Places I love to stay at when in Thailand

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Federicoita, Jan 4, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    I have now been travelling to Asia for a number of years.

    Although, this continent was a late discovery in my life, I have made it my preferred holiday location and Thailand in particular has been my number one destination since 2008. As long as you do not mind me expressing a personal opinion, I believe that this is the belly of the world, which is undergoing a continual development led at its forefront by Bangkok where the skyline’s changes are ongoing, daring and, at times, dramatic.

    My Thai travels have span from the most northern point to the deep south. In this thread, I want to share with you some of the hotels and guest houses I have most enjoyed staying at and where I continue to do so whenever the opportunity arises. The list is not in order of importance but I have some affection with the very first place listed below because when I stayed there I was among one of its very first customers as it had just opened.

    It was a gamble but one worth taking and I have never regretted it. I hope you enjoy both the writing and the photos.

    May your God or Buddha bless your travels and keep you safe.

    In this thread:
    On8 ~ Bangkok

    Central Point Silom ~ Bangkok
    Chatrium ~ Bangkok
    Sun Beach Guest House ~ Prachuap Khiri Khan Town

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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
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  2. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    On8 c’est chic and it feels like my second home from home.


    So you have decided to visit Bangkok and you are wondering where to stay. Things you may want to consider, depending on your intended pursuits, may include location, safety, closeness to food and drink amenities, including the night life, major sights, shopping, attractions and the transport hub.


    Bangkok, for me, was and is a transient destination and never a final one. This would be the point of arrival before setting off (as you have gathered from my other posts) and moving to other locations up and down the country.


    To that end, my choice narrowed down as to whether I wanted to stay near the river and some of the key major sights or near the western influenced shopping malls and its inevitable 24/7 energy.


    I chose the latter and opted for a small boutique hotel located, very conveniently, at the foot of the escalators of the BTS sky train station at Nana.


    With its main entrance tucked away in the first sub-soi on Sukhumvit Soi 8, you would never know this little gem is there unless I told you and even now a few taxi drivers are not aware of it.


    The hotel is privately owned and its daily operations are left to the Compass group. The owners are sticklers for cleanliness and this is immediately apparent right from your first visit as this hotel looks, smells and feels great.


    Its discreet all day cafe’ is one of the best kept secrets in Bangkok.


    Deceptively unassuming at first glance, here you will be able to sample many traditional and well known Thai dishes. Try either the Pad Thai or the Thai Green Chicken Curry next time you are there and you will not regret it.


    The coffee is also good and their Latte can rival many good Italian bars. Breakfast is more than satisfactory for both quality and quantity. Both western and eastern options are available and you will not go hungry here.


    The rooms are spacious, the lighting subtle and please do not be put off by the lack of balconies. This is on purpose as the sound proof opaque glass facade will ensure a peaceful good night rest.


    The low turnover of staff (currently led by Manager Khun Prakit Kaewjindabut you can affectionately refer to him as Jimmy) is another indication of happily run ship.


    The beds are very comfortable, the sheets and towels are of high quality, the bathrooms are modern and if you have forgotten either your toothbrush or your shaving cream, there is no need to rush out to the nearest “Seven Eleven” as they are provided, among other items, in a neat dispenser in the bathroom.


    The rooms are all equipped with electronic safes, hairdryers, multi electric sockets and stylish wardrobes. Each room has a small fridge, mini bar and an electric kettle.If you have no time for breakfast in the morning, you can ask the very helpful staff to pack a few items in a take away container and further to that I would also recommend their cafe’ for all day snacks and tea/coffee as the ambience and quality of product is second only to the Erawan Tea Rooms.


    The overall ambiance is subtly refined, modern and yet with a classic feel too.


    The fabrics and textiles used are of very high standard and my French friends say that on8 “C’est chic” and I would certainly go along with that.

    Giorgio Federico
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  3. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Centre Point Silom ~ Bangkok


    No sooner have I booked my tickets and my accommodation at on8, that I will regularly browse a couple of Asia centric hotel websites for special offers.


    Although not exempt from natural disasters (Tsunami and the recent flooding come to mind) overall, Mother Nature has been kind to this lovely country and its people and their sea, mountains, trekking trails and waterfalls are second to none and its main city, Bangkok is among the best cities in terms of value and entertainment.


    Its hotels are ambitious, often rising insolent-like towards the sky.


    If luxury and pampering is your thing, your hedonistic ego will be well looked after in the big mango. If budget is no issue, be prepared to be pleasantly catered for.


    However, in my case I have little needs for all bells and whistles.


    By the same token some of the offers are so good that from time to time I will splurge a little money and book a weekend according to the value of the offer.


    Centre Point Silom may not be the flashest of the biggest among the range of large hotels but is not one of the smallest either.


    Your stay here is likely to be very pleasant.


    The room I secured was large and it had views of the Chao Praya river and I caught sight of a most unusual setting for a tennis court, on top of what looked like a multi storey car park.


    From here I could walk to Saphan Taksin and it was fun visiting the nearby Asiatique.


    My room was a studio and included a kitchenette, a washing machine with drying facilities with a nice touch, soap powder for one wash. It also came with a full size fridge.


    The bathroom was both modern and comfortable.


    The bed was ultra comfortable


    The breakfast was very good...and abundant.


    views over the pool were attractive


    The service, as with most of these big hotels, tend to be deferential but also courteous and efficient.


    One plus was that it has a branch of Robinson located in the same building.


    One thing that struck me as odd was that the guard in the lobby as, on departure, he insisted carrying my trolley all the way to the foot of the BTS escalator. I am not sure if this was the result of my donating some fruit to him one evening but I had never experienced anything like that before. As they say a little kindness costs nothing and buys everything.


    Little elephants at play in the pool


    A room with a fine view

    Giorgio Federico

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
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  4. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Chatrium ~ Bangkok

    I have been meaning to stay here for some time.

    This hotel, which also has a residential annex, is only four years new but often gets great reviews. I booked for a weekend here in December 2012 with an option for an upgrade on arrival and subject to availability.


    The building is quite striking, a modern imposing tower with large glass windows and green frames.


    Its gardens are pleasant, the buffet plentiful and inviting, the entertainment stylish and laid back.


    In terms of textiles and furnishings it errs on modern styles with solid fixtures and fittings.


    I had the pleasure of meeting with one of the hotel flamboyant stars, Director of rooms Chatchawan Napawan. For the avoidance of doubt, he is the one below by the way.


    and I found him to be both delightful and convincing. When he suggested that I should take up that upgrade, I did without hesitation.


    It was a wonderful recommendation as I ended up enjoying a one bedroom suite with private balcony with river views available also from the bedroom.


    The upgrade also included access to their club on the 36th floor with free drinks and canapés.This is not the 36th floor, by the way, but my one bedroom suite on the 33rd floor.


    I was quite impressed not only with the position of their excellent infinity pool set against against the river and overlooking a perfect sunset but also with their vast breakfast choiceand the spacial effect in the breakfast room.


    and the overall cleanliness of the amenities.


    There were also many little touches like, for example, returning from the above club the first evening I found the bed runner had been removed and one side of the sheets folded open with slippers positioned by the bed. Great beds.


    Another time the newspaper was left in a re-usable bag discreetly placed on the outside door handle.


    The hotel provides a complimentary boat shuttle service operating from 08.00am until midnight.


    The feel in the lobby, as with most of this big hotels, felt a little busy but once I checked in it was very relaxing indeed and the views left an indelible memory in my mind.

    This hotel provided a great location for many happy photos


    and they had their own musicians and singer too.


    It seemed to be popular for weddings


    and with this kind of food, the world is their oyster??


    I loved my breakfast here


    and they even had panettone and pandoro, obviously a Thai speciality from Italy!!


    and I am not surprised with the number of accolades it has been receiving in recent times.


    You will not be disappointed here.


    One final tip, make sure you book a room with a river view and enjoy watching the lit up boats go up and down the river at night.

    Giorgio Federico

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
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  5. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Sun Beach Guest House ~ Prachuap Khiri Khan Town ~ Southern Thailand


    I had been told about this lovely guest house by a friend who knew I enjoyed harmonious architecture and a view of the sea. However, reaching this location required a little planning but it was worth it. My mode of transportation was by mini van from Victory Monument in Bangkok and I completed the last kilometre by tuk tuk.


    The rooms (ten in total) were both spacious and spotless. The beds visually inviting and comfortable to sleep on.


    The view from the room serenely attractive. A great place for some Reflective Practice.


    Storage - Cupboard space was more than adequate and there was a small fridge too.


    To me, the house had a distinguished classical appeal with an impeccable stucco finish in a sunflower shade with windows decorated with pediments. Corinthian columns and various base reliefs completed the look.

    The house was the brainchild of Herr Hurler, from Germany, and his lovely and friendly wife Ratchaneewan (Wan) who confirmed that visits to Rome and Spain had in fact influenced their final choice of style. A little Italy in Thailand?


    The view of the sea was a great selling point to me. During the few days I was there, the waves playfully crashed against the low rise wall. The noise they made in doing so was always happy and never threatening.


    The bathroom was small but nicely laid out with decorative tiles displaying a flower motif almost reminiscent of the Florentine lily.


    Breaking up the colour in the middle with a row of listello tiles and above lighter coloured ones made the bathroom feel a little bigger than what it was. The standard of cleanliness was very high throughout.


    This was also the first time that I had seen a ceramic skirting board in a Thai guest house. Herr Hurler and his wife Wan had not cut corners...but covered them well.


    The breakfast room was simple but efficiently laid out. Having one communal table also meant chance encounters with fellow travellers at breakfast and their many interesting tales. It is amazing how much some people manage to squeeze into just one lifetime.


    The pool was ever so pleasant but, on this occasion, I did not use it.


    The position of the house and the orientation of the sun provided great conditions for a spot of photography.


    Frau Hurler (Wan) on the left and her daughter on the right. They both came across as friendly and very hospitable. The guest house has been under the Hurlers' management for seven years now and it looks as if they only finished building it yesterday. It is that spotless. At 1,000 thb per night, this was excellent value as a venue.

    If you ever go, do enjoy it.

    Giorgio Federico

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
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  6. holycow4

    holycow4 Silver Member

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    Thanks for the great info!
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  7. Federicoita

    Federicoita Silver Member

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    Bay View Beach Resort - Bankrut


    I enjoy most of what Bangkok has to offer. By the same token I also look forward to venturing outside this fascinating and exotic metropolis. I suppose that I am both curious and eager to discover a little more of this wonderful and enchanting country every time I happen to be over here. On the south west coast, I have ventured to Cha-am, then Hua Hin, then Prachuap Khirikhani Town and this time I decided to go further south then last time, Bankrut to be precise.


    Now if I was being economical with the truth, I could have told you that I had lost my cat...kitty kitty? Looks more like Garfield to me!!


    And if I told you that I came here because the papaya and the watermelon tested better you would not believe me either would you?


    Well, as you can see the place was had to fight for a seat. It was that crowded, absolute mayhem.


    Whovever came up with the invention of a bed was a genius. Some beds are so comfortable you would want to spend days on them not just nights. This one fitted the description, trust me.


    Do not expect sophistication is Bankrut...the name gives it away.


    But it is very clean, comfortable and functional. What else do you want when staying by the beach?


    The bungalows came in all sizes...this is the one where the cat lives.


    The food in these photos, may look ordinary but it tested out of this world believe me I am Italian. We are supposed to know about these things.


    How do they manage to make a soup look so ordinary and yet so tasty?


    A smaller bungalow...still big enough for me though.


    And this one was the cutest of them all. All best things come in small packages? True, so true.


    Perhaps I should first warn that this location is a five hour train ride from Bangkok. However, it is a comfortable journey and you could divide your travel into two segments and visit Hua Hin en route as it is only one and half hour away from this final destination.


    Bankrut is a quiet spot, its first seven eleven was opened only recently and a second ATM was added earlier this year (2012) in addition to the one at the railway station. There are a couple of bars and restaurants and they will remain open as long as they have customers in them. As to the "Night" "Life" they have the former but not much of the latter.


    So, why would one want to come here? That is a good point and it depends on your personal views and requirements. Therefore, let me tell you why Mrs Smith and I came here. We wanted to experience the joy of a long and quiet beach and the feeling of peacefulness with nature and the sea. We wanted to lodge in a traditionally built, yet comfortable, bungalow, in a resort where pine trees line the beach and palm groves abound all around. We wanted to enjoy the privacy of a good size pool while surrounded by a natural and tranquil environment. We wanted to sample delicious and tasty food while breathing the sea air at a beach side restaurant. We wanted to bathe in a clean and warm sea and have fun cycling around and even playing a little volleyball from time to time. We wanted to fall asleep on a hammock while caressed by the sea breeze. All this we found at this resort.


    When I visited it was low season (July 2012-2555) in Bankrut and one could experience a few short and sharp showers from time to time but that would not spoil one's enjoyment of the place.


    Provided you have an interest in temples, you may wish to arrange for a car to drive you the two Kms or so to Thongchai mountain and wonder at the lovely nine chedi temple, Wat Tong Sai. The views from there are superb. That is the one on the top on the right of the photo.


    The pool was very conveniently located outside the bungalow where we stayed.


    And it was pretty even under a temporary shower.


    Bay View Beach Resort in Bankrut, an oasis of tranquillity.


    Well, as no one is buying me a drink, I suppose I will have to get myself one as this is thirsty work!!

    Giorgio Federico
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
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