Whatever time of year you visit, you will find no shortage of accommodations in Bangkok. The city has thousands of hotels, guesthouses, and serviced apartments, and offers excellent options for budget backpackers, looking to spend under US$20 a night, as well as for high rollers or those on expense accounts. More properties open up every week. With so many different places to choose from, travelers shouldn’t have to compromise on price or location.
Traffic in Bangkok can be rough and public transportation routes are limited, so consider where you’ll be spending most of your days and how much of your time you’re willing to devote to sitting in traffic or navigating trains, buses, and boats.
Sightseers with tight schedules or tight wallets should consider staying in the Old City, as it’s where the most important historical and cultural sights are and accommodations are the cheapest in the city. There are also plenty of great little places to eat, a thriving nightlife scene, and lots of other travelers.
In fact the only downside is that some parts of the area, especially around Khao San Road, have become a backpacker ghetto (a sight in itself). Another option is to stay on the river in Chinatown, as it’s just a short ferry ride to the Old City. The best hotels in the city take up this prime real estate, although there are a couple of less expensive options, too.
If you’re here on business, you’ll probably want to be in the Silom or Downtown areas, where you’ll be close to the financial and business center of the city or at most a Skytrain stop away. Don’t worry about a dearth of food or entertainment options; there are plenty of both even in the heart of the central business district.
For anyone who’s spent time traveling in Asia’s major cities, rates for Bangkok hotel rooms will feel very reasonably priced, especially the ones at the low end. Lots of competition means even inexpensive hotels and guesthouses offer perks such as free breakfast and Wi-Fi and most have en-suite bathrooms. At five-star hotels, expect excellent service and friendly staff and you’ll rarely be disappointed. Basic English will be spoken almost everywhere, but at smaller properties you may run into some language issues.
If you’re in Bangkok for a week or more, or are traveling with a family or large group, consider staying at one of the city’s many serviced apartments instead of a hotel. Serviced apartments offer daily maid service, kitchen facilities, and more space than a typical hotel room, usually for less than you’ll spend per night at a hotel of a similar grade.
Except for the peak of high season in the last couple of weeks of December, you should never pay rack rates. Many hotels offer up to 50 percent discounts in the off season. Because there’s so much supply, hotels and guesthouses are very sensitive to downturns and the recent civil unrest, which came as a slew of new hotels were opening, means many properties may be slashing prices again to bring in guests. Always check Asia-specific hotel websites, such as Agoda.com, as well as the hotel’s website, to compare prices before booking.
- Best Boutique Hotel: Arun Residence
- Most Homey Resort: Chakrabongse Villas
- Most Charming Hotel: Phranakorn-Nornlen Hotel
- Best Budget-Friendly View: Riverview Guest House
- Best Balcony: Lebua at State Tower
- Most Chic Hostel: Lub D
- Best Hotel for Celebrity Spotting: Mandarin Oriental
- Best Choice for a Working Vacation: The Four Seasons
- Lushest Landscaping: The Nai Lert Park Hotel
- Best Choice for Big Groups: Tenface
© Suzanne Nam from Moon Bangkok, 5th Edition