Tuesday, 21 August 2012

My digs in Old Bangkok

'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!



  1. I totally agree about the hotel chains, they are good for work trips, but the small and quaint B&B's are more intimate and cozy.
    You surely wouldn't be given hot honey and lemon juice if you had a dry hacking cough and non-stop runny nose at the Hilton, you'd have to order it and pay an arm and a leg.
    That was a kind and thoughtful gesture of the staff.
    Loved the courtyard, and the floral arrangement at the reception desk....attention to detail is number one in my book.
    You picked a good place to stay.
    Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

  2. Thanks, Virginia. Only a couple of days left of my little holiday but I have enjoyed my visit to Thailand.

  3. Thanks for sharing your holiday with us Marisa. Sorry to hear you still have the cough - I do hope you can finally get rid of it soon.

    Looking forward to your next blog.

    1. Nothing a little holiday won't cure, Cathy!

  4. Hi Marisa, I have done enough traveling on business to know that where you stay during a visit can color your whole impression of a place. Generally, I find chain hotels are impersonal and cold. The decor is often depressing, but on the upside, at least you can head there with a pretty good idea of what you are in for. I think small places, like this one in your post are generally much nicer. I looked back through some of your older posts and I would love to visit one day. Your pictures are great.

    1. I agree Jennifer. Consistency and knowing what to expect is handy for business travel, but it's great to be a bit more adventurous when travelling for pleasure, and my fortuitous discoveries far outweigh the disasters!

  5. Gorgeous, so much charm and character.

    1. The decor was lovely, and I have picked up a few ideas I hope I can incorporate at Casa Bella when I get home.

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