Small but sexy: 4 Bangkok boutique hotels that are breaking the rules
No longer does "small hotel" refer to the rundown Bangkok guesthouse with its spartan décor, a ceiling fan and a tattered blanket. Leave those to the backpackers (or late-night trysts) and check out these four funky Bangkok boutique hotels instead.
1. Communal living: Phra Nakorn Norn Len
Rumor has it Phra Nakorn Norn Len was a former "no-tell motel", a one-stop in-and-out dive for one night stands. Today, it’s the antithesis.
Loved for its down-to-earth management, Phra Nakorn Norn Len tries to recreate the spirit of a small traditional Thai community.
Smoking is not only frowned upon but forbidden. Sex tourism is a no-no and don’t ask for the remote: there are no TVs.
This Bangkok boutique hotel doesn’t so much cater to whims as it tries to build an atmosphere of shared values. It might sound forced but it works.
Guests gush over the healthy, communal ambiance Phra Nakorn Norn Len promotes.
46 Thewet Soi 1, Banglumphoo, tel 02 628 8188
2. Color-coded sleeping: Seven
Seven is another example of how Thais are rejecting norms and putting their own stamp on the Bangkok hotel scene. This converted shophouse on a dead-end soi has only six guest rooms (plus the lobby = "seven").
Each room is inspired by a color associated with the seven days of the week (according to Thai superstition, days have a color).
Guests can stay in the room representing the day on which they were born. Unless were born on a Sunday. Better pretend it was a Monday as you can't sleep in the lobby.
Sukhumvit Soi 31, tel +66 (0)2 662 0951
3. Chinatown's coolest inn: Shanghai Mansion
Another Bangkok boutique hotel that doesn’t shy away from making statements is Shanghai Mansion in Chinatown. Its bright color palette runs floor to ceiling, inside and outside the rooms.
Against the bold reds, pinks and purples are Chinese motifs such as paper lanterns and cloisonné-styled floral furnishings. Guests love the large four-post beds and quiet of the rooms. With amulet markets and Wat Traimit just around the corner, Shanghai Mansion is a little sanctuary in the thick of the action.
479-481 Yaowaraj Road, Chinatown, tel +66 (0)2 678 0101
4. Trash chic and sweet lovin': Reflections
The most famous of Bangkok’s trend-setting hotels is Reflections, where each room was a canvas for the ideas of a local designer. That means 34 rooms with 34 different designs.
Room 201’s shocking pink palate helps recapture that “sweet” feeling of falling in love. On the other end of the spectrum, room 403 is called “trash chic” and is filled with recycled objects.
Want to escape the city? Try room 304 which recreates Thai-country style living, thatched kantok and all. Reflections also has the benefit of being set in one of Bangkok’s most eclectic neighborhoods, Ari.
224/2-18 Pradipat Road in Ari, tel +66 (0)2 270 3344