'Position, position, position' is everything in real estate, and while the same holds true to a large extent with accommodation, there are many other important qualities needed to make a memorable stay.
I have only been to Bangkok once before and that was quite some time ago, and I attribute the fact that it wasn't a particularly great experience to having picked a bland, budget chain hotel straight from a package tour brochure. It also seemed to be a long way from everything. Over the years I have become a bit smarter in my selection process, and it has worked well again for me on this visit.
The Old Bangkok Inn is the other end of the spectrum from my recent 'opulence on a budget' discovery, The Phoenix in Jogyakarta that I wrote about here. It is more a B&B than a hotel, but it has a charm all its own and ticks lots of my boxes.
Unless that lotto win is forthcoming, I will always be a budget traveler, so cost is an important consideration. I also prefer 'small' (multi-storied chains are way too much like a work trip), somewhere with character (ditto re work trips), that's well located, safe and has helpful staff (really important when you are traveling solo and need advice or someone to discuss travel options with).
Old Bangkok has ten rooms that start at just under $100, including a great breakfast. It is really well located near the Democracy Monument and the Queen's Gallery, and virtually opposite Wat Ratchanadda and the Golden Mountain. And, I kid you not, as I was writing this, there was a tap on the door from one of the staff who had heard me coughing and brought in a hot honey and lemon juice!
|I love the urn-shaped wire light fitting on the reception desk.|
|That's my room dead ahead (and more great wire light fittings).|
|There's a small courtyard through the french windows, but this room (Lemongrass) is 'cosy' - probably not ideal for two (with two suitcases)|
|Antiques given a contemporary twist in the bathroom|
|On the outside looking in,|
|and on the inside looking out!|
I came out one morning to find this gorgeous arrangement beside the reception desk (that's the gracious owner Nantiya in the background). They looked too perfect to be real.
|Closer inspection revealed them to be white lotus blooms where the outer petals had been folded inwards. Talk about attention to detail!|