Hi guys. I’d like to do a review of the Saphai pae hostel where I’m staying in Bangkok. I came there in February 2011 for the first time, and I know it’s the only place where I’ll be staying from now on when I come to Bangkok.
The first thing I like about it is its location. It’s only a 5 minutes’ walk from the Surasak Skytrain station. From there, you are 4 stations from the center of Bangkok where are all the big malls. And the hostel is also 10 minutes’ walk from the Central Pier where you can take the Chao Phrayat boat to visit all the touristic sights. I find it much more convenient than staying in the famous Khao San Road where you need to pay a tuk tuk to get anywhere.
The second important thing is the price. It’s pretty cheap according to the services and standing it provides. It ranges from 330 baht ($11) for a dorm bed, to 1500 baht ($50) for a private room. You can probably find a cheaper bed on Khao San Road, but then you’ll spend more money on transportations and I noticed people who stay there tend to stick to that area. And that’s really not Bangkok, it’s more a small close island where all the foreigners stay together. I don’t really like it, but it depends what you are looking for. I much prefer to sleep at Saphai pae hostel which is located in a more quiet area and just go visit Khao San Road when I want to.
The hostel is a building of 8 floors high with a capacity of 245 person.
The first floor, it is the hanging-out place. I really recommend to stay there as much as possible as it’s where you meet people (another nice hang-out place is the terrace on the 6th floor). I travel on my own, but I never spent a day alone. I have my best memories there. Staying up talking until 3 AM with people I just met is one of them. There’s a free pool table which is great to meet people as well and that’s also where you can have access to Internet for free. It’s really appreciable to have 8 computers available so you never have to wait, even if I usually use my own laptop. By the way, we have access to the Wifi from any of the 8th floor of the building, which is not so common in hostels, or even hotels. And for me, as an Internet addict, it’s really important.
The hostel is open 24 hours 7, so there’s no curfew and you can come back from your late night parties at any time, and that happens very often in Bangkok. It’s also very convenient if you have to check-in late. I like the fact that there is always somebody at the front desk to ensure security and optionally, serve you drinks and snacks if you are a bit hungry. Talking about security, all rooms are accessible by a personal magnetic card. So no stranger can enter your room while you are away.
This is also on the first floor that you’ll find the very nice restaurant open from 6:30AM to midnight with Western and Asian food at a very reasonable price. A main course is usually between 40 to 80 baht, so around $1.5 to $2.5. The restaurant is so popular that you will even see locals coming for lunch.
If you’d like to learn how to cook some of the dices you eat at the restaurant, there is also a free cooking class every Wednesday. You’ll be able to cook a delicious Spicy Thai Soup in no time.
It’s in the lobby as well that you’ll see the travel agency desk that can inform you on available tours around Bangkok, including trips to the floating market or to the Tiger temples.
The first 4 floors are for the dorms. There’s a floor for female dorms, another one for men dorms, and 2 floors of mix dorms. You will have access to the floors by the 2 elevators. The last thing you’d want is lifting your heavy luggage all the way up by the stairs, or even walking up 3 floors after an exhausting day of visit.
The rooms are simple but clean, ranging from 4 bunk beds to 10. They have air-con and feature large lockers. I travel with a lot of expensive camera gears and it is very appreciable to be able to fit all of it in my locker and know my things are secure while I’m sleeping or away from the room.
The bathroom are very clean and huge, with dozens of showers and bathroom on each floor. Very convenient if you don’t like queuing in the morning to take a shower. They provide shower gel and shampoo which is great for backpackers that usually tries to lighten their backpack. If you don’t have a towel, you can rent one for 50 baht ($1,7). And they even provide a scale to keep track of your weight.
On most of the floors, there is a TV room with lounge sofas and a big LCD screen. You can watch cable channels or borrow DVDs from the front desk after a long day touring the city.
There are also laundry rooms where you can wash your clothes for 20 baht ($0,65). Washing powder is available from the front desk as well for 10 baht ($0,35).
On the 3 last floors, you’ll find the private rooms. I also stayed in one of them for a few nights when a friend of mine came to visit me. I was blown away when I saw them. They really look like 3 star hotels room. Nicely decorated, they surely set a good mood for couples. Providing a LCD TV, DVD player, a fridge, safe box and a double king size bed, I could honestly stay and live there for a while. And again, for a very reasonable price, ranging from 1200 to 1500 baht ($40 to $50)
So as you have understood by now, I’m a huge fan of this hostel, and it really sets a standard for all other hostels I will be staying over the world. I highly recommend it. Oh and I forgot, the staff is also one of the most friendly and helpful I have seen.
Here’s a video to show you visually what you can expect from this hostel: