The first part of this blog focused on the Siam Square area which I recommended as the best location for a hotel when vacationing in Bangkok.
Let’s move on to my 2nd most preferred base in the Land of Smiles – Silom (including Surawong.)
What attracts tourists to stay in this part of Bangkok? I can name you three:
1) the Patpong night market (where I suggest you spend less because the prices of items on sale are higher)
2) the red-light district (starting from Patpong on Silom all the way to the full length of Surawong)
3) the night life (not as expensive compared to the classy bars on Sukhumvit)
I’d also like to add that this area is the best compromise if you want to stay reasonably close to the Chao Phya riverside area without getting stuck in the fringes. Just hop into the skytrain and get off after 3 stops.
This area actually used to be the most popular in downtown Bangkok up until Siam Square became a shoppers’ paradise and one-stop amusement place for families.
Okay, let’s start with the expensive hotel choices here. Top of the list would be Dusit Thani, Pan Pacific, Le Bua at State Tower and Sofitel Silom. Among the four, Le Bua is the most opulent, but it is situated at the far end of Silom leading to the riverside area. The walk to the skytrain from here is a minimum of 12 minutes in brisk mode. Alternatively, Dusit Thani and Pan Pacific are the most practical because the skytrain and subway stations are right in front of the hotel. These two are also the closest to the night market, night life and red-light district. Sofitel Silom is somewhere in between the aforementioned. It is right in the middle of Silom, a bit farther from the Chong Nonsi station and the night market, but offers competitive rates and service. Price range for these properties is between US$120-200 for a Superior room.
How about the mid-range spenders willing to shell out at least US$70-100 a night? Well, you have several possibilities. First off my head are Montien, Narai, Silom Serene, Holiday Inn Silom Plaza and Saladang Place. All of the five are old and have seen better days. Maintenance and renovations, though, have restored them to some points of their old glories. Montien is on Surawong and is practically at the doorstep of Patpong, nearer to the subway than the skytrain. Narai Hotel, while in the middle of Silom and requiring a longer walk to the skytrain, is actually the best value for money given its reasonable price with abundant breakfast buffet included. It is Arnoma’s counterpart this side of downtown Bangkok. I would put Holiday Inn Silom Plaza in the same vein, except that its farther location demands a trickier access to the skytrain from a different direction. Silom Serene, on the other hand, is an independently-owned hotel which offers good service in quieter surroundings. Lastly, Saladang Place is originally a serviced residence for expats but has long been converted to a hotel-like establishment with bigger rooms and an excellent location very close to the skytrain, subway and the night market.
If you get your high staying in boutique hotels – newer and more personalized attention to its guests – and if paying at least US$100-150/night suits you well, then the likes of FuramaXclusive Sathorn, Siri Sathorn, I-Residence, Baan Saladaeng, Luxx and Saladaeng Colonnade might just float your boat. Personally, FuramaXclusive Sathorn and I-Residence are my best bets in this league. They are almost brand new and the rooms are very tasteful, aside from giving frequent promotional rates all year-round. Luxx is also new, but I find the rooms so small. Over-all, it is not proportionate to the rates they charge. Baan Saladaeng’s main selling point is their unique rooms which have different themes to suit your taste and preference. Here’s a tip. If breakfast is your most important meal of the day, then take note that the buffet spread in boutique establishments is comparatively limited.
Lastly, a selection of hotels for those on a tight budget (below US$50 per night) includes The Inn Saladaeng, Unico Grande Silom, Silom Village Inn, Wall Street Inn and Regent Silom Serviced Apartment. My first pick here would be The Inn Saladaeng – simple, unpretentious and very well-situated close to everything. Regent Silom is not the serviced apartment you might have in mind because it looks and feels more like an inn, but it is surrounded by all sorts of Bangkok night life in the area – which also means that the place can get noisy especially during happy hours all the way to midnight.
That just about sums it up for Silom. If you end up choosing this location for your hotel stay, then be ready to enjoy a busier, noisier, more crowded and a bit seedier (a lot seedier if you stay in smaller inns inside Patpong or around Surawong) environment. There will always be tourists who enjoy this atmosphere to the max.
Onward to the third and last part of this blog….Sukhumvit! Watch out for it!