveller’s favourite Lub d, meaning ‘sleep well’ in Thai, continues to pull in the crowds at its two locations in Siam Square and Silom. Professional staff, generous facilities and a trendy traveller atmosphere make Lub d the hostel that has led the pack and continues to be imitated by others. Either of the two branches makes for a great base from which to explore Bangkok – the Silom hostel is located a 10-minute walk from Chong Nonsi Skytrain station and is within reach of ample street food choices and the famous Wat Kaek Hindu temple, while the Siam Square branch is just a stone’s throw from National Stadium Skytrain station.
Large windows pour plenty of natural sunlight into the building, and décor is focussed on helpful wall-sized maps of the local area. The downstairs areas feature a café and bar with outdoor seating, there’s a cinema area with beanbags for seating, and the hostel has free wi-fi throughout. Dorms are less swarming with amenities than other Bangkok hostels, and sized between six and ten beds they are also bigger than elsewhere, but they remain comfortable and when combined with Lub d’s other facilities they still offer good value. Shared bathrooms, meanwhile, are clean and generously sized. Private doubles come either with shared or private bathrooms, the latter being marketed as suites and also coming with TV.
Both Lub d Silom and Siam Square have daily activities, including cooking classes, a club crawl, free-flow lao yadong Thai folk liquor on Wednesdays and a free city walk on Sundays.
Dorm beds start at 350 baht and rise to 750 baht depending on dorm size and location (Silom or Siam Square), while privates run between 1,200 baht and 2,500 baht.
Could this be Bangkok’s swankiest hostel? If your idea of swanky is a hostel having a pool – and just how many of those can you name!? – then Refill Now! is probably high up on your list. It’s the only Bangkok hostel we know of to boast a swimming pool and, while it’s a bit of a trek out from Phra Khanong Skytrain station to reach this place on Sukhumvit Soi 71, we would say it’s worth the effort. And fear not that you’re away from downtown Bangkok, because the hostel is well equipped with a restaurant serving up European and Asian fare, as well as a bar that’s serious about its cocktails.
Communal areas boast table football, leather sofas and tables for relaxing that are surrounded by the same tropical palms that envelop the miniature pool, in its all too inviting deep shade of blue. The four-storey hostel building is made entirely of glass, meaning the whole place is flooded with natural sunlight – the six-bed mixed or female-only dorms feature metal bunks with privacy curtains, reading lights and charging points. Private twin or double rooms are comfortable but still share bathrooms; the real show stoppers here are the private loft rooms, sleeping two, three or four and featuring large, plush beds, vintage furnishings, stunning en-suite bathrooms and enough space to really make yourself at home and put the boutique in this hostel.
Dorm beds run from 365 baht, while private rooms with shared bathroom cost from 725 baht for single occupancy and from 1,450 baht for twin/double. Loft rooms, which come as doubles, triples or quads, run from 1,850 baht up to 3,700 baht.
Which is your favourite hostel in Bangkok? Let us know in the comments!